Playing the Celebrity Apprentice card, Dana Perino uncharacteristically slammed her Fox News co-host Eric Bolling for his defense of Donald Trump's newly announced presidential candidacy.
Things got real as they argued over the reality show star.
The bad blood which prompted Perino to question Bolling's ethics occurred on this afternoon's episode of The Five, FNC's highly rated five-person roundtable which airs at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
See embedded clip below.
Perino heretofore has been the warm, soft-spoken voice of reason on the show, but viewers have noticed lately the well-known dog lover has seemingly become an overly aggressive pit bull, as it were, for the Bush family. Perino served as White House press secretary (i.e., the administration's primary spokesperson) under President George W. Bush.
Earlier this month, before officially announcing his candidacy, Trump modestly described himself as the most successful person ever to run for president and the only then-potential candidate who can make America great again.
A few weeks ago, Dana Perino bitterly criticized U.S. Senator Rand Paul -- a privacy and civil liberties champion -- for opposing the NSA spying program, an initiative that generally commenced under the Bush administration. After "The Donald" made his big announcement, she claimed that the Trump presidential campaign would steal some of Paul's thunder, while more than one viewer instead interpreted that as subtext for concerns that it would actually threaten Jeb Bush's path to the GOP nomination.
Whether Trump turns out to be a viable or vanity candidate, Bolling today on The Five was evidently trying to explain that at least the brash billionaire businessman and NBC reality show impresario, his self-described friend of 15 years and Twitter buddy, offers out-of-the-box ideas to address the many problems facing America -- in contrast to standard, tired rhetoric offered by most politicians. That's when Perino accused him of pandering to Trump as a way to worm his way into a cast-member slot on The Celebrity Apprentice, an idea that was apparently floated seven years ago.
As Mediaite described the confrontation, "On today's The Five, Bolling made the case for taking Trump seriously because of what he brings to the table. Perino argued that Trump's a clown who makes such ridiculous pronouncements that he's almost begging to be not taken seriously."Many fans of The Five took to Facebook to react to the uncomfortable Dana Perino-Eric Bolling exchange and expressed disappointment in the way Perino behaved as shown in this representative sample.
"Dana has shown a real nasty and intolerant side to her. I'm so surprised and disappointed, especially her silly accusation at Eric. Dana does not seem to understand most New Yorkers respect Trump and get a kick out of him without agreeing with everything he says."Do you think Dana Perino should or will apologize to Eric Bolling on The Five tomorrow for accusing him of pandering to Donald Trump?
"Wow...what has gotten under Dana's skin so badly? I am stunned. She is normally a gracious person who looks at many sides of an issue or a candidate. Dana, you owe Eric and your other colleagues an apology. I asked my husband to turn off the show today because of your attitude and shrillness."
"I'm amazed at the transformation of Dana! She is normally the most even keel, thoughtful, member of the panel.When the subject of Donald Trump throwing his hat in the ring comes up, her head starts spinning around! Dana, why does the thought of an American Business Leader running for President make you so crazy? It's quite unbecoming how you react to this--you need to take a deep breath."
"Why is Dana so threatened by Donald Trump?! If he is really a clown candidate, then why react so negatively to him and [throw] Eric under the bus?..."
"Wow, Dana Perino has been on a roll the last two days. I think someone put a burr under her saddle. I love her dearly, she seems to be even tempered and generally fair. I could hardly believe her treatment of Eric Bolling today. Seems out of character and unflattering. I thought she was really out of line."
"Dana has been yelling since Trump announced. She accused Eric of pandering to Trump but it just makes her sound like SHE is angling to become Jeb's press secretary. Just Sayin'.......sorry Greg."
"Dana needs a time out. Her rude behavior was so disgusting. Hate to tell you guys that we viewers will tune out before long."
"Whatever is causing Perino' s meltdown needs to be addressed. Her display of anger over Trump is very unprofessional. Plus she owes Eric a huge apology for impinging his integrity. I'm not the only one wondering what's the matter with her. I was surprised her attitude from yesterday wasn't addressed plus she doubled down on the venom."
"Usually I like Dana, But I can't believe how 'in the bag' she is for Bush. She was visibly upset with Eric and challenged his integrity, not professional …"
"The high esteem I used to have for Dana is tarnished. I can't even believe that she accused her co-host of pandering. VERY low Dana and I don't like it one bit!"
"I believe Ms. Perino didn't like Mr. Trump upstaging her Mr. Bush. Please, Ms. Perino, don't shut down conversation with your rudeness when it is stepping on your devotion to the Bush's."
"I have watched Dana SCREAM more these last two days than ever. I'm not enjoying watching her lose control like she has. Donald J. Trump has just as much right to run for President [as] Jeb Bush. Her loyalty to the Bushes may be clouding her judgment. Think you owe your fellow host, Eric Bolling an apology. I once respected you so much. What's going on??"
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News]
More strong viewer reaction to the Dana Perino-Eric Bolling dustup about Donald Trump on The Five can be found in the Breitbart comments section.