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The Five

Romney's decision opens door for next tier of GOP hopefuls

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," January 30, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Dana Perino along with Andrea Tantaros, Bob Beckel, Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld. It's 5 o'clock in New York City and this is "The Five."

Well, he tried to get to the White House in 2008 and, again, in 2012 but Mitt Romney has made a decision. He is not going to try again in 2016. He made it official earlier in a conference call with his supporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY, FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I've decided it's best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee. I feel that it is critical that America elect a conservative leader to become our next president. You know that I wanted to be that president, but I do not want to make it more difficult for someone else to emerge who may have a better chance of becoming that president. We believe it's for the best of the party and the nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: With Romney out, Jeb Bush takes the lead among GOP contenders in the latest Fox News poll. For more on big 2016 news, we have to bring in our favorite campaign, Carl Cameron. Carl, it sounds to me like this decision was made last week maybe after that meeting that he had with Jeb and going into the weekend deciding with his family that he was going to make this announcement this week.

CARL CAMERON, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: While he was considering it and making lots of phone calls -- receiving lots of phone calls from supporters, it was a busy couple of weeks on the campaign trail. Mr. Romney attended the RNC Winter Meeting out in San Diego where he got a cordial reception, but the whispers in the hallways were, in some cases, pretty nasty and largely negative.

There was the big Iowa candidate forum out in Des Moines last weekend. Romney did not go neither did Chris Christie -- excuse me, Chris Christie did go neither (ph) did Jeb Bush. In their absence, they were criticized, Mitt particularly, and conservatives showed once again why they weren't all that thrilled with him in 2012 or in 2008, and it became more and more and more clear.

Insiders, that Romney's closest circle, say that the family and some of their advisers began to see this sort of turning, and it was going to be more difficult and while he could raise enough money he said and while he thought he had enough support to win he said, he's chosen to bow out. And the truth to the matter is historically if candidates think there is a chance they're going to win they're going to stay in.

PERINO: One more question from me and I'm going to take it on the table. I just wanted to ask you about yesterday's announcement that Jeb Bush is making a very key hire from a senior strategist that had worked for Romney in the last election?

CAMERON: You're talking about Dave Kochel. He was the guy who ran Romney's Iowa 2008 campaign which was rather small and not particularly aggressive, and then in 2012, where for a moment it was thought on caucus night Romney had won it ultimately it went to Rick Santorum, and then the delegates got switched over to Ron Paul in the State Convention.

So, Mr. Kochel, has gone with Jeb Bush, and a lot of folks have sort of tried to drive a one way - a one-to-one correlation saying, "The loss of Kochel in Iowa was some sort of a straw that broke the camel's back and got Romney out." That's not the case. They had been sort of thinking this through and beginning to have a more tempered approach to it several days ago. Kochel is a huge get for Jeb Bush. It means that he has been out of politics for 15 years as the former Florida governor can go right into Iowa with a seasoned respected and very savvy organizer and the lead of caucus state, big boost for -- for Jeb not withstanding to let down it was good (ph) for Romney a day before his decision to jump out.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Hey, Carl, it's Eric. So, I - I listened to that -- that comment that he -- he put out there, very classy very nice. He stepped aside. You could feel that it was - it was very emotional for him. It was a tough decision for he and his family. One of the lines that - that jumped out was he said, "I'm stepping aside and hopefully, to this effect." to this effect, "I'm hoping to step aside and there will be a new generation of Republicans to take over."

Now, a lot of people are saying, "Well, if he was stepping aside to make room for Jeb Bush that might not be the way he would do that." So, a lot of people -- other people are saying is it Rubio or is it Christie? Where do you think - what did he mean by that new generation? What do you think he pointing to?

CAMERON: Well, again, there are a number of folks around Romney in the last three weeks who were doing a little bit of sniping on his behalf at what would have been his rivals Jeb Bush, principally, saying that while he's been out for a long time, 15 years, there was some talk that perhaps Romney would have criticized him for the way he handled a few things when he was governor.

But more than anything, Jeb Bush made some enemies in Romney camp back in 2012 because he withheld his endorsement of Mitt until pretty late in the process. And that left a bitter taste in Mitt's mouth particularly. So that may have something to do with it. A new face could qualify just as much as it might for Marco Rubio as it could to Ben Carson, Marco Rubio's new in American politics. He's a freshman senator, but he's been around a while. Ben Carson hasn't been elected anything. So he'd even been more new.

More than anything, what Romney is saying is his withdrawal from the race shouldn't be seen as anything about him necessarily as a deficient candidate. What he's saying is it's important for Republicans to find somebody who can beat Hillary Clinton and get the presidency back in GOP hands.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Hey, Carl, this is Bob. First of all, I've - I've heard it at least 15 times. We're going to step aside for a new generation when you decide to can out, one. Two, there's only been two candidates who've run three times for president. He would have been the third. William Jennings Bryan and Ronald Reagan, both of whom had strong constituencies and want to even (ph) be sure of Mitt Romney did not.

