Iowa Public Television

 

Newt Gingrich

posted on August 10, 2007

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Borg: THE STRAW THAT BREAKS THE CAMEL'S BACK. SATURDAY'S REPUBLICAN INFORMAL PREFERENCE VOTE MAY HAVE FINALITY MESSAGES FOR SOME PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES. WE'LL DISCUSS THE STRAW POLL AND REPUBLICAN PROSPECTS WITH GOP ICON NEWT GINGRICH ON THIS EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.'

FUNDING FOR 'IOWA PRESS' WAS PROVIDED BY 'FRIENDS,' THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: WHETHER OR NOT NEWT GINGRICH EVENTUALLY COMPETES FOR THE REPUBLICAN 2008 PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION, HIS COMMENTS ON POLICY AND POLITICS RESONATE AMONG BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. AS THE FORMER SPEAKER OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, HE'S THE ARCHITECT OF THE REPUBLICAN'S 1994 CONTRACT WITH AMERICA, SECURING GOP CONTROL OF CONGRESS AT THAT TIME FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FORTY YEARS. MR. GINGRICH, NICE TO HAVE YOU BACK ON 'IOWA PRESS.' >>

Gingrich: I'M GLAD TO BE BACK. >>

Borg: YOU REMEMBER THE PEOPLE ACROSS THE TABLE? >>

Gingrich: ABSOLUTELY. UNFORGETTABLE. [ LAUGHTER ] >>

Borg: THEY'RE 'DES MOINES REGISTER' POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN AND 'ASSOCIATED PRESS' SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER. >>

Glover: MR. SPEAKER, AS DEAN MENTIONED, THE REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO HAVE THEIR STRAW POLL IN AMES TOMORROW. IT'S GOING TO BE MISSING A COUPLE OF THE TOP CANDIDATES, SENATOR MCCAIN AND FORMER MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI. DOES IT HAVE A LOT OF MEANING WITH THOSE TWO CANDIDATES NOT TAKING PART? >>

Gingrich: WELL, I THINK -- AND I'LL BE UP THERE WITH AMERICAN SOLUTIONS. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE SIX DIFFERENT WORKSHOPS ON ISSUES UP THERE TOMORROW. I THINK IT HAS MEANING FOR TWO REASONS. THE FIRST IS MITT ROMNEY HAD BETTER WIN BY A BIG MARGIN. WHEN YOU OUTSPEND YOUR COMPETITORS BY 35 TO 1, HIS CAMPAIGN WOULD BE OVER IF HE DOESN'T COME IN A SUBSTANTIAL FIRST. THE SECOND IS I THINK WHOEVER COMES IN SECOND AND THIRD HAS A HALF STEP UP FROM THE SECOND TIER TO FIRST TIER. THIS IS STILL AN EXTRAORDINARILY WIDE-OPEN RACE. AND I THINK YOU'VE GOT -- SENATOR THOMPSON WILL BE HERE NEXT WEEK. MAYOR GIULIANI AND SENATOR MCCAIN ARE CLEARLY STILL MAJOR CONTENDERS. AND I THINK THAT IF -- FOR EXAMPLE, IF GOVERNOR HUCKABEE COMES IN SECOND, I THINK HE GETS A SIGNIFICANT STEP TOWARDS PEOPLE BEGINNING TO SAY, GEE, HE'S GOT SOMETHING GOING FOR HIM. I THINK IT WILL BE INTERESTING IF TOM TANCREDO, WHO HAS MADE IMMIGRATION HIS THEME, COMES IN SECOND. I THINK IT WOULD CAUSE SOME STIR. BUT I THINK THOSE ARE THE TWO QUESTIONS: CAN ROMNEY DO AS WELL AS THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT HE SPENT; AND OUT OF ALL THE OTHER SECOND-TIER CANDIDATES, WHO ARE KIND OF THE SURVIVORS? I DO THINK, YOU KNOW, DESPITE ALL THE COMPLAINTS ABOUT AMES AND EVERYTHING, AMES WILL HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE VERY UNDERFINANCED CAMPAIGNS WHO HAVE HAD NOW SIX MONTHS TO ESTABLISH THEMSELVES. AND I THINK IF YOU COME IN FOURTH, FIFTH, OR SIXTH AT AMES IN THIS SETTING, YOU HAVE A REALLY HARD TIME GOING BACK OUT AND EXPLAINING WHY YOU'RE RUNNING. >>

Glover: YOU'VE BEEN AROUND THIS GAME FOR A WHILE. LET'S PUT SOME PREDICTIONS ON THE TABLE. [ LAUGHTER ] IS ROMNEY GOING TO DO AS WELL AS HE NEEDS TO? >>

Gingrich: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, IF THE STATE CHAIRMAN, RAY HOFFMAN, HAS HIS WAY, THERE ARE GOING TO BE LOTS AND LOTS OF PEOPLE THERE TOMORROW. I CERTAINLY HOPE THERE WILL BE BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO BE THERE TOMORROW. AND I WANT TO SAY, BY THE WAY, THAT THE BLANK PARK ZOO IS BRINGING SOME ANIMALS UP SO THAT KIDS WHO COME WILL HAVE SOMETHING TO DO. WE'RE HAVING A SESSION ON GREEN CONSERVATIVISM, AMONG OTHER THINGS. AND WE HAVE NEAL BOORTZ AND JOHN LINDER -- CONGRESSMAN LINDER COMING UP TO DO A FAIR TAX WORKSHOP. SO WE HAVE SOME INTERESTING THINGS THAT WE'RE DOING. I WOULD BE ASTONISHED -- AND I SEE YOU TWO GUYS ARE PROS, SO YOU KNOW THIS BETTER THAN I DO. I'D BE ASTONISHED IF GOVERNOR ROMNEY DOESN'T WIN VERY DECISIVELY TOMORROW, AND THAT PUTS HIM UP IN A PRETTY GOOD POSITION TO BE ON TV SUNDAY MORNING WHEN I THINK HE'S DOING STEPHANOPOULOS ON ABC. SO HE'LL BE, SORT OF, DIRECT FROM WINNING FOR AMES, IOWA, AND THAT HELPS. IN MY EXPERIENCE, WINNING IS BETTER THAN NOT WINNING. IT MAY SEEM OBVIOUS BUT IT'S NOT. >>

