US, EU step up threats of sanctions against Russia

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," March 5, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: This is a FOX News alert. Lots of breaking news today on the crisis in Ukraine. Shep Smith standing by live in Kiev.

Earlier, he was in the Crimean region, which is currently under Russian control. He'll join us in a moment to tell us exactly what he saw.

But, first, the latest. Earlier today, the E.U. and United States suggested we may slap economic sanctions on Russia if Putin doesn't back off. Russia immediately retaliated with a threat to take U.S. and E.U. assets currently held in Russia. That prompted a meeting between Secretary of State Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Paris. That meeting appears to have accomplished exactly zero.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a strategic trading partner, called Putin's moves out of touch. And in the meantime, Hillary Clinton compared Vlad Putin to Adolf Hitler.

Folks, the mood is tense. The region unstable, but let's bring it around the table and talk about the political ramifications going on with all this stuff, new breaking news.

Bob, I'm going to start with you. Your thoughts on everything that's happened in 24?

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: First of all, I think the E.U. stepped forward more quickly than I thought. You know, what the Russians have said is they ought to stick to an agreement with the E.U. that was made by the former president, which will not happen. It's interesting to me that these elections -- somebody will be elected who will be pro-western.

The former president who is now hiding out in the Soviet Union has a deal with the Russians to extend their lease on the naval base for about 25 years. It was supposed to be up in 2017. That will not happen. I'd be curious to see what Putin does with that. The second thing that strikes me is so far as I can tell, maybe Shep can fill us in on this, but I don't think they have moved more troops to the border of Crimea and Ukraine.

BOLLING: OK. All right. Ands, let me ask you a little bit about this. The $15 billion that the E.U. promised to help Ukraine out with the situation, is that enough? Is the billion dollars that we're offering enough? Should we even be involved in this?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: I don't think it's going to be enough. We can give them the money, but I still don't think that it changes the reality that Russia has such a fear over that region. So, I do think it's a bit of wasted money.

I'm not as bullish on the sanctions as maybe Bob is. I just think any sanctions will be pretty weak. And it is a mutually beneficial, though, relationship with the E.U. and Russia. If they're serious about it, which again I'm skeptical that the Germans and the French who sent them navy warships are really serious, Putin still needs the Europeans' money. So, it's almost like us with China.

So, again, I'm very skeptical of today's developments that the E.U.
will be able to really buckle down and put the screws to somebody who is playing a real game that I think is going to turn out quite messy.

BOLLING: Can I do this? In the intro, we talked about Hillary Clinton comparing or somewhat comparing Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.
She responded moments ago, literally, we just got this tape. Take a listen.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: What I said yesterday is that the claims by President Putin and other Russians that they had to go into Crimea and maybe further into eastern Ukraine because they had to protect the Russian minorities. And that is reminiscent of claims that were made back in the 1930s when Germany under the Nazis kept talking about how they had to protect German minorities.


BOLLING: Greg, Hillary Clinton doubling down on the original claim.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Does she have any idea that Putin is nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize? How offensive this is? This could affect his chances.

I doubt it, though. This might actually help him win the Nobel Prize.

But, you know, she's touching on something about the Russians that is interesting to me, which is their ability to play the -- I hate to use the phrase, long ball, or the long game. Their plan, really, is to outlast our attention span.

If you have ever seen a Russian book, "War and Peace" is 1,400 pages.
It's 560,000 words. That's what they read.

Meanwhile, we're proud if we finish "Green Eggs and Ham." Everything is in the long haul for them in --

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: On the Senate floor.


PERINO: On the Senate floor, no less.

GUTFELD: On the Senate floor. So, that's how they look at us, as rather superficial and we're in the long term, but I would say this to President Obama -- forget standing up to Putin. Stand up to the anti- American left wing radicals here and drill your butt off.

BOLLING: Dana, Bob mentioned something yesterday or the day before, and we talked a little bit about it yesterday also. The possibility of making -- cutting a deal, elevating Ukraine to NATO or at least speeding up the process. Your thoughts on something like that?

PERINO: I have always thought that expanding NATO was the most important thing for Ukraine and Georgia, but that's partly because during the Bush administration, the president pushed for that, and I understood why.

President Obama hasn't pushed for that. And, in fact, one of the reasons is the E.U. says they blocked it in April of 2008. So there wasn't a reason to talk about it. If that is actually going to be something President Obama wants to try to get behind now and push, it's going to be difficult, but I would support that action. I think that that would be helpful.

I do wonder about NATO's resilience when it comes to the Baltic states, in particular Latvia expressing concern today.

So, if I could make one more point about the E.U. and the United States. One of the concerns last night -- and we understand the close financial ties that the E.U. has with Russia -- tells me that we should really get behind, giving the president trade promotion authority and finalizing agreements, in particular the one that is on the table right now with the E.U. We should be able to at least do that so that we can strengthen our financial ties as we figure out the energy position of this.