And I said this when Jeb Bush said he was going to think about getting it in, the first people that -- he was going to scare people. And one of the reasons he's not going. I think don't you that he'd lost two, his key financial people to Jeb Bush.

CAMERON: Well, it is true that some of his donors from the last time around were going to hang in with him. But it's also very true that a lot of them weren't and he knew that. Some of the more prominent names have been - have been on the sidelines or already committed to others. So that was a problem. It doesn't mean that he didn't have the capacity to raise the money necessary, but it would have been more difficult.

And there's another aspect to this. The idea that Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, two establishment governing type Republicans less ideological and more about getting the job done would be beating up each other is the kind of thing that even the conservatives in the party thought might not be too good. And there is an irony to that, too. Really conservatives for years have been sort of cannibalizing themselves in primaries for the right to lose to establishment candidates.

There's been an awful lot of glee among conservatives at the idea that Romney and Bush might beat each other up and conservatives could actually watch it happening on the other sort of schism in the Republican Party. But it's not good for the party for all the - for that kind of battling to go on. There's a lot of candidate.

This field is far different than what happened 2012 when Mitt Romney was the nominee, and he'd be battling against current governors, a lot of whom have big fundraising capacity on their own. So, the idea that he was trying to sort of pick out people that he's going to favor or disfavor in this process, Romney is going to end up in Iowa or New Hampshire, but he's going to be campaigning for somebody else.

PERINO: All right. Andrea?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: So, he's gone from the king to be the king maker, and Carl, I did appreciate Romney's honesty. I thought it was unique that he mentioned that the conservatives really weren't enthusiastic for him. I thought that was a really nice candid moment and an honest one that he couldn't see them getting really fired up about a third run for him.

But I want to build on Eric's question. So, now he's the king maker and you say he's going to show up in Iowa. Can - Carl, can you speak to his relationship with some of the other candidates? Because if you look at the last convention, he allowed Marco Rubio to have that primetime speaking role and introduce him. He also, if you look at his relationships, he had bad blood with Chris Christie before where Christies didn't want him come in New Jersey to raise money. Can you as our campaign expert maybe read that he leads (ph) to see if he's going to be aligning behind one of these lesser knowns?

CAMERON: Well, he called Scott Walker today. He's having dinner with Chris Christie tonight. And yes, the Romney camp has occasionally thrown a few darts at the governor of New Jersey. They vetted him for VP in 2012 and he didn't get picked, and they pointed that out as there might have been some reason or some baggage that could hurt Christie beyond what sort of publicly know already.

He's very fond of Marco Rubio. Marco Rubio campaigned very aggressively for Mitt Romney in 2012. It's arguably true that no other Washington Office holder spent more time on the trail for Romney but Rubio. So, that's obviously something that would auger (ph) in his favor. Having said that, don't rule out the possibility that Mitt and Jeb Bush could bury the hatchet. Whoever wins the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney is going to get behind him.

He has acknowledged over time that he made mistakes in 2012. He might have done things differently. He said he was going to do things differently, talked about being more authentic in this three-week experimentation with running, again. It's worth noting that he moved - he's moved back to Salt Lake City. He is sort of re-embracing his Mormonism and he's promising to, in the future, be more honest where he's coming from.

A lot of folks thought he should have done that in 2012 but he didn't fight back hard enough. Those kinds of discussions are all to the way side now. The question is who's going to fill the void, and Jeb Bush is at the top of the polls, but it's awfully early, and if you look at the Fox poll that came out just yesterday between Jeb Bush of 15 percent and Chris Christie down around nine. There's like five candidates bunched in within (ph) about six points. So, for all intents (ph) and purposes, they're all within the margin of error. So, virtual tie with multiple candidates and wide open without Romney.

PERINO: Greg?

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Carl, I just have a comment, a question and then a text that I will be sending you privately about tonight.

(LAUGHTER)

My comment is obviously you said he's not running in 2016 but he didn't say anything about 2020. So it's safe to say he is running in 2020 and you already hear it first on "The Five." My question is if he's not running in 2016 will he lease his hair out to potential candidates?

CAMERON: I - I spent an awful lot of time with Mitt Romney in 2012. I think in the total of - of two years of covering him - maybe four years in the course of the last decade, I've almost never seen a hair out of place unless it was intentional for making him look like he was just letting it all hang out.

GUTFELD: There's no fly-aways with Mitt.

(LAUGHTER)

CAMERON: No.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: He's very, very -- he is very, very controlled. Not so Greg.

(CROSSTALK)

CAMERON: He plead (ph) out something here. One of the things that made it so -- seemed so unlikely that he was going to go through this for years Mitt Romney and his staffers have been making sure all guys like us would understand that he's really analytical, loves to crush numbers, really wants to make sure no detail hasn't been thoroughly analyzed. The idea that he's going to jump in the raise in three weeks didn't make a lot of sense given his history where has.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Hey, Carl, could you there sit with a straight face and call Mitt Romney a king maker? Who is he going to - who can it get - do -- what's his constituency? Who's even get (ph) into it? What votes does he have? I don't get it. Well, it would be nice to have the nomination.