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, LOOK AT THE LARGER REPUBLICAN RACE AND GIVE US YOUR HANDICAP ON THAT RIGHT NOW. >>

Gingrich: WELL, I THINK -- I THINK IT'S ALMOST UNKNOWABLE. I THINK MAYOR GIULIANI AS OF TODAY IS THE FRONT-RUNNER. AND WITH THE WAY ALL THIS DANCING WITH THE STATES WHICH I, AS YOU KNOW, DEPLORE, I THINK YOU COULD HAVE A FEBRUARY 5 WITH 23 OR 24 STATES AND NO FRONT-RUNNER. I MEAN YOU COULD HAVE LITERALLY GIULIANI DOMINATING CALIFORNIA AND NEW YORK WHILE ROMNEY DOMINATES A DIFFERENT SET AND MCCAIN HAS A HANDFUL OF STATES AND THOMPSON HAS THE SOUTH. AND YOU SUDDENLY HAVE FOUR OR FIVE CANDIDATES -- IF HUCKABEE DOES ANYTHING AT ALL, HE COULD BE IN THE MIX. YOU COULD SUDDENLY HAVE FOUR OR FIVE CANDIDATES WITH HALF THE STATES GONE AND NOBODY KNOCKED OUT OF THE RACE. >>

Yepsen: I'VE SEEN STORIES WHERE THEY SAY YOU'RE CRITICIZING THE REPUBLICAN FIELD. IS THAT RIGHT? ARE YOU UNHAPPY WITH THIS FIELD OF CANDIDATES? >>

Gingrich: NO, I CRITICIZE THE PROCESS. I ACTUALLY USED THE WORD PYGMIES BUT IT WAS FROM GENERAL DE GAULLE DESCRIBING THE FOURTH REPUBLIC IN FRANCE. THE PROCESS SHRINKS EVERYBODY. BUT WHEN SENATOR OBAMA ENDS UP IN A THIRTY-SECOND ANSWER DESCRIBING HOW HE WOULD USE MILITARY FORCE IN PAKISTAN IN A WAY THAT HE CLEARLY HADN'T THOUGHT THROUGH AND DIDN'T INTEND AND THEN GETS HAMMERED BY SOMEBODY ELSE -- I MEAN ALL OF THIS STUFF, HAVING 10 OR 12 -- AND I KNOW YOU GUYS HAVE A HARD TIME COVERING IT, BUT HAVING 10 OR 12 CANDIDATES ON EITHER SIDE, HAVING LIFE COME DOWN TO SENATOR OBAMA SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT NUCLEAR WEAPONS, SENATOR CLINTON ATTACKS HIM, AND THEN IT TURNS OUT A YEAR AGO SENATOR CLINTON SAID ALMOST VERBATIM THE SAME THING, THIS IS BECOMING NEGATIVE, GOTCHA, SHRINKING PROCESS IN BOTH PARTIES. AND AS I'VE SAID ON THIS SHOW BEFORE, IT IS AT LEAST A YEAR TOO EARLY. I MEAN WE HAD A VERY HEALTHY SYSTEM WHEN IOWA IN JANUARY REALLY MEANT THE BEGINNING OF THE POLITICAL PROCESS. NOW WE HAVE, I THINK, A VERY SICK SYSTEM, AND I THINK IT'S GOING TO GET WORSE. >>

Borg: BEFORE WE LEAVE THE STRAW POLL, THAT IS AN INFORMAL POLL WITH A FAIRLY EMPHATIC MESSAGE. AND YOU'VE ALREADY SAID THE PROSPECTS FOR GOVERNOR ROMNEY. BUT ON THE OTHER END OF THE SPECTRUM, CAN YOU PREDICT WHO MIGHT BE OUT ON SUNDAY MORNING? >>

Gingrich: WELL, I THINK -- >>

Borg: BY NAME? >>

Gingrich: NO, I'M NOT GOING TO -- THESE ARE FRIENDS OF MINE. I'M NOT GOING TO SIT HERE AND SAY, BEFORE THEY EVEN HAVE A SHOT AT IT TOMORROW, BYE-BYE. NO. BUT WHAT I WOULD SAY IS IF YOU HAVEN'T COME IN IN THE TOP THREE, GIVEN THE CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCE -- YOU DON'T HAVE GIULIANI HERE. YOU DON'T HAVE MCCAIN. YOU DON'T HAVE FRED THOMPSON. SO YOU HAVE TO FIGURE THOSE THREE ARE ALL GOING TO PLAY AS ROMNEY'S PEER. SO IF YOU CAN'T GET INTO THE NEXT TWO, IT'S PRETTY HARD FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND IN THE MODERN WORLD HOW PERSON SEVEN AND ON DOWN TO TEN OR TWELVE, NO -- THE TRUTH IS CONGRESSMAN PAUL REPRESENTS A VERY DETERMINED FACTION. HE CAN GO ALL THE WAY TO THE CONVENTION. IN SOME WAYS HE'S THE PAT BUCHANAN OF THIS CYCLE. NOBODY ELSE HAS NECESSARILY THAT STAYING POWER, IN MY JUDGMENT. CONGRESSMAN TANCREDO HAS A SPECIFIC ISSUE OF IMMIGRATION HE CAN CARRY FOR A WHILE. YOU KNOW, AND I THINK IT WILL THEN BECOME A QUESTION OF COMMON SENSE AND JUDGMENT, AND AT WHAT POINT DO YOU SAY, YOU KNOW, I'M NOT GOING TO GO OUT -- FIRST OF ALL, HOW DO YOU RAISE ANY MONEY? AND THEN SECOND, YOU GET TO A POINT WHERE WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO GO KEEP DOING THIS AS A HOBBY WHEN YOU CLEARLY ARE NOT A SERIOUS CANDIDATES. >>

