Perry Snatches Frontrunner Status From Romney

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," August 25, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: The 2012 candidates have been doing the same song and dance now for weeks -- hit President Obama on his economic record. But we have yet to hear any of their plans. And voters are demanding answers.

In New Hampshire, Mitt Romney was campaigning and got in a heated exchange with a voter who asked just that, Mitty boy.


MITT ROMNEY, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Fifty states in America balance their budget every year. I balance the budget every year. You had your turn. You had your turn, madam. Let me have mine. Let me have mine.

Listen, I'll give you the microphone in a moment. But let me complete. I'm sorry, it's my turn. You had yours. Now, it's my turn. Would you please hold on a moment, let me finish? Good.



BECKEL: Let me just say first, that's thick-skinned, Mitt. Let me just say that I didn't have much to say about technology in the last segment because I don't know anything about it you probably know by now. But I do know a little bit about politics.

And I did make a prediction about Mitt Romney I think last week. This is my sort -- what I said about Old Mitty.

GUILFOYLE: I love this. So cute.


BECKEL: I've always thought that Romney was a mile wide and an inch deep because he's changed his position on a lot of things. The conservatives have a lot questions about him. Here you have Perry come in with name recognition, and all of a sudden he is falling behind. Romney is not a wire-to-wire frontrunner.


BECKE: It's that kind thing you can only get coming here on "The Five" or out of this seat.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Can I explain my theory to you? Mitt Romney is like somebody you hook up with periodically until you get serious and you want to meet somebody serious.

GUILFOYLE: Why are you looking at me?


GUTFELD: You know what I'm saying? The Republicans are look for somebody to settle down with. In the meantime they were just hanging out with Mitt Romney.


GUILFOYLE: But he's got good hair!

GUTFELD: He was friends with benefits. Perry is marriage material.

GUILFOYLE: But not Obamacare benefits.


MONICA CROWLEY, CO-HOST: I think this reaction from Mitt Romney is great. Let's get serious for a second. Mitt Romney was very stiff, very disciplined on the campaign trail. A lot of people thought he was sort of robotic and not emotional about the country's grave issues. When Rick Perry got in the race and we talked about this on "The Five" last week I said that the competition would make Romney a better candidate. Now there is a fire under his butt because Rick Perry after two weeks is running away with the frontrunner title. So this is actually good for Romney. He's showing some passion and fire.

GUTFELD: Because he is religious and moral, when somebody snaps, they never swear. He's very, very angry but it's still clean.

BECKEL: I love that. That's what you call turning chicken into chicken salad.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: The other thing is, and we have had this discussion almost every day since Perry got in the race, that he is the real deal, he is proving to be the real deal. Look at the poll, 29 percent, and Romney drops to 17 percent.

BECKEL: That is the key, though, Romney drops as fast as he did. I will say Perry now has a little bit of a problem and that is he has inherited the frontrunner mantle, with the scrutiny comes the frontrunner. He is not shown himself to be the best under exposure early on. He'll get better.

BOLLING: Why not? The one Bernanke comment?


BOLLING: Maybe he meant to say "treacherous" and he said "treason," whatever, but he is the real deal. He is the conservative choice, is what it is.

GUILFOYLE: Now he says the spotlight is on. Is he going to rise to the occasion? It's easy to get in last second when Iowa is happening but not put yourself as contender there. Make the announcement. He's getting a bump now. Let's see if this is sustainable. Everyone now will be trying to pick him off, Democrats and the Republicans, that's what you're saying.

BECKEL: I will make another prediction, my prediction is Perry will win Iowa and Mitt Romney will win New Hampshire, Perry won't fly in New Hampshire.

And Perry will win South Carolina. If he cuts a deal to put one senator from down there on as a ticket he could get the nomination. The best thing that could happen to us is have Rick Perry with the nomination.


BOLLING: It's September 22, the next GOP debate on Fox, that's going to be in Orlando. Wow that will be interesting to see, Ricky Perry and Mitt Romney, the two kind of frontrunners going head to head. Hopefully they take some shots at each other.

CROWLEY: If you talk about Rick Perry out there and making some off- the-cuff comments and a lot of people are spinning them, oh, he is not ready for the national stage yet, the Bernanke comment and so on. I think the American people want straight talk. I think they want candidates that are not going to dress it up, that are going to speak from the heart and stick by their conservative values and not make any apologies for it. I think the country is ready for that.

BECKEL: Nothing wrong with not having to apologize for your conservative values , it's another thing not knowing what you're talking about. The guy doesn't know what he is talking about.

CROWLEY: He knows exactly what he's talking about, this is why you're afraid of him.

GUTFELD: The difference between Perry and Obama is very distinct. Perry had to kick in a few doors to get where he was and Obama had all of them open for him.

GUILFOYLE: The red carpet.

BOLLING: Between Perry and Romney, Perry is way more conservative than Romney. See we'll see how it goes.


BECKEL: He has a bought himself whole bunch of cattle and not much of a hat.

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