Do Americans Want a Smooth Candidate?

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," November 10, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: So, a Rick Perry moment is now officially part of the English language. Yes, last night's Republican debate had more highlights than David Beckham's hair. But it's really known for one sad thing and for once, it's not Jim Cramer who really is Krusty the Clown without makeup.


JIM CRAMER, CNBC: It's your fault. It's your fault. It's your problem. But if this goes, the world banking system could shut down. Doesn't it involve our banks, too?


GUTFELD: He's a hernia in human form.

But worse, the freeze that brought Rick Perry to his knees. I know you have seen it 400 times already.


TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would do away with education, the commerce. Let's see. I can't -- the third one I can't.

Sorry. Oops.


GUTFELD: Wow! Was that bad or what? I got to say, I've never seen anyone look that dumb.


PERRY: Listen, I stepped in it last night. That's for sure. I was thinking about the number of federal agencies that were coming to mind but the one --

GUTFELD: We are going to have Ed Asner out there, you know, running counterinsurgencies in the mountains of -- in the mountains of -- somewhere.


GUTFELD: Yes. Well, let's move on.


GUTFELD: But despite pile-on, Perry got his smile on.


PERRY: Listen, I stepped in it last night. That's for sure.

I was thinking about the number of federal agencies coming to mind. But the one I wanted to say the Department of Energy would not come out. I don't mind saying clearly that I stepped in it last night.


GUTFELD: All right, got into order.

All right. Really? How many of us have been in Rick Perry's shoes? I tried them on in Memphis while he was jogging.

And should we dismiss candidates simply because they aren't as glib as Brian Williams? Whoever that is. The way I see it, Perry's big mistake came down to three things: Making a promise, listing too many things and -- it will come to me. This is really awkward.

But he did one thing right. He showed us he was human, comfortable into knowing that in the scheme of things, nobody got hurt. So, what's the big deal? He still has his hair.

So, Dana, you actually ran in to Mr. Perry today in the building. How was he?

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: I -- he looked good. He did a lot of interviews. We showed a couple of them. He was also on Megyn Kelly's show and he's going to be on Greta tonight on Fox News Channel.

What I think was impressive was that he got up off the mat and he decided to flood the zone interview-wise so that yes, people -- he knew that people were going to talk about the gaffe. But one of the things he said was, if you are looking for debater-in-chief, I'm not the guy. But this is what I believe. But I think he kind of recover today.


What did you think?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: There's a rule in politics. When you're explaining, you're losing. And I think that he tried to, you know, turn a negative to a positive and did all these interviews, but really I think it's tough to come back from that.

But I will defend him on this -- I do it every day. We all have Rick Perry moments all day long. And, unfortunately, this country though picks presidents who deliver the best lines at debates, not the ones with the best record. I mean, Rick Perry, if you look at his record, he's had to deal with some really thorny budget stuff in Texas. He's created jobs.

So, yes, did he forget something? Look, Obama give him a teleprompter and he'll promise you the moon. So, maybe we are being little too hard, but I do think -- in essence, the gaffe after gaffe after gaffe.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Just a sympathy vote, why not? I mean, you know what? I thought how unbecoming that the rest of them didn't genuinely try and help him out.

PERINO: I thought Ron Paul was helping him.

GUILFOYLE: Kind of. Yes, he did. He goes, why don't you name five? He couldn't name three. How is he going to name five, Ron? You throw him under the bus.

Rick Perry looking for his legs tonight. I mean, come on! He gave them the EPA, and he's like, oh, yes, but I mean -- the moderator was very tough on him because he said, you can't do it? You can't do it? I mean, come on.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Oh, yes. Well, that's good try on all of your parts, this guy's vote.

Look, here's the problem. If Rick Perry had not had the problem going on of being seen as a bad debater, that's where his vulnerability was. And he had a bad debate, it magnifies his big weakness. And I've always said when I teach my class on politics, is that you maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. In this case, man, he maximized his weakness.

I think, frankly, there's no recovering. Not just from this. I don't think he was going to recover anyway.

But this is going to make a lot of contributors, a lot of other people say, good try. But too close to Iowa. Ain't going to happen.

GUTFELD: But wait, so the next debate is Saturday, Dana. What should he do? Should he just continue to self-deprecate?

Because I have to say, it was, to me, kind of endearing. When I saw it on Twitter, I thought, oh, man, this guy is done. And then I watched it, I thought, it didn't seem that bad. I mean, he kind of rolled with it. It was awkward. But --

PERINO: Yes, he rolled with it. I think the best strategy for him Saturday night in the next debate do what Bob just said, which is to really hit a home run.


PERINO: And it's -- is it a foreign policy debate this Saturday?