Glover: WELL, LET'S BRING THIS BACK TO YOURSELF. YOU'VE FLIRTED A LITTLE BIT WITH RUNNING FOR THE NOMINATION. WHAT'S YOUR FUTURE? >>

Gingrich: WELL, MY FUTURE IS ON -- JUST AS WE'RE DOING TOMORROW, WE HAVE SIX WORKSHOPS TOMORROW AT AMES. ON SEPTEMBER 27 AND 29, WE'RE GOING TO DO A NATIONWIDE SET OF WORKSHOPS FOR AMERICAN SOLUTIONS. WE ALREADY HAVE OVER 1,700 SITES SIGNED UP AROUND THE COUNTRY. WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT REAL CHANGE IN MUCH MORE FUNDAMENTAL WAYS THAN ANY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IN EITHER PARTY. AND THEN IN OCTOBER I'M GOING TO LOOK. AND I HAVE TWO SIMPLE VERY CRITERIA: HAS ANYBODY ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE BEGUN TO CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF STANDING TOE TO TOE WITH SENATOR CLINTON IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER OF NEXT YEAR, BECAUSE SHE IS GOING TO BE THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE AND DEFEATING HER IS GOING TO BE A VERY FORMIDABLE CHALLENGE; AND SECOND, IS THERE A LARGE ENOUGH INTEREST IN WHAT I'M DOING THAT YOU COULD HAVE A SERIOUS OPPORTUNITY TO PUT TOGETHER A CAMPAIGN? WHAT I'M NOT GOING TO DO IS I'M NOT GOING TO GO OUT AND TRY TO PUT TOGETHER A VERY, VERY UNDERFUNDED EFFORT BASED PURELY ON MEDIA BECAUSE I THINK THE NATURE OF THE MODERN WORLD IS YOU CAN'T SUCCEED. YOU KNOW, THERE WAS A POLL HERE THE OTHER DAY THAT INDICATED ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, THERE'S HUGE INTEREST IN, YOU KNOW, ANYBODY WHO IS NOT CURRENTLY HERE. NOW, IT COULD ALSO BE THAT IF I SHOWED UP, I WOULD NOW JOIN THEM. AND THEN THERE ARE THOSE WHO WOULD SAY, WELL, NOT HIM EITHER. SO YOU DON'T KNOW. SO I WILL LOOK SERIOUSLY IN OCTOBER. IF WE DECIDE THAT THERE'S A REAL VACUUM, WE'LL PROBABLY SPEND OCTOBER WITH AN EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE. AND IF WE THEN DECIDED THERE WERE ENOUGH RESOURCES, I WOULD PROBABLY -- IF I EVER DID ANNOUNCE, I'D PROBABLY ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER 6, WHICH IS EXACTLY ONE YEAR BEFORE THE ELECTION. >>

