Friday Lightning Round: Romney VP picks

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," May 11, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Every week viewers vote for your choice online in this, our Friday Lightning Round. And this week, the big winner, Romney V.P. pick won with 30 percent of the vote. Take a listen to Governor Romney.


MITT ROMNEY, R - PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think what the American people would look for in a vice president is someone who they believe could be president if that were necessary. And that is probable the quality that's most important.


BAIER: We're back with the panel. We just finished a series called "Running with Romney." Fred, we had five top picks and then a whole bunch of others. What is your call?

FRED BARNES, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, I mean, there are different ways of looking at it. Romney is a cautious guy. If he is ahead, as I think he will be in late August when the Republican convention happens, and somebody has to give a speech as his vice presidential running mate, I think it will probably be Ron Portman of Ohio. That's the cautious pick. Romney is generally a cautious guy.

My own favorite is Chris Christie. Can you imagine a Romney-Christie ticket? Drive the Democrats crazy. Christie would be absolutely great whether he won New Jersey or not for the ticket.

But the guy who is obviously most qualified and would be loved by Republicans of all stripes and independents as well is Jeb Bush. But, you know, there is the dynasty problem. Americans don't like a dynasty.

BAIER: Kasie?

KASIE HUNT, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS: I think some of what Fred said about Rob Portman is probably right. The Romney team is a cautious group that are looking for loyalty above all, somebody that's gonna fit in with the very close-knit team that they already have there in Boston. Somebody who's going to be a team player and somebody that Romney is personally comfortable with. And he has been trying these people out one at a time out on the trail, campaigning with them, getting to know their staffs, the staffs have been working together. I think that one makes a lot of sense from what I've seen so far.

BAIER: Tucker?

TUCKER CARLSON, EDITOR, THEDAILYCALLER.COM: Conservatives really want Romney to pick someone exciting and conservative. They really want, no matter where I travel -- Marco Rubio on the lips of every Republican primary voter I run into. I don't think that's going to happen mostly because you get -- you take on more risk than not when you pick someone for V.P. I think JFK was the last nominee who was really helped by his V.P. choice. It can hurt you, as we have seen a number of times. I think he's more likely to pick a solid former congressman from Cincinnati than someone super exciting.

BAIER: Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, don't forget.

OK, Post Office bailout that was second in our list. What about this? Not shutting down the post office over the weekend delivery and all the back and forth on Capitol Hill about this.

CARLSON: Just to be totally clear it's not about the price of delivering mail, the cost. It's not because of the trucks. It's about the legacy costs of postal employees, the eight million odd postal employees whose union contracts specify they get paid health insurance forever. We should do away with the post office, obviously. The postal clause in Article I of the Constitution might need some amending. But the truth is if you open this up to competition we would get our mail faster and cheaper. And in the end, that is probably the only solution. My prediction is that will happen in our lifetimes.

BAIER: Kasie?

HUNT: Well, it's interesting that in this case it's going to take an act of Congress to allow an agency to make cuts as opposed to keeping it put together. But, you know, it's one of those institutions, and some Americans are hung up on this idea that we have been getting the mail this way for how many decades now. I think it's in some ways what you saw with the auto bail-out where we were looking at American cars, things that we're actually attached to, there is an element of that in this debate as well.

BAIER: Fred?

BARNES: We get packages though from FedEx and UPS a lot quicker than we get first class mail, that is for sure. Look, obviously what we need to do is privatize it. And what you can do is you can sell postal franchises to companies like FedEx and UPS. They'll pay for it. Like companies pay colleges to put their football games on television, and that will help pay the legacy cost. They'll make money. One complaints of course, is if you privatize it, those companies can't make any money on rural delivery. Well, you have to subsidize that, maybe. What are the most efficient companies in America? It's these delivery companies. I think people understand they do a better job.

BAIER: Quickly, here, North Carolina is the site of the Democratic convention this year in Charlotte, but it's not looking like a great blue state, is it, Fred?

BARNES: It's gone, it's gone for Obama. No matter what the polls say now. That vote on gay marriage is one thing. I think North Carolina is probably going to be the strongest, if not the strongest, one of the strongest Republican states in the country in 2012. They will elect a Republican governor, three or four new House members, and probably Mitt Romney as well.

BAIER: Kasie, do you think Democrats are regretting that choice?

HUNT: Well, Democrats are definitely still looking to play in North Carolina, and the African-American vote obviously is going to be a key element there for the president. On the other hand Republicans are very excited about this, the political leadership over at the RNC has been looking at it for months now thinking they had a chance, especially on college campuses where Democratic registration is down.

BAIER: Tucker?

CARLSON: North Carolina's changed an awful lot in the past 20 years, the research triangle especially, but not enough. 2008 was an anomaly. You said it yourself. They are having a convention there. Why? Because they are giving it everything they can. I don't even think realistically it's in play. I agree with Fred.

BAIER: That is it for panel. But stay tuned for a special piece from my colleague Martha MacCallum.

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