(CROSSTALK)

CAMERON: But he is the former - he is the former.

BECKEL: . and have one aboard (ph) yeah maybe.

(CROSSTALK)

CAMERON: . no, Bob, Bob. Wait a minute. The guy won 60 million votes as the - as the Republican nominee.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Any Republican would have won 60 million votes.

(CROSSTALK)

CAMERON: . years ago. That's - but that's not nothing and that's one of the reasons why when he said I'll give it consideration for three weeks, a lot of America paid attention. A lot of American though they might be more modern (ph), they did vote for him three years ago and haven't forgotten it.

BECKEL: You are just being soft (ph) because you like the guy. I understand.

CAMERON: No big deal (ph).

PERINO: Oh, Bob! Carl, we're going to let you - on that note, we will let you go but just to confirm we are your favorite show, is that right?

CAMERON: Absolutely.

PERINO: OK.

CAMERON: Go Five!

PERINO: Thank you.

All right. I - look at - we have a couple more minutes. Andrea, I wanted to ask you do you think - I think we are kind of danced around this question. Do you think that Mitt Romney will endorse anybody in the primary or try to stay neutral until there's a nominee?

TANTAROS: That's what I was trying to get Carl to answer because he had shown favoritism to some of those candidates specifically Marco Rubio in a big way. I mean, Dana, it has to be noted that he gave Marco Rubio that primetime speaking role and not just on a good night, on the night to introduce him at the Republican convention.

So, look, you saw where Krauthammer was putting his chips. Marco Rubio, I'm not saying that Romney is going to come out publicly and endorse somebody, but I think there's a lot that Mitt Romney is going to be doing behind the scene to help one of these guys that needs his help and I would bet it's Rubio.

BECKEL: You know, you know politics (ph) pretty well. Do you believe that Mitt Romney can deliver votes for anybody?

TANTAROS: Yes.

BECKEL: Yeah.

PERINO: I do.

TANTAROS: Nobody did in the 2014 midterms.

PERINO: I do. Absolutely. Oh, Bob.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: I think he can probably.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: I've been away too long and maybe.

BOLLING: Well, maybe, but do you - do you realize what kind of lead that Mitt Romney had prior to back - to bowing out? He was the favorite on the conservative side.

BECKEL: It is name recognition.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: OK, but that - if he.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Jeb Bush would have been.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: . is behind someone when you don't think the people who -- who favored Mitt Romney over all the rest.

TANTAROS: I know what you're saying.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: In other words.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: I do know what you are saying, Bob. People aren't sitting at home freaking out, they're toes are crawling over Mitt Romney like, "Ho, ho, ho." But.

BECKEL: That's.

TANTAROS: . I do get -- he can raise some money.

PERINO: Absolutely. Let me ask Greg. You know, you can talk about anything you want. But I - can I throw one of the questions that need to be talked about.

GUTFELD: Sure.

PERINO: . what this means for all the Republicans, but what might it mean for Hillary Clinton who yesterday her campaign said that she is probably going to wait until July. Does this change her calculus?

GUTFELD: I don't know.

(LAUGHTER)

I don't know - I honestly don't know that. I think it's important for the Republican Party to identify their contemporary Reagan and Jeb is in the novelty acts and those preening for attention because if they don't do that by 2016 you will have a President Clinton and five new Fox News contributors.

(LAUGHTER)

This election - but this election is about presenting a smaller target. When a Republican makes a small gaff it will be transformed into a supernova by the media. But if a Democrat is caught with a giraffe (ph) and a box full of sex toys the "New York Times" will call him an animal lover.

So, the point is, it's not just - going against Hillary and I said this before, it's going against the press. And here's an uncomfortable fact, and I will leave end with this, Romney would have been a great president. There is no question about that. He was a lousy campaigner, but if you look at him and you listen to him he is a good man. And if you had a crystal ball and it showed 2016 President Romney the entire country, liberals included would breathe a sigh of relief and they would say finally an adult in the room. But sadly he couldn't make that argument himself.

BECKEL: You know, good point, though, about -- going back to the media. But you know, did you notice Hillary Clinton got when she made that comment, how's in the world she could have made that statement about corporations that don't make jobs. I mean, didn't we've been through that once already? We've heard that line, right? And they immediately jumped on her, but I think they believe from when the - and they always tell (ph), that Jeb Bush is going to be the nominee and they want to keep a low profile while the Republicans go at it.

PERINO: But they thought -- in 2007, they thought that Rudy Giuliani would be the nominee and didn't turn out that way either.

BECKEL: That's right. That's right.

PERINO: All right. Next on "The Five," as the White House downplays a threat of the Taliban, the terror network claims responsibility for an attack that killed three Americans.