BOLLING: I want to jump to a sound bite from last night's "HANNITY"
show. Donald Rumsfeld and Colonel Peters talking about the situation.
Take a listen.


LT. COL. RALPH PETERS: Vladimir Putin believes in Russia. He believes in Russia's destiny, his mission. Obama does not believe in American exceptionalism.


DONALD RUMSFELD, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: We're sending a signal that America is weak, that we're in decline, and weakness is provocative.
We've created a leadership vacuum in the world. It's being filled by Putin and it will be filled by other Putin-like people.

Putin is punching so far above his weight class and the United States isn't punching at all. We don't have a foreign policy. We don't have a strategy.


BOLLING: Camera three right now.

Bob, what about it?

BECKEL: That's the same Rumsfeld who went into Iraq with not enough troops, forced George Bush to have a surge in there. He was ousted because he was a lousy secretary of defense. The fact that this guy would be talking about the strength from -- given the fact that he went in and did something, and it was him who said --

BOLLING: However, can we focus --

BECKEL: I'm saying Rumsfeld is the wrong guy. The other guy I don't know. Rumsfeld is exactly the wrong guy to be listening to.

BOLLING: The lieutenant colonel.

Just talk about is -- yes, they were both on "HANNITY" last night. Is it true, are we punching at all? And frankly, should we be punching?

BECKEL: Are you asking me this?

BOLLING: Yes, that's what they said.

BECKEL: I think we should be punching in deal making because as I said before, I don't think they're leaving Crimea. I don't think they will. And I don't think -- if they don't, we ought to get something out of it.

GUTFELD: You know, there's this other idea if you say President Obama is weak, that means you're saying Putin is strong. That's been the criticism.

That's not true. Saying Obama is weak helps Obama because that's the point. For so long, his pals have coddled him like a fragile child with food allergies. We're actually trying to say, look, dude, there's real stuff here. Putin proves that a leopard doesn't change his spots. He just eats the leopard.

BOLLING: Angela Merkel in Germany, very important not only trading partner but also strategic partner with Vladimir Putin. They have a very good relationship. Kind of interesting that she took a shot at him today.

TANTAROS: That's right. If Germany, I think, gets out in front of this in a real way, I think a lot of the other countries in the E.U. will fall in line. So, I'm interested to see if she's going to continue that tune with Putin.

The irony here is Russia is actually a pretty weak country. Its nukes mask the fact that it's only really a regional power. The situation in the Ukraine, though, tells I think every regional thug that school is out and nobody is going to come push the gang that cedes the backyard of the Ukraine. And that's really the message.

What also is ironic is President Obama, I think, very well has no problem going after the rich in this country. He does it very tactfully on domestic issues, but he looks like a dunce on the international stage, and the irony here with this situation is the president of the Ukraine essentially raided the Ukrainian treasury to build these lavish palaces on the cover of every tabloid internationally.

If President Obama would assault him for what he is verbally and take to the bully pulpit like he does very well, calling him a dictator and a liar and a thief, of a kleptocracy, I think he could start to make Putin's base squirm a little bit.

BOLLING: Can I get Dana in here before we go to Shep? He's standing by.

Your thought -- John McCain said it's a massive failure on our intel part to not know that Putin was going to do what he did. Is there any way of knowing what's s in Putin's mind?

PERINO: Well, there might have been some missed signals. We maybe find later on. Right now, the most important thing is to deal with the crisis and to understand that the president needs to tell us where he wants to go. So, he sets the foreign policy in the country. So, let's have it and decide if we can get behind it.

I think that supporting the president in this time is an important thing, but he's got to tell us what does he want to do.

GUTFELD: I think Hillary realized that the reset button is spelled with two S's.


BOLLING: All right. I'll figure that out in the break, while we talk to Shep.

Let's get perspective from Shep who just returned from a journey into the Crimean region. Mind you, that region is controlled by Putin's forces.

Shep, give us the lowdown.

SHEPARD SMITH, "SHEPARD SMITH REPORTING" HOST: Well, the Russians are saying they're not controlling it, their soldiers aren't in there.

That's not true. We went to a naval facility today where the Russians are in complete control. The Ukrainians who normally man that had to give up their weapons. They won't let the wives of those Ukrainians go in to visit them, according to all the accounts there.

They also took over two strategic defense areas today. The Russians control the Crimea. They're lying about it on the world stage. There's just -- there's no question about it.

BECKEL: Shep, this is Bob. Do you think having looked at this and getting a sense of what the Russians in Crimea, that is to say the people who live there, who have Russian lineage, are they prepared to go autonomous and break away from the Ukraine?

SMITH: I've not heard anybody say that. I've heard those who grew up in large part under the soviet regime who say we'd rather be Soviets. We'd rather be with the Russians.

