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CBS "Face the Nation" - Transcript


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Schieffer: And good morning again. Welcome to Face the Nation in the studio with us today Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich so I want to ask both of you -- You both spoke to the big conservative values conference last week but the preacher who introduced Rick Perry kind of stole all the headlines because he told reporters that Mormonism is a cult and that Mitt Romney is not a Christian. Mr. Gingrich, should that be a part of the discussion?

Gingrich: No, I think that none of us should sit in judgment of somebody else's religion and I thought it was very unwise and very inappropriate.

Schieffer: Do you think that Mitt Romney is a Christian?

Gingrich: I think he's a Mormon and Mormons define themselves as a branch of Christianity.

Schieffer: How about you, Mr. Cain. What's your thought on this?

Cain: I feel the same way. We're not running for theologian in chief. We're running for president of the United States of America. What I believe is that the American people want to know: what are your values? What are your principles? Because your values and your principles may impact how you make decisions. But not get into the specifics of your chosen religion.

Schieffer: Do you think Mormons are Christians?

Cain: I believe that they believe that they're Christians based on their definition but getting into whether or not they're more Christian than another group, I don't think that's relevant to this campaign.

Schieffer: Alright let's talk about something that is then. That I think both you will agree is---there are thousands of protesters camped out on Wall Street and around the country. Mr. Cain, you suggested they might be there just because they're jealous of people that have good jobs. Here's a little of what you said:


"And to be angry at somebody because they're successful is asnti-0American in my opinion. Secondly, this is a distraction from the failed policies of the Obama administration. Why be made you don't have a job at the bankers on Wall Street? They're the ones that help create the jobs."


Schieffer: So you said first that you think this is a distraction created to draw attention away. What proof do you have of that?

Cain: The proof is quite simply the bankers and the people on Wall Street didn't write these failed policies of the Obama administration. They didn't spend a trillion dollars that didn't work. The administration and the democrats spent a trillion dollars. They're not proposing another 450 billion dollars, the administration is proposing another 450 billion dollars wrapped in different rhetoric so it's a distraction so many people won't focus on the failed policies of this administration. So I stand by that.

Schieffer: I don't want to interrupt so you're saying that these people all got together up there to draw attention away from Barack Obama. That's why they're there?

Cain: They were encouraged to get together.

Schieffer: Who encouraged them?

Cain: We know that the unions and certain union related organizations have been behind these protests that are going on on Wall Street and other parts around the country. It's coordinated. To create a distraction so people won't focus on the failed policies of this administration.

Schieffer: And why is that anti-American?

Cain: It's anti-American because to protest Wall Street and the bankers is basically saying that you're anti-capitalism. The free market system and capitalism are the two things that have allowed this nation and this economy to become the biggest in the world. Even though we have our challenges, I believe the protests are more anti-capitalism and anti-free market than anything else.

Schieffer: What's your take Mr. Gingrich?

Gingrich: I think the sad thing is, this is the natural product of Obama's class warfare. And Ronald Reagan used to tell the story about the British worker who stood by the road with his sign as a Rolls Royce went by and said someday we're going to get that guy out of that car. And the Americans stood by the road as a Cadillac went by and he said someday you're going to buy that car. Now Reagan represented the real American tradition which is that you and your children have a chance to go out and work hard, the Steve Jobs experience. You can create a better future. You can do something better. We have had a strain of hostility to free enterprise and frankly, a strain of hostility to classic America starting in our academic institutions and spreading across this country and I regard the Wall Street protesters as a natural outcome of a bad education system teaching them really dumb ideas.

Schieffer: Well do you agree with Mr. Cain who says they're just jealous of people who have jobs?

Gingrich: Well I'm not even sure that the people actually protesting..look, there are a lot of people in America angry. I was with 35 realtors in Buford, South Carolina on Wednesday who are looking at a disaster in housing but they know that it's the Dodd-Frank bill, it's the Obama administration, it's Bernanke and Geithner and they're focusing their anger on the people who are causing them pain. They're not angry about other people being successful, they're angry about an Obama administration stopping them from having the chance to be successful.

Schieffer: Well did you really mean that literally, you think they're just jealous? You think that's the driving force? Couldn't it also be that these people don't have a job, they don't know where to turn, they don't see any answers to the problems they have and you think it comes down to jealousy?

Cain: Bob, yes I do.

Schieffer: Really?

Cain: Because it's class warfare. Some of them are there because they don't have a job. Yes. But the fact of the matter is, why aren't there jobs? Go and picket the white house. Demonstrate in front of the white house. The thing that this administration does not get is that the business sector is the engine of economic growth. That's key. They don't get that. So this president and administration wants to continue to try to spend our way to prosperity. Part of it is jealousy. I stand by that. And here's why I don't have a lot of patience for that. My parents, they never played the victim card. My parents never said that we hope the rich people lose something so that we can get something. No. My dad's idea was I want to work hard enough so that I can buy a Cadillac, not take somebody else's. And this is why I don't have a lot of patience for people who want to protest the success of somebody else.

Schieffer: Alright lets shift just a little bit here. Mr. Gingrich you got some attention yesterday when you lit into the Supreme Court at the values conference. You basically said it should just be ignored on occasion and challenged on other occasions. You said that you would for one thing, call judges before Congress. Is that what I understand?

Gingrich: Absolutely.

Schieffer: Well how in the world would you do that? They 're in one branch of government...

Gingrich: You subpoena them.

Schieffer: But one branch of government can't subpoena people in the other branches of government..

Gingrich: Of course you can.

Schieffer: They don't have to honor the subpoenas.

