Where Does GOP Presidential Field Stand Right Now?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 9, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: How does the GOP presidential field stand right now? Joining us now from Stamford, Connecticut, is Fox News contributor and the purveyor of DickMorris.com, Mr. Morris, who is also the author of the new children's book "Dubs Goes to Washington."

Dick, here we go. First of all, we have this Cain controversy yesterday that bubbled over. We had the big press conference. We don't have to dwell on the details. A lot of other folks are doing that. But nevertheless, how big a distraction from the conservative pro-growth message and highlighting of Obama's failings has this been so far?

DICK MORRIS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, I think it's been huge. I think it's dominated the presidential race in the last two weeks. And I think it's cost the Republican Party momentum, which is what I think the purveyors -- to use Bill's and your phrase -- of this scandal, wanted it to do.

We have to understand that this is largely a Democratic setup. The woman who is on television the other night lives in the same building with Dave Axelrod, Obama's media person. She was shepherded around the press conference by Gloria Allred, a famous long-term Democratic operative. One of the women who came to the so-called settlement actually works in the Obama administration in public relations job or communications job, one of the patronage plums one gets. And I think that the whole collection of star charges are really absurd. But I do think it's been a distraction. And I feel that Cain has handled it well by his denials. But I think something more is needed.


MORRIS: I think he should take two steps. I think one: He should take a lie detector test and challenge his accusers to do it.

INGRAHAM: Whoa, whoa, whoa. OK, Dick, Dick, you lose me on the lie detector test. First of all, on the Democratic point…

MORRIS: But let -- let me…

INGRAHAM: The Democrat machine point -- we can't get too far afield. I think you laid out a lot of circumstantial evidence that raises questions. But I do not think we have clear evidence that the Democrats have orchestrated the takedown of Herman Cain. I wouldn't put it past them, but I think all the stuff you laid out is a lot of speculation.


INGRAHAM: I don't think that necessarily points to a Democrat operative or group of Democrat operatives with the sole purpose of bringing down Cain.

MORRIS: Well, you certainly have no credibility by…

INGRAHAM: That's a different question.

MORRIS: …two of the women. One of the women works for Obama. The other of the women has this long, long history of bankruptcies and paternity litigation and complaints against employers.

INGRAHAM: All right, but let's move on -- all right, let's move on to the lie detector test? How does he take the lie detector test? Let the women take lie detector tests.

MORRIS: I think that Herman Cain is running for president. They are not. I think he has to put this behind him decisively. I think a lie detector test would be an important part of that. I think asking the Restaurant Association, which he's done but really insisting on it, that they release the report which proves his innocence. I think that those steps would completely end this discussion. And that's what he needs to do. End it.

INGRAHAM: Well, I think when we start hearing lie detector tests in the same sentence as GOP primary candidate, I just -- I mean, if I were his lawyer, I would have put the big hook out on the stage when he said I'll take a lie detector test. There's all sorts of things that can be done with lie detector tests. I think that opens up a huge can of worms and gives these women a lot more credibility perhaps now than they deserve.

But let's move on to how this is affecting the field. Who looks good by comparison, whether you like Cain or don't like Cain, who looks good today, Dick, in your analysis, everything you've done on your site today?

MORRIS: Well, I want to stay for a second with Cain. I think that the point that we can't ignore about Herman is that he's put out the most bold and impressive program for fundamental change in our economy. And he's moved the national debate to a fundamental discussion about tax reform. Voters like that. They appreciate it. They value it. And I don't think they can lightly be dissuaded from supporting him. So, I think the intro to this segment said how long can he hold on, like it's a suicide watch. I think he has a very good chance of staying in this race and I think he has a very good chance of winning the race.

INGRAHAM: Do you think -- do you think there is a good chance that Herman Cain will be the Republican nominee? Dick Morris is saying that tonight?

MORRIS: I would say that -- I would say he's one of three possibilities that at this point possibly could really win it, either Romney or him or Gingrich. And at this point, I think that probably you would have to say Romney has the best shot, Cain next and Gingrich least. But all three are in contention and Bachmann could come back into contention. I just do not take this scandal as a life-threatening issue for Herman Cain.

INGRAHAM: Well, I think that when -- when we see how Mitt Romney has handled this, it is interesting, is it not? I mean, a lot of people and including folks on this network, I think, are annoyed and I would be too if he wouldn't come on their shows, right? But maybe that's a good strategy for him, right? I mean, he's gone up in the polls a little bit? I mean, I know you say it's not. But I would like to hear why. Because I think he is actually doing pretty well in the wake of all of this.

MORRIS: No. It's not a good strategy. Because he's stuck in a rut. He is at 25 percent of the vote. He has been there ever since he started. He has been there against everybody who is not running and everybody who is running in millions of different polls and configurations and fields. And the glass is not just a quarter full, it's three quarters empty. You have a group of Republican primary voters who basically are saying I'd support Huckabee or Trump or Daniels or Palin…

INGRAHAM: Yes, none of them are running. That's the problem.

MORRIS: …or Christie or Bachmann or Perry or Cain before I would support Romney. Because they had those chances and they passed up Romney to go to those.

INGRAHAM: Right, you never hear Mitt Romney talk about lie detector tests though, that's the difference.

MORRIS: I think that Romney, I think Romney is -- can I finish, Laura?

INGRAHAM: Go ahead.

MORRIS: I think that Romney is ghettoizing himself with the Republican establishment and big business and Wall Street and all of that. I notice, for example, he turned down an invitation by Tea Party Patriots, by far the biggest Tea Party group, to participate in a debate on C-SPAN on November 28. He needs to start accepting that stuff. He needs to start showing up, not just at debates but to really reach out to the evangelical and Tea Party base of the party. When you have three-quarters of the voters who so ostentatiously and repeatedly pass up chances to vote for a guy, he has got problems. They are not unsolvable. He can win that support but he better get busy.

INGRAHAM: I don't think it's a bad strategy. I think it might be, in the end, a smart strategy. But still, we want him on all these shows. So Dick, we appreciate it. Thanks as always.

MORRIS: Thank you.

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