Who Comes Out on Top in Early GOP Campaign Ads?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 7, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The Republican contenders hoping to unseat President Barack Obama in 2012, they're pulling no punches in attacking "The Anointed One's" abysmal record. And those targeted shot are especially paying off for Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

Now, in the latest Public Policy polling survey of New Hampshire primary voters, now Bachmann is surged into second place and is now only seven points behind former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. And rounding out the top three of that poll is Governor Sarah Palin who has yet to announce her plans for 2012.

Now, Congresswoman Bachmann is among the GOP presidential hopefuls who have unleashed television ads slamming the Obama administration in recent weeks.

And joining me now to help analyze some of the newest campaign commercials is Fox News contributor, the one and only architect Karl Rove. Karl, welcome back, sir.

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Sean. Thanks for having me.

HANNITY: All right. You have been contending that these candidates need to distinguish themselves and stand out and let's run these ads and see if they are doing the job. Here's Michele Bachmann.


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN , R-MINN.: As a descendent of generations of Iowans, I was born and raised in Waterloo. As a mom of five, a foster parent, and a former tax lawyer and now a small business job creator, I know that we can't keep spending money that we don't have. That's why I fought against the wasteful bailout, against the stimulus. I will not vote to increase the debt ceiling. I'm Michele Bachmann and I approve this message.


HANNITY: All right. How do you rate that ad?

ROVE: I think it's a good introductory ad. I mean, she crisply says, I was in Iowa which is really important to people in Iowa. She describes who she is. And then she describes what she believes. I think she does so with a lot of presence. She's good on the camera. And I think it is a good introductory ad.

I'd had two questions about it. One is the scope for bio, I've seen reports that it could be as little as $1,000, $30,000. When candidates put out these adds, it's important in Iowa in the early states I think to say, to tell all these insiders who were watching the campaigns closely, and there are -- they number in the thousands, if not the tens of thousands in those early states, you need to say I'm a serious candidate, I bought you know, $200,000 worth of television ads or $150,000 worth of television ads.

But the one mystifying thing about this that I would question is the closing tag line. It's not much on television, and thankfully, it is not much. But the unifying choice who could beat Obama. She wants to be a conviction politician not a electable politician. If this turns into who's got the best track record at winning, look, she ran seven points behind John McCain in her own district when she ran for re-election in 2008. Last year in 2010 with a big $epublican win, she spent, she raised 13-and-half million dollars and got 52 percent of the vote. I don't think she ought to be stressing electability. I think all the rest of the ad up to that, fortunately that that one point is on the screen not said, I think was a very good ad.

HANNITY: All right. Pretty interesting. And she is doing great in the polls and she's one person. --

ROVE: Yes. Be careful about those PPP polls because that's a Democrat outfit in North Carolina. I think she has moved up, but I'm always dubious of whatever a PPP polls says about Republican voters.

HANNITY: She is leading in Iowa, and another poll, objective poll had her second in New Hampshire. So, there's some consistency here.

All right. Tim Pawlenty, he released his campaign ad in Iowa. Let's take a look at this.


FORMER GOV. TIM PAWLENTY, R-MINN.: A lot of candidates who come to Iowa and say the same things. The question is, have they done it? In a liberal state, I reduced spending in real terms for the first time. Took on the government unions and won. Appointed a conservative Supreme Court and passed health care reform the right way. No mandates, no takeovers. If I could do it in Minnesota, we can do it in Washington. I'm Tim Pawlenty and I approve this message.


HANNITY: All right. What did you think of that ad?

ROVE: I like it. It is a conviction ad. And says, here's what I have done as governor and puts his experience up against anybody else in the crowd. There's a little bit of a hint of a Romney thing there. There's a little bit of Chris Christie note with the I took on the unions. I mean, I thought it was a good, again, a good introductory ad. And, you know, again, his buy, we don't know exactly the details on the buy, but he had a pretty substantial buy with this and appears and is now up with a second ad, and that shows he's going to be serious about contest in Iowa.

HANNITY: One thing about, whether you put together a web ad or your first ad or your second or third ad or an attack ad, you often get a lot of free advertising, you know, from the media, because they will play, oh this ad just came out today and has created a controversy, which is interesting. All right. The front-runner --

ROVE: Yes. In fact, that's a really good point. Let me just say one thing about that. More people saw the Bachmann ad tonight on your program and more people saw the Pawlenty ad tonight on your program than are likely to have seen it in the entire state of Iowa.

HANNITY: I don't know if I like that much power you are giving me. But I'll take it.

All right. Let's go to Governor Romney, he still the front-runner by all accounts, all polls confirm this. And he targets the president and his jobs record. And interestingly, it's not in Iowa, not in New Hampshire, but in Pennsylvania. Let's roll this ad.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It's good to be back in Pennsylvania. I just came from Allentown Metal Works where I had a chance to visit with workers there.

GRAPHIC: One year later.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE NEWS ANCHOR: The Allentown Metal Works is set to close its doors on Friday. It was hailed as a symbol of hope by President Barack Obama last year when he promoted his jobs plan.

GRAPHIC: Over 100,000 Pennsylvania jobs lost since President Obama took office. 39,800 manufacturing jobs lost since 2009. 470,774 people looking for work.

GRAPHIC: Obama isn't working.


HANNITY: It may just be my nature, but I love ads that tell the truth about your opponent.

ROVE: And this is a powerful ad because it used Barack Obama's own words, and Barack Obama's own actions, and Barack Obama's own policies to indict him. And yes, I think it was a terrific ad. This is one of the interesting things -- this is how the new politics is working. Romney goes to Pennsylvania, appears at the same place that Obama had appeared at to herald the stimulus plan, a now closed factory, and gives a pretty good little set of remarks. And then turns it into an ad that appears mostly on the Internet and mostly on cable TV on showings like this. And has a big nice grace note that he strikes on the economy, that showcases his strength as a businessman who can create jobs.

HANNITY: Last question, John Boehner was saying, they may have a deal on the debt ceiling in 48 hours. How important is it that the Republicans that won in this historic midterm hold their ground?

ROVE: Absolutely critical. There's got to be no net tax increases and real substantive spending cuts and there's going to be entitlement reform. Otherwise this thing could blow up in their faces.

HANNITY: Yes. I totally agree. I think this is a crucial moment in their future. And I hope they get it right. Karl Rove, good to see you, sir.

ROVE: Thanks for having me, Sean.

Content and Programming Copyright 2011 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2011 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.