Glover: FRED THOMPSON IS COMING OUT HERE NEXT WEEK. WILL HIS DECISION HAVE AN IMPACT ON WHAT YOU DECIDE IN. >>

Gingrich: I THINK HIS PERFORMANCE WILL. I MEAN FRED IS A SMART GUY. HE HAS A TERRIFIC CAREER. HE IS THE ONLY CANDIDATE FROM A SOUTHERN STANDPOINT WHO IS RUNNING WITHOUT AN ACCENT OTHER THAN GOVERNOR HUCKABEE, BUT GOVERNOR HUCKABEE DOESN'T YET HAVE HIS NATIONAL STATURE. AND YOU CAN SEE IT IN THE POLLING DATA. I MEAN THOMPSON IS AUTOMATICALLY A SERIOUS PLAYER. WHETHER OR NOT IN THE NEXT 60 OR 90 DAYS HE FITS THE BILL -- I WROTE A -- I DO A WEEKLY NEWSLETTER ON THE INTERNET THAT'S AVAILABLE FOR FREE. I'LL PUT IN A PLUG: PEOPLE CAN GO TO NEWT.ORG AND SIGN UP FOR IT, AND IT GOES OUT TO ABOUT 325,000 PEOPLE NOW. AND ABOUT SIX WEEKS AGO I WROTE AN ESSAY CALLED A FRENCH LESSON FOR REPUBLICANS. AND I SAID GIVEN THE REALITY OF WASHINGTON, THE FACT THAT PRESIDENT BUSH'S NUMBERS ARE SOMEWHERE BETWEEN JIMMY CARTER AND RICHARD NIXON, NO REPUBLICAN IS GOING TO WIN ON FOUR MORE YEARS AND THE ONLY WAY A REPUBLICAN IS GOING TO WIN IS BY BECOMING A CANDIDATE OF REAL CHANGE. AND I DESCRIBE WHAT SARKOZY HAD DONE IN FRANCE, WHERE HE WAS IN THE CHIRAC GOVERNMENT, OFFERED VERY BOLD PROPOSALS, DESCRIBED WHAT HE CALLED A CLEAN BREAK. AND BY THE TIME THEY GOT TO THE ELECTION, SEGOLENE ROYAL, THE WOMAN WHO WAS THE SOCIALIST CANDIDATE WAS THE CANDIDATE OF THE REACTIONARY UNIONS AND SARKOZY WAS THE CANDIDATE OF REAL CHANGE. ONE OF THESE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES HAS TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND SAY IT'S TIME FOR A CLEAN BREAK, IT'S TIME FOR FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE. AND THEY HAVE TO STAND -- IT WILL MAKE PEOPLE VERY UNCOMFORTABLE AT FIRST BECAUSE, AFTER ALL, WE HAD A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT, YOU HAD A REPUBLICAN HOUSE AND SENATE, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. BUT LET ME JUST GIVE YOU A COUPLE OF QUICK EXAMPLES. I'LL GIVE YOU THREE. LEVEES IN NEW ORLEANS SHOULDN'T BREAK, AND WE NEED REAL CHANGE TO GET BACK TO A SYSTEM WHERE THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS, THE STATE, AND THE CITY DO THEIR JOB. BRIDGES IN MINNEAPOLIS SHOULDN'T FALL, AND WE NEED TO GET BACK TO A SYSTEM WHERE THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY AGENCY AND THE STATE HIGHWAY AGENCY ARE DOING THEIR JOB. THE DETROIT SCHOOLS SHOULD BE GRADUATING MORE THAN 25 PERCENT OF THEIR ENTERING FRESHMEN BECAUSE THEY ARE CHEATING THREE OUT OF EVERY FOUR YOUNG PEOPLE. AT A TIME WHEN IF YOU ARE AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE AND YOU DROP OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL YOU FACE A 73-PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN YOUR TWENTIES AND A 60-PERCENT CHANCE OF GOING TO JAIL -- AND WE NEED REAL CHANGE. IN EVERY ONE OF THESE CASES, WE NEED REAL CHANGE, BIGGER CHANGE THAN THE REPUBLICANS, BIGGER CHANGE THAN THE DEMOCRATS. >>

Yepsen: YOU ALLUDED TO THIS A MINUTE AGO, BUT I WANT YOU TO ELABORATE ON IT. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE PROSPECTS ARE FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN THE FALL OF 2008? IT TOOK A BEATING IN '06. WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE TO YOU NOW? >>

Gingrich: IF WE CAN FIND A NOMINEE, WHETHER IT'S ONE OF THE CURRENT PEOPLE OR WHETHER IT'S FRED THOMPSON OR WHATEVER HAPPENS, IF WE CAN FIND A NOMINEE WHO BECOMES THE CANDIDATE OF REAL CHANGE AND WHO DRAWS VERY SHARP, LARGE DISTINCTIONS -- AND I THINK YOU'LL FULLY APPRECIATE THIS. I TELL EVERY REPUBLICAN I MEET, IF YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING TO BEAT SENATOR CLINTON IN THE KIND OF CHEAP AND NASTY CAMPAIGN THAT BEAT JOHN KERRY, YOU'RE JUST OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY. THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE ABOUT, YOU KNOW, SWIFT-TO-VOTE VETERANS AGAINST HILLARY. IT WILL BE -- THE COUNTRY HAS DISCOUNTED EVERYTHING THEY CAN THROW AT SENATOR CLINTON. THE ONLY CHANCE TO BEAT SENATOR CLINTON IS TO SAY TWO THINGS: FIRST, WE STAND FOR VERY DRAMATIC, BOLD CHANGE, AND THE PARTY OF TRIAL LAWYERS, LABOR UNIONS, HOLLYWOOD LEFT, AND ACADEMIC INTELLECTUALS CAN'T BE FOR ANY OF THESE REAL CHANGES; AND SECOND, ON CORE VALUES, WE REPRESENT TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT FUTURE AMERICAS. A COUPLE OF QUICK EXAMPLES. NINETY-ONE PERCENT OF THE COUNTRY BELIEVES YOU OUGHT TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY 'ONE NATION UNDER GOD.' WE SHOULD BE PREPARED TO DO WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE SURE THE COURTS DON'T TAKE THAT AWAY. SENATOR CLINTON WOULDN'T DO THAT. EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE COUNTRY, INCLUDING 62 PERCENT OF HISPANICS, BELIEVE ENGLISH SHOULD BE THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF GOVERNMENT. SHE'S EXPLICITLY AGAINST THAT. YOU CAN GO DOWN A SERIES OF STEPS WHERE THE COUNTRY WOULD THEN SAY IN A SERIOUS, CALM, MATURE WAY -- WHICH IS WHY THIS WEEK I CALLED FOR NINE 90-MINUTE DEBATES NEXT YEAR, ONE A WEEK EVERY WEEK FROM LABOR DAY TO THE ELECTION, BECAUSE I THINK IN A CALM CONVERSATION, A REPUBLICAN WHO TALKS ABOUT REAL CHANGE MAKES IT VIVID AND THEN CONTRAST THAT WITH WHERE SENATOR CLINTON WILL BE, PROTECTING THE BUREAUCRACY, PROTECTING THE UNIONS, PROTECTING THE TRIAL LAWYERS, PROTECTING THE ACADEMIC LEFT. I THINK IN THAT RACE THE REPUBLICANS CAN WIN. THERE IS NO OTHER RACE I CAN IMAGINE THAT A REPUBLICAN IS GOING TO WIN. >>

