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tv   The O Reilly Factor  FOX News  December 28, 2011 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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back next week when studio b and fox report will be live from des moines for the iowa caucuses. that's monday and tuesday. eric bolling in for bill o'reilly. >> eric: "the o'reilly factor" is on. tonight. >> i think ron paul's view, totally outside the main stream by virtually every person in america. >> eric: it's no more mr. nice newt as gingrich goes after some of his rivals. >> you want to run a negative campaign and attack people, at least be man enough to own it. >> eric: carl cameron and dick morris will give us the latest from iowa. >> people are making their decisions and they're seeing that i am the one. >> we've come up in all the llpolls. >> eric: with the titans at the top slugging it out, could that leave room for some dark horses to shake up the race? michelle bachmann and jon huntsman will be here to tell us why they think they can win. >> nobody was upset about it then. >> i was upset. >> i let you speak, you let me speak.
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>> it is great to be here, thanks for having me. >> hope you feel the same way in seven minutes. >> eric: a wild look back at the best factor moments of 2011. you don't want to miss this one. >> i have to go. >> i love you. >> i know, everyone does. >> eric: caution. you are about to enter the no spin zone. "the factor" begins right now. >> eric: hi, everybody. i'm eric bolling in for bill o'reilly. thank you for watching us. six days and counting until the iowa caucuses and the presidential candidates are working feverishly to rally support and attack the rivals. the twists and turns in this race could make your head spin. it seems as though every day there is a new front runner. tonight according to a new cnn poll, it's mitt romney, surveyed of likely caucus goes show romney on top. ron paul moved to second place. rick santorum shooting up to third place with 16%.
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and newt gingrich fall to go fourth place with 14%. former speaker newt gingrich attacking him. >> if he were to get the republican nomination -- >> he won't. >> let's say he were, could you vote for him? >> no. i think ron paul's views are totally outside the main stream of virtually every person in america. he's not going to get the nomination. it won't happen. the people in the united states are not going to accept somebody who thinks it's irrelevant if iran gets a nuclear weapon. >> eric: is gingrich trying to diminish paul's credentials? joining us from des moines, iowa, carl cameron. with the new cnn poll putting romney on top, again, 25% number that just -- that seems to be what his number is, but is he now the man to beat? >> well, he's one of them. and realistically and historically, mr. romney got 25%
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when he came in second in iowa four years ago. so he's pretty much starting the 2012 cycle right where he wrapped up in second place in the 08 cycle. and truthfully, for months, regardless of who the front runner has been, whether bachman, then perry or cain, then newt and perhaps now paul, we have known and history has always shown that at the end in iowa, it comes down to a very close race as the vast number of undecides make up their mind, the polls tighten. we're looking at a statistical tie. in that poll, romney has an edge. but there is another one today that shows ron paul is ahead, but still within the margin of error. what may be far more important and more significant in this final few days is the other aspect of iowa caucus history that seems to be playing out this time as well. a dark horse come from behind surge from a candidate who had otherwise been ignored for most of the year. pennsylvania ex-senator rick santorum seems to be having his moment. in fact, we sort of identified
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santorum as a dark horse that people had to watch months and months ago, much the same way huckabee seemed to emerge in the last few months four years ago to be in this position. not to say he could win, but santorum's momentum, 11 points in some polls in the last week and a half suggests that the momentum, at least, is with him. it may not be enough to put him in the first or second place, but watch rick santorum to exceed expectations that in the caucus it's not so much whether you win, it's whether you have momentum and done better than expected. he may be on a track to do that. >> eric: what do we attribute that recent rise in the polls? >> in partle, the fall of newt gingrich. just as his rise in the polls was related to the fall of herman cain and in reverse engineering going all the way become to michelle bachmann's surge that ultimately cratered and allowed perry to rise. that is helping mr. santorum. newt gingrich had problems, questions about ron paul's long-term viability as a nominee are very real. in fact, even in iowa, amongst some of his supporters, folks
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are concerned that ron paul will not have the capacity to continue to win and stay in first, second or third place in subsequent states after iowa. he's got the money. he's got the base of support. it's a real niche audience in the ron paul wing of the republican party. it's there and it's real. but whether or not it can be sustained in the long haul perhaps not so much. and let's be realistic, there has been a year of dissatisfaction expressed among republicans looking for the conservative alternative to mitt romney. they've looked at four. they've sort of taken a pass on the first four. rick santorum is the fifth. it may well be that he'll get that look. >> eric: and carl, let me just jump in here, even though it's good for romney, he's leading at 25%. for me, i'm a numbers guy, he hasn't really gotten off the 25% mark. that means 75% of likely goers are anyone but romney right now. if the vote coalesces around someone else, one person, romney has got a tough road ahead.