But a lot of the people in the protests, we don't know if they're people who live in the Ukraine in Crimea or there are people who've been brought in from Russia to stage these protests. We don't have a way to know that and the locals don't seem to be willing to talk about that.

PERINO: Shep, it's Dana. I'm curious what you're hearing on the ground from either U.S. officials or Europeans about the importance of international law and territorial borders and making sure that those are respected. I mean, is there any sort of principle discussed here or it feels like it's get a deal done and then walk away and hope it doesn't go any further?

SMITH: Dana, I keep hearing, I heard from Secretary of State John Kerry tonight that, in fact, the territorial integrity must be respected, that they must not do this. They have done it. The question now is how do you undo it or can you undo it? What might push them back out of the Crimea, why would they do such a thing?

The Russians seem to have leverage over people. The oil about which Eric has spoken so often, and the natural gas, especially, which comes right through Ukraine and supplies Germany and so much of the rest of Europe, and they have a lot of leverage on us as well especially when you consider this road that goes through Russia that takes food to our troops in the war in Afghanistan, and on and on and on.

He seems to, at least, as an observer, have a lot of leverage.

GUTFELD: Hey, Shep. So far, it seems to me like it's been a pretty quiet invasion. Are they just moving in? Is there any resistance? Is it pure ambivalence?

SMITH: No. Well, I don't know if it's ambivalence or because what the Ukrainians are saying is, if we had try to resist, we don't have the force to do so. But if we had tried to, that might have played right into Putin's hands, because then Putin would have been able to spread and say, we have to do this now.

At this moment, it's bloodless. There's been no resistance when it would have been futile anymore. I don't know whether their strategy is a good one or a bad one. But that seems to be what it is.

Now, they have set up camp and taken over buildings. It's surreal to see where the people who used to run these buildings are forced to give up their weapons and just stand there while the Russians take over the show.
I can't imagine being in such a position. I bet they couldn't have before now either.

TANTAROS: Hey, Shep, there's a sense today that Vladimir Putin started to tamper his rhetoric a little bit, maybe tone it back, and I heard on this network a lot of people say, oh, he's just posturing. What's the sense on the ground over there?

SMITH: Well, the sense on the ground here seems to be Putin, at least for this moment, has won. If what he wanted to do is get his warm water port to the Black Sea in the south, and what he wanted to do was gain control there in the Crimea, a bread basket, in a very strategically important place, for the moment, at least, he's won. Once you have won, why not shut up and let those you have beaten do all the talking.

That's the theory that we're hearing here. I don't know what the fact is, but on the ground, that's what the locals seem to think -- except, of course, those who want these Russian ties. And those we met in Crimea, many are happy about this.

BECKEL: Shep, just very fast question, you have been there a couple days now. Do you think that the Russians are going to leave Crimea or is this now a done deal?

SMITH: I don't have any idea, but as you look at the facts, and who has leverage, why would you leave? You have to -- you have to have a reason to leave. If somebody in Europe or the United States comes up with some leverage where it would behoove him to do so, then I would think he probably would. But unless and until that happens, why would you?

BOLLING: Hey, Shep, we've got to go. Just give us a sense, we talk about the pipelines, three big pipelines that go through Ukraine to supply Western and Eastern Europe, but really what the Russians -- the way I understand it, they're interested in that deep water port in the Crimean region. They want access to be able to use those shipping lanes. Am I wrong?

SMITH: Of course they do. They have a long-term lease which the previous government, Yanukovych, extended. I think you guys mentioned that. That's not going to be continued anymore, obviously, if they get a new government in here.

But they don't have any other warm-water ports. That's their way out.
And their fleet has been down there for a long time, out of an agreement with the Ukrainian government. He needs it, and for now, he has it.

BOLLING: That's right. So, strategically, that's a very important port to them. We're going to have to leave it there. Shep doing a great job. We really appreciate your time.

SMITH: You bet.

BOLLING: All right. We'll leave it there.

Up next, guess who made her way back to Capitol Hill today? Lois Lerner, the former IRS official who pleaded the Fifth last year when asked about the targeting of conservative groups. She talked? Did you think she would talk this time? We'll find out.

Plus, why Democrat Elijah Cummings exploded after Darrell Issa adjourned the hearing. You'll see this all when "The Five" returns.


TANTAROS: Well, she refused to answer lawmakers' questions last year on her role in the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, and today, Lois Lerner was back and pleaded that Fifth again when she was called back before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.


REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: Ms. Lerner, do you believe that there is not a smidgen of corruption in the IRS targeting of conservatives?

LOIS LERNER, FORMER IRS OFFICIAL: On the advice of my counsel, I respectfully exercise my Fifth Amendment right and decline to answer that question.

ISSA: I can see no point in going further. I have no expectation that Ms. Lerner will cooperate with this committee and therefore we stand adjourned.


TANTAROS: Well, Chairman Darrell Issa adjourned the hearing when Lerner wouldn't talk, then Elijah Cummings went wild.


REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: Mr. Chairman, I have a statement.
I have a procedural question, Mr. Chairman.

For the past year, the central Republican accusation in this investigation --

ISSA: We're adjourned. Close it down.

CUMMINGS: I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America. I am tired of this. You cannot just have a one-sided investigation. There is absolutely something wrong with that and it is absolutely un-American.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's taking the Fifth, Elijah.


TANTAROS: All right. We'll get to those fireworks in a minute.

But, Bob, if there's nothing to hide, why doesn't Lois Lerner talk?
Why did she plead the Fifth?

BECKEL: Because I think she probably does have a potential case against her. But Cummings is right. Why didn't Issa say, we can't get anything out of her? There's other witnesses. How many hearings are we going to have on this?

The fact of the matter is that Issa is doing this purely for his political gain. Not all Republicans can be like that. In fact, I don't think all the Republicans are very happy that Issa walked away.

Cummings was exactly right what he said, he should have said it louder and sooner.

TANTAROS: Eric, political gain or according to a recent FOX News poll, still 71 percent of people think Congress should continue this investigation?

BOLLING: Most people watching and most people out there do want answers to why there was targeting of the conservative groups, which, by the way, there's no evidence of targeting of non-conservative groups. I don't care what you say.

But can I answer the first question? You asked whether or not pleading the Fifth -- why plead the Fifth? I have a very, very cogent theory on why she keeps pleading the Fifth. She's going to continue to plead the Fifth until she's given immunity from prosecution. Once she has that, she has a huge bargaining chip in the Obama administration who will probably involve in telling her to target conservative groups.

She can say, look, I can go now. It won't hurt me one iota. You're going to have to come up with something darn good.

Now, Dana, I might be watching a little too much "House of Cards" but, wow, what a great chip she would have in her hand if that were the case.

TANTAROS: Dana, how should Republicans approach this at this point?

PERINO: Well, the thing if you look at -- listen to what Bob first said and your question to him, which is he thinks she might have a problem because there's a discrepancy in the public apology she made and then the fact that she pled the Fifth. The hearing is a side show, and I don't think I would have handled it the same way, but not my committee room, so that's the way it is.

In her apology that she was asked to me, she said that it was wrong to target the Tea Party. OK, it's not unusual for Americans to say who came up with this idea? Let's get to the bottom of it. I think that's why you see Americans wanting to know more about it.

And I think that it will probably continue a little bit, but she might just get that immunity, but it will be after the 2014 election.

TANTAROS: Greg, I actually don't think that Elijah Cumming's mike should have been cut. I think he was going to spout propaganda, but just let him do it. It just makes us look bad or makes Republicans look bad.

What do you think about what Cummings was going to say? At this stage, should Issa be pursuing this if it's just a dog and pony show.

GHARIB: Well, the irony is we learned nothing from Lerner. We'll be right back. Cummings, you know, the great thing about Cummings is he knows what it's like to be angry. Now he knows exactly what it's like to be targeted by the IRS. Think about all the people who have been persecuted as dictated by a pernicious ideology. This is about an armed of government being used as a weapon of intimidation against its own citizens for political purposes.

And the big story is the media response is, tell me more about a bridge in New Jersey. Shouldn't it rise above ideology? The media is napping on this.

But I'll go back to the same excuse. It's FOX News syndrome. We report, they excuse themselves from actual journalism because we report it.

BECKEL: Let me ask you a question. She's not the only person the IRS who has answers. Instead of closing down the committee, why don't you say, all right, you're out of here, bring somebody else up?

TANTAROS: They have. They've tried to bring a number of people up.
They brought Danny Werfel, the Werft, he sort of squirmed --

BECKEL: OK. Well, that means we're just down to her. There's nobody else to talk to.

GUTFELD: Didn't she choreograph the initial manufactured question that got --

BECKEL: She did. But I'm just saying that. OK. Good.

BOLLING: Because the question that needs answering is who told her to do it.


All right. Well, Elijah Cummings said the hearing was un-American. I think what happened at the IRS was un-American, and also, Harry Reid piled on he had harsh words for the Koch brothers who he took to the Senate floor yesterday to call un-American as well.


SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: What is going on with these two brothers who made billions of dollars last year, an attempt to buy our democracy, is dishonest, deceptive, false, and unfair. These two brothers are about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine.


TANTAROS: Un-American, Greg, shouldn't Harry Reid love the Koch brothers? They give money to museums, they fund the arts, they fund charter schools which Bill Clinton loves.


GUTFELD: When you hear his voice, he truly is like a Harry Reid. I don't even know what that means, but he is a Harry Reid.

The thing that gets me about is this guy claimed that all those horror stories of ObamaCare were false, after he exempted his entire staff from ObamaCare, so he denies the suffering of others while protecting his own from the same suffering. He's like a corrupt sheriff in the old movies that said, oh, what happened to you, little lady? You must have fallen down a flight of stairs.