Glover: AND YOU REFERRED TO IT A LITTLE BIT AGO. THERE IS ONCE AGAIN A QUADRENNIAL PRIMARY GOING ON. SOUTH CAROLINA HAS MOVED THEIR DATE. THE ANTICIPATION IS NEW HAMPSHIRE IS GOING TO MOVE THEIR DATE. THE IOWA CAUCUSES MAY BE THIS WEEKEND; THEY MAY JUST CALL THE STRAW POLL THE IOWA CAUCUSES. [ LAUGHTER ]

Gingrich: THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT. >>

Glover: HOW DO WE FIX THIS SYSTEM AND STOP THIS EVERY-FOUR-YEAR SCRAMBLING COMPETITION BETWEEN THE STATES? DOES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO WHAT YOU SEE AS A DEMEANING OF THE PROCESS? >>

Gingrich: ABSOLUTELY. I THINK THE CONGRESS SHOULD HOLD TWO SETS OF HEARINGS THIS SEPTEMBER, FIRST BECAUSE I'M REALLY FUNDAMENTALLY OFFENDED BY RICH PEOPLE BUYING OFFICE. I THINK WE NEED TO FIX THE ELECTION LAW. THE MCCAIN-FEINGOLD CENSORSHIP BILL CRUSHES THE MIDDLE CLASS. AND I HAPPEN TO THINK THE SUPREME COURT IS HALF RIGHT; THAT IS, I DON'T THINK -- I DON'T WANT TO STOP GOVERNOR ROMNEY FROM LOANING CAMPAIGN MONEY, WHICH IS GOING TO ENABLE HIM TO WIN TOMORROW JUST AS, BY THE WAY, JOHN KERRY WAS ABLE TO BORROW MONEY ON HIS WIFE'S HOUSE, WHICH ENABLED HIM TO WIN IN IOWA. IF KERRY HAD NOT BORROWED THE MONEY, HE WOULDN'T HAVE WON IN IOWA IN 2004 BECAUSE HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY RESOURCES. I DON'T OBJECT TO MAYOR BLOOMBERG SPENDING $91 A VOTE, WHICH IS WHAT HE SPENT FOR REELECTION. BUT I THINK THEN WE OUGHT TO HAVE A RULE THAT SAYS IF YOUR OPPONENT LOANS OR GIVES A MILLION DOLLARS TO HIS OR HER CAMPAIGN, THERE'S NO LIMIT TO THE AMOUNT YOU CAN RAISE AS LONG AS IT IS REPORTED EVERY NIGHT ON THE INTERNET. I THINK IT'S TOTALLY WRONG TO SAY TO GOVERNOR HUCKABEE, YOU GO RAISE $2,300 AS A MIDDLE-CLASS CANDIDATE, BY THE WAY HE JUST WROTE A $6-MILLION CHECK AS YOUR COMPETITOR. WE'RE MOVING TOWARDS A PLUTOCRACY WHERE RICH PEOPLE BUY POWER IN AMERICA AND THEN THEY OWE NOBODY AND THEY HAVE THAT POWER. SO THAT'S NUMBER ONE. TWO, I THINK THE CONGRESS THIS FALL SHOULD HOLD HEARINGS ON FUNDAMENTALLY RETHINKING THE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATING PROCESS. I WOULD NOT HAVE SAID THIS SIX YEARS AGO. I'M NOT EVEN SURE I WOULD HAVE SAID IT TWO YEARS AGO. THIS IS NOW A GREEDY, STUPID PROCESS. EVERY ONE OF THESE STATES WITH ZERO INTEREST IN AMERICA IS MANEUVERING IN SOME GAME, WHICH IS ACTUALLY A FAIRLY VERY SICK GAME, BECAUSE WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN ON OUR SIDE -- I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE DEMOCRATS. ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE THERE'S A FAIR CHANCE THAT THE STATE THAT HAS THE LAST PRIMARY WILL BE THE MOST IMPORTANT STATE, BECAUSE IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, IF YOU HAVE ALL THESE GUYS STILL IN THE GAME ON FEBRUARY 5 -- I DON'T MEAN THE SECOND-TIER CANDIDATES. BUT IF YOU HAVE ROMNEY, MCCAIN, THOMPSON, GIULIANI, AND LET'S SAY HUCKABEE OR SOMEBODY ELSE, IF YOU HAVE FIVE CANDIDATES ON FEBRUARY 5 AND YOU HAVE 23 OR MORE PRIMARIES THE SAME DAY, IT IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR A FRONT-RUNNER TO EMERGE BECAUSE WHAT SMART TACTICIANS ARE GOING TO DO IS SAY I CAN WIN OKLAHOMA, THE DAKOTAS, AND MINNESOTA, AND HE'S GOING TO WIN CALIFORNIA AND NEW YORK, THOMPSON IS GOING TO WIN IN THE SOUTH. AND ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU COME OUT ON THE DAY AFTER THE SUPER TUESDAY, YOU'VE GOT FOUR OR FIVE CANDIDATES STILL STANDING. >>

Glover: SO WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IT? >>

Gingrich: I THINK THE CONGRESS OUGHT TO LOOK VERY SERIOUSLY AT THE NOTION OF FIRST OF ALL ASKING THE QUESTION OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WHAT'S A REASONABLE LENGTH FOR A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. YOU KNOW, IN GREAT BRITAIN IT IS ILLEGAL --

