Republicans Still Looking for Mr. Right

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," December 2, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: So, conservatives can't stop dissecting each candidate like they're biology lab frogs. That's the great thing about the right. They don't just go home with anyone. Right, Kimberly?

But c'mon, are you really going to ever find Mr. Right? Look, Republicans aren't lucky enough to have a candidate grown in a green house like bionic corn. Even more, they don't a media that shares their assumption. That's why Obama's flawed, weird friends, anti-American guilt, being to the left of a yoga mat didn't matter, which is why the conservatives -- they got to lighten up.

Look at the candidate. If he agrees with these following statements, he's in. When you raise taxes, spending goes up and government grows, that's bad.

Keep a strong defense, but don't make trouble. Immigration, create a process so we can deport and import. Entitlements, sorry, we're broke. No thanks to you.

Energy, making our own beads relying on jerks. Climate change, don't be rattled by Chicken Littles.

Unicorns exist and they are awesome.

See, conservatives must be as simple as a Happy Meal, not a complicated dish understood only by hairless wanton.

So, pick the best guy, warts and all, which is why I'm voting Carrot Top and I hope you do the same.



GUILFOYLE: That is some hair do.

GUTFELD: Exactly.

Dana, since you seem to be paying attention.


DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: I'm going to save you from Kimberly ripping your face --

GUILFOYLE: Payback is going to be --

GUTFELD: All right. Are conservatives too picky or not picky enough?

PERINO: We're pretty picky. I don't mind the pickiness. I think the competition is making the candidates better. I do think that right now, that people are kind of getting this out of their system.


PERINO: They're like uh, we didn't get our first choice. We have didn't get our Mitch Daniels or Chris Christie, Rick Perry didn't do as well as we thought, Michele Bachmann didn't do as well as we thought.

Shoot, we're going to have to come down between Newt and Mitt. And it's kind of like get it out of your system. And by next week everybody will decide them who you like.

GUTFELD: You used to call them your backup prom dates, right?

PERINO: I didn't need a backup prom date. What are you talking about?


BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: They didn't have a prom.

GUTFELD: Hey, Bob, isn't the ideal Republican candidate, somebody like Rubio who is less distinguished, young, a blank slate just like Obama, an instant candidate that you just add platitudes and they're done?

BECKEL: No, I think the ideal candidate for Republicans is cross between Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. I think that would be the ideal candidate.

Now -- and Herman Cain as a running mate.

GUILFOYLE: You've been reading Eric --


BECKEL: Rubio, by the way, I think is one of those people with enormous potential. I've heard him speak. He is terrific. If he is not on everybody's list for vice presidential nominee, I don't know why.

I mean, I think John Thune and Rubio, those two are the two candidates for vice president. But the Republicans have always had an heir apparent in their race. Even John McCain, the last time was sort of the guy in line. They argue well, maybe Mitt Romney this time, really not because Mitt didn't get very far in the process last time.

So, I think the Republicans are going through some withdrawal about their normal M.O. and the other thing is there are a lot of Republicans out there who wish they were in this thing now. I mean, I think Haley Barbour and --

PERINO: Pawlenty.

BECKEL: -- Pawlenty, yes. And Chris Christie, I mean, they look at the field down to Newt and Mitt. Man, I could do that.

GUTFELD: Kimberly, I want to ask you. Is it -- are we to blame for some of this? The cable news revolution means there's more hours of news in which to explore a candidate. Where it never happened with Nixon. It never happened with Reagan.

GUILFOYLE: Yes. Because now we are more inclined to like pick it apart. We actually get to know them really well, especially with the 24- hour news cycle, which I love by the way.

And Twitter and all these types of things that are going on. You are constantly getting the influx of information. I also feel that as a country in general, whether it's Republicans or Democrats we are still in a deep love affair with the iconic figures, whether it's Ronald Reagan for the right, or whether it's, you know, JFK to the left, we kind of can't get rid of those ideas -- short of that we're out of luck.

GUTFELD: Eric, you are tough on everybody that's not the most conservative candidate in your mind. Do you throw the baby out with your bath water?



BOLLING: No, no. I have a problem with the conservative conundrum. There's no conservative conundrum yet at all. The conservatives want a far right candidate. And that's why I defer with Dana and Bob here.

I don't think -- I think there's a distinct, a vast difference between established Republicans and conservative Republicans. I don't think they can be mixed. Bob, you said there is an heir apparent. Well, Romney may have been the establishment heir apparent not the far right conservative heir apparent.

BECKEL: I don't think he was heir apparent. Some people say that.

BOLLING: Some people say. And, Dana, you know, I don't think they go not Bachmann, not Romney, not so-and-so but now -- not Bachmann, not Perry, but maybe now Romney. They go, OK, anyone but Obama at the end. But, right now, still --

PERINO: But we have a primary we have to get through.

BOLLING: We can still win, guys. We're basically saying Romney, Gingrich no, way. Anyone.

BECKEL: Eric, here is the problem. It try to say this as nonpartisan as I can. When you nominate someone as far right as the Republican Party has become, these elections are won and lost in the center. And the center is not going to accept people that part of the right.


GUTFELD: Obama wasn't in the center. He was most progressive candidate in the history of elections.

BECKEL: No, no. He played it much cooler than that.

BOLLING: No, but later though. You can tack to the center after you get primary.

BECKEL: You can attack Obama, I mean, far left. But believe me, he's going to use every day between now and next summer to move as close to the center as he can. In the meantime, the Republicans are going to be attacking to the right.

BOLLING: What's better, picking a guy who lives in the center, gets elected as a GOP and ends up being, you know, a lefty after all, raising taxes, cap and trade?


BECKEL: Ronald Reagan would be considered a moderate in this Republican Party.

GUILFOYLE: Yes, he would. That's absolutely right.

GUTFELD: Should we listen to Republican establishment about Newt? It seems there is a divide.

PERINO: I think that you could -- I think that it's worth reading all sorts of different things. And, in fact, we saw Arianna Huffington even praising Newt today. Some people take it as somebody who can bring people that are independent minded if she can be -- if that is said for her.

I talk to somebody today, a friend of mine who's lived outside of the country for 2 1/2 years, but has followed politics very closely. And they said, just I don't have a visceral reaction against Newt like some people have.

And he said, I don't think he is working on the global warming legislation. He's going to be -- he's got great ideas and could be a great president.

Also in the Rasmussen poll, it shows that Gingrich is uniting the Tea Party and the establishment. And that's what happened after the primary.

BECKEL: I'm sorry. Go ahead.

GUILFOYLE: I was going to say a wise political man said that, you know, Mitt Romney in order to resonate needs to say something or do something memorable.


BECKEL: But one thing about Newt Gingrich, people who view Gingrich and know him from Washington days and they have a problem with him. Most of America and most of them who go to caucuses and primaries don't have the mindset. So, in Washington, and that establishment then elect him out, in the grassroots, he's been reintroduced.

GUTFELD: They say he is brilliant, but. He's like a guy you call for answer to question but you don't want to hang out with him.

BECKEL: Well, that's probably true. They say that about you but I hang out with you.

GUTFELD: I know, and I'm grateful for that, Bob.

BECKEL: Thank you.

GUTFELD: We're still having dinner, right?

BECKEL: Yes, we are. At your place.

PERINO: You're buying.


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