GOP's death has been greatly exaggerated

Republicans have a secret weapon: Democrats


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," February 18, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: So, as America marches in to the abyss it voted for, talk turns to the Republican Party's future, if there is one. It's gotten to the point where you talk about the party's fate. It's like discussing the future of your senile aunt. You do it right in front of her.

Here's Rand Paul. You know, I wonder if he would absolutely not run unless it were to win.


SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: I would absolutely not run unless it were to win. You know, points have been made and we'll continue to make points, but I think the country is ready for the narrative coming, the libertarian Republican narrative. Also because we have been losing as a national party.


GUTFELD: And there is Karl Rove. I wonder if he thinks Rand Paul had it right that everybody has got a chance.


KARL ROVE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think Rand Paul had it right. Everybody has got a chance. We believe in markets. Let people go in and participate. We should -- it's just opposite of the politburo. The more people who participate, the better off we are. The more we examine the quality of these candidates from top to bottom, the more likely we end up with fewer Christine O'Donnells and more Rand Paul.


GUTFELD: Sexy man.

Finally, Dr. Ben Carson. I bet he'd like to see more often in this nation, an open and intelligent conversation. Not just people casting aspersions at each other.


DR. BEN CARSON, SURGEON: I would like to see more often in this nation, is an open and intelligent conversation. Not people just casting aspersions at each other. I mean, it's up believable to me the way people act like third graders.

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: Ben Carson for president. You are retiring as a surgeon this summer. What do you make of it? Are you going to get in to politics?

CARSON: It's not my intention to do that. But as I always say in every part of my life, I'll leave that up to God.


GUTFELD: Look, here's what's needed in a nominee. Someone you don't have to explain. Someone who doesn't need me or you to defend his clumsy retorts.

I don't want a witch. Feel free to cast aspersions but not spells. But I also want a fighter, a person who wants to win and won't roll over in a debate on Benghazi because a consultant told him to. I want someone who cheerfully destroys the liberal lie that achievement is selfish, and that earning your keep means others will starve.

And this person must realize he's fighting two fronts, the Democrats and the media, and the only way to beat them is shine a light on them with humor.

So, paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the Republican Party's death have been greatly exaggerated because the Republicans have one secret weapon, the Democrats. While we may have a different Republican savior every week, there is one constant we can all count on, the inherent bankruptcy of liberal ideas. And also that Joe Biden will say something really stupid. He's the best thing to happen to Republicans since Dana Perino.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: I don't think that was a compliment.

GUTFELD: That was -- it could be taken both ways.


GUTFELD: Much like a lot of things.

Andrea, is America ready for a libertarian president or really just saying a small government person with less military output?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: That's a very good question. Libertarians had a lot of luck in the 1990s. And since then not so much, and I think they often are considered too controversial because of their positions on legalizing pot, which now has become more mainstream. And legalizing prostitution, which a lot of conservatives, of course, can't wrap their arms around.

But I do think that Rand Paul is a little bit different. I like him a lot. I think that he speaks the truth. He is very, very tough. He doesn't go back and forth. He is not his father.

And I do -- and I would say that the question is, Greg, do we want to become a big tent? Are we really that big tent? Because a lot of people will say, you know what? I'd love to vote Republican but I can't because of the social issues.

And if we had somebody who may be was more liberal we could get voters, open up that big tent. Because every election, Democrats use the social issues around our necks. Contract with America was great because it didn't get into social issues and something we could agree on, but they always use those social issues, like they did with Todd Akin.


TANTAROS: So, maybe somebody doesn't give them the opportunity. That would be a chance. Will he get by the right, I don't know.

GUTFELD: Also, does he have a perm?

TANTAROS: Rand Paul?

GUTFELD: I can't tell if it's a natural hair curl or a perm. But that's for the debate later. I think that's going to be the first thing David Gregory asks.

TANTAROS: Nice hair.

GUTFELD: Beckel, I want to ask you this -- we already have a professional grad student in the office. And we have $6 gallon gas. Why not have a libertarian? That can't be worse.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Well, Gutfeld, let me tell you. First of all, it's interesting to me you said a libertarian Republican.


BECKEL: Libertarians are on the ballot every four years. They qualified for it for a long time now. He is clearly running for the Republican presidential nomination, if that's what he's going to go for.

But the idea that Rand Paul and the good doctor and the Republican Party now casting around for these various people tells me that the bench for the Republicans, which we kept talking about would be mighty strong is not nearly as strong. I mean, Rubio has already gotten a taste of what it's like to step in the middle of this mix, he hasn't been very pleasant. He can't take it.


GUTFELD: He sold $200,000 of bottled water. I should be so lucky, Eric.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Did you get a haircut?

BECKEL: Yes, I did.

BOLLING: All right. Here's what I'm looking at --

BECKEL: What's it to you?

BOLLING: The problem with me and libertarians is the whole thing about smaller military. True libertarian would say, just protect our borders, don't have any foreign policy at all. I think that's tough to win anytime soon.

I'm kind of evolving on something, though. I've listened to what's important, making the bigger tent, making sure the Republican Party says, you know, more people --

BECKEL: Are you going to come out for prostitution?

BOLLING: No. Here's I'm going to come out for Chris Christie. I'm back on Chris Christie again. It seems to me like we really need someone with personality.


GUTFELD: We said big tent. Not big pants.

BOLLING: But someone who's likable. A guy who you could really say I like, that he speaks his mind, says what is and you don't worry about some of these issues that may be a problem to both Carson and maybe Rand Paul.

BECKEL: I think he'd be a stronger candidate than Rubio. Certainly, a general candidate.

GUTFELD: I want to get Dana in this.


GUTFELD: Do you have anything intelligent to add to this?

PERINO: I think I would just add this. That people are rejecting calling themselves a Republican. And they don't like to call themselves Democrat. They don't want to say conservative or liberal.

And there are some very appealing characteristics of a libertarian that speak to people and how they are feeling right now. And so, I think people are taking another look at it. But the reason he says libertarian-minded Republican is sort of like an ala carte menu.


PERINO: Like I want a little of this and a little of that. And then we'll see who comes up with.

GUTFELD: Good point. I'm surprised. OK.

PERINO: Drink awkwardly.

GUTFELD: Well, I drink, hold on. I'm sure that was done while I was gone. So, it doesn't matter.

PERINO: No, we didn't do it.

GUTFELD: All right, then.

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