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right? >> well, listen u also got to remember about 30 to 40% of iowa caucus goers have not made up their minds. some of them will probably go to romney and it's worth noting that in romney's case, he never expected never really wanted to be out front as a prohibitive front runner knowing it would bring more scrutiny. every time one of these front running contenders challenged him, romney has gotten beaten up. there has been some benefit in his strategy to lay low. this week is only his ninth time visiting iowa all year. he hasn't played to win here until this week. now he is. were he to pull it off, there are some who think he could run the table, win in new hampshire, winning south carolina and wrap this up quickly. do not buy the hype. republican voters have not been satisfied with this field all year. the idea that they're suddenly going to embrace one in the next contest misses the point. iowa is first. 49 other states have caucus. hawkeye state gets to speak
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first, but not loudest. >> eric: appreciate your time. next, michelle bachmann surprised everyone in iowa. can she? she'll be here and we'll ask the congresswoman what her strategy is to win. later, dick morris on who he thinks is the best shot to beat obama we'll be right back.
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>> eric: minnesota congresswoman michelle bachmann was riding high after her august iowa straw poll victory. since this big win, she has seen her poll numbers fall. joining us now from winterset, iowa, congresswoman michelle bachmann. welcome, congresswoman. >> it's great to be with you on tonight, eric. good to see you. >> eric: great to see you again. congresswoman, one of the surprise sos far for me, at
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least, i may -- maybe you can weigh in. are you surprised, ron paul doing very well. now there is a new cnn poll that has mitt romney at 25. ron paul, 22. up until today, ron paul was leading. does that surprise you? >> you know, everything is so in flux right now. about half of iowans are completely undecided. that's why we decided to embark on our 99 county tour all across iowa. i'm in winterset, iowa right now, we're deep in the heart of madison county. this is our 94th county. what we've seen is something really remarkable. it's almost like an electric light switch was flipped and we're seeing people making their decision right now in these last few days. we've been overwhelmed with the support that we've seen across the state. i think what people are looking for is who is the genuine conservative? who has the core conviction? most importantly, who can take on barak obama and win? i think when people saw the last sioux city debate, they saw how i took on ron paul over the
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issue of a nuclear iran, and how i took on some of the other candidates on crony capitalism, they saw that that's exactly what i will do if barak obama in the debates, i'll defeat him and win in 2012 and get the country back on the right track. >> eric: i got to point out, in the newest poll, rick santorum has moved up into third place with 16% of the vote. so for that conservative vote, he seems to be resonating. what is he doing right and maybe what are you not doing 'cause you're at 9%. you need to move up. >> eric, you're citing one poll. there are all sorts of polls that say exactly the opposite. we have polls that have me in that same exact position as well. again, what we are doing, we're the hardest working campaign on the ground. no other candidate is going to 99 counties in just over ten days. we're doing that and we're seeing a lot of people go from undecided to the michelle bachmann column. i think a lot of people are going to be shocked on january 3
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because when people see me, when they hear me, one thing they know about me is that i'm an authentic, real person. i'm not a politician. i never want to be a politician. they're seeing a person who is very competent, who will do what i say. >> eric: talk to us a little bit about what happens on january 4. you're going to wake up and where do you need to be? first, second, third? where do you need to be to stay in the presidential race, the run? >> we see that we're going to do very well in iowa. i am the only candidate that's won a statewide race so far. that was the iowa straw poll. no other candidate can say that. what we're seeing on the ground, like i said, is nothing short of phenomenal. don't count out iowans. they're very independent people. they make up their mind. the media doesn't tell them what to think. i think you're going to see next week people will make their choice and choose michelle bachmann. that's what we see, too. >> eric: you're a good friend of mine. this is the no spin zone, so give me a level.
