Could Rick Perry Make a Comeback?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 02, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight Governor Mike Huckabee has six of the Republican contenders on his program tomorrow evening on FNC at 8:00 p.m. And one of them, Governor Rick Perry is trying to make a comeback with this ad.


RICK PERRY, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Commerce, education and the... what's the third one there?

Department of Energy. You know, we've all lost our train of thought before but not many have done it on national TV. And if you want a slick debater, I'm obviously not your guy. But if you want a clean house in Washington with a balanced budget amendment, a flat tax, and a part-time Congress, I'm your man.

I'm Rick Perry... what's that line again?


O'REILLY: All right. Here he is. Governor Huckabee. First of all, that was a smart ad, right?

MIKE HUCKABEE, HOST, "HUCKABEE": I thought it was a great way for him to try to deal with it because you can't cover that up. And the best thing to do is to try to make proverbial lemonade out of the proverbial lemon.

O'REILLY: Yes he being charming there and he's saying look, I'm not Mr. Slick but I've got the policies to help you out.


O'REILLY: So that ad is a good ad. Now I don't... I don't get this, Governor. I don't get this six of the contenders are flying to New York City.


O'REILLY: To be on your weekend show when I have to chase these pinheads around. They're not flying in to do me ever.

HUCKABEE: Well, I have been working on this for quite a while. But here's the unique thing. I'm not the one posing the questions to them. And I think this is what's going to be very extraordinary.

We have three very prominent, distinguished attorneys-general; Pam Bondi from Florida, Kenneth Cuccinelli from Virginia, Scott Pruitt from Oklahoma. They're going to be posing questions as elected Republican government officials specifically about federalism and the relationship of the federal and state governments. It's going to be very substantive.

O'REILLY: All right, so you got the six guys... five guys and one gal.


O'REILLY: Although Huntsman and Cain are not going to be there.

HUCKABEE: Only two that are not coming.

O'REILLY: Yes Cain for obvious reasons. We think that he's going to probably pack it in. And Huntsman we don't know why, right? You don't know why he didn't want to come?

HUCKABEE: He said he just couldn't make it. I don't understand that.

O'REILLY: All right, he couldn't make it. Who knows. All right, you have the six on the stage. And then you have the three...

HUCKABEE: Actually they are not going to be on the stage at the same time.

O'REILLY: Where are they going to be?

HUCKABEE: They're all coming in individually and they are all getting an equal amount of time. So we're not going to have it where...

O'REILLY: How much time is your show?

HUCKABEE: The total is two hours.

O'REILLY: You're going to do... you're going to do a two hour block.


O'REILLY: You've got six of them coming in one at a time and you've got the three attorneys general who's going to quiz them?

HUCKABEE: Exactly.

O'REILLY: But... but this is a Republican fest though. They are not going to go in for the kill on these guys.

HUCKABEE: Well it's not that... after their jugular but it is to go after their mind. It's to find out do they understand the depth of the issues? This is going to be a substantive debate. It's not going to be a game show.

O'REILLY: And you're going to be the moderator.

HUCKABEE: I'm going to be the moderator.

O'REILLY: Are you going to jump in if somebody dodges the question or what are you... are you going to be a tough guy?

HUCKABEE: I'll jump in if they dodge the question. I'll also jump in if they try to attack another candidate. Because we told them that one of the rules, no attacking...

O'REILLY: Oh they're not going to attack. Why would do you that. Why would you do that?

HUCKABEE: Well, they do it every debate they have.

O'REILLY: Yes but when they're on together but not when they're on solo. They're not going to...

HUCKABEE: It would be a cheap shot. But if they do I'm going to stop them.

O'REILLY: And what are you going to do? Do you have a little electric thing? You're going to give them a shock when they do it?

HUCKABEE: Oh it's much worse than that.

O'REILLY: Yes they call, you know...

HUCKABEE: It'll be fire and smoke and nothing left but their ashes in the chair.

