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Fox News "On The Record" - Transcript


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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Now former speaker Newt Gingrich goes "On the Record." He is the author of the book "To Save America." It is not out in paperback.


VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Speaker, nice to see you, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: Starting this weekend a Republican retreat in Baltimore. You are going to be one of the speakers. What do you intend to do at this retreat?

GINGRICH: I think the Republicans have a great opportunity to develop a new approach creating hope and opportunity for the whole country. I'm going to propose that one-third of the hearings they set up focus on science and technology and new breakthroughs and give the country a sense of what we could be doing if we were using our best people, following our best ideas, and the kind of breakthroughs in Alzheimer's, diabetes, and a whole range of areas that we could have if we had better government.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's the health area. Obviously there's a huge amount of interest in the health area. But the Hispanic vote in 2012, how is your party going to get the Hispanic vote? That's has growing importance in the election.

GINGRICH: It is a very good example. I think you have to include Americans of all backgrounds in what you are doing. I also think there's an opportunity for Republicans.

We developed a program call the Jeb Bush is hosting an event in Miami with former Secretary of Commerce Gutierrez. On values, on pocketbook issues, national security, on a wide range of issues there's a lot in common between Republicans and Hispanic-American businesses and Hispanic-American small business owners, Hispanic-American family values.

Can we move from 38 percent to above 50 percent buy 2012? I think we can because I think we have a very powerful message, including a calm, steady approach to ending illegality and finding ways to deal with immigration that are acceptable to conservatives and Hispanic-Americans.

VAN SUSTEREN: The issue of illegal immigration versus legal immigration is of importance to everybody, and hugely to the Hispanic population. What can you tell them that you will seek to do the Republican Party would do that would make Hispanics who are mostly interested in that issue want to vote Republican?

GINGRICH: First, you have to develop control of the border and you have to say that's step one in a several step process. The American people absolutely, including most Hispanic-Americans, want control of the border.

I'm talking to you tonight from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where four Mexican drug dealers were recently picked up here in the largest heroin arrest in the history of this area. All across the country there are gangs. Hispanic-Americans want to get rid of those gangs as much or more as anyone else because they are a direct threat to their families, their livelihood, their safety. There are things you can do together.

We clearly have to get effective guest worker program. One of my proposals tomorrow is going to turn to American Express, Visa, MasterCard, have people who are experts fighting fraud develop a guest worker card and program that allows us to have effective control of who works in the United States and eliminate illegality by creating -- it does require a guest worker program. But I think most Americans would agree getting to the point where no one was here illegal and having a legal system is an important step.

VAN SUSTEREN: Would that be concurrent with securing the borders?

GINGRICH: I think first of all the American people have every right to demand as a matter of national security that we control the border. If we control the border, you dramatically reduce drug flow in the United States. You would dramatically reduce any dangers of infiltration by terrorists. You would in fact reduce substantially the challenge of illegal immigration.

At the same time, because it is going to take a while to build a guest worker card and program, I would start down the road. I would say you would like to be available the day the border is controlled, you would like to be able to have a guest worker card and program so people could cross the border legally to a legal job having a legal guest worker program.

And I think you would implement it shortly after the border, but you would be developing it at the same time you are developing a control of the border.


VAN SUSTEREN: Next, more with Speaker Gingrich. He has some trips planned to some very fishy places. It's time to talk 2012. That's next.



VAN SUSTEREN: Continuing with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.


VAN SUSTEREN: There's papers today in South Carolina quote you saying in terms of 2012 that South Carolina is such an important state, number three of the primary. Why is South Carolina so important when you Iowa and New Hampshire out there before you?

GINGRICH: Well, Iowa and New Hampshire are very important. I'll be in Iowa later this month for the Iowa Biofuel and Renewable Fuel association. I will be in New Hampshire next month. All three are very important.

I think one of the great things about the American system is relatively small states where people get to know you personally, where you are there face-to-face, not just having consultants to raise money to buy TV ads, but you are on the street talking to folks, these states have a very big impact upon who has a chance to become president.