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if it's fourth or fifth, will you stick around for new hampshire, south carolina and florida? >> we don't see that it's going to be that position. we see that we're going to do really well because that's the reality that we're seeing on the ground. you have to talk to real people, real iowans and that's the reality that we're seeing. >> eric: do you think you and maybe rick perry and santorum, you think you're splitting that evangelical vote, the one that's not romney, the vote that, by the way, rick perry has gone after aggressively? >> i think what we're seeing is that people saw in me a lot of confidence and the evangelical community is one that is very strong. i received over 100 pastor endorse ams and we're now working on over 200 pastor endorsements. i have a caravan of pastors that have gone all across the state of iowa on my behalf. we have very strong backing from a former iowa family policy
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leader and also we also have the head of the iowa concerned women for america, as well as phyllis shah laughly. glenn beck said i'm the candidate that he'll be voting for. so we have very strong support here in iowa. evangelical community recognizes that when it comes up to standing for life from conception 'til natural death, i'm the strongest. when it comes to standing up for marriage between a man and woman, i'm the strongest candidate. people want someone who is not going to cave. they want someone principled and they're seeing that i'm that candidate. >> eric: congresswoman, if you're not the gop nominee, will you vote for anyone who is? will you vote for ron paul if he happens to be the one? >> eric, i think you don't have faith tonight in what i'm saying to you. all i can tell you is what i'm seeing on the ground is remarkable and i think that i will be that nominee because the country needs a strong woman, just like in 1980, we needed ronald reagan. britain needed a margaret thatcher. i intend to be america's iron
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lady and the strong principled conservative woman that america needs right now to get the economy back. there is only one candidate who really will repeal obamacare. that's me. i led 40,000 people to washington, d.c. to take that issue on. barak obama knows me. i've taken him on on obamacare, on dodd frank, on out of control spending. i've taken him on. i'll do it in the debate and that's why i will defeat him in 2012 and he will be a one-term president. >> eric: i absolutely believe that you believe that as well. but i'm trying to get this figure -- figure this out. newt gingrich earlier, i believe it was yesterday, couldn't say that he would vote for ron paul. in fact, he was asked directly, would you vote for ron paul if he were the nominee and he flat out said no, i wouldn't do that. my question is, i'm a conservative as you are. anyone but obama for me, for my liking. so if it is a ron paul, would you be able to vote there? >> well, it's not going to be ron paul as the nominee. that's the point. he won't be the nominee.
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i intend to be that nominee. and we need to have a strong conservative woman who actually is going to do what she said. ron paul would be dangerous as a president because of his foreign policy. i have the right perspective. i will stand for our ally, israel, and i'll stand up and make sure that iran never gets a nuclear weapon because they said they'll use it against america, they'll use it against israel. and of all the candidates in the race, no one has more current national security experience than i have. i'll stand up for this country and i will be the commander in chief that we need. >> eric: i don't disagree, congresswoman. i got to tell you, it took one of those games, those polls where you type in your beliefs, yes, no, and you rate things. and it shows you which candidate would be your best candidate. you happen to come in first in that poll. we're going to say thank you so much, congresswoman michelle bachmann. >> it's always a pleasure. thank you, eric. >> eric: you're welcome. up next, he's running for president, but he's skipping iowa.
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will jon huntsman's strategy work? dick morris will analyze the republican field. when will win iowa and what does it mean in the battle for the white house? moments away.