Plus a major development regarding the Bergdahl trade all coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: But no one saw this coming, just seven months after one of the worst deals in American history one of the Taliban five swapped for Bowe Bergdahl has just been caught trying to return to the fight and reconnecting with the Taliban. The Pentagon is trying to downplay the news though.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We have a good security partnership with the government of Qatar. They have provided assurances. And I can tell you that we are comfortable at the Defense Department that we can mitigate any threat that could be posed by anyone of these individuals in terms of terrorist activity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: And the administration tried to convince Americans over and over again that these terrorists traded for a likely Deserter weren't a threat to us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN ELIZABETH RICE, UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The monitoring of those detainees gave us confidence that they cannot and in all likelihood will not pose a significant risk to the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe this is not a security threat to the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would not have undertaken this if we did not believe it was in the national security interest of the United States to do so.

BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: I wouldn't be doing it if I thought that it was contrary to American national security, and we have confidence that we will be in a position to go after them if in fact they are engaging in activities that threaten our defenses. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: All right. So start here and go around the table. Dana, they warned as they said don't worry this is going to be all OK. What's going out there (ph)?

PERINO: So, in some ways it was like Kirby might know something we don't know which is possible. OK. Maybe they know that they've got a way to track them and they -- maybe they wanted that these phone calls to happen so that they could get more intel.

I mean, it seemed to me in his posture that he was saying, "Don't worry, we got this." If that's not the case then I thought that it was a little - it came across a little too assured and arrogant instead of saying, "We understood there was a possible risk." But see that - even -- if I try to be responsible then I think that Jim Montage (ph) and they weren't trying to be responsible them. So, I'm -- I can't advise these people.

BOLLING: Murray Harf (ph)told us don't worry about it. We have -- it's all OK.

PERINO: We got this.

GUTFELD: Everyone knew what the - what these guys are going to do. They weren't going to join the circus or build houses for habitat for humanity. There were going to rejoin. This is a swap that - that is actually a crime with accomplices.

First, you got a media that has been so obsessed with American injustice that allowed for the ignorance of the real threat. It was never ISIS. It's police officers, frat boys and Islamophobia. They were so consumed by that crap that they - they missed this. We have a nation right now that is fighting phantoms, and we're - and we're getting annihilated by reality. To Obama, a pipeline is worse than a terrorist, coal is worse than a car bomb.

BECKEL: Quick thought on this before we move on to next sound bite.

TANTAROS: Yeah. I mean, it is disturbing to me that Kirby in the bite that you played, said we should trust the Qataris. And if you look at recent - well, they didn't say, it's not a prisoner swap, but for Omari they say he was reformed. He was the one that was released just a couple of weeks ago.

You look at how Qataris treated the Huang (ph), the American couple. They jerked around this country and that American couple for a really long time.

PERINO: Yeah.

TANTAROS: But remember the Bergdahl swap. Obama stood in the Rose Garden, an unprecedented thing for president to do, and he thanked the Emir of Qatar. Remember the Qatari didn't call up and say, "Hey, this guy is trying to dial the Taliban." Our DOD followed them. We can't trust the Qataris at all. What did we think they were going to go back and do? To Greg's point, become water ski instructors? It's all they know.

PERINO: But they didn't get let off for good behavior or demonstrate any.

TANTAROS: Why?

PERINO: . reason for us to believe that they were going become upstanding citizens.

BECKEL: They're not - quite.

BOLLING: No, you're not a pipeline. But I wanted you to respond to this sound bite from General McInerney from last night.

BECKEL: OK, yes.

BOLLING: In the defense of the Bergdahl swap, the president told us this is what happens at the end of a war. You try to get your people back. But Lieutenant General McInerney says, "The war is far from over." Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS MCINERNEY, RETIRED U.S. AIR FORCE: The war is not ending against radical Islam. We may be pulling out of Afghanistan and when he -- they talk about leave no one behind; we leave no honorable person behind. We leave deserters behind. We did that in Korea and we've done it before in our history. And so I would not have brought a deserter back for five four star officer equivalents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: So, Bob on one hand, you have a general saying don't do it and you have the administration saying everything is going to be OK.

BECKEL: Well, I mean, I think - listen. I think that the press conference is Bergdahl's press conference is ridiculous. But can we put this in some perspective? The Defense Department released in 2008 that the people who had been released in - from Guantanamo (ph) during the Bush administration 36 of them had gone back to. Now you didn't say any - I mean, but extreme about.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO (?): Yes, they have.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Yeah. Can we stay on this pipeline (inaudible) swap though?

PERINO (?): No, we did.

BOLLING: Now, we know.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Yeah, you did. That's - that's your Defense Department said. I just - I actually read the study that today. But the point is, are you going to expect some of these people are going to fall by - where they came from. I'm not surprised. The Qataris have been what -- some of the greatest con artists to that part of the world for a long time.

TANTAROS: Why are we releasing them?

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Well, why did we release them during the Bush administration? It was the right thing to do because they had to get done (ph) with.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: There's I think - I do think there is a distinction between released and swap.

BECKEL: That I agree with you. I agree with you on that. But that doesn't mean that the people that were released --there has been a history of some of these people going back to terrorism.

PERINO (?): Incentivism (ph).

BECKEL: Incentivism (ph).