Gingrich: Bob if that's true, then the court can't say something to the Congress either can it? By your standards, this Supreme Court cannot dictate to the President and cannot dictate to the Congress. But they do. And there are clear provisions in the Constitution to re-balance it. There's a judge in San Antonio that issued a ruling so anti-religious, so bigoted, and so dictatorial in June 1st. He should be called in from of a committee and they should ask him, by what right do you dictate to the American people?

Schieffer: Because it's a separate branch of government for one thing and the judge wouldn't have to come....

Gingrich: He would have to come if he's subpoenaed. That's my whole point.

Schieffer: Could the congress also subpoena the president to come up there?

Gingrich: Of course. Lincoln testified.

Schieffer: So did Gerald Ford but he did by agreement.

Gingrich: By negotiation. But would have been subject to a subpoena depending on the circumstances. The point is this, when you're actually making a more radical case than I am. You're suggesting that if the Congress can't subpoena a judge, a judge could not issue an instruction to Congress, that the branches would be truly separate. That's not what happens today. Today you have judges who are dictatorial and arrogant, who pretend that they are the dominant branch and who issue orders that clearly are against the constitution.

Schieffer: Let me ask you one other thing that you said. You said in the Gingrich administration you would just tell the national security officials to ignore the Supreme Court's recent rulings on national security. So which law is it? Do you just follow only the laws you wish to follow under your doctrine? How does that work?

Gingrich: You follow the law. In the cases I'm citing recently with Hamden and Boumediene, you had the court overturning the Congress and the President. And what I'm saying we have a precedent from Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Roosevelt of 1942 when we captured 14 German spies says to the attorney general, I will not honor a writ from the Supreme Court. You tell them not to issue one. And I think the commander in chief has the power to defend this country... the recent court decisions in which the court intervened in national security, they're taking on their shoulders defending America. They are totally unprepared to do it. It is unconstitutional. Somebody should stand up to them and say no.

Schieffer: But what you're talking about here is just setting off a constitutional crisis. Each and every time that you, as president, didn't agree with what some ruling from the court....

Gingrich: But the courts have created this crisis. The courts have again and again and again since 1958 asserted an ability to redefine America. I mean in the current court you have four conservatives, four liberals. You have Justice Kennedy as the one person....

Schieffer: If the court could... if the president could ignore the Supreme Court, could he also ignore the congress which is another branch?

Gingrich: He could and presidents can and do.

Schieffer: Could the Congress ignore the president.

Gingrich: Here's the consequence. The congress cuts off the money. There's a balance of power. The congress doesn't have to pay for something. And if the president gets too far out of line they just won't give him the money. The president doesn't have to automatically do what Congress wants. He can veto bills. He can interpret bills. The court is also subject. It is a balance of power. And people can go to and see the entire paper which backs this up which cites the dean of Stanford Law School. This is not a trivial argument but a fundamental question about the nature of the American Constitution.

Schieffer: I want to talk to Mr. Cain about something. That is something that is fairly big change that you propose. Your 9-9-9 tax plan. 9% across the board income tax, 9% corporate tax, a 9% sales tax. But one of the things that struck me about this, that's on new goods. If people buy something new they pay a 9% sales tax.

Cain: Yes.

Schieffer: But if they buy something used, they don't pay the sales tax. Am I correct on that?

Cain: You are absolutely correct.

Schieffer: Let me ask you this. What is that going to do to the car industry in this country which makes new cars?

Cain: It's going to use up the existing used car inventory, because there's a limited number and eventually people are going to start buying new cars. That's not a big negative. Here's the main thing I want to make sure that I get across about the 999 plan: first, we throw out the existing tax code, and then impose the 9% corporate tax, 9% personal income tax and the 9% sales tax. Here are the big advantages: it provides certainty to the business sector. I have served on corporate boards for nearly 20 years before I ran... before I decided to run for president. We didn't sit around talking about how do we survive? Not until recently. They want to grow. But they don't grow because we don't have certainty. One other point, Bob, please. Here's the other thing about 999. 999 will grow this economy. It's definitely going to create jobs. It's revenue neutral. This means people that are underemployed will be able to find a job that they are more qualified for. It also means that in those cases where people are low-wage earners, they can find a second job, so it has some growth opportunities as well as getting the lowest possible tax rate for everybody.

Schieffer: Without going into all the details, I think I have to note there are some economists that say that is not correct. But let me just....

Cain: May I interrupt? They have changed our assumptions. That's why they say that it's not correct.

Schieffer: Let me ask you one certainty is that poor people are going to have to pay more taxes.

Cain: No, no.

Schieffer: They're not?

Cain: Let's start with the payroll tax. It's 15.3%. Everybody pays that. So instead of paying 15.3% they're going to be paying 9%. That's a 6 percentage point difference. If you work that out for various income levels, they will have extra cash from that differential to pay the sales tax.

Schieffer: Aren't poor people also going to get to pay a tax on food and a tax on medicine?

Cain: We all will. We all will. You have to work....

Schieffer: Do you think that's fair?

Cain: Yes, because you give poor people more opportunity to stretch their dollar and leverage their income based upon their decisions whether to buy new or used goods.

Schieffer: All right. I have to end it right here. I could talk to the two of you all morning. You know, Rick Perry said he'd like a combination of the two of you. He thought that would make an interesting vice presidential mate on the ticket.

Gingrich: The way Perry described it, none of us wanted to comment on what Rick was saying.

Cain: Politically that could work but the way he described it wasn't exactly the metaphor.

Schieffer: All right. Thank you all. I hope you can both come back. Back in a minute with a little analysis.


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