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>> eric: in the personal story segment tonight, republican presidential candidate jon huntsman has just about given up on the eye acaucuses. instead, he's focusing his attention on the new hampshire primary, which takes place on january 10. but is his strategy working? according to a brand-new cnn poll in new hampshire, mitt romney is leading the pack. ron paul, barely edging out newt gingrich for second place. and huntsman is currently in fourth place. but huntsman does have some support from an unlikely ally who recently visited "the factor." >> if you were to vote between romney and gingrich, if he snuck
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up to new hampshire 'cause anybody can vote, you would go for? >> i am not going to get in that republican primary. no way you could ask me. >> all right. >> i also like huntsman and if i voted for him, i'd be in the 1%. but he arguably has the most consistently conservative economic record of anybody running. >> he did very well in utah, no doubt about it. >> eric: so is clinton support the kiss of death in the republican primary? joining us now from manchester, new hampshire, former utah governor jon huntsman. welcome, governor. >> hey, eric, great to be with you, thank you. >> eric: were you surprised when you heard bill clinton name you the most economically conservative candidate? >> he's a smart guy. he's gone out and done his due diligence and seen i'm consistently pro-life, always have been, consistent on the second amendment, pro-growth, i delivered the largest tax cut in the history of my state. health care reform without a government sent rick heavy handed mandate. the list goes on and on. so credit where credit is due.
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if he wants to join our cause and embrace all of those principles as well, i'd love to have him on board. >> eric: let's be fair and balanced here. he was talking about economically conservative. i don't think he was talk being socially conservative 'cause frankly, some of the issues, if we were to go there, they might not be -- you may not be considered the most socially conservative. you're polling low, but the darling of the democrats. is that keeping you in the race? >> what is going to keep us in the race is what we do right here on the ground in new hampshire. we're celebrating tonight our 129th public event. our town hall meetings are getting larger and larger. and it's the message, eric, that matters most to people here on the ground. this is how we're going to win new hampshire. people understand that we have two deficits and we have to deal with in this country. one is an economic deficit that we're going to have to hit hard. i'm the only one on that stage of republicans who embraced the ryan plan. we have another deficit called the trust deficit. i'm going to keep talking about term limits for congress 'til
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i'm blue in the face. i'm going to call for the closing down of that revolving door that allows members of congress to file right on through to become lobbyists. we'll have to have somebody who can take on the banks on wall street because we've got banks that are too big to fail and we're setting ourselves up for another bailout. we've been there, done that. we're not doing it again. we've got it have a president who doesn't come from the same old establishment status quo mold. i'm not going to be that kind of person. people in new hampshire get that part. that's why they're rallying toward our cause. we've gone from zero to double digits. >> eric: governor, i got to ask you, mitt romney is hold ago commanding lead in hamper new hampshire. do you need to be second to take on, to continue on to south carolina and florida? >> mr. romney, who has been active here for years and years and years, we still have half of the voting population here that is undecided. you've got a lot that is up for grabs and what we need to do is beat market expectations. i'm the underdog in this race. this is a state that loves the
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underdog. this is a state that doesn't like to be told for whom to vote. they like to you earn it on the ground and they like to you have a message that resonates with our time in history. we're doing exactly that. so we got to beat market expectations and coming from zero and moving up steadily as we will continue to do, i like our position. we're moving in the right direction. not the wrong direction. >> eric: governor, you decided not to campaign in iowa. so if it doesn't go well there and mitt romney does well in new hampshire as expected, i think he's holding down somewhere around 40% of the vote, south carolina is a very conservative state, fiscally but also a socially conservative state. heavy tea party state. you don't necessarily poll well with the tea party. do you stay in the race through south carolina and look forward to florida? >> well, i'm a carol campbell republican. he was probably the most respected governor in the last 50 years in south carolina. his family has come out and endorsed me. you've got alan wilson, a very
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conservative attorney general in that state. a tea party leader who has come out and endorsed me. we've got henry mcmaster, the former attorney general who just barely lost the governorship who has endorsed us. so we've got a very good ground game in south carolina. it would surprise a lot of people, the kind of support that we are getting because they see in us a genuine, authentic leader. someone who ultimately can go on and beat barak obama. let's face it, the rap against me has always been he can win the general election, can he win the primaries? we're going to prove right here in new hampshire that we can win the primaries and go on and do very well in south carolina and beyond. >> eric: governor, the rap that you just cited is because you're fairly more centrist than most of the gop field with the exception of maybe mr. romney. do you have the money to continue forward if you tonight win new hampshire? >> eric, all you have to do is look at my record, getting back to that last comment. you find me somebody else in the race who has been consistent on
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life, who has been consistent on the second amendment, who has been consistent on tax policy, who has actually delivered a flat tax for their state, who has been consistent on health care reform -- >> eric: governor, i'm not talking about -- a couple of things like cap and trade, which i hold near and dear to my heart -- >> everything there i learned from mitt romney and tim pawlenty. they were parading the same thing and a loft corporate ceos. >> eric: they aren't polling well with conservatives either. and the evolution versus creationism issue. evangelicals don't like where you stand on that. >> they are going to like electability. when they look at my record in total, of course they'll find something, one or two things they might not wife. my wife doesn't like everything i've done. but it's a record that speaks to consistency. and it's a record that speaks to electability and coming out of new hampshire, eric, that's what people in south carolina and that's what people in florida are going to be looking for and that's why i feel very good about our prospects.
