Newt Gingrich on ABC’s This Week
October 29, 2012
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s turn now to the former House speaker, Newt Gingrich. Mr. Speaker, thanks for coming in this morning. You just heard Stephanie Cutter right there. She believes their campaign is ahead in Ohio, that the early vote is coming in for President Obama in those key battleground states. Your response?
GINGRICH: Well, I think you put your finger on it with the Des Moines Register. Here’s a newspaper that has not endorsed a Republican in 40 years. And now — they were for Obama four years ago. They’ve switched. I think the fact is, the paper in Florida this morning did the same thing, had been for Obama, it switched.
In Ohio, we clearly have gained ground. I think across the country we have. And if you look at the internals of the Washington Post poll, I doubt very much if Obama is going to carry Virginia. I think the poll way oversampled Democrats.
But the bigger issue is, whether it’s unemployment or it is what’s happened in Benghazi, where we’ve had this strange story over the weekend that the secretary of defense apparently refused to obey the president’s order. If the president is telling the truth and he actually instructed his assistants to get aid to Benghazi, we’re now being told that the secretary of defense canceled that.
And I think these kind of things all drag down the Obama campaign. You’ll notice he’s canceling his trips over the hurricane. He did not cancel his trips over Benghazi. And so you have to wonder, between Benghazi, the price of gasoline, and unemployment, just how much burden the president’s going to carry into this last week.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He does have a burden, as you point out, with a lot of those stories coming out at the same time. He also has built up a lead in some of these battleground states, according to the wealth of polls we’ve seen across the country, and it’s raised the prospect of the possibility of Governor Romney winning the popular vote but losing the Electoral College. Mark McKinnon, who worked for Governor — President Bush has said that Republicans won’t accept that. Is he right?
GINGRICH: I don’t know what he means by we won’t accept it. I mean, we’re a nation of law. We’re going to obey the law. I think it’s very unlikely, as a historian, that you’re going to see Romney win — I think he’s actually going to end up winning around 53-47. And I think it’s very unlikely he can win a significant popular victory vote and not carry the Electoral College.
You know, James Carville has a rule: Incumbents get the last poll. Well, there are a lot of states where that last poll means — for example, in Ohio — that Obama would lose at least 51-49. You go around the country, there are lots of states where Obama is at 47, 48, sometimes 49, sometimes 46, and James Carville always said, you never get — if you’re the incumbent, you never get a break, because they had four years to decide they’re for you, and they ain’t doing it the last week.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s look at the closing arguments from President Obama. He was in New Hampshire yesterday taking aim at Mitt Romney’s record in Massachusetts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Once he took office, he pushed through a tax cut that overwhelming benefited 278 of the wealthiest families in the state, and then he raised taxes and fees on middle-class families to the tune of $750 million. Does that sound familiar to you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: His argument, of course, that’s exactly what Governor Romney is going to do if he’s president.
GINGRICH: Look, wait a second. The fact is, Barack Obama would trade the job creation of Romney as governor in a heartbeat. He would trade the unemployment rate of — of Massachusetts under Romney in a heartbeat. He’d love to have had the bipartisan ability — Romney worked with an 85 percent Democratic legislature. Obama would love to have been able to work with people as well as Romney did.
You look at Romney’s record, and it makes, frankly, Obama’s presidency look pretty thin and remarkably ineffective. Longest period of high unemployment in American history since the Great Depression. Every person who buys gasoline today is paying $2 a gallon more because of Obama’s energy policies. I think Obama, if he had a chance, would love to have Romney’s record in Massachusetts.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The price of gas is going down in these final weeks, isn’t it?
GINGRICH: Sure, because it goes down every fall when the summer travel goes in. It is still the most expensive for this time of year in American history. It is still $2 a gallon more than it was when Obama became president. And we’re learning more and more about how much bankruptcies there are in the solar power industry he was taking care of.
So you have a president who badly invested your tax money to distort energy policies, while making you pay $2 a gallon more. That’s a pretty tough record to go into Ohio or Florida, or anywhere, and say to folks, “Why don’t you keep voting for $2 more on gasoline, because you like Obama so much, you don’t mind paying for it?”
STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, Mr. Speaker, you heard Stephanie Cutter bring up this issue of Richard Mourdock, the Republican Senate candidate in Indiana, and saying that Governor Romney is wrong not to stand up to him and say his comments were wrong and to take down his ad endorsing him. Your response?
GINGRICH: Well, my response is, if you listen to what Mourdock actually said, he said what virtually every Catholic and every fundamentalist in the country believes, life begins at conception. Now, this seems to be fixated by the Democrats, but the radical on abortion is Obama, who as a state senator voted three times in favor of allowing doctors to kill babies in the eighth and ninth month who were born, having survived late-term abortion, and the Democratic Party platform, which says you should pay with your tax money for late-term abortion, something which is about a 20 percent issue, but doesn’t seem to fascinate the press nearly as much as the Stephanie Cutter…
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Mr. Speaker, what — what Mr. Mourdock said exactly was that this life after rape, as horrible as it may be, is something that God intended to happen. You agree with that?
GINGRICH: And he also immediately issued a clarification saying he was referring to the act of conception, and he condemned rape. Romney has condemned — I mean, one part of this is nonsense. Every candidate I know, every decent American I know condemns rape. OK, so why can’t people like Stephanie Cutter get over it? We all condemn rape. Now let’s talk about whether we also condemn killing babies in the eighth and ninth month.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. Speaker, thanks very much for your time this morning.
GINGRICH: Thank you.