As you know, Callista and I will make a decision the end of February about whether or not to color the presidential campaign and test the waters. For the moment we are not focused on that. We are still doing a lot of other things.

VAN SUSTEREN: Some critics would say why should these states pick the nominee? A lot of people are critical of the Iowa caucus procedure. They say, why does Iowa get to pick the nominee for the party? It is a big country and a lot of members of your party across the country.

GINGRICH: No one state gets to pick the nominee. When Ronald Reagan won the nomination in 1980 I think he was still campaigning in late May to get the nomination. They allow people with relatively little money to have a real chance to emerge in a way -- Jimmy Carter probably couldn't have gotten into the process without Iowa. George H.W. Bush did a brilliant job in 1980 and upset Ronald Reagan in Iowa which he couldn't have done in a state the size of Illinois or Pennsylvania.

I'm a fan of if things aren't broke don't fix them. I believe the system we have now, the Iowa caucuses followed by the New Hampshire primary, followed by South Carolina leading into the other states, Nevada, Michigan, I think the system works reasonably well. We ought to allow it to continue to work.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of Iowa, the caucus, if you have a job that doesn't let you takeoff the night of the caucus, you can't vote. Maybe you can take often morning and vote in a state like New Hampshire, and in Iowa, you are excluded from the system in both parties.

GINGRICH: First of all, if you look the tremendous turn out for candidate Obama in 2008, I don't think anybody was excluded. Second, if you care enough you find a way to get a substitute for that evening and people do that.

And third, you are right, a test of intensity that starts and aims August 13th, when people have to give up a Saturday a long time before the election. Then early next year you have to go out on a Monday night in potentially a snow storm in is the Midwest in the middle of winter, and that is a test of how serious people are about their candidate.

Shortly thereafter you go to New Hampshire regular primary then come down to South Carolina. In the opening weeks you've been in the Midwest. You've been in the northeast. And you've been in the south. Now with adding Nevada you've been in the west in the first weeks an affordable pace for unknown candidates.

For somebody like Governor Pawlenty or Senator Thune just starting out or Senator Sanatorium, you have an enormously open and equal opportunity model to allow talent to emerge.

VAN SUSTEREN: You have a website, aiding in efforts to repeal the national health care. What is going to happen in the House? I assume they are going to vote to repeal. Does it have some sort of power or impetus does it do something?

GINGRICH: It is more than symbolic. Passing by a substantial margin the repeal of Obamacare is a very important first step. We have now over 100,000 signatures and they are growing every day. Our goal is to target the 23 Democratic senators who are up for election in 2012 -- excuse me -- and be in a position to have the maximum number of signatures ask them to vet to repeal Obamacare.

The Center for Health Transformation going to release tomorrow its third chart on Obamacare. This is a 50 square foot chart that lists the 1,969 grant of authority the Secretary of Health and Human Services in Obamacare. Thing about that, 1,969 grants of power over your health care to a single bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. I think combined with our earlier charts of 159 new offices under Obamacare and a 50 square foot chart of all the deadlines under Obamacare, those three charts are devastating examples of why we should repeal Obamacare.

VAN SUSTEREN: You think President Obama is the least bit concerned about the momentum, whether in the House or federal courts on -- you think he's worried something is going to happen to national health care?

GINGRICH: I don't know. But I would think just as a practical person he has to be concerned that every poll shows a majority of Americans favor appeal. He has to be concerned that a federal judge has out the centerpiece of mandates in the bill. He has to be concerned that even Democrats are starting to introduce bills that allow states to be exempt.

I think Senator Wyden of Oregon is introducing a bill with a Republican that would allow states to get out of Obamacare. I think he's got to have some sense that this isn't working the way he thought it would. I would be very surprised if he doesn't realize that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Speaker nice to see you. We'll look forward to having you back on.

GINGRICH: It will be fun.


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