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>> eric: governor, last question, if it's not you, and i know every candidate says it will be me. i can't answer that. but if it's not you, would you -- will you support whoever the gop nominee is against president obama? >> i'll support the gop nominee knowing full well that we stand a very good chance of being the nominee. >> eric: fantastic. governor, thank you so much. i hope you don't mind the hard hitting questions. >> i appreciate it. all the time, you're terrific. >> eric: thank you. plenty more ahead as "the factor" moves along. dick morris will analyze the gop field and predict what will happen in iowa and then, president obama wants to increase the debt limit again. should we just give government another trillion dollars? we'll debate it. we hope you stay tuned for those reports coming up it's the perfect time to find great deals
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>> eric: continuing with our campaign 2012 coverage and here with his prediction on who will win the iowa caucus, author of the best selling children's book "dubs goes to washington, dick morris. thank you for joining us. before we get too deep into it, does iowa matter? >> oh, yeah, sure. of course it does. it's the table setter and it can hurt you or really help you. i think that the current polling, which is not that reliable in a caucus situation because turn out is such a variable, has romney and paul really tied for first, in effect, with gingrich falling and santorum gaining and nobody else doing much of anything.
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>> eric: why do 119 or 120,000 voters matter so much? >> because it's the first contest where they ask people what they think. and it's a dry run. every campaign runs its ads, runs its campaign. it's kind of like a large focus group that the country pays attention to. and it has quite a track record in win knowing out candidates. there are more graves in iowa cemeteries than any other state. i think that what's going to happen here is that if romney and paul finish tight, one two or two one and gingrich falls way back as may be the case, you're going to have a situation very reminiscent of four other elections. in each case, there were two main candidates. one candidate beat the other one, and then a guy that couldn't possibly get nominated rose in his place. so mike dukakis defeated al gore and beat up jesse jackson to get
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the nomination. bill clinton beat paul songas and beat jerry brown. george w. bush beat john mccain and then had forbes as his opponent. john kerry beat john edwards and bypassed howard dean. i think that that kind of a situation exists. my personal prediction is that i think that whoever wins iowa, romney will win new hampshire and gingrich will be -- everybody will say he's dead. but i think gingrich will win south carolina. i think gingrich will be back in the race for florida. >> eric: florida becomes important then? >> of course. >> eric: any other surprises? santorum -- plain what that is. >> you've got all these campaigns running and the in state volume backs very large and this is a very intimate process, this caucus going. i think that there are many primaries. there is ron paul against himself.
