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The Five

Are Republicans extreme?

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," December 21, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: So, according to a new CNN poll, a majority of Americans say the GOP's beliefs are not mainstream. The polling director, whoever he is, says this maybe due to a tarnish Republican brand, perhaps. But the Republican Party is indeed extreme, if you accept the media's portrayal of them.

If you try to explain how taxing the top 2 percent doesn't help the deficit -- you're extreme.

If you think government shouldn't give money to failed green energy projects -- you're extreme.

If you think school decisions are better made at local level than D.C. -- you're extreme.

If you think it's weird that government would jail government for making a poorly done video -- extreme.

If you want an actual debate about the real impact of man-made global warming -- extreme.

If you think bloated government is unsustainable -- way extreme.

If you own a gun for protection -- you're extreme.

If you aren't a liberal -- you're extreme.

If you hold to any specific principle grounded in what your grandparents called common sense -- you are extreme.

And by extreme, the media really means "mean".

Yes, it's an old stereotype, the media is mad at the daddy who didn't hug them. And so, they conduct a survey to soothe their wounds.

So, yes, I am extreme. To me, that is a compliment, for it means I stick to my principles.

So, if you're like me, embrace your inner extremist. In another age, it was called a spine.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Bravo! I like that one. We could run it again.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: It was?

GUTFELD: It was extreme.

PERINO: Put those on iTunes.

GUTFELD: I should. You know what? They should, I would be rich. Well, probably not.

K.G., some people consider you an extremist. But in ways --

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Extremely awesome. Yes.

GUTFELD: Is the GOP too extreme or not extreme enough?

GUILFOYLE: I don't think they are at all. In fact, as many people think, they should have stuck to their principles and not cave on this, the fiscal cliff. Because what does it do anyway? There doesn't appear to be negotiation going on here, it's a stalemate. You got a leadership vacuum, perhaps even a coup incoming on John Boehner.

So, right now, at the end of the year, what have we have accomplished?

GUTFELD: Yes. Well, you would know a lot about stalemates.

(LAUGHTER)

GUTFELD: Bob --

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Yes?

GUTFELD: -- our viewers are dying to hear your opinion on this.

BECKEL: Very simple, first of all, you make this sound like just bunch of liberals feel this way. The fact is a majority of the American people, they're also the majority that voted for the president of the United States, think the Republican Party is extreme. And it is. It's gone back to the days of Barry Goldwater. It's way off to the right.

GUILFOYLE: No, it's not.

BECKEL: That's what John Boehner's problem is, is one of his leadership colleagues said, there are bunch of knuckleheads in the House who are right wingers who are holding everything up.

GUTFELD: But this is my -- this is kind of my point, Dana. Isn't the word extreme unfair because it confuses two themes, beliefs that are outside the form and fidelity to principle?

So, the Tea Party was about fidelity to principle to limited government, however through the prism of the media, it is made to be viewed as outside the norm.

PERINO: But they hate the principle.

GUTFELD: Right.

PERINO: So, therefore, they hate you. Therefore, you are extreme. I'm going to use a banned phrase. The narrative in the media is that the Republicans are so extreme.

Actually, if you look at the Democrats and a lot of them that were elected in this past election, it is more extreme on the left than it has been. Not to say there aren't extremists on the right as well.

But I can go back to my favorite Gallup poll from the summer -- 30 percent of the people said they're Republican, 30 percent Democrat, and 40 percent said they are independent because both parties are too extreme for them.

So, you know, you can talk about the Republicans being extreme.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: It wasn't a poll of media people, it was a poll of the general public.

BOLLING: That was, too. The Gallup poll that I just mentioned.

BECKEL: I know. But I'm saying, this poll that we're talking about right now, it has nothing to do with the media. It has everything to do with the people being polled. And they think you are extreme --

PERINO: Where did the media get their information? Where did the media get their information?

BECKEL: I don't know.

GUTFELD: That was my point, Eric. Your chest hair has been called extreme.

BOLLING: No. I got rid of it. Every once in a while --

PERINO: He takes extreme measures.

BOLLING: Bob, you like this poll, CNN poll, too extreme.

But here's what's really going on. In America, the left is moving left. And we know it, Barack Obama completely revamped the way we do business in America. We do a lot of things. The left has moved further left.

The right is trying to figure out where the center is now, all the squishy Republicans trying to move to the center. But the center -- yes, the squishy ones -- and the center is moving left. So, if you stay with what used to be the regular right wing, you are suddenly becoming extreme.

PERINO: But I have a point.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Palin or Bachmann could be elected president.

GUTFELD: And a community organizer with no past.

PERINO: I have point, though. Actually, Republicans just don't know how to talk about this. They have won a huge fight on principle. And that is about tax relief -- because President Obama, after for years saying the Bush tax cut only help the wealthy, all of a sudden, the Bush tax cuts were the things that were saving the middle class and the lower classes from extreme tax increases.

So, actually, the Republicans have won on the issue that will serve them well in history.

BOLLING: But if you stand on your principle -- guns, social issues, you're extreme now, on the right. Only on the right.

GUTFELD: Only on the right. On the left --

BECKEL: Try to elect somebody like Sarah Palin on the platform, see what happens.

GUTFELD: Well, she was elected.

BECKEL: To what?

GUTFELD: Governor once. Maybe I'm wrong.

But here's the thing -- you're right, leftist principles are seen as romantic. Right principles are seen as extreme.

GUILFOYLE: Dangerous.

PERINO: When they're actually right.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: But you agree with me, though.

BECKEL: I said the right is crazy. I agree.

GUILFOYLE: They're dangerous and scary, that's --

BOLLING: Small government, lower tax takes, gun ownership, Second Amendment, social issues, right to life, and you're extremist. Meanwhile, that's been the Republican platform for the better part of 200 years.

BECKEL: That is not the consensus of the American people. That's where you are missing the point.

GUTFELD: What's extreme about limited government?

BECKEL: I should repeat to you again -- you lost. There was an election.

PERINO: Do you think I'm extreme?

BOLLING: Absolutely, no doubt. You're right. The right lost.

PERINO: Do you think I'm extreme?

BECKEL: No, you're not.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: I consider myself strongly conservative in principles. But, maybe I just don't sound -- I don't they're extreme.

GUTFELD: So, when an election -- when you lose an election, you're defined as extreme?

BOLLING: Well, let me tell you something also, though. If you are not extreme and you're on the right, you become, you fall in the squishy Republican group.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: I got to say this. I'm going to get heat for this.

John Boehner fell in the trap. He squished to the middle. Let's raise taxes on everybody above $1 million. Entertain $400,000.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Look how it's working out. You're a squishy Republican, you're going to get replaced this time.

BECKEL: The right wing Republicans were beaten at the polls.

GUTFELD: All right.

BOLLING: I think a moderate Republican got beat.

BECKEL: This one did.

BOLLING: Well, his name is Mitt Romney. You try to elect a moderate Massachusetts Republican, ain't going to work.

BECKEL: And you think Sarah Palin would?

BOLLING: I didn't say that.

GUILFOYLE: He didn't say that.

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The Five, hosted by Bob Beckel, Eric Bolling, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Greg Gutfeld, Dana Perino, Juan Williams, and Andrea Tantaros, airs on Weekdays at 5PM ET on Fox News Channel.

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