• With: Newt Gingrich

    The unemployment rate particularly hurts minorities and particularly hurts younger minority members. So his failure economically hurts everybody. The degree to which he's piling up debt, which will absorb tax money which could have gone to schools, could have gone to health care, could have gone to other things, now it's just going to pay interest on the debt. That hurts everybody.

    In many ways, it's almost sad to go back and look at that speech and realize the degree to which he has failed to achieve any of the goals that he implied were his goals back in 2007.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, he did say that he was going to get health care. That he did do, whether you like it or not. I mean, at least he did achieve that. But one of the things that he said -- you speak about the debt -- is what he said -- and he was rather sarcastic about other politicians in this speech. And what he said, in part, he said, "Don't worry about trillions of dollars in debt, someone else will pay." And he was being sarcastic about politicians who run up debts, who have no concern about the debt -- his sarcasm.

    Now if you fast-forward to now, in just the last year -- last year, he's added $1.3 trillion to the debt, and nobody is over here -- you know, he's not in Washington working on it. The Capitol Hill isn't working on it. We're just running up the debt. We have no idea with sequestration or with the tax cuts -- so it sort of makes a mockery out of the whole process.

    I mean, this is -- this is what he promised in 2007 as a candidate. I mean, he thought it was important then.

    GINGRICH: Well, look, I also think there's a deeper part of this, which is that this was a candidate who on the one hand said he wanted to bring us together and then gave speeches like this, that are clearly divisive. I mean, there's no way you can listen to this speech and not hear it as a deliberately divisive speech that pits Americans against each other, and does so largely with racial innuendoes that are very, very clear when you hear the speech.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, let me talk now about a gaffe, the one you just spoke about. And of course, the offender is today -- is Vice President Joe Biden. And what is that gaffe? Well, the vice president outright admitting the middle class has been buried the last four years. And his opponent, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, jumping all over that comment.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is deadly earnest, man. This is deadly earnest! How they can justify -- how they can justify raising taxes on the middle class that's been buried the last four years -- how in Lord's name can they justify raising their taxes with these tax cuts?

    REP. PAUL RYAN, VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Vice President Biden just today said that the middle class over the last four years has been, quote, "buried." We agree! That means we need to stop digging by electing Mitt Romney the next president of the United States!

    (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

    RYAN: Of course, the middle class has been buried! They're being buried by regulations! They're being buried by taxes. They're being buried by borrowing! They're being buried by the Obama administration's economic failures!

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    VAN SUSTEREN: So will the Obama campaign take a political hit with that one, Mr. Speaker? Is that -- I mean, that...

    GINGRICH: Well...

    VAN SUSTEREN: It's so dangerous to talk these days!

    GINGRICH: Look, it's pretty hard to take anything Joe Biden says seriously. But if you look at it for a minute, there are two parts to it. He admits that in the last four years -- that is, the Obama years -- the middle class has been buried. As I said a while ago, highest price of gasoline in history, hits the middle class. The unemployment rate hits the middle class. The debt that's being piled up hits the middle class.

    But then he goes on to say something which is just frankly nutty. No Republican is proposing a tax increase on the middle class. None. Zero. There are no proposals to raise taxes on the middle class.

    Who's proposing to raise taxes? Obama. Who actually has a whole range of tax increases in "ObamaCare"? Obama. So Biden pivots and says something -- charges the Republicans with something totally false after having admitted that in the time he was vice president, the middle class was buried.

    And I agree with Paul Ryan's characterization. It was buried by tax. It's buried by unemployment. It's buried by regulation. It's buried by debt. It's buried by a variety of government actions under Obama and Biden.

    And I'm sure that he wishes he hadn't said it. But Joe Biden in that case was sharing an insight into what's happened.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, a two-part question. I know one part you won't want to answer, but I'm going to ask it -- both -- two-part. What is the one question President Obama doesn't want to be asked tomorrow night? And here's the question I don't think you want to answer, but what is the one question that Governor Romney doesn't want to be asked tomorrow night?.

    GINGRICH: You know, you are much -- you are so much more clever than I am. It had not occurred to me to try to come up with that, and I'm not sure I'm smart enough to come up with it right now.

    I suspect that Obama will go after Romney on the whole, Why don't you release your taxes, all that personal stuff, because that seems to be the heart of the campaign. I think that Governor Romney ought to simply ask the president, how does he justify running for reelection with an economy this bad, policies this failed, and his complete inability to bring Washington together to get anything done?

    I think the more Romney can stick to the facts, the more trouble Obama will be in tomorrow night.

    VAN SUSTEREN: What do you expect tomorrow night in terms of, though - - I mean, if people think that this is going to be, like, some huge event, or is this sort of a -- you know, this is just one debate of many, it's sort of chipping away. And what is sort of interesting is I think is that afterwards, the pundits and the analysts -- and maybe I'll even be doing it -- is, you know, calling who won and who lost.

    GINGRICH: Well, I think -- look, I think it's a very clear-cut situation. Romney has to go in and be very clear and very factual and stick to his grounds. He's got to recognize he's up against the incumbent president of the United States. Obama will try to over-awe him. And I think Romney's got to be able to stick straight in there, not flinch, not back off.

    And he's got to recognize he's going to be double-teamed. The fact is, Jim Lehrer is part of the cultural left. And so Romney's going to have to communicate past Lehrer and past Obama to reach the American people.

    If he does that, I think he could have a very good night, and I think you could see a very different race by Thursday morning.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think Jim Lehrer's going to be unfair? I mean, it's -- I mean, he's got -- he's got the spotlight on him. I mean -- I mean, you know, the -- he's going to -- I assume he's going to try his best to be fair.

    GINGRICH: He will try his best to be fair. I'm not saying he's a partisan. I'm saying he comes out of a news media culture, you know, the whole network of where he lives, where he operates, what he does, which has the assumptions of the left and which asks questions on the framework of the left. So they're very often, in their mind, being totally neutral when they ask questions that clearly reflect the biases of the left. And I think that's a key part of this.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think that these -- that in general, moderators try to pit one candidate against the other, not to get the substantive issues but to generate a little spark in order to sort of, quote, "generate" news?

    GINGRICH: I think all too often, moderators try to play gotcha. They try to be clever. The show becomes, Can the moderator look intelligent?

    I really would much prefer to see debates in which there was no moderator. There was a timekeeper, and the two candidates controlled the whole thing and the two candidates had to talk without -- I mean, who can tell you 90 minutes, what's the right question to ask? And I think you'd be better off to let the two candidates ask each other questions, let the two candidates make their case. You know, Lincoln and Douglas debated, they had a timekeeper, they didn't have a moderator.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, it -- what unfortunately happens in all of this, when you try to get a snapshot of the candidates in 90 minutes, but you know, from the debate, it is true that we're going to -- if either candidate makes a gaffe, that's the one we're going to play a million times...

    GINGRICH: Right.

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... you know, whatever it is.

    (CROSSTALK)

    VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, last night in Massachusetts, it was Senator Brown against Elizabeth Warren. They both said something a little goofy. I've seen that played a billion times, or heard it. I mean, that's, regrettably, the unfortunate part of this. But the viewers get to watch the whole thing.

    GINGRICH: Well, and I think if -- I think if the viewer tunes in, it is a chance to see both people side by side. The great danger for an incumbent president is if the challenger comes off as being competent in that setting, all of a sudden, the challenger's elevated to being equal of the incumbent president. And I think incumbent presidents have more at risk going into these debates than do the challengers.