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there is newt gingrich against romney. and then there is perry, santorum and bachman against one another. and santorum looks like he's winning that three-way primary. >> eric: only within the last day or so. >> two or three days. video on my site today about santorum surging. and i think that will continue because the tea party voters don't want to go with romney because of romneycare. the evangelicals don't want to go with romney 'cause he's a mormon and they're all worried about the negatives on gingrich, so they're looking for a dog in that hunt. can't support ron paul 'cause he's a libertarian. >> eric: talk to me about that. are you surprised ron paul is polling so well? >> i think it's horrible. i think that he is absolutely the most liberal, radical, left wing person to run for president in the united states in the last 50 years. nobody else wants to dismantle the military, including obama, but he does. even obama doesn't want to
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repeal the patriot act. but he does. even obama doesn't say that we caused 9-11 and brought it on ourselves. but ron paul does. even obama doesn't want to legalize heroin and cocaine, but ron paul does. this guy is no conservative. this guy is a ultra, ultraleft wing radical. >> eric: so what happens? how does he garner 20, 25% of the vote? >> i pray he doesn't. i pray the voters of iowa recover their senses. anyone who votes for ron paul might as well vote for obama. there is nobody with an ounce of political sense that believes he can defeat president obama. >> eric: newt nut is taking credit for the balanced budget of the '90s. you were there. not saying it was clinton's fault or credit, you were there. who deserves credit for the balanced budget of the '90s? >> i do, but i'm not running. i think that really whereas
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gingrich brought the issue to clinton and raised it to a tremendous fever pitch, it ultimately was clinton being willing to go along with cutting the capital gains tax that swelled the revenues and led to a balanced budget. what we should remember is not the game of who is responsible, but it was a tax cut. not a tax increase that balanced that budget. a tax cut balanced that budget. >> eric: so you going to split the credit down the middle? >> i think you would have to say it would not have happened without gingrich 'cause they would not have won the house. on the other hand, nixon got credit for going to china 'cause it was so atypical for a republican, it was so eye typical for a contract to balance the bum jet that you have to give a lot of credit to clinton. >> eric: you know polls, mitt romney can't get above 25% no matter what you do. what does that tell you? >> sure, he can. you put number a two-way race with any of these guy, he'll do just fine. >> eric: but he hasn't yet. why not?
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>> but he's looking -- they're looking for the flavor of the month. it's not a quarter full. it's that it's a quarter full. >> eric: stay on here for a second. isn't that really the nonestablishment conservative group caucus that's looking for anyone but romney? >> yeah. there's a group of that, but you look at any two-way poll of romney against gingrich. romney against paul, romney against bachman. i haven't seen romney against santorum. they're within a few points of each other. usually romney comes out on top. i wouldn't place much credence in that. it's to his credit that he stayed above 25% of the vote. i think every primary voter understands that romney would have the best chance of beating obama and that gingrich is the true conservative. i think that those thoughts exist in everybody's mind and they're fighting. that's why i have an undecided vote. >> eric: thank you very much. president obama wants to raise the debt limit again. this time by more than a trillion dollars.
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but should we just keep writing the government blank checks? and then take you back to iowa for the latest on the republican presidential race coming up
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>> eric: thanks for staying with us. i'm eric bolling in for bill o'reilly. in the unresolved problem segment, here is some news you won't hear if you listen to the liberal main stream media. in a matter of days, america will hit our $15.19 trillion debt ceiling limit again that will prompt the obama administration to ask congress for more money, your money, in fact, he wants $1.2 trillion more of your money. look, i'm a true small government conservative, so i have to ask these questions. is it right that we carelessly sign over trillions of dollars to the government? is it fiscally sound? is it patriotic? roll tape of then candidate
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barak obama on that very issue. >> the problem is is that the way bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the bank of china in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents, number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back. $30,000 for every man, woman and child. that's irresponsible. it's unpatriotic. >> eric: so it was unpatriotic a couple of years ago, but what, necessary today? partisan politics at its worst, folks. obama 4 1/2 trillion dollars in debt in three years as president. more than double the rate under george bush. joining us to analyze from washington, john, the director of communications for the