Yepsen: YEAH, BUT HOW DO YOU STIFLE FREE SPEECH? HOW DO YOU PREVENT A CANDIDATE FROM COMING TO -- >>

Gingrich: YOU DON'T STIFLE FREE SPEECH. BUT WHAT'S BEING DRIVEN RIGHT NOW -- I MEAN FIRST OF ALL, WHAT REALLY DRIVES THE EARLY CANDIDACIES IS THE MCCAIN-FEINGOLD $2,300 LIMIT. I MEAN IF YOU ALLOW PEOPLE TO GIVE MONEY AS LONG AS IT'S REPORTED EVERY NIGHT, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE CANDIDATES WHO START TWO YEARS OUT TO RAISE THE MONEY. OF COURSE, IN SENATOR MCCAIN'S CASE, HE RAISED $24 MILLION, SPENT IT AND, YOU KNOW, DID EVERYTHING HE WAS TOLD BY HIS CONSULTANTS HE SHOULD DO AND THREW AWAY THE MONEY. SECOND, WHAT'S GOING TO REALLY SICKEN THE SYSTEM IS IF YOU ALL GO, AS YOU MAY -- I MEAN YOU MAY HAVE A DECEMBER 15, WHICH IS GROTESQUE. I MEAN YOU'RE IN THE CHRISTMAS SEASON AND WE'RE NOW GOING TO HAVE A CAUCUS, WHICH WILL THEN BE SUBSUMED BY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR'S TO LEAD TO ASSUMABLY THE FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY TO STAY AHEAD OF SOUTH CAROLINA, WHICH WILL HAVE ELEGANTLY GOTTEN BARELY AHEAD OF FLORIDA, WHICH WILL BE BARELY -- NONE OF THESE PEOPLE -- AS I SAID A YEAR AGO ON THIS SHOW, NONE OF THESE PEOPLE CAN GET SWORN IN UNTIL JANUARY OF 2009. WE ARE NOW IN THE PROCESS OF LIMITING OUR CHOICES TO LEAD AMERICA IN A GROTESQUE DANCE OF STATE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TOURISM MANEUVERING. >>

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, I WANT TO SWITCH GEARS HERE. WE COULD TALK POLITICS ALL DAY WITH YOU, BUT I WANT TO TALK SOME ABOUT YOUR AMERICAN SOLUTIONS GROUP. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH? IS THIS A FRONT FOR A GINGRICH FOR PRESIDENT CAMPAIGN? >>

Gingrich: NO, IN FACT WE GIVE ALL OF OUR INFORMATION TO ALL THE CANDIDATES. WE GIVE ALL OF OUR POLLING DATA TO BOTH PARTIES, THE DEMOCRATS AND THE REPUBLICANS. I SPENT A LOT OF TIME ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND A LOT OF TIME ON HEALTH. WE FOUNDED THE CENTER FOR HEALTH TRANSMISSION. AND IN DECEMBER OF 2004, I TOOK 53 HOURS OF BRIEFINGS ON IRAQ AND THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR FROM THE CIA, THE STATE DEPARTMENT, THE WHITE HOUSE, AND THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT. AND WHEN I GOT DONE, I SPENT ABOUT TWO MONTHS THINKING ABOUT IT. AND THEN I BEGAN STUDYING WHAT MAYOR GIULIANI HAD DONE IN NEW YORK WITH COMSTAT. AND THE MORE I LOOKED AT IT, THE MORE I REALIZED THE SYSTEM IS LITERALLY BROKEN. I CANNOT OVERSTATE THIS. I MEAN WE ALL WANT TO HAVE POLICY DEBATES, SO WE'RE SITTING IN DES MOINES AND YOU'D LIKE TO DEBATE DRIVING TO BOSTON AND YOU'D LIKE TO DEBATE DRIVING TO LOS ANGELES. THE CAR SITTING OUT HERE HAS NO MOTOR. IT'S NOT GOING ANYWHERE. AND NOBODY IN AMERICAN POLITICS WANTS TO DISCUSS MOTORS. SO I BEGAN TO LOOK AT THIS IN A VERY DEEP -- WITH EVERYTHING I'VE DONE -- I'VE BEEN AT THIS NOW 49 YEARS THIS MONTH SINCE MY DAD WAS STATIONED IN FRANCE AND GERMANY WHEN I WAS A KID, AND I BEGAN REALLY LOOKING AT HOW BAD IT IS. AND THEN ALONG CAME KATRINA, AND EVERY ELEMENT OF FEDERAL AMERICAN GOVERNMENT COLLAPSED. THE WELFARE STATE HAD TRAPPED THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO WERE SO UNDEREDUCATED AND SO UNPREPARED, THEY COULDN'T GET OUT OF THE WAY OF A HURRICANE. THE CITY GOVERNMENT WAS SO CORRUPT AND INCOMPETENT, THEY COULDN'T SUSTAIN THE LEVEES OR PREPARE FOR AN EMERGENCY. THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE IN BATON ROUGE WAS UNDER FEDERAL INDICTMENT FOR HAVING LOST $70 MILLION IN FEDERAL MONEY, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT UNDER FEMA COLLAPSED. >>

Yepsen: THAT DESCRIBES THE PROBLEM. WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A MOTOR? >>