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: But then - I mean, we call - we keep calling this a swap and it was a home invasion. I mean, they came and took everything and we were left with sucker spray painted on our front lawn.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: OK, but they also just released Omari saying and they're saying that he's reformed. This is a high-level terrorist and they're saying - all of them said, he is a-yeah, he's reformed. He is out on good behavior.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: So, (inaudible) setting I hear. I don't remember.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: They only stab you - but if you capitate (ph).

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Oh, at some point today I remembered this "Rolling Stone" article from 2012 and - and they highlight some - one of these e-mails that Bowe Bergdahl sent to his parents from 2009 before he walked off the base and they point that out. Now mind you, "Rolling Stone" is - is very far left. So, they're not going to skew or pad it the other way and Bowe Bergdahl literally in his e-mail says, "I've seen their ideas, talking about the U.S. Army. I'm ashamed to be even being American." He also said, "I'm sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting." Right before he walks off the base.

So, Bob, I'm not sure we should have traded five well-known bad guys instead of bad.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: But my friend next they're here - he - he - he's sister is (inaudible). I mean, we left a lot of deserters in Vietnam. We went and tried to get them back and we won it. It wasn't just Korea.

GUTFELD: But.

BECKEL: And he's making this point about Bergdahl. Was it a good idea to have the swap? I don't think he's anywhere near what Greg says and - and the other thing is they found out about this phone call this guy made. They are - they are tracking him, and I think that there's no chance the guy is going to get back in Afghanistan and do anything.

GUTFELD: Hey, has his dad shaved the beard yet?

BECKEL: And he's selling the pieces of his hair.

GUTFELD: Yeah, I mean, I don't know. It's a good question. Has he shaved the beard? Remember what the beard was about?

BECKEL: But let me ask you, if you - if you released 1,000 Democrats, if God forbid, back into the world, right? There's going to be a certain percentage that they're going to become operation Wall Street.

BOLLING: So, why would you do it?

BECKEL: Because you're going to have to choose - you cannot keep going - what - the Bush administration - the Obama administration with the right decision.

GUTFELD: You just - that's the strangest comparison ever.

BECKEL: I was trying to make you feel better about your ridiculous competitor (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

BOLLING: Still doesn't -- it doesn't justify doing it

(LAUGHTER)

Because doesn't know that some of -- go back into the battle.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: They're bagging it, too.

BOLLING: Why do it at all?

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Well.

TANTAROS: Try them, Bob. Give them a terror trial. Put them in jail. Lock them up. Keep them a gimmo (ph). Don't release them. We spent millions of dollars in American life trying to get them in the first place.

BECKEL: Well, if we - if one of these things happens then let's have this discussion then. If the guy performs a terrorist attack.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: Let's talk then after he is on the video beheading somebody?

BOLLING: Wait -- wait until some people are dead then have the discussion?

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: What do you want to do? What do you want to do?

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: No.

BECKEL: Do you want to keep the 690 within the giver (ph).

BOLLING: No, no. I - I - no.

TANTAROS (?): Yeah.

BOLLING: What I wanted not do is trade five bad guys.

TANTAROS (?): Yeah.

BOLLING: . for a guy who clearly hates America.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Did you - did you put (inaudible) in Bush administration.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: Well, and - and it could be.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: ... training them? I mean, giving them back to their homelands. Sorry, Dana.

PERINO: No, I just think that when it comes to Bowe Bergdahl, we don't know enough if he was -- whether he - he might hate America but he also might have been -- had some other sort of troubles or PTSD or something that required some care.

GUTFELD: Why do you think it's a hairy situation?

BOLLING (?): I think he's quiet for so long and not after the election. I think we got you (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

GUTFELD: Oh yeah. Go on. I want to keep talking about.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: You want still talking about that?

GUTFELD: Yes.

BOLLING: All right.

TANTAROS: Go.

BOLLING: Ahead, Tom Brady says, he didn't do it. So who did deflate - did deflate those footballs at.

(LAUGHTER)

We got it. It was a nice football

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD (?): That said.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: I love Friday.

GUTFELD: So, who's the suspect?

BOLLING: And step forward, you'll hear their confessions coming out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUTFELD: So California may join other stupid states in harshly regulating e-cigs after a report claims they emit cancerous compounds and could get people addicted. But the report has more holes than a wine rack as critics accuse the authors of cherry picking studies to support their biased assumptions. I agree, just poke the research slightly and watch what happens.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: Seriously, I have done better reports on Winnie the Pooh in second grade. This report has bigger gaps than a New Jersey shopping mall. So let's pull the arms and legs off this scarecrow. First, they claim there is no evidence that vaping helps people quit cigarettes. Wrong. There is a comprehensive review showing just that. You stupid fools. They say vaping contains potentially toxic chemicals, failing to mention the levels are 9 to 450 times lower than cigarettes. You idiot. They say vaping contains harmful metals failing to note they are in lower amounts that permitted in other products. They claim nicotine is as addictive as cocaine. Please, that's idiotic. I know where do these idiots get their degree? At a ball pit at McDonald's? This report isn't just propaganda disguised as concerns. It scares people away from effectively quitting real cigarettes, enabling more death based with hopeful findings on vaping, they state the opposite revealing the only toxic vapor in this report is their deadly hot air, acting up like a foul flatulence by a jabbering idiot. I'm so angry. If this is science then I am Alert Einstein.