It's always blame the victim with him.

BECKEL: I love to answer and getting questions on this, but I got a call the last time I talked about it, the Koch brothers' attorneys called and I was warned not to talk about it. I still think they are in many ways un-American.

PERINO: I think what Harry Reid is doing is three things and it has all to do with politics. It's code words to raise money. It's also for voter turnout because it is a motivating thing when Democrats hear about that. And also, it's excuses, because when they lose seats in 2014, they won't blame themselves. The Democrats will blame the Koch brothers.

TANTAROS: And they need an enemy. Eric, they are the top, I guess, 59th donor in the world. The 58 spots ahead of them are mostly --

BOLLING: Unions.

TANTAROS: Yes, unions.

BOLLING: Can I make a quick point? Harry Reid should not be using the Senate floor to play those political games he's playing, just unfair shots.

Un-American, the Koch brothers? Good lord. These guys pay so much in taxes. Harry, they pay your salary 1,000 times over.

TANTAROS: And does Harry Reid have any credibility left after attacking Mitt Romney on not paying his taxes? Whatever happened to that?
They just put it out there and then skulk and run away.

All right. We got to go.

BECKEL: Just say for the record, the 58 in front of him --

TANTAROS: We got to go.

Unions, George Soros -- Bob, I'll give you a list during the break.

Coming up next, more drama on Capitol Hill today. The Senate voted on whether or not -- Bob -- to confirm President Obama's controversial nominee for the justice department, a man who once defended a cop killer, Vice President Biden even went to help out with that vote. We'll tell you the results, up next.


GUTFELD: So, a nomination vote failed in the senate today. The loser, a staunch defender of a cop killer. Debo Adegbile was going to head the Justice Department's civil rights division despite obsessively defending Mumia Abu-Jamal, who had died the civil rights of a police officer by killing him back in 1982.

Thankfully, the vote failed, but it's not over. Harry Reid actually voted against it just so he could bring it up again. Creep.

Meanwhile, Maureen Faulkner, the wife of the slain officer, Daniel, wasn't allowed to testify. That's how it works. If only she were a victim of oppression, had dreadlocks and belonged to a death cult, then she would be the cherished radical and documentaries would be made about her instead.

Instead, being widowed by a racist militant doesn't rate, and the White House now fumes that their guy lost.

For an Eric Holder's balkanized America, race must always win the race, and killers earn respect just by living longer. Gray hair makes the truth less black and white.

Look, we get it -- every perp gets represented. That's how it's done, but this lawyer crusaded, revealing a bitter bias. Worse, his nomination speaks to an administration steeped in its own bias. After all, isn't the defense of Mumia kind of racist? You think if Mumia was white, he'd be a hero, or if the dead officer was black, would Holder even know Mumia's fake name? I doubt it.

You can't build a career on black on black crime.

The great story here is Maureen Faulkner, Daniel's widow, God bless her, called a lot of senators who are on the fence, got them persuaded.
And then the president responded. Here's what he had to say. He's very upset, very upset about this.

What did he say? He said this, as they show it. There you go. He called it a travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks based against a good and qualified public service. I would read more but frankly, it bores me.

Eric --


GUTFELD: Yes, you.


GUTFELD: This nomination was a thumb in the eye to law enforcement.


GUTFELD: Why were they so upset?

BOLLING: They're so upset because they thought they had the bag. The really interesting part -- you remember this whole filibuster thing that Harry Reid pulled off. They only need a simple majority to get this stuff passed. Well, they thought they had it. They thought they had 49 or 50 because Republicans were going to lose -- one was going to be absent. He ended up showing up.

So, they were sure. They even sent Joe Biden to the Senate floor to read the confirmation and it turns out they didn't have the vote. They really screwed up and you want to talk about a black eye, that's your black eye. Like they can't count their own votes in the Senate.


Andrea, the thing that drove me crazy, if you go on Google and you Google Mumia, you gets millions of hits. If you Google Daniel Faulkner, you get maybe 100,000. For some reason in our culture, we find radicals so romantic.

TANTAROS: Well, the left has always had their priorities backwards, right? And they have this obsession, like the Koch brothers, it's like Ahab and the white whale.

And they also idolize people who don't deserve idolizing. Koch brothers, bad, cop killer, good, which has always baffled me.

They should take a lesson from NPR, who tried to give this guy his own show, not the one who's up for nomination, but Mumia, his own show, from his prison cell. That didn't work so well, but I think this was horribly embarrassing. The Senate majority whip should be embarrassed for not getting the count right and sending Biden over there. It was a huge mistake.

But I think this was done, of all the people, Greg, they could have picked, why him?


TANTAROS: It was done to provoke. Whether it was shoring up the base early or just getting Republicans to get angry about this, this was a deliberate move by the Obama administration knowing darn well that the right and the left have a visceral reaction when it comes to Mumia or anyone related to him.

