This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," October 31, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


RICK PERRY, R - PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One thing I've learned is that you pace yourself. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. And we got in late. And we worked awfully hard for those first eight plus weeks to go, raised the money, and we had a $17 plus million, 47 day fundraising push.

NEWT GINGRICH, R - PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't have the kind of money that my major competitors have, but I think I can have vastly more people than they're going to have. And with your help, I also believe I'm the only candidate who is capable of fundamentally disrupting and replacing the left in Washington, D.C.



BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Newt Gingrich on the campaign trail this weekend, and of course, Texas governor Rick Perry talking to Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday." As we take a look at the new "Des Moines Register" poll out over the weekend, you can see Herman Cain in Iowa topping, essentially tied with Mitt Romney. Then Ron Paul. There you see Michele Bachmann at eight percent. And then the next page, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry tied at seven percent, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman.

We're back with our panel. Jeff, Newt Gingrich seems to have found a bit of a stride, especially after what was described by most analysts as a collapse of his campaign in the summer.

JEFF ZELENY, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT NEW YORK TIMES: I think he has found a bit of a stride, but I think it's important to keep this in a perspective. He still is only now beginning to actually have campaign events on his schedule. He still is deeply in debt and he is not, ya know, doing a lot of the things that the major candidates are doing.

But look, I think in the debates, he has shown he has the ideas here. And his strength is built around his ideas. And he is kind of rising to the top because of his maturity and things. But at the end of the day, to win the Iowa caucuses it takes organization and it takes television advertising usually. So it's hard to imagine that he would be able to sort of compete with some of the others.

But the polls are just a snapshot of what has happened in the past. So I think that Herman Cain being at the top of the Iowa poll is interesting. But I'm wondering and just talking to some Republican voters if it's not a couple of weeks behind. I mean it'll be much more interesting to see sort of like, what is happening going forward. But Rick Perry is putting really all of his eggs in the Iowa basket or at least most of them. He's going to be there three days this week. He is on the air with a new ad. So he is campaigning hard in Iowa. We'll see if it works.

BAIER: Because the big effort is be the not-Mitt Romney candidate. Right, Juan?

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: That's exactly right. Just to repeat, I'm sure the audience has heard this from us many times, but essentially you have an establishment campaign. With Tim Pawlenty gone, with Governor Christie of New Jersey, Governor Daniels of Indiana not running, Mitt Romney is essentially that candidate. But he can't get beyond that 25 percent benchmark, right now. So you have three out of four Republicans looking elsewhere, Tea Party folks looking elsewhere.

Initially, people were quite interested in Newt Gingrich's campaign. He came out and said Paul Ryan's budget was the right wing social engineering and the like. That turned a lot of people off. And the whole business about Tiffany's, there's a lot of baggage attached there.

But I think that what we are seeing here, especially on this day when we have seen Herman Cain run into trouble that could cause him to fall back, is that other candidates, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich are looking, that they might be able to get a second look from those Tea Party conservative voters. And in the case of Rick Perry, the ad that he's running says, ya know don't worry about those debates, worry about someone who can actually get the job done, and then he cites his record in Texas. I don't know if people will buy it, but that's what he's hoping.

BAIER: Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Look, everybody is looking for the non-Romney. It could be that Newt is making -- he's got a mild rise I think. And I think it's explainable in two ways. Number one, the inordinate importance of debates in this cycle, huge amount of readership, a very important influence on public opinion, it explains the rise of Cain. There will be no other explanation. He performed well. Gingrich is a great debater.

And second, is the tactic he used. It's an axiom in these kinds of elections, and if one candidate attacks another, generally both are hurt. Pawlenty and Bachmann attacked each other in Iowa. He got knocked out and she got knocked down. Perry attacked Romney, it didn't help him. His numbers went down, stayed down. And then you've got Santorum who basically in the debates attacked everybody, and his numbers are low.

What did Gingrich do? He attacked the press, always helpful if you are a candidate, always popular. And then he would also step out of the frame of the debate and say, ya know I like everybody up here. Everybody here is a better president than Barack Obama, and sort of cheering for the whole Republican Party. I think it's a very good tactic. He's the only one who stayed out of the back and the forth. And as a result, if he gets a chance, if he gets a rise in this and ya know, starts to climb in the party that is looking for the non-Romney he might have a chance at being the non-Romney.

BAIER: Jeff, quickly, you've spent a lot of time on the trail, a lot of different states. Is it possible that this year is a different dynamic, that online, social media, it just, that maybe you don't need as much as you may have in the past, on the ground?

ZELENY: I think we'll find out. And that is the big question in this campaign. Perhaps it is sort of the bridge between the old and the new. Ya know, when someone appears on Fox News for example, they are obviously reaching Iowa caucus goers. They're obviously reaching South Carolina primary voters and New Hampshire primary voters.

But still, at the end of the day, to get people, it's not an election, the Iowa caucuses are not an election. They are on a Monday night, January 3. It requires someone to tell you to go, tell you where to go. And that is something that some of these candidates may not have.

BAIER: That is it for the panel. But stay tuned to see what happens when the weather turns very ugly at the White House.

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