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american cross roads a republican group. and in studio, bernard whitman, a democratic strategist. jonathan, let me start with you. mr. obama was very quick when he was running for president to point the finger at george bush talk being $4 trillion added over an eight-year span. in three years, obama added more than that number on to the debt. go ahead. >> yeah. it's kind of reminiscent of when the president, when avenues senator from illinois, he had voted against extending the debt ceiling. multiple votes in congress when he was a senator and then he came back to congress when he was president and asked them to extend the debt ceiling. i don't think the president wants a fight over this. i mean, i think that since the stimulus passed in 2009, there has really been an absence of coherent economics and jobs policy coming out of the white house. what we've seen, especially recently, is we're not even seeing the economists dishing out the economic policy. it's coming from the political guys in the west wing and from his campaign operatives in chicago. last week we heard from david axelrod who is the chief campaign strategist for the obama campaign giving out the
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economic policy of the administration. i mean, can anyone even name the chairman of the council of economic advisors anymore? they're in full lone campaign mode. >> it's difficult for him to start dealing with this during his hawaiian vacation. bernard, what about it? he was pointing fingers at george bush about the debt. meanwhile, 2011 and 2012, he foods more money. he needs a blank check. >> the biggest single impediment is the gop leadership. look what happened just to try to get $1,000 payroll tax cut. the gop leadership almost sabotaged their entire party by being so intransient and i will tell you that we won't through a scorching debate over this four months ago. i mean, i don't think anybody's memory is that short, that royaled the financial market, cost us our triple a rating. we got a deal that was the best deal we could get and that's appropriate. the debt creel something a -- ceiling is something that we pay
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our bills. what we need to do is a mixture of spending cuts and tax increases. the president is willing to do that. this congress has been unwilling to do that. >> eric: jonathan, somehow, somehow the white house turned the dialogue around and took credit for keeping taxes lower. how in the world are they -- did they win that perception that they were for lowering payroll taxes and looked like the right was holding up a tax? >> i think what the house republicans were trying to do on the policy side was actually right on. they wanted to extend the payroll tax for a year, not two months. you can't create tax policy two months at a time. two-month extension wasn't going to create any jobs. it's not like an employer is going to make a hiring decision based on a two-month tax extension. the problem is that the president has a huge microphone. when he started going after boehner and the republicans and they were unable to respond with a good message, i think that's when they lost their footing and they ended up caving.
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what really wasn't a good policy. it's better than letting the taxes increase, but they really should have found a way to have it go for a year. >> eric: take a look at the new super pac ad. >> the republican establishment wants to pick our candidate, when a principled conservative took the lead, they outspent newt gingrich 20 to one, attacking him with falsehoods. conservatives need someone who fought for us. newt balanced a federal budget. reformed welfare, cut taxes, and created 11 million new jobs. newt will take on radical judges, and fight against abortion. don't let the liberal republican establishment pick our candidate. newt gingrich. >> eric: bernie, the left must be just thrilled at all the infighting going on in the gop. obama with 8.6% unemployment. 3.4 million people on welfare. >> talk about liberal oxymoron, that species is extinct.
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it was killed and eaten by its own party. when you talk about a principled conservative, what principled conservative would take $1.6 million from fannie mae to act as a shield? this ad is a complete joke. winning our future must have a very short memory 'cause the last time i checked when newt gingrich was on the national stage, he shut down the government and got president bill clinton reelected. so if that's the record that he wants to run on, i say bring newt on. >> eric: we just heard dick morris tell us that he was in part responsible for the budget -- deficit going from negative to a positive. jonathan, talk to us a little bit about that division between the republican party, the conservatives, the -- i'm sorry, the establishment republicans and the conservative republicans, is there too much of a divide to really coalesce behind one candidate and beat barak obama? >> i think it's exaggerated by the news media. what gingrich's strategy here is to become the antiestablishment conservative. this is a strategy that when it works, works big. this is reagan's strategy in 1976 and 1980.
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pat buchanan won the 1996 new hampshire primary over bob dole using this strategy. so it works. but when a lot of these candidates like newt when they catch fire real quick ask approval rating goes up to 40%, what's usually happening is the voters are being exposed to the positive, but not exposed to the negatives. for two weeks after newt peaked in early december, he didn't respond to a lot of the attacks koching from ron paul, from rick perry and from mitt romney. and i think at this point, it may be a good ad. the problem is whether or not it's too little too late. i would like to say, when we're talking about mitt romney having that 25% level of support across the country, i actually view it as more of a floor of his support than a creel challenge is the way most people are taub talking about because built in that 25% of support for mitt romney are all the people that know everything that's negative about him. there is nothing new that will come out about mitt romney.