GUTFELD: That's a good point, Bob. It seems like a contentious suggestion at the least.

BECKEL: It may have been, but if I could just have 15 uninterrupted seconds and then I'll get out of here.

GUTFELD: All right.

BECKEL: Three months ago, John Ferguson was executed in the worst mass murder in Florida history. He killed six people, and then while he was being indicted, he killed two teenage girls.

He was represented by who? By the Republican chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, John Roberts. That's all I've got to say.

GUTFELD: All right.

BOLLING: That was 15 seconds.

GUTFELD: Yes, that was well-done.

TANTAROS: Way to keep time.

GUTFELD: Dana, thoughts on this? Is this going to come back the way it's been constructed through -- by Harry Reid voting no? Is this going to come back?

PERINO: I would be surprised. And I'll just comment not on the merits but on the politics of it. So, in a second term in a midterm election year, you have to be careful about who you're going to send up for nominees because you're ripe for targeting politically.

So, when you lose your friends, it's embarrassing, and then you -- I'm surprised they continued with this and they called for the vote because about three months ago, they pulled a nominee from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission because of opposition that was strong. That's not a very high-profile position. He was yanked, and this, this was provocative, and -- politically, they should have known better than to call it up if they didn't want the president to issue that statement.

GUTFELD: All right. There you go.

Up next, former First Lady Barbara Bush sits down with FOX News and ponders the possibility of a future offspring in the White House.

Mrs. Bush when "The Five" returns.


PERINO: Events from this past week have us talking about who is best suited for the Oval Office in 2016. Big names are being floated on the left and right. There's Hillary, Biden, Paul, and Rubio, and there is current Governor Chris Christie and former Governor Jeb Bush.

So, who is best qualified?

Former First Lady Barbara Bush gave her take to us this morning.


STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I don't know if you're a reader of the "New York Times." But "New York Times'" Maureen Down had a column and the headline was "Brace Yourself for Hillary and Jeb."

BARBARA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY: I did see that, and I thought, anything to make news.

DOOCY: So is it OK with you if he ran?

BUSH: It has nothing to do with me. It just seemed to me ridiculous in a country this size that we didn't have other families. I mean, we've got great governors, and other people. I just don't understand it. And maybe Jeb's given all he should give, because he worked awfully hard for a long time.

But he is the best qualified person in the country, there's no question about that. Just put me down as saying that.

DOOCY: So I've got a feeling if he runs, you would vote for him.

BUSH: Of course I would.

DOOCY: Just checking.


PERINO: Even have to ask the question.

OK, so this is a woman, Bob, who knows what it's like for a husband and a son to run and be president, and what it takes and takes out of them.
Do you think Jeb is smart to keep at least his options open for the possibility of 2016?

BECKEL: Oh, absolutely. I mean, as I said before, I think from our standpoint, he is by far the most potent opponent because he will cut into the Hispanic vote like his brother did. I think he's got Florida, which the Democrats have taken that the last two times around, which was a switch. They are usually a Republican base.

I would be -- I think the Republicans will screw it up and maybe not nominate him, but this is a no-brainer. It is absolutely no-brainer.

GUTFELD: He's tricking us.

BECKEL: He's so far superior to any other Republican.

PERINO: Beware. Bob wants him. It's reverse psychology.

BECKEL: I don't want him.


BECKEL: I hope he decides not to do it and take his mother's advice, don't do it.

TANTAROS: He's the most threatening to you?


BECKEL: He's, by far, the most threatening, by far.

TANTAROS: One of the -- on one of the criticisms for him is that he's going to deal with the fact on his right he's got a very vocal group of people against him, Eric. So, do you think he can overcome that or should he try or what?

BOLLING: Well, think about that for a second. Bob said the Hispanic vote and Florida. There's another one who likely will get the Hispanic vote in Florida, Marco Rubio.

BECKEL: Maybe, maybe.

BOLLING: I don't know -- I mean, he -- Marco Rubio at one point was Tea Party and then he wasn't Tea Party. This is the problem with it Republican Party now. It's either the far right, the conservative far right conservatives who are going to say Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, maybe Marco Rubio, and then the less far right, call them centrists who say Bush or maybe Christie. They're divided. They've got to get behind one candidate and win.

PERINO: But there's going to be a long time between now and getting behind one candidate. Maybe another year and a half, Andrea? How do you see that playing out?

TANTAROS: Not good for Republicans. The longer time we have and the more time we have to kill each other, the worse. I think Jeb Bush is incredibly qualified. Whenever I'm in Florida, people love him.


TANTAROS: I think, unfortunately, the worst thing about him is the last name, and people will say, oh, Bush-Clinton redux. I'm not certain you will get either one of those people. And that's why I would look somewhere outside, maybe to Wisconsin, to a Walker, to maybe someone who bridges the divide that Eric just mentioned between the conservative faction and more moderates. I mean, Walker has a lot of love I think from a pretty broad swath of the party.