BECKEL: Unbelievable.

GUTFELD: I got to give a hat tip to Dr. Marc Siegel who is like an anti- smoking expert. He has been following this very well, and Leonard Gilroy from Reason who has been doing a lot of research. Dana, we have been looking at this for a long time. This is about a loss of tax revenue from smoking, isn't it? The government is addicted to the tobacco tax. If every smoker in L.A. quit, the country would lose $60 million per year, the county, $60 million.

PERINO: A terrible way to fund your government is people's habits of what they consume.

GUTFELD: Yeah.

PERINO: For example, in Colorado now, the education budget is based on marijuana sales.

GUTFELD: Yeah.

PERINO: That doesn't seem like a very healthy and good idea in the long run, but they are happy because they have like an extra $250 million in the bank.

GUTFELD: Which would go up in smoke.

PERINO: The other thing about this is I do feel that if you are a parent and you know even if you don't want to admit it that your kids are sneaking cigarettes out back at the smokers' lounge at school, you would rather have them smoke an e-cigarette.

GUTFELD: Right.

PERINO: E-cigarettes are going to be banned. It is going to be easier for them to get real cigarettes.

GUTFELD: Yeah.

PERINO: And they're going to be smoking anyway.

GUTFELD: Yeah, because the fact is, Eric, whenever you demonize something, it becomes romantic to people who are young.

BOLLING: Yeah, since the accident and you are 100 percent right. You reduce the tax revenue, so there is no interest in that, so all these studies are funded and very conveniently funded by certain lobbyist and groups. It's interesting. I'm the wrong guy though. Look, I don't smoke, I never smoked, and I don't care if people smoke near me. I'm fine with it. So whatever the issue is going there, look, there is going to be both sides. The bottom-line is you are going to see tons of lobby money going towards both sides of it. I wonder who is stepping up for the people trying to quit.

GUTFELD: Yeah. I think there are small businessmen and they don't have the money. They don't have the money. This is about control. Somebody doesn't like what you do, so they want to enforce their lifestyle on you.

BECKEL: I'm going to tell you something. If that stuff is as addictive cocaine and I was doing cocaine, I would hijack the trucks. That is the most ridiculous comment I have ever heard. I worked with cocaine addicts all the time and all of them smoke vapor cigarettes by the way.

GUTFELD: Yeah.

BECKEL: And they seem to be doing fine. Look, if you can save ten lives by this.

GUTFELD: Yeah.

BECKEL: And there is no evidence, none that this stuff is hurting anybody and there are reams of evidence that smoking is killing people, so I mean, has anybody stopped to say these studies, who does these things?

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: Exactly.

BECKEL: Let's put it out there and I bet you will get all kinds of reviews and stuff, and we will say where is your expertise? Right here.

GUTFELD: I am afraid what you would want to study though, Bob.

BECKEL: If you want to talk about drugs I would be happy.

TANTAROS: You know how it is. The corporations, they pay certain firms to set up groups and give names like Concerned Citizens for American Lungs of America and they funnel money.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: In America.

TANTAROS: In America. The American Lung Patriotism Association. We Love Your Lungs.

GUTFELD: For Freedom.

TANTAROS: Tobreathelungs.com. OK, the tax code as you point out never designed to be a punitive measure to influence behavior. And the same department of health, Greg, that is pushing this out saying e-cigarettes are bad in California, the same people that are pushing for pot legalization.

GUTFELD: Exactly.

TANTAROS: So they are very schizo on all of this.

GUTFELD: Yeah. Yeah.

TANTAROS: It doesn't make any sense.

GUTFELD: It is what Kevin Williamson said. It is the people going after this are the people that don't do it. So they don't mind. They don't mind. If I don't do it, I don't care even if it is just more government control.

PERINO: Maybe we should mandate everyone do it.

GUTFELD: There you go.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: That vaping thing I might try that.

GUTFELD: It is fun and helpful. I haven't had a cigarette.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: That is great.

PERINO: It is like 14 months.

GUTFELD: Yeah, 14 months.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: And you have grown three inches.

BOLLING: If he came home with cigarettes, I would prefer e-cigs.

TANTAROS: Don't they also have bigger threats than e-cigarettes.

GUTFELD: Yeah, exactly.

BECKEL: There is a new strain (inaudible) marijuana.

TANTAROS: No, I'm thinking maybe, I don't know, terrorists.

BOLLING: Terrorists.

PERINO: They got that.

TANTAROS: They got that.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: All right, we got to go because you are yelling.

