Newt Gingrich on State of the Union / September 9, 2012
September 9, 2012
CROWLEY: I am joined by former House Speaker and Republican Presidential Candidate, Newt Gingrich.
Mr. Speaker, good to see you.
GINGRICH: It’s great to be with you.
CROWLEY: I want to play you something from the Democratic Convention that seems to me typifies a lot of the message from — out of there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CAMPBELL: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are correct when they say that each individual should be responsible, but their budget goes astray in not acknowledging that we are responsible, not only for ourselves and our immediate family, rather our faith strongly affirms that we are all responsible for one another. I am my sister’s keeper. I am my brother’s keeper.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: So coming out of the conventions, the — the Democrats were basically, we’re all in this together but Mitt Romney’s philosophy is you’re on your own and the Republican Convention basically was, the president thinks government is the answer to everything.
Who was more effective?
GINGRICH: I think in the long run, the Romney convention will be more effective — and you had a little bit of this with Jerry Brown this morning.
If — if you ask the American people, do you want a bigger economy with more jobs, but a smaller government with fewer services or do you want a bigger government with more services, but a small economy and fewer jobs? It’s about 70 to 16.
And I think the challenge that the president and, in fact on Friday morning, was reminded once again, his plans aren’t working. Four Americans dropped out of the workforce, for every American who got a job in August.
Now at that rate, people understand in order to be your brother’s keeper, you need to have a job. I mean, you have — you have to an — an income.
CROWLEY: But wasn’t — wasn’t the governor correct in saying that elections are thematic and the theme and — and now this is not him anymore, this is me. The — the theme coming out of the Democratic Convention was middle class, middle class, middle class. We’ve got to all, you know, help one another, that’s how we do it and not the rich.
And the theme coming out of the Republican Convention, again was too — too much government.
So — so if people vote thematically, do you think that the whole message of the middle class are all being in this together, has more power?
GINGRICH: Well, no. I — I think first of all, if you — the — the Paul — Paul Ryan’s comment about the young person sitting in their bedroom looking out at the — at the graying poster of Obama as it faded away, sort of captured it.
Doesn’t want you to be grateful that you can stay on your parent’s insurance until you’re 26. We’d like you to get a job. So you can actually go out on your own.
The president wants you to grateful that he’s extending your — your payments for student loans.
We would like you to actually have a job so you can pay off your student loans.
This is going to come down to, and I think Tom Brokaw captured it perfectly. He said, Romney’s going to say in essence, we can’t afford four more years of this economy; and Obama’s not going to defend the economy, he’s going to say Romney would be worse.
And the country’s got to make a decision. Do you really want to take four more years of the worst economy since the Great Depression or do you want to shift to the Republicans and see if they can do a better job.
CROWLEY: Let me bring in the Clinton factor here…
CROWLEY: … which I found fascinating not just how he was at the Democratic Convention, but the Republican’s reaction to it. Listen to Vice Presidential Candidate, Paul Ryan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: Bill Clinton was a different kind of Democrat than Barak Obama. Bill Clinton gave us welfare reform. Bill Clinton worked with Republican to cut spending. Bill Clinton did not play the kinds of political games that President Obama’s playing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: I just want to review the ’90s here, because the ’90s I’m hearing described are not the ’90s I remember and I was up on Capitol Hill when the President Clinton presented a budget that no Republican voted for in his first term when there were two government shutdowns because of the — what the Republicans and the White House could not get together on spending and what a budget should look like; when there was a impeachment process.
So this was not some sort kumbaya time.
GINGRICH: No, it was very tough.
CROWLEY: And the public — it was a very tough time to get — Republicans are embracing Bill Clinton, why?
GINGRICH: Here — here’s the difference…
CROWLEY: — why?
GINGRICH: Well, here’s the difference, you’re Paul Ryan. You did, in many ways what I did in 1990, you come up with a serious plan, you try and get to a balanced budget and you have a president who invites you to a speech where he attacks you publicly when you can’t defend yourself.
Clinton and I fought a lot. As you said, the government was shut down twice, we passed welfare reform twice and it got vetoed. He only signed it on the third occasion.
But the difference was…
CROWLEY: I think that cost him the election.
GINGRICH: Yes. The difference was when the Democrats lost in 1994, Bill and Hillary Clinton brought in Dick Morris and they said, you know, if we don’t learn something from this experience, we are going to get beat in ’96.
I actually thought parts of the Clinton speech were eerily anti- Obama if you just listened to the subtext. I mean, here is Clinton saying, I reformed welfare because I worked with the Republicans, you didn’t, Mr. Obama. He didn’t say it that way, but think about it.
I had the longest period of economic growth in history, you didn’t, Mr. Obama. I got to four balanced budgets by working with Republicans, you didn’t, Mr. Obama. You can take his speech, spin it not very much, and it’s actually a condemnation of the fact that Obama learned nothing.
And Bob Woodward’s new book indicates he learned nothing out of the 2010 election.
CROWLEY: Do you think Bill Clinton can move votes for President Obama?
GINGRICH: I think he can temporarily move votes. I would say the bounce Obama is getting coming out of the convention is 80 percent Bill Clinton. Now Clinton is a popular figure for a very practical reason, the economy worked.
People had jobs. We reduced children in poverty by 25 percent through welfare reform. We actually balanced the budget for four years. You know, you look back on that and you think, I think what it does is it actually shrinks Obama.
I mean, you have a real president and then you have this guy who is a pretender.
CROWLEY: Why isn’t Mitt Romney at this point we — you talked about the unemployment figures that came out. You talked about the worst recovery since the great recession blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Why isn’t Romney running away with this?
GINGRICH: I think this is about where Reagan was — slightly better than where Reagan was at this point in 1980. I think people find it very hard to fire a president. The president is in the home every night, and this particular president has a nice family, you know, there is a sense of gee…
CROWLEY: But none of that is going to change.
GINGRICH: No, the swing vote is going to be disappointed, not angry. The angry vote is already there. Romney is getting all of the angry vote. But the swing vote is going to be the person — (INAUDIBLE) the election, will be the person who says, you know, I’d like to try, but I can’t stand the cost of four more years. If that person comes down and says, I can’t stand the cost of four more years, then I think Obama is gone.
If they come down and say, gee, I’m not sure about these Republicans, then Obama could survive. There is a new movie out called “The Hope and the Change” which actually has 40 former Obama voters each explaining why they are now against Obama.
And all of them have this sense of sadness, not anger, but disappointment. They wished it had worked. They wished he had been able to govern. But they are not going to vote for him again.
CROWLEY: And we saw the convention sort of speak to those disappointed voters. Let me ask you, finally, the president said in an interview with our Jessica Yellin that was in the documentary that he thinks the next four years will be different because Republicans will be more willing to work with him after he wins…
CROWLEY: And you are laughing, so, no, you don’t believe that?
GINGRICH: It is perfectly Obama. He didn’t say, I’d be willing to work with the Republicans.
CROWLEY: Well, he did say he would be a little better — he would try to make more of — everybody had to make more of an effort. But the question is, do you think that Republicans will be significantly different in terms of how they approach the president?
GINGRICH: I don’t contemplate a second Obama term, so I can’t answer the question. My entire commitment is to help Mitt Romney win. CROWLEY: Well, then we will ask you that after the election.
CROWLEY: Absolutely. Thank you so much.
GINGRICH: By the way, you could ask the Democratic House and Senate, are they willing to work with Governor Romney if he wins?
CROWLEY: It is a deal. I will. Thank you so much. Good to see you.