PERINO: A lot of people scoff at the idea of another Bush. I ask, what -- are you OK with another Clinton on the other side?

TANTAROS: Exactly.

PERINO: They don't complain. They just want her to win.

Do you want to talk about this or Chris Christie?

GUTFELD: Well, I can actually address both of them.

PERINO: Would you like to have a SOT of Chris Christie to set it up?

GUTFELD: Yes, that sounds on tape.

PERINO: OK. I shall serve one to you. Here you go.



GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Well, elect a new president.
That's what you do.




PERINO: We're going to elect a new president either way, right?

GUTFELD: Exactly. You know what, libertarians and conservatives by nature despise government, but it's kind of time to get over that. The point in running is not to be a public servant. We want to make money.
But it's to prevent the others from becoming public servants.

It's like you don't want to drive a bus for the living, but if the bus driver is drunk and naked, you've got to get up there and pull him out of the seat. So, the libertarian and the conservatives need to run government in order to save government from itself. It's time to win, baby, as Al Davis would say.

And Barbara Bush is right. There's a nation of 313 million and only five people who are qualified, and they're from the same family? Come on.

BECKEL: What do you think, Dana? You haven't put your foot (ph) to me on this one.

PERINO: You know where I am on that, Bob. Let me ask you a thing on Democrats. If -- if Hillary Clinton decides not to run, what are the Democrats going to do?

BECKEL: That's -- that's going to pose a very big present -- question, but she will run. But I'll you one thing about Scott Walker:
interesting candidate, could not pull a single Hispanic vote. And I'm telling you, without Hispanic votes, the Republicans cannot win.

PERINO: I thought he did do fairly decently in Wisconsin with them.



PERINO: OK. Fair enough.

GUTFELD: The Democratic nominee, I'm saying, is going to be Andrew Cuomo, for stomping the butt of Bill de Blasio.

TANTAROS: I think that's the most likely person if she doesn't run.

PERINO: OK. Interesting. Next, is one of the most popular diets in America really as bad for you as smoking? We're going to tell you what that's about.

Plus, what happened to Bob when he went and tried one of those juice cleanses? It is a great story. Stay with us.


BECKEL: Today marks the first day of Lent, where many people begin 40 days of giving up something they love, often unhealthy food. If you're looking to cut out carbs, watch out, because a new study from the University of Southern California finds a diet of meat and cheese might be as bad for you as smoking.

As for those popular juice cleansers, they sure are expensive, but according to some doctors, they're not very effective. I've got something to say about cleanses in a minute, but Eric, you -- you don't eat meat.
And what are you giving up for Lent?

BOLLING: Well, I fast every Tuesday anyway...


BOLLING: ... which is going to be tough. I'm going to give up...

PERINO: Hip-hop. Hip-hop.

BOLLING: Really?

PERINO: I don't know. I'm just coming up with something.

BOLLING: I'll try.

PERINO: No. Don't take that. I want that.

BOLLING: I was going to give up, you know, fighting with Bob.

PERINO: You have until midnight to think about it.

BECKEL: Worry about that. Greg, having been the editor of Men's Health, do you think we just get more of these studies all the time, and they're so contradictory, I can't keep up with it.

GUTFELD: There are -- I think there are maybe two or three really hazardous things in your life. And the most hazardous thing is a health editor, because they need to fill up their fad bucket every day to make their paycheck, which is why you hear about cleansing and phony words like toxins.

Ask a health editor what a toxin is. They won't be able to tell you.
It sounds medical, but it's the words of a delusional charlatan. Usually, health editors, if you hang around them, they are very depressing.

The other health tip is build a time machine and go back in time and pick your parents.

BECKEL: Pick your parents. All right. Now, Andrea, you -- you did a cleansing, as you told me. What do you think of it? Could you recommend it to people?

TANTAROS: Well, I don't recommend it for long periods of time. The key is to have it prepackaged, right, so you don't -- you don't end up cheating.

GUTFELD: Looks delicious.

TANTAROS: You buy the -- let's see, I did the lemonade one, thanks to Yolanda Foster of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." By day three, you feel very clear and very -- and you get very skinny. Anyone who says you're flushing out toxins, we know that you're lying. You're just trying to get a hot body. By day five, though, I was ready to kill somebody. I was so angry. I looked great, but I was miserable.

BECKEL: Man, I bet you were tough to be around.

Dana, have you ever done a cleansing?

PERINO: No, I haven't. And look, I grew up on a cattle ranch -- family. I mean, I really think that a lot of these studies are attacks on the dairy and cattle industry. And it goes around and around and then it comes back. Pretty much -- look, we have eyes in the front of our head for a reason. We are supposed to eat meat. That's my opinion.

GUTFELD: You know, you -- what you're wearing, you look like a doctor from the future.