O'REILLY: Ok all right, so you... you are telling "The Factor" audience and a lot of whom are going to watch this tomorrow ok.

HUCKABEE: Well, they should.

O'REILLY: But this is not going to be some smooch fest.


O'REILLY: That you're going to keep it, look this was a... see with all due respect.


O'REILLY: You are a governor and I'm a TV guy for 35 years.


O'REILLY: What... if they don't know the answers to the question, I think the attorneys general will level good questions.


O'REILLY: I hope they do. They're all smart. But if the politician doesn't know the answer, he or she is likely to roam into other areas, which is where you have to come in with a baseball bat and go hey.

HUCKABEE: Well, not only will I do that but these are very seasoned attorneys general.

O'REILLY: Are they're going to interrupt like I do.

HUCKABEE: Yes they will.

O'REILLY: They're going to be obnoxious?

HUCKABEE: And they're not going to be like you for heaven's sake. They're not going to be obnoxious but they will certainly be assertive.

O'REILLY: And you're giving them that latitude, right.

HUCKABEE: Because they... most of these guys have been prosecutors, they had people try to throw things at them before.

O'REILLY: All right. Ok.

Now, Herman Cain you feel that he is done?

HUCKABEE: Herman Cain was done the moment he said he was thinking that he would have to reassess his campaign. Bill when a political candidate says I might drop out, he just dropped out.

O'REILLY: He's done. Ok. And then... for a lot of reasons. It's just not the salacious stuff, it's the money, the organization, the Libyan answer, you know, it was just kind of a thing that caught up with him. But I think he was pretty good for the campaign, overall.

HUCKABEE: I think he was great. I thought the 9-9-9 plan was good. I like Herman Cain, he is a friend. He's a good guy, he's had a remarkable career. I hope that the memory people have of Herman Cain is not the one of the last two weeks.

O'REILLY: I agree with you I think he enlivened the place, he... he forwarded the debate with the 9-9-9 and all of that.

Ok, so now you have Gingrich and Romney pretty much as the frontrunners, and a lot of people make the poll last year when Giuliani was the frontrunner.


O'REILLY: You were what, third or fourth?

HUCKABEE: Oh I was fourth or fifth and Fred Thompson was second.

O'REILLY: Right.

HUCKABEE: And John McCain was third. Mitt Romney was fourth and I was a distant fifth at that point.

O'REILLY: But the difference this time is there have been 12 debates already and people have really sampled now.

HUCKABEE: There had been about 10 debates before at this point in time.

O'REILLY: When you were running?


O'REILLY: Ok and then Iowa comes up the third and you've got Christmas and New Years...


O'REILLY: ...and Hanukkah in between. So I think it's going to come down to Gingrich and Romney.

HUCKABEE: It could. But here's... here's the one thing that... that has not yet happened. Nobody has been able to create a sense of coalescence in Iowa. So, you could have the situation .

O'REILLY: Right that... that vote is fluid.

HUCKABEE: That's right.

O'REILLY: And you won that, right.

HUCKABEE: You've got... I won that by nine points.

O'REILLY: Right.

HUCKABEE: There is no candidate that has brought everyone together. And if someone doesn't do that then there is a chance that either Ron Paul or Mitt Romney can win Iowa and the rest of the more traditional and more conservative vote in Iowa...

O'REILLY: Right.

HUCKABEE: going to splinter four or five ways.

O'REILLY: It has to be for Santorum and Bachmann they have to show very well on Iowa.

HUCKABEE: They do, Rick Santorum could be the surprise candidate in Iowa because he spent so much time there, visited 99 times.

O'REILLY: And so how about Congresswoman Bachmann?

HUCKABEE: She also could do very well.

O'REILLY: All over there and she'll be here on Monday. All right, good luck on the show Governor, I appreciate you coming on.

HUCKABEE: Thank you Bill.

O'REILLY: And we'll be watching.

And we would like you to go to Where Governor Huckabee has a whole bunch of items for children teaching them about their country and they make great gifts.

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