Callista Gingrich ‘On the Record’

Callista Gingrich ‘On the Record’

On the Record
October 14, 2011
Greta Van Susteren

(Begin Video Clip)

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST ON THE RECORD: Now Callista Gingrich. She’s been busy on the campaign trail with her husband, Newt Gingrich. Somehow, though she found time to write a children’s book. It’s called “Sweet Land of Liberty.” Nice to see you, Callista.

CALLISTA GINGRICH, AUTHOR SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who drew the cover?

CALLISTA GINGRICH: We have a wonderful illustrator. Her name in Susan Arciero. She did all the illustrations in the book, and together she and I developed this character, Ellis the Elephant.

VAN SUSTEREN: The first thing I think of is the Republican elephant and you don’t have a donkey in there.

CALLISTA GINGRICH: There are no donkeys, I have to say. We considered many animals, bunnies, hippos, giraffes, but in the end I couldn’t resist this adorable little elephant.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why Ellis?

CALLISTA GINGRICH: Ellis harkens back to Ellis Island as we are a nation of immigrants. Ellis is a name children would find delightful.

VAN SUSTEREN: It’s so interesting, when I was reading the book I didn’t realize until I was reading it out loud in the other room, it rhymes.

CALLISTA GINGRICH: It does.

VAN SUSTEREN: I guess I didn’t realize it as I rode it in my mind but when I was reading it aloud.

CALLISTA GINGRICH: I have a new appreciation for Dr. Seuss.

VAN SUSTEREN: What provoked this?

CALLISTA GINGRICH: Well, I wrote this book because I love America and I believe our country is exceptional. And I think it’s more important now than ever that our children understand why we live in an exceptional nation. Unfortunately many of our schools are failing to teach our American history. A recent survey showed a majority of fourth graders didn’t know who Abraham Lincoln was. Many didn’t know why the pilgrims left England. Fewer than a third of all eight graders knew why the colonies fought England during the Revolutionary War.

VAN SUSTEREN: What happened? Fran Tarkenton was just on. You heard him. He’s upset. A lot of people upset with the education system. People, we’re not making the mark compared to other countries in education. What happened?

CALLISTA GINGRICH: Well, we’ve resorted to revisionist and politically correct history, unfortunately.

VAN SUSTEREN: The book is selling like hot cakes, right?

CALLISTA GINGRICH: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: How well is it doing?

CALLISTA GINGRICH: I’m a mid-westerner and we don’t usually brag.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do it this time though.

CALLISTA GINGRICH: We are very pleased that “Sweet Land of Liberty” is number four on the “New York Times” bestseller list for children’s picture books.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there a sequel?

CALLISTA GINGRICH: Well, we are considering one.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is a donkey going to be in that one?

CALLISTA GINGRICH: We will keep our options open.

VAN SUSTEREN: You are not excluding the chance.

CALLISTA GINGRICH: This is a patriotic book, not a Republican book, not a conservative book, it’s a pro American book. I hope it will appeal to many Americans as a celebration of our patriotic values.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you actually write it on the campaign trail?

CALLISTA GINGRICH: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you are ambidextrous, so to speak. Nice to see you, Callista.

CALLISTA GINGRICH: Thanks, Greta.

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