• With: Newt Gingrich

    This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 6, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Right now, former Speaker of the House and current GOP presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich. Good evening, Mr. Speaker.


    VAN SUSTEREN: And I suppose I should just say I handed you the latest CBS polls and...


    VAN SUSTEREN: You laugh. Are you happy with these polls?

    GINGRICH: Well, I've been on the show with you when I was really unhappy in June and July. So yes, this is a nice Christmas present. It's the holiday season, and I feel better about it.

    VAN SUSTEREN: And I should point out that the new CBS poll has you -- commanding lead in Iowa. But that's tonight.

    GINGRICH: That's tonight.

    VAN SUSTEREN: That's tonight. OK. All right. Now, let me turn to the question of Speaker Pelosi. You said that she had given you a Christmas present. But in sort of seriousness, this could be rather punishing in a race when someone comes out and says something like, I have secret information about the person.

    GINGRICH: Well, first of all, she doesn't have any secret information. It was all published. Second, I think...

    VAN SUSTEREN: But she leaves the impression.

    GINGRICH: I know. But it would be against House rules and she'd be severely sanctioned if she actually used secret information. I think what it does is it reminds people who probably didn't know this that she was on the Ethics Committee, that it was a very partisan political committee, and that the way I was dealt with related more to the politics of the Democratic Party than the ethics.

    And I think in that sense, it actually helps me in getting people to understand -- this was a Nancy Pelosi-driven effort. They filed 85 charges, 84 were dismissed. The only one -- there was a conflicting lawyer's letter, and then the Democrats just held out for partisan reasons.

    VAN SUSTEREN: See, I look at it a little differently, and that's this, that...


    VAN SUSTEREN: ... yes, you can say it's against House rules for her to release it, but what's sort of out there in the public domain is that you have the former speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, saying that she has secret information, she can't reveal it because of House rules, and so she's not going to tell, but she was locked away in this room and she sees all the documents. And I -- frankly, I don't -- I think it's an unfair statement because I don't know how you fight against something like that.

    GINGRICH: I think -- I think in a Republican primary, being attacked by Nancy Pelosi is a badge of honor. And I would be happy for her to attack me once a week between now and the Iowa caucuses.

    VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Donald Trump -- you are in for this debate.


    VAN SUSTEREN: And you laugh again. Why?

    GINGRICH: Oh, because I met with the Donald yesterday. He is -- as you know, he is such a character. I mean, this is this larger-than-life entrepreneur who has now found television, is having the time of his life, and is, you know, a celebrity in his own right. He just -- he adds a level of excitement and zest that's interesting.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Have you thought through, though, what this might be like?

    GINGRICH: I assume it's like "The Apprentice" presidency. I mean, you know, I can't imagine what it would be like, which is part of why -- this is a very serious business and we're picking the President of the United States and we all have to be very serious. But every once in a while on the campaign trail, to have something that just sort of breaks out is good. And I think -- I believe that having Donald Trump in that kind of environment will absolutely be amazing.

    VAN SUSTEREN: OK, let's think this through, though. As a lawyer, I always sort of think these things through. Imagine being up on the stage. These are very important -- I guess you're going to -- you may be the only one up there -- up there. I don't know if anyone else is going to be up there with you. But suppose he tosses a question to you like the birther question. What are you going to say?

    GINGRICH: I would answer it.


    GINGRICH: Oh, I think the president was born in Hawaii. I think it's -- in my mind, it's very clear the president was born in Hawaii.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have any doubt in your mind whether or not Donald Trump is going to run for president?

    GINGRICH: I don't think he'll run for president for practical reasons that you just showed. He is enormously frustrated with Barack Obama. He thinks Obama is killing the economy of this country and is a terrible president. And he knows that any third party would help reelect Barack Obama. I don't think Donald Trump does things that are foolish, and it would be foolish to have a third party when Barack Obama is up for reelection.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Any sort of thought about why the other candidates don't want to debate in front of -- with Donald Trump as the moderator?

    GINGRICH: You know, I don't understand it. I mean, everybody's got to do their own thing. But you know, I've gotten to where I am right now in part because of debates, because people got to see unedited where we are. I don't know. I think if you're afraid to debate with Donald Trump, people are going to say, So you want me to believe you can debate Barack Obama, but you're afraid to show up with Donald Trump? And I think -- it strikes me it's kind of a very weak position. I don't know why people would do that.

    VAN SUSTEREN: How do you characterize your campaign? How (INAUDIBLE)

    GINGRICH: Extraordinarily idea-oriented, very exciting, and remarkable how many people -- I just did the Soybean Association. I did a telephone town hall meeting, and I learned five or six new things that -- you know? Every time I turn around, I'm learning new stuff. And it's -- I find it very exhilarating.

    It's very tiring. I mean, this is a huge country. But it's also very exciting. And audiences are really -- you know, we were in South Carolina. We had three town hall meetings, had 2,500 people show up altogether. And it was just terrifically -- very active, aggressive dialogues. It was fun.

    VAN SUSTEREN: I suppose you've seen the remarks. People think of you as the idea guy. Is that right? I mean, you've seen those (INAUDIBLE)

    GINGRICH: Well, people say that.

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... that you have a lot of ideas. There are some people who say that, though, that with your ideas, that you don't take them the next step and carry them out. You laugh again!

    GINGRICH: Well, look, no, people used to say...