Gingrich: OKAY, AS I'M SAYING -- SO AS I BEGAN TO LOOK AT THIS, I BEGAN TO REALIZE THAT, FIRST OF ALL, IF YOU WANT REAL CHANGE IN AMERICA, THERE ARE 513,000 ELECTED OFFICIALS. IN IOWA ALONE THERE ARE 14,000 ELECTED OFFICIALS. SO INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT GINGRICH FOR PRESIDENT, YOU NEED TO BE THINKING ABOUT HOW DO YOU EDUCATE AND MOVE CITIZENRY FROM THE SCHOOL BOARD TO THE COUNTY COMMISSION TO THE CITY COUNCIL, THE STATE LEGISLATURE, THE CONGRESS. AND SO WE BEGAN DEVELOPING A CONCEPT WE CALLED AMERICAN SOLUTIONS. A SECOND THING HIT ME, WHICH REALLY GREW OUT OF STUDYING WHAT GIULIANI HAD ACHIEVED WHICH IS A QUITE REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT: 75 PERCENT REDUCTION OF VIOLENT CRIME -- ON CRIME IN NEW YORK CITY. THE SAFEST BIG CITY IN AMERICA PER THOUSAND PEOPLE. ASTONISHING ACHIEVEMENT. WE NEED EVIDENCE-BASED GOVERNMENT, NOT CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT, NOT LIBERAL GOVERNMENT, NOT REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT, NOT DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. WE NEED TO LOOK AT THE FACTS, WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN'T. SPECIFIC EXAMPLE... MINNEAPOLIS NEEDS A NEW BRIDGE. IN CALIFORNIA PETE WILSON PIONEERED, AFTER THE NORTHRIDGE EARTHQUAKE, AN INCENTIVE-BASED CONTRACT. THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAID IT'S GOING TO TAKE TWO YEARS AND TWO MONTHS TO REBUILD THIS BRIDGE. THEY OPENED IT IN TWO MONTHS AND TWO DAYS. NOW, YOU LOOK AT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TWO YEARS AND TWO MONTHS AND TWO MONTHS AND TWO DAYS AND YOU SAY, GEE, THERE'S SOME EVIDENCE HERE THAT AN INCENTIVE-BASED CONTRACT CAN WORK. THE SECOND EXAMPLE... THE DETROIT SCHOOLS ARE A NIGHTMARE. THEY ARE A STUNNING FAILURE, PICKED BY THE GATES FOUNDATION AS THE WORST BIG-CITY SCHOOL SYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY JUST IN TERMS OF WHAT THEY ACHIEVE. THERE'S A PROGRAM IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS CALLED 'KIP.' IT'S A KNOWLEDGE IS POWER PROGRAM, WHERE THERE'S A VERY INTENSE APPROACH TO INCENTIVIZING THE STUDENTS. EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE KIDS IN INNER-CITY NEIGHBORHOODS THAT GO TO A KIP SCHOOL GO TO COLLEGE. SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE STUDENTS WHO GO TO THE DETROIT BUREAUCRATIC SCHOOL NEARBY DROP OUT. NOW, THERE'S A MESSAGE HERE ABOUT REAL CHANGE. AND SO I'M TRYING TO BUILD NOT A REPUBLICAN MESSAGE; I'M TRYING TO BUILD AN AMERICAN MESSAGE THAT SAYS IF YOU REALLY THINK THIS COUNTRY'S FUTURE REQUIRES VERY FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE -- TOMORROW WE'RE GOING TO DO WORKSHOPS ON SOCIAL SECURITY, ON GREEN CONSERVATISM, ON THE FAIR TAX, ON ALZHEIMER'S, WHICH IS THE LARGEST SINGLE THREAT TO THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION, WE'RE GOING TO DO IT ON IMMIGRATION AND BORDER CONTROL, AND WE'RE REALLY GOING TO GIVE PEOPLE AN OPPORTUNITY -- AND WE'RE GOING TO DO IT ON ENERGY. AND WE'RE GOING TO GIVE PEOPLE A CHANCE -- THEY'RE THERE HAVING FUN. THEY'RE THERE FOR THE STRAW POLL. BUT WE'RE GOING TO SAY, WOULDN'T YOU LIKE AS A CITIZEN TO START THINKING ABOUT THIS. NOW, ON SEPTEMBER 27 AND SEPTEMBER 29, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE WORKSHOPS NATIONWIDE ON THE INTERNET. AND DISH TELEVISION JUST SIGNED UP, SO WE HAVE 13 MILLION HOUSEHOLDS THAT ARE CAPABLE OF RECEIVING IT AND WE HOPE TO HAVE SEVERAL MORE COMMITMENTS LIKE THAT. AND WHAT WE'RE GOING TO SAY TO PEOPLE IS THERE IS A MUCH BETTER FUTURE, THERE IS A WAY TO GET TO THIS MUCH BETTER FUTURE, IT IS A LEARNABLE CITIZENSHIP, AND WE WOULD LIKE TO ENABLE YOU WORKING ON THE INTERNET TO COME TOGETHER AND TO DEVELOP IDEAS. I WILL JUST GIVE ONE CLOSING EXAMPLE. IF YOU GO TO YOUTUBE, THERE'S A FED-EX VERSUS FEDERAL BUREAUCRACY UNDER MY NAME, THREE AND A HALF MINUTES, 915,000 PEOPLE HAVE NOW SEEN IT. NO ADVERTISING. BECAUSE IT'S INTERESTING AND YOU SUDDENLY SEE THAT AND YOU GO, YEAH, HERE ARE SYSTEMS THAT WORK AND HERE ARE SYSTEMS THAT FAIL. AMERICAN SOLUTIONS IS ABOUT MIGRATING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE STATE GOVERNMENT AND THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BACK TO A WORLD THAT WORKS. >>

Glover: BUT HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH, WHEN YOU DEAL WITH THE EXISTING GOVERNMENT STRUCTURES, THE INHERENT CONSERVATISM ON THE PART OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS? BY CONSERVATISM I MEAN INHERENT RELUCTANCE TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM. IT REQUIRES ALMOST REPLACEMENT, DOESN'T IT? >>