BECKEL: Can I just -- can I just say one thing? I did a cleansing, and I got so sick. I threw up. I was in bed for a couple of days. They are a lousy idea. Don't buy into it. It doesn't work. It's ridiculous.
And "One More Thing" is up next.

PERINO: It's a $60 billion industry.

BECKEL: I know. That's important.

GUTFELD: Cleansing your wallet.



BOLLING: All right, time for "One More Thing." Mr. Robert Beckel up first.

BECKEL: Wall Street Journal story, dated March 3, 2014, the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's signature health law, is already boosting household incomes and spending.

Can we look at the chart please? Under Obama care, the personal income is up .3. I can't read it; it's too far away. But anyway, look at those. It lays to rest a lot of this argument about what a lousy thing it's going to do to the economy. So far, it's doing a pretty good job.

PERINO: Oh, my goodness.

BECKEL: Oh, my goodness. She said, "Oh, my goodness."

TANTAROS: I would have read that for you, but I don't even want to help.

GUTFELD: How? That's the question.

BECKEL: Ask the Wall Street Journal.

BOLLING: There's no -- yes, there's no...

BECKEL: You guys -- you guys, you interrupted me again on this. It's one statement and then get out of here.

GUTFELD: That wasn't interrupting.

TANTAROS: You interrupted. You finished.

BOLLING: That wasn't interrupting.

BECKEL: All right, fine. Why don't you...

BOLLING: So we just have to sit here and go, "OK, Bob."

BECKEL: You always accept the Wall Street Journal on everything.

BOLLING: That was brilliant. That was really good.

All right, Greg, you're up.

GUTFELD: Banned phrase today, "love-hate relationship." Whenever anybody says, "I have a love-hate relationship with chocolate," they just love it, but they want to pretend they don't. Just say you have a love- love relationship and be done.

PERINO: That's how I describe my relationship with you.

GUTFELD: Oh, blush.

PERINO: What will I do now?

GUTFELD: I don't know.

BOLLING: You guys want to expand? Should we move on?

OK, so Snapchat, you know, I've been on this Snapchat thing. The really cool thing about Snapchat, it's like a slice of Americana in pictures. So people send me stuff, and I realized a couple of things:
America loves pizza. America loves booze a lot. America loves dogs.

PERINO: Definitely.

BOLLING: And America absolutely adores "The Five." I can't tell you how many Snapchats I get with people watching it with our picture in the background.

So go ahead and Snapchat me, eb2016, I beg of you.

GUTFELD: Are they dressed?

BOLLING: I bet -- all of them have been. They have been very, very good. Thank you for that.

GUTFELD: Why bother?

BOLLING: I beg of them to do an "all Snapchat." I've got to press this button 6,000 darn times.

All right. Andrea, you're up.

TANTAROS: OK. So a lot of controversy at Duke University because one of their freshman decided to start doing porn to pay for her college tuition. She came out in a column revealing her stage name as Belle Knox, and now she is playing the victim card. Aw, poor thing. She says that students on campus have been bullying her.

A little advice for Ms. Belle Knox. You won't need college if you do porn, because you won't be getting a job. And you're not a victim, by the way. And there's other things that you can do.

So I don't feel sorry for her.

BECKEL: She's a very good actress, by the way.

TANTAROS: Bob, stop. Bob, stop.

BOLLING: Wasn't there a thing, what would your porn name be? Do we have -- we never did that, did we?

GUTFELD: I don't think so.

BOLLING: All right.

TANTAROS: It's so weird that we never did it on the show.

GUTFELD: Mine would be Bob Beckel.

BOLLING: Bob Beckel. Dana, you're up.

PERINO: Well...

BECKEL: Taken.

PERINO: ... my "One More Thing" kind of -- is not interesting to me, but it's interesting to a lot of people. See, I don't care about space. I couldn't care less. But for those of you...

GUTFELD: It's so small.

PERINO: ... who do, a European commercial space plane is set to have its first, you know, flight into space in May. I don't really -- anybody care about this?

GUTFELD: You're dressed like an astronaut.

PERINO: It was perfect.

GUTFELD: You're dressed like an astronaut. You're from the future.
You're like Logan's Run.

PERINO: I actually -- I am glad that it's more private money that is going to be spent on this and not government money.

GUTFELD: But you like to -- you can walk your dog in space now. That should make you happy.

PERINO: So you're going to, like, put a little mask on him or something?

GUTFELD: Yes. He could -- and the poop could fly.

BOLLING: Like -- like Astro. Right? "Jetsons." What's wrong with that?


BECKEL: A cool thing to do. I'd like to do it.

BOLLING: We're going to have to leave it there. Don't forget, set your DVRs...

TANTAROS: Bob, why don't you go in space?

BECKEL: I'm already there.

BOLLING: ... so you never miss an episode of "The Five." We'll see you back here tomorrow.

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