Margaret Hoover on Future of Republican Party

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 18, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: One of the advantages President Obama has in the upcoming campaign is that the Republican Party is split between the Tea Party people and the traditional GOP supporters.

Here now, Fox News analyst Margaret Hoover, author of the brand-new book "American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party." There is Hoover. She is going to save it, right? You're going to save it, right?

MARGARET HOOVER, FOX NEWS ANALYST: We're going to save the Republican Party by connecting to the next generation.

O'REILLY: Forgive me if I am skeptical because I don't think, based upon my reporting for the last two years, that Tea Party people are going to give at all in any of this debate, and if they don't, President Obama will win re-election.

HOOVER: Well, what my book is about is about connecting to the next generation. The next generation…

O'REILLY: There is a lot of young Tea Party people.

HOOVER: No, they're not actually. They're 55 and older; that's the majority demographic. The next generation is 30 and under; they voted two to one for Barack Obama. They are 80 million strong, and their partisan identification solidifies after three presidential election cycles. They voted for John Kerry. They voted for Barack Obama. If we don't make inroads in the next 16 months, we are going to lose the next generation.

O'REILLY: These are general voters, right? You are talking about all voters, not just Republicans. So you have to woo the younger people. Now you are not a Tea Party person, correct?

HOOVER: I think the Tea Party has brought enormous strength to the Republican Party and I absolutely support its fiscal responsibility message, yes.

O'REILLY: So you like that they are very adamant about balancing the budget, about living within the government means.

HOOVER: About permanently cutting spending and growing the economy.

O'REILLY: But, when you have a platform like that and you don't compromise at all, which Michele Bachmann said she absolutely wouldn't vote for the rising of the debt ceiling no matter what.


O'REILLY: But when you have that, then the majority of people that you are talking about, the 80 million potential voters under the age of 30 and independent voters of any age, they get frightened away.

HOOVER: You are exactly right. And that's one of the things about this generation. Their politics is pragmatic, not ideological. And so when they see, exactly as you say, Michele Bachmann and these new freshmen who are buckling down and they're harboring purism over any sort of pragmatism, that turns them off.

O'REILLY: But they're not that -- why would Michele Bachmann, who has now catapulted herself into national prominence by a very simple message, fiscal responsibility, why would she compromise? Why?

HOOVER: Well, it's not -- everybody -- all Republicans want fiscal responsibility. Here is what Republicans need to keep their eye on the ball. The only reason we are having debt and deficit debates at all in Washington is because Republicans came to town. If this had been Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress, we wouldn't even be having these conversations. So what we need as Republicans…

O'REILLY: But we never heard a Republican beef when George W. Bush raised the debt.

HOOVER: Yes, we did. Why do you think that we got kicked out of town in 2006? That was a huge part of the reason.

O'REILLY: Who got kicked out of town?

HOOVER: Republicans. Nancy Pelosi came to town and she started running the Congress in 2006 as Republicans lost the Congress.

O'REILLY: OK. But what I'm saying was when President Bush was in office, and I understand why he was spending because he had to fight the war on terror. I think we made mistakes in Iraq and places like that, but that's hindsight and it's not fair because I supported the Iraq war. But anyway, while President Bush was in office, Republicans weren't screaming about the big debt.

HOOVER: He lost a huge amount of his conservative base and there was a lot of rumblings out of the front…

O'REILLY: But we never heard it publicly.

HOOVER: But, you know what? This isn't just about Republicans and this isn't about Republicans being inconsistent about fiscal conservatism. This country -- there is a massive movement, thanks to the Tea Party, that is a movement for fiscal conservatism that has energized Republicans in Washington. And just because the establishment and the Tea Party seem to not be seeing eye to eye in this very moment, at the end of the day, Republicans know that we do better when we are -- I'm not…

O'REILLY: I don't know at the end of the day, Hoover.

HOOVER: I think they are going to reach a deal. I think they're going to reach a deal.

O'REILLY: I hope so.

HOOVER: And I think the country is going to cut spending and the economy is going to start growing because of the Republicans that came out…

O'REILLY: But you have to take into account that the polls now say -- and we showed at the top of the program -- that the Democrats will win in the PR war.

HOOVER: You know what? Bully pulpit of the presidency is really tough to fight.

O'REILLY: I know. I know. But if President Obama is going to go in there and say look I'm winning the PR, I'm going to be re-elected, let the Republicans take the country over the cliff.

HOOVER: You know what Republicans need to do? Republicans need to start talking to the youth that elected Barack Obama. The youth that Reagan won by 20 percent. This is generational effects. These policies are feeling the fiscal future…

O'REILLY: And how do Republicans -- but here is your problem.

HOOVER: I don't have a problem.

O'REILLY: Yes, you do. You support gay marriage, correct?


O'REILLY: Ok. Traditional Republicans don't. They don't.

HOOVER: But a majority…

O'REILLY: You support -- you don't want Roe v. Wade revoked.

HOOVER: Nor do a majority of Americans, Bill.

O'REILLY: OK. But I'm telling you the traditional core of the Republican Party opposes you on almost every social issue.

HOOVER: Let me tell you what the traditional core of the Republican Party wants this time. They want jobs, they want low gas prices, they want a national security and they wanted it in 2004 and that's what they wanted in 2008. People like you who try to divide our party on social issues…

O'REILLY: People like me? Is that what you just said?

HOOVER: …that is not the way forward for the Republican Party. We need to be united. 80 percent…

O'REILLY: Did you just say people like me?

HOOVER: Reagan said my 80 percent ally is not my 20 percent enemy. And yes, people like you.

O'REILLY: Oh, stop it. I'm just telling you the truth and you can't handle the truth.

HOOVER: You can't handle the truth.

O'REILLY: You can't handle that truth. The book is "American Individualism" and Hoover is going to win it. She is going to unite everybody. Let me know when that happens and you can come right back in here.

HOOVER: Thanks, Bill.

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