Gingrich: IT DOES REQUIRE REPLACEMENT AND HERE I'M GOING TO SOUND POLLYANNISH FOR A SECOND. >>

Glover: IT'S ALLOWED. >>

Gingrich: WE HAVE HAD EIGHT WAVES OF CHANGE IN AMERICAN HISTORY: THE FOUNDING FATHERS, THE FEDERALISTS, THE JEFFERSONIANS, THE JACKSONIANS, THE LINCOLN REPUBLICANS, THE PROGRESSIVES, THE NEW DEAL DEMOCRATS, AND THEN REAGAN WITH THE CONTRACT WITH AMERICA. WHAT I AM PROPOSING IS OVER THE NEXT FIVE TO TEN TO FIFTEEN YEARS THAT WE NEED AN AMERICAN MOVEMENT, JUST PEOPLE, NOT DEMOCRAT-REPUBLICAN, AN AMERICAN MOVEMENT THAT IS AN EVIDENCE-BASED MOVEMENT THAT SAYS THE TOYOTA PRODUCTION SYSTEM WORKS, LEAN MANUFACTURING WORKS, 6 SIGMA WORKS, INCENTIVES WORK, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY WORKS, WHAT GIULIANI DID IN NEW YORK WORKS, WHAT WILSON DID IN CALIFORNIA WORKS. LET'S TAKE EVERYTHING THAT WORKS AND, WHETHER YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT DODGE CITY OR YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT DES MOINES OR YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE STATE GOVERNMENT OR YOUR TALKING ABOUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, SAY TO THE ELECTED OFFICIALS: THERE ARE TWO FUTURES; YOU'RE FOR REAL CHANGE OR YOU'RE FOR RETIREMENT, BUT WE WILL DEFEAT YOU IF YOU'RE NOT FOR REAL CHANGE. >>

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, WE'VE GOT LESS THAN TWO MINUTES LEFT AND I HAVE TO ASK YOU ABOUT THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE IN THE COUNTRY TODAY AND THAT'S THE WAR IN IRAQ. WHAT SHOULD THE COUNTRY BE DOING? >>

Gingrich: THE COUNTRY SHOULD RECOGNIZE THAT THIS IS A DRAMATICALLY BIGGER, HARDER, AND MORE PAINFUL WORLD THAN WE THOUGHT IT WAS, THAT WHEN THE IRANIANS REPORTED YESTERDAY TO HAVE KILLED -- ONE-THIRD OF THE AMERICANS KILLED LAST MONTH WERE KILLED WITH IRANIAN WEAPONS, AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE A STRATEGY THAT IS DRAMATICALLY BIGGER AND MORE COMPLEX THAN WHAT WE'RE DOING RIGHT NOW. THE ONLY THING I WOULD SAY IS IF YOU'RE ASKING ME WHETHER TO TRUST GENERAL PETRAEUS OR GENERAL PELOSI -- AND I THINK THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS QUESTION FOR SEPTEMBER -- I THINK GENERAL PETRAEUS IS GOING TO COME BACK AND SAY WE HAVE A CHANCE TO GENUINELY WIN. WE JUST HAD TWO REAL DOUBTERS GO OVER THERE, DEMOCRAT SPECIALISTS WHO CAME BACK AND SAID, YOU KNOW, FOR THE FIRST TIME THERE'S A CHANCE WE COULD WIN. FOR THE U.S. CONGRESS TO LEGISLATE DEFEAT ON THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE AN ACT OF DISASTROUS PROPORTIONS. >>

Yepsen: HAVEN'T THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAD A BELLY FULL OF THIS WAR? >>

Gingrich: ABSOLUTELY. ALL OF US HAVE HAD A BELLY FULL. THIS HAS BEEN A BADLY MISMANAGED WAR. THERE HAVE BEEN MANY MISTAKES MADE. I'M NOT DEFENDING THE WAR. I FIRST SPOKE OUT IN DECEMBER OF 2003 PUBLICLY AND SAID WE WENT OFF A CLIFF. >>

Borg: BUT IS THE MESSAGE, IN THESE LAST TWENTY SECONDS, MORE OF THE SAME?

Gingrich: NO, THE MESSAGE IS A DRAMATICALLY LARGER, MORE COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGY THAT INCLUDES IRAN, IT INCLUDES PAKISTAN. OBAMA WAS HALF RIGHT: YOU HAD BETTER HAVE A STRATEGY THAT INCLUDES PAKISTAN IF YOU'RE SERIOUS ABOUT AFGHANISTAN; AND BETTER HAVE A STRATEGY THAT INCLUDES IRAN, NOT NECESSARILY A MILITARY STRATEGY BUT A STRATEGY THAT INCLUDES IRAN IF YOU'RE SERIOUS ABOUT IRAQ. >>

Borg: THANK YOU, MR. GINGRICH. THANKS FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US TODAY. >>

Gingrich: THANK YOU. >>

Borg: WELL, THIS IS THE FIRST OF TWO SEPARATE EDITIONS OF 'IOWA PRESS' FOCUSING ON TOMORROW'S REPUBLICAN STRAW POLL IN AMES AND MORE, AS YOU'VE JUST HEARD. TODAY NEWT GINGRICH HELPED US WITH A PREVIEW PERSPECTIVE. SUNDAY MORNING WE'LL BE ANALYZING THE RESULTS. JOINING US FOR THAT LIVE SUNDAY MORNING EDITION, REPUBLICAN INSIDERS AND FORMER STATE PARTY CHAIRMAN MIKE MAHAFFEY OF MONTEZUMA AND STEVE ROBERTS OF DES MOINES. YOU'LL SEE THAT SPECIAL EDITION 11:30 SUNDAY MORNING. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY. >>

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Tags: Iowa Newt Gingrich politics Republicans