• With: Karl Rove

    This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 5, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight: Going for the gold! Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich takes his surging campaign to Trump Tower. The prize at stake, Donald Trump's endorsement.


    QUESTION: Mr. Speaker...


    QUESTION: ... GOP presidential candidates.


    QUESTION: Did you ask for his endorsement?

    GINGRICH: Not yet. He's got to do this debate.

    QUESTION: Mr. Speaker, why is it that the GOP presidential candidates all come to see Mr. Trump (INAUDIBLE)

    GINGRICH: Why wouldn't you?

    QUESTION: Well, I mean, what is it? Is it like an audience?

    GINGRICH: No. Look, I -- I think -- some of this -- I want to pick up with something Herman Cain said a while back. Sometimes we have to get a certain sense of humor in politics. "The Donald" has had the number one show in the country, OK? He is a genuine American icon in his own right. Why wouldn't you want to come out and hang out with him?

    DONALD TRUMP, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: It was a great honor to have Newt up here. It's amazing how well he's doing and how it's really resonated with so many people.

    GINGRICH: Donald Trump is a great showman. He's also a great businessman. If we're trying to figure out how to create jobs, I think one of the differences between my party and the other party is we actually go to people who know how to create jobs to figure out how to create jobs. And so when I was asked whether or not I'd be willing to be in that kind of debate, I automatically said yes.


    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, Speaker Gingrich may be courting Donald Trump, but he is blasting House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Congressman Pelosi threatened to dish dirt about Gingrich from a House ethics probe in the 1990s. She told a reporter, One of these days, we'll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich. I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year, a thousand pages of his stuff.

    Gingrich fired back.


    GINGRICH: First of all, I want to thank Speaker Pelosi for what I regard as an early Christmas gift.

    QUESTION: And what's that?

    GINGRICH: Well, if she's suggesting she's going to use material that she developed while she was on the Ethics Committee, that is a fundamental violation of the rules of the House, and I would hope that members would immediately file charges against her the second she does it.

    I think it tells you how capriciously political that committee was that she was on it. It tells you how tainted the outcome was that she was on it. And I think what she said to you today should -- should explain a great deal about what happened in the ethics process when Nancy Pelosi was at the heart of it and is now prepared to totally abuse the House process.

    So I regard it as a useful education to the American people to see -- to see what a tainted political ethics operation Nancy Pelosi was engaged in, and I would hope the House will immediately condemn her if she uses any material that was gathered while she was on the Ethics Committee because it would be a total violation of the committee.


    VAN SUSTEREN: A busy day for the current GOP front-runner. How will it all impact the race? Karl Rove joins us. Good evening, Karl. And boy, what a firestorm between Leader Pelosi and former Speaker Gingrich. It almost looks like she thinks he's the candidate, the nominee, while the Obama campaign is focused on Governor Romney.

    KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER BUSH SENIOR ADVISER: Yes, look, she clearly dislikes the former speaker, two former speakers who don't like each other. But he -- the Speaker Gingrich is absolutely right. If Nancy Pelosi were to take the private hearings of the Ethics Committee and draw on that material to make political charges against Newt, she would be in violation of House rules and ought to be sanctioned immediately.

    And it would show the essential political nature of the Ethics Committee process and would ill serve the House and ill serve the country. You know, if she gets her wish and Newt Gingrich becomes the Republican nominee and she does this, she'll be doing him a great favor and the country a great disservice by doing this.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I'm not sure whether or not -- I mean, she hasn't done it, or at least not yet. She hasn't done it. I'm not so sure how much she's sort of trying sort of, you know, do a little saber-rattling and sort of the political game that, you know, we spectators think is a little rough around the edges.

    ROVE: Well, with all due respect, if I say I think I'm going to rob a bank but I haven't robbed it yet, that still means I've got the intent to rob the bank. She has -- she has announced her intention to violate the rules of the House, the rules that govern the Ethics Committee, and subject herself to being in a place where she could be sanctioned. So I mean, she may not have robbed the bank yet, but simply announcing that she's interested in robbing the bank doesn't mean that it's OK.

    VAN SUSTEREN: See, I -- what I think has been problematic (INAUDIBLE) is not that she's messing with his head with that, but that she's saying that she's in a position to have confidential information. And boy, there's a whole lot of stuff...

    ROVE: Sure.

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... there, is the insinuation. So even if it never goes one step further, it's just sort of like, I really know, and boy, it's really bad. I think that's the problem.

    ROVE: Well, there's a word for that. It's called sleazy. And we just saw the former speaker do that and she shouldn't be doing it.

    VAN SUSTEREN: OK, let's move to another topic, the Trump debate. Two people, Huntsman and Paul, have said no, and Bachmann's in, Santorum's in and Gingrich is in. If you were running a campaign for one of these -- any candidate for this, would you say get in or get out of this debate?

    ROVE: Well, they're all going to get stuck going to it. But to me, this is weird. On "Hannity" earlier tonight, Trump, in an interview, said, in essence, he's already leaning toward somebody. He's not going to say who he's leaning to. So how can we have any confidence he's going to be impartial in his questions?

    And he's also announced that he may run yet next May. It depends on - - he said on an earlier program it depends whether or not his program gets taken back up by NBC. So we got a guy who is not only saying, I'm already -- I'm going to make a decision about who I'm going to endorse based on this -- shortly after this debate, and I'm already leaning some way, and I may run myself, and we expect him to be the impartial moderator of this debate?

    Could you imagine what would happen if MSNBC was hosting the debate and the moderator said, Well, I'm going to endorse one of the Republican candidates after this debate?

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we had the...