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>> eric: you'd still like to see it going to 35, 40%. last word, bernie. >> it's very scary, this negative ad. it shows that newt gingrich and forces are terrified because negative ads typically don't play very well in iowa and it shows that anybody but romney team is desperate to get anyone else nominated besides mitt romney and ultimately i think in the process will reelect barak obama. >> eric: we have to leave it there. thank you so much. up next, we'll take you back to iowa where we'll hear from a political insider about who really has the best shot to win in the hawkeye state. we'll be back in a moment toothpaste is the wrong thing to use on a denture,
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>> eric: in the back of the book segment tonight, with just a few days left before the caucuses, many of the republican
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presidential candidates are making their way through iowa arguing their case to the folks and while the race is a toss-up right now, many factors could swing the vote. so who has the best shot to win next tuesday? joining us now from des moines, iowa, kathy, a political columnist for the des moines recommend ster. thank you for joining us. your poll that comes out, you'll tell with us it comes out, very important. has done very well predicting the winner in the upcoming caucus. is that right? >> that is right. and our poll comes out saturday night, we'll have numbers on des moines and you can read all the analysis in sunday's des moines register. the caucus poll -- iowa caucus poll has been a very -- it's a very difficult to poll in a caucus. >> eric: how do you do that? what's the process? >> different polls have different ways of going about it. the way the register does it, we poll everyone, all registered republicans and independents and
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we ask them how likely they are to attend the caucus. some other polls prescreen people who have been to the caucus before perhaps. and a lot of times that's tighter screens will weed out people who aren't as reliable in a big turnout, though, we think our option accounts for the opportunity for new people to turn out. >> eric: what happens if there isn't a big turnout? do you skew the poll based on your estimated turnout. and what about weather? mike huckabee says the weather will play a huge factor. >> we take it as we find it and don't skew it based on what we think will happen with the weather. but it does matter. the candidate's ground game matter. you can tell the pollsters how you're going to vote. but getting out on caucus night on tuesday night where you never know what the weather is going to be like, it does count that the candidates have a good ground game to help people do that. >> eric: i got to ask you, this
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seems to be at least in recent memory, one of the more dysfunctional or bipolar campaigns in recent memory. one week a guy comes up, goes down. you think you'll be accurate? >> you know, i think that people are going to -- a lot of people are going to make up their mind on caucus night. a poll is a snapshot and we're going to have -- i think we'll be accurate up to what people are thinking by the time we got out of the field. to the extent people still make up their minds on caucus night, the best we can do is look at the trends. >> eric: okay. mitt romney just recently cnn poll jumped to the top above ron paul. do you think that trend continues? you think you see a continued slide? by the way, are you surprised at ron paul's strength in iowa? >> yeah. first of all, mitt romney has consistently polled in the 20 to 25 range in iowa. which is pretty remarkable considering that he has spent less time campaigning here than just about anybody else.
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he has managed to hold on to a loyal group of supporters from his 2008 run and built on that somewhat. in a normal year, you might say that 20% isn't enough to win the caucuses. but the alternative, especially the religious conservatives have been unable to unite around a candidate. four years ago it was that unification around mike huckabee that hushed him to the top. mitt romney has taken advantage of the fact that they can't decide. >> eric: kathy, by the way, related to ed? >> my husband claims a shirt tail relation, but i've never seen him at the thanksgiving table. >> eric: in a moment, we'll take a look back at the best moments of the factor factor from 2011. we'll be right back.
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on. >> eric: no pinheads and patriots tonight. you are about to laugh until it hurts as we share some of the funniest moments of the factor. ♪ ♪ >> will you just answer my question. ♪ >> i let you speak, you let me speak! >> you have to willing to wax and go one hand.
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>> nobody was upset about it then. i was upset. >> i know you were. >> in your opinion a psychedelic band. >> don't tell anybody that. >> whenever it snows. ♪ >> dubs goes to washington. you are stepping on your own plug. how dumb is that? >> is that one of three dog night? i thought i was going to break in "joy to the world." >> it's great to be here. thanks for having me. >> bill: hope you feel the same way in seven minutes. ♪ >> and big fan of the fox, your waist size has not changed since
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college. come on. ♪ >> binge, binge, binge -- >> i know, everybody does. >> eric: well it was great year at the factor and as always we thank you for watching. a reminder, if you purchase a premium membership will you receive bill's best-selling book. and bill and dennis is going to santa barbara on february 25th on their tour. tune to to see me at 5:00 p.m. thanks for watching. i'm eric in for bill o'reilly. spent stops here.


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