Seattle Seahawks Richard Sherman is about to become a dad for the first time and it could happen on Super Bowl Sunday. Well, if it does, should he go to the game, or the delivery room? Our advice is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TANTAROS: The Super Bowl is 48 hours away and nobody has a harder call to make than Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. The player's girlfriend could go into labor any minute with their son. So the big question. Should Sherman be in the delivery room or on the field if the baby comes on Sunday? Well, here is what he told reporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD SHERMAN, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS CORNERBACK: I think he is going to be a disciplined young man and stay in there until after the game. He is going to do his father his first favor and stay in there another week or two. I obviously did not know it was a topic of national debate, honestly. I would not like to miss the birth of my first son, my first kid but you know, thankfully and hopefully and God willing we won't have to cross that bridge.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TANTAROS: OK. What does his girlfriend think?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEY MOSS,RICHARD SHERMAN'S GIRLFRIEND: You see Richard heading to the locker room right after his 0 in the fourth quarter. Don't be surprised, but besides that, I'm not going to let him know. I told him you know, play the game. And it will be a good story to tell.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TANTAROS: That's exactly what I would say, Bob. Play the game and then you can.

BECKEL: That is very nice of you to do that.

TANTAROS: It's a big game.

BECKEL: I asked if it is OK if I went to a bar right after my baby was born, and my wife who is very understanding. She said yeah because she wanted me out of the room. So I did, I went out to a bar.

TANTAROS: That's exactly the same thing.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: That is a great story.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: Heart warming and exactly the same comparison. Eric, would you play the big game?

BECKEL: Oh, come on.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: As long as she said what she just said there, I think he definitely should be playing the game. I love the fact that he is even contemplating not however this is the Super Bowl.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: Is that why you are wearing that?

BOLLING: Yes.

GUTFELD: Oh, wow. I just noticed you are wearing a jersey.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: My wife said you should come to the delivery room, what would you do?

BOLLING: She said go ahead and play the game.

BECKEL: No, I'm talking about your wife.

BOLLING: My wife said come to the delivery room?

BECKEL: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: And with modern medicine, Greg, they can delay the birth or they can speed it up.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: Technically, I am still unborn. Here is the thing. When you are a kid, this is the greatest response you can ever have. If you are in class and some guy says my dad was present when I was born, my parents were there. Where was your dad? Oh, my dad is in the Super Bowl. Twerp.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: You know, that would be a great halftime show. Think about it, you are with Katy Perry, and it happened right there.

GUTFELD: Yeah.

TANTAROS: Dana, do you think he should do his job?

PERINO: I think playing the game would be great, as long as she is happy with it. That is good. But, Bob, do you know that Dierks Bentley is in the pre-game show?

BECKEL: Oh, he is?

PERINO: That's your entertainment right there.

BECKEL: OK. So let's do that and have the operation.

PERINO: OK. OK. I'm with you.

TANTAROS: I have a feeling you want to watch Katy Perry. She says nothing will be deflated during her performance.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: She is not, Bob. Our Super Bowl predictions are next on The Five.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECKEL: At the Super Bowl, there has been a confession on deflate-gate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT DAMON: (Inaudible) kind of a pain in an ass. He is 8 years old and he is hacking up a lung. I take a football. I don't want to squeeze all the air into his little lungs because I don't want to ruin the football, so I take a little air out of most of them, like 11 out of 12 of them and it does the trick.

BEN AFFLECK: I deflated the balls myself. OK, I did it. I'm the perpetrator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was all me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was totally me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am the locker room guy.

AFFLECK: It wasn't Brady.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unless he deflated those footballs with his piercing baby blue eyes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECKEL: OK. Sign that for us. (Inaudible) bets here on The Five, the Seahawks or the Patriots. Let's start with Andrea.

TANTAROS: I am going to pick the same team I picked last year and that is the Seattle Seahawks. I think they have a strong defense and I bet Sean Hannity, the same bet. He is taking the Pats. I am taking the Hawks like I did last year. Loser cooks dinner for the other one on air. Sean, I like my fillet.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: That's when we got steaks?

TANTAROS: That's when you got steaks.

BECKEL: Eric.

BOLLING: So I also like Andrea, like to Seahawks for all the reasons she mentioned, and also because all those people who like the Patriots right there. And I think I have a bet with you now, Bob.

BECKEL: Yes, we do. I will get around to that in a second.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: And by the way, Lee Majors said he wanted the Patriots, so I have a bet with him on that one, too. So we have dinners going on.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: Well, I am consulting an expert. I think we have a photograph of a decision that is being made. Jasper is deciding, and I am going to wait to find out what he chooses.

BOLLING: He is looking at Patriots.

PERINO: He is looking at the Patriots.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: All right, Greg, you follow this stuff very closely.

GUTFELD: Two points. As you know, this Super Bowl in particular is disgusting. I have been wanting to know where PETA is. What kind of person would want to beat a Seahawk? It's disgusting. Instead, I have no plans. I have no television. So I am asking our viewers in the New York area if you are throwing a Super Bowl party in the area, Facebook me. My conditions are four bottles of Petite Sirah, a selection of Artisinal cheeses and meat. You cannot look me in the eye at any time during the game. I may be bringing a guest, but that depends on who answers my Craigslist ad.