PERINO: I can't keep up with all of them. Saturday night, a tough night for a lot of people that might watch. If you have a gaffe, that's probably what people see more of the next day.

BECKEL: There's -- you know, the problem here sort of generally is that Perry was viewed skeptically before this, he's going to be viewed, as I said, more skeptically now. The question is, hitting a home run in another debate, this boy is going to have to hit a Babe Ruth-style home run.

GUILFOYLE: Grand slam.

BECKEL: Yes, and I just --

TANTAROS: We said he needed one last night.

BECKEL: Yes. He sure gave us one, didn't he? He gave us one into the wrong stands.

I mean, look, I give him credit. Not many people watch these things. You know, self-deprecating humor and the rest of us. Most Americans go to vote and don't look at it that way.

TANTAROS: But this was part of his economic plans.


TANTAROS: What agencies would you cut? He's got to know this stuff. And, look, I could see if he made some small gaffes. But he's coming off the heels of a week where he was trying to explain to the country that he wasn't drunk during a speech.



GUTFELD: His point about not being a great debater, does that mean -- does that mean you're not going to be a great leader? I mean, would you rather have --


GUTFELD: Yes, that simple?



BECKEL: I mean, look, presidential debates turn votes. They have for a long time. And if you're not a good debater -- and Barack Obama is a good debater. You want to put your best foot forward.

But I can only say this, has anybody ever in the history of politics seen a weaker field of candidates at a time when you have an incumbent in so much trouble than this crowd? Seriously.




PERINO: One of the things --

BECKEL: No, no, there were solid candidates in '84, including mine. But we have a different situation.

PERINO: Not true. But your question was: does being a bad debater mean that you will be a bad leader?


PERINO: No. I don't think that is true. Does it mean you might not get elected?


PERINO: Yes. But I don't think it means you're a bad leader.

GUTFELD: We will never know.

I want to talk about Herman Cain. He was in response to a question about Obamacare. He called Pelosi an unusual name. We have this, right?



HERMAN CAIN, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The legislation is already been written, H.R. 3000. In the previous Congress, it was H.R. 3400. And what does that is already been written. We didn't hear about it in the previous Congress because "Princess Nancy" sent it to committee and it stayed there. It never came out.


GUTFELD: Princess Nancy sounds like a Disney film about the princess with an elastic face.

He had to apologize. Do you think he had to apologize for something as silly as that?

TANTAROS: No, no. I think it's stupid. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. People give nicknames all the time in politics. King so-and-so. Princess so-and-so.

Get over it. I don't think this is a big deal.

GUILFOYLE: Yes, hello. I love being called a princess.

GUTFELD: But, Kimberly, was it -- was it awkward for him to say that it in light of the stuff he went through in the last nine days?

GUILFOYLE: Yes, because the guy is walking on gigantic shards of glass trying to navigate it like a minefield ready to blow at any seconds. So, yes, he could have said anything. Did you say sweetheart, you can't say princess. You can't say, like, honestly, keep up with it.

PERINO: I was really uncomfortable with it.

GUTFELD: Really?

PERINO: Yes. I was. It's because I think that your presidential candidates at that point -- a lot of people can call her a lot of things. She called George Bush a lot of things. He never retaliated in kind.

And I think that when you are a presidential candidate, you hold yourself to a higher standard. And she earned the title of speaker. I might disagree with her on just about every single policy, but she did earn it fair and square. And she lost it fair and square.

BECKEL: The other thing -- the other thing I'd say about this is if you listen to what Cain was saying leading up to that comment, it was pretty substantive. He was talking about legislation. He had the numbers right. He was talking about things that needed to be discussed in the last Congress. And then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere comes "Princess Nancy."

Now, my question is, was he talking about Nancy Pelosi or -- do we know for sure?


TANTAROS: Was it Nancy Grace?


GUTFELD: I got to say, it depresses me if you have to apologize over something innocuous like this. Our country is becoming a nation of whiners and cry babies. Yes.

BECKEL: But this is the presidency you are talking about. You don't see many people use stuff like that. You can if you are in the House of Representatives or the United States Senate, but --

TANTAROS: Typically, you have your surrogates do it. You have them come out and sling the mud. You usually don't --

BECKEL: Listen, Herman has taken over the moniker of Newt Gingrich, which he never had an unspoken thought. That's part of his problem.

TANTAROS: Neither have you.

BECKEL: But I'm not running for president, obviously.

GUILFOYLE: I thought he did well last night.

GUTFELD: All right. We've got to take a break.

Coming up: Newt slams the "money honey," Maria Bartiromo last night. We'll play it for you.

And Bob is looking for kittens to adopt. So, if you have any ideas, please e-mail us at

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