• With: Newt Gingrich

    VAN SUSTEREN: And I hate to use that phrase "people say" because I think that's a terrible thing to do...

    GINGRICH: Well, no...

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... to them.

    GINGRICH: But people have often said I have 10 ideas a day and one of them is good.


    VAN SUSTEREN: Is that true?

    GINGRICH: I think it's partly true, sure. But my role as an advocate, legislator, surrounded by a big system is very different than my role as a potential president. I can have lots of attitudes. As the president, you have to have policies. It's a much higher standard. You've got to be more careful.

    But the other part -- people say, He doesn't carry things out. I spent 16 years helping create the first majority for the House Republicans in 40 years. We balanced the budget for four consecutive years. We reformed Welfare, the only major entitlement reform in your lifetime. We got the first tax cut in 16 years. I spent 23 years teaching one and two- star generals in the military. I mean, those are reasonably consistent patterns.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Why is it that Senator Coburn, who served in the House with you, was so harsh on you over the weekend...

    GINGRICH: I have no idea.

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... said he wouldn't endorse you?

    GINGRICH: I have no idea. But I can tell you that when you drive as hard as I did, you push through entitlement reforms, we reformed Medicare, you push as well as -- Welfare, you push through a balanced budget for four straight years, we changed the fiscal outlook of the United States $5 trillion to the better in four years. That kind of leadership is aggressive, and some people don't like it. Some people do.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, in terms of running for office, it seems to me -- and I have not run for office, I'm on the outside -- but that you -- when you run, you're an advocate. You're an advocate for your position. You get the job, and the job is oftentimes different. Like, you've got to try to figure out how to herd -- herd the...

    GINGRICH: Sure.

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... herd the cats at that point.

    GINGRICH: Look, the Founding Fathers wanted to avoid dictatorship. And they designed a machine so inefficient that no dictator could force it to work. You have the House, the Senate, the president, the Supreme Court. We can barely get it to work voluntarily. This is -- governing a free people is the hardest thing people do other than fight a civil war.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Social Security, big issue. You've talked about it recently. You have a proposal where (INAUDIBLE) and correct me if I'm wrong. It's your proposal. I should probably have you...


    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you explain it. It's your proposal.

    GINGRICH: OK. It allows young people to have a personal Social Security account option. They can stay in the current system or they can take their half of the tax, put it into a savings account, have it build up compound interest over their working lifetime. The estimate is they'll get two or three times as much money when they retire. They will also build up an estate so if something happens to them, they'll be leaving their family the money they've built up.

    It takes it away from the politicians. You'll never again have Barack Obama saying, as he did twice in July, I may not be able to send you a check. You also eliminate the question about retirement age. You get to retire when you want to retire based on your savings and your buildup.

    Chile has this kind of system. The Galveston, Texas, public employees have this kind of system. In both cases, they make more money than the same amount of money paid into Social Security. In both cases, the government has never had to pay a penny in the guarantee because people make so much money that they're well above the Social Security standard.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Under your program, as I understand it also, that if it comes -- when it comes time for you to collect your Social Secures, if you are collecting less than you would otherwise have, had you been in the program all along, that the Treasury will make up the difference.

    GINGRICH: Right.

    VAN SUSTEREN: So you can't lose.

    GINGRICH: Right. It's designed...

    VAN SUSTEREN: And but...

    GINGRICH: But they would pay the minimum Social Security benefit, which is dramatically smaller than the maximum. But -- and frankly, it is so fiscally sound that the amount you'd end up the Treasury were paying out is trivial. It's a very tiny amount of money.

    VAN SUSTEREN: What do you do now, though? To the extent that people are right now paying Social Security to fund people who are on Social Security, if they are diverting half -- they're diverting their money into a private account, suddenly, we're coming up short to pay those obligations we right now have for Social Security. That's a shortfall. How are you going to pay for that?

    GINGRICH: Well, the way we designed it, we take 185 -- there are 185 federal programs to help poor people, 185. We collapse all those into basically two large block grants, send the money back home, save all the federal bureaucracy that's involved. And the net savings of that helps cover the cost of the transition.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Have you actually scored this to make sure that it works, or is it just an idea?


    GINGRICH: No, Social Security -- the actual -- Social Security, actuary, the fiscal X-ray (ph), has said this will work. Not only will it work, he said if you make it optional, 95 percent of young people will take it because it's such a good deal, they'd would be stupid not to. Martin Feldstein, who's a very famous economist at Harvard, has said this program would increase the size of the U.S. economy dramatically and is an enormous increase in capital available for investment.

    So you end up with a bigger economy with a bigger income, which means you can save even more money so you have an even better savings account. It's really a remarkable program.

    VAN SUSTEREN: If you're president tonight -- we have a drone that went down in Iran and that -- what would you be doing? What would be your thoughts, what would be your actions as president? What would you be doing?

    GINGRICH: Well, first of all, you'd have delegated it to somebody who's competent, hopefully, and that person would be worried about, Could we destroy the drone? My hunch is they should have some kind of self- destruct mechanism.

    VAN SUSTEREN: I can clear my iPad when I lose it on the train from my office, so I'm sure we can clear it...


    GINGRICH: I suspect they're more worried about the composite material that -- same thing happened with the helicopter that went down when we -- when we killed bin Laden.

    VAN SUSTEREN: The stealth? You mean the stealth aspect?