BECKEL: Have you been around a bunch of Seahawks when they fly over head?

GUTFELD: Yeah. Arousing.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: I am going to change my opinion on this because Eric and I need to have a bet here. I am going with the Patriots and I will tell you for one good reason. My brother who understands football says it is a tight end for the Patriots. It is going to make the big difference in here and they are going to have a tackle eligible type. I think there is a chance if Brady doesn't break down again like he did the first part of his game as Green Bay, it's a possibility.

PERINO: Cheaters never win.

TANTAROS: Also it's like too PC against the Patriots, so if you don't want to be like the hold into the PC crowd, you will go for the Patriots.

BECKEL: Well, I don't have doubts that they deflated the ball. That happens all the time in football. That doesn't bother me. What bothered me was watching him get -- first of all, he won that game, was that 45-7 or something?

BOLLING: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: Talking about the game again?

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: Can we end this week?

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Wonderful conservative believe everything basing it on one play that Gronkowski will be able to block a defender.

BECKEL: No, no, no.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: I think that there is a much better defense there than people think.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: You know what this is? This is the pregnancy. This is like an overdue baby. Have the stupid game.

PERINO: Greg, it's an excuse to eat nachos.

GUTFELD: I eat nachos for breakfast every morning.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Greg, how many people love this?

GUTFELD: The game should have been played already.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: My back was out. I'm sorry.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: Oh, you do. OK.

BECKEL: I want to tell Greg the Super Bowl has happened already.

GUTFELD: I'm texting my wife.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PERINO: It's time now for One More Thing. Bob, you are first.

BECKEL: First of all, I want to thank my brother, Graham, who is here. He is an actor and his new movie is out today. It's called The Lost. So please go see it.

GUTFELD: The Loft. Loft.

PERINO: The Loft.

BECKEL: The Loft, that's what I said, isn't it?

GUTFELD: Yeah, The Loft.

BECKEL: I have been sick. Anyway, the director is Eric Von Looy and the actor who is apparently unbelievable, Matthias Schoenaerts. Did I get that right, buddy? I did.

PERINO: Thumb's up. Good job, Bob. Welcome back. All right, Eric.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: So it's Friday, and usually Fool of the Week, but there is an abundance of fools this week, Jesse Ventura, Michael Moore, and the guy from NBC saying really foolish stuffs about Chris Kyle. I was trying to figure out which was the most foolish and something happened, something good happened. Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared this coming Monday, February 2nd as Chris Kyle Day in honor of Chris Kyle who was killed February 2, 2013. He was 38 years old. So in lieu of Fool of the Week this week, let's say thank you to Texas for honoring a real hero. And by the way, the best way to do that is go see the movie. It is awesome. I am also going to do a little -- I don't know, a tribute to Chris Kyle. I will cash in tomorrow morning. Check it out.

TANTAROS: I have a question. Did you eliminate the music for the Fool of the Week?

BOLLING: Yes. Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: We have a new one. OK.

TANTAROS: It is not gone for good?

PERINO: Gutfeld.

GUTFELD: Well, before I do mine, I just want to let everybody know that Bob Beckel's brother, Graham, was in CHUD, Carnivorous, Humanoid, Underground Dwellers is an amazing film. You should check it out. He is also in L.A. Confidential. Anyway, on Rush Limbaugh today, he was talking about something and apparently became very distracted.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just got distracted again. Look, that's Dana Perino. Look at her hair. She looks like she just got out of bed, but it is styled that way. It's kind of -- look at -- I don't know. I'm going to have to turn everything off here. I am being distracted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: That is amazing. By the way, I didn't notice your hair. But I thought your points about the Nevada caucuses were really good.

PERINO: I'm glad somebody was listening.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: He was flustered.

BECKEL: Did she look different? I'm telling you, she -- well, nevermind.

GUTFELD: I can see her brain, Bob.

BECKEL: You do?

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: Her very blonde brain.

PERINO: I think I'm flattered. I think. I think.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: All right, Andrea, save us.

TANTAROS: I'm sorry, Dana. I can't right now because you are just so sexy and amazing.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: OK. Lehigh Valley history. OK, so my sister calls me last night. She says go to Lehigh Valley History, the Facebook page. Somebody has found this old picture of our family's first restaurant, the Pied Piper, where Greg used to eat, drunk many times.

GUTFELD: Yes. Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: Look at the picture from the '70s. It brought up so many great childhood memories and some of the comments from people who had eaten there. One woman, a grandmother, she was a baker, Ana who made our pies, and one woman recalled a story about my dad who said he would work for 20 hours straight and go to the basement and sleep on a bag of potatoes for four hours.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: And then do it again. That is just -- these comments really brought back a lot of memories.

BECKEL: Do you own it still?

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: I am going to be on Fox News panel on Sunday.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: Tune in to see what my hair will look like.

GUTFELD: I'm on O'Reilly.

PERINO: That's it for us. Have a great weekend. "Special Report" is next.

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