• With: Newt Gingrich

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well...

    GINGRICH: ... you get a friend to show up and talk for a while...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Senator Mike Lee told me in the green room that he couldn't take a bathroom break, so...

    GINGRICH: I think -- no, I think he yielded to Barrasso for a few minutes.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, I guess that's a little inconsequential as we're debating his bathroom break, I guess.

    (LAUGHTER)

    VAN SUSTEREN: But I brought -- I'll -- I'll take the blame for that one. Anyway, we're going to be keeping an eye on the filibuster.

    But Speaker Gingrich, right now, I want to ask you about something else. Republicans insist the president is trying to make sure the sequester cuts are as painful as he promised. And now a leaked Agriculture Department e-mail seems, to some at least, to back up that claim. The e- mail was sent to an agency regional director. He was asking how much latitude he has in making cuts.

    Now, this is the email response he got from the Agriculture Department's budget office. "However you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be."

    So what exactly does that mean? Does that mean all that pain? Your thought on that email?

    GINGRICH: I think, first of all, the Obama strategy was maximum pain for political gain, and I think he's been caught in it. I think it's hurt his popularity dramatically. It's going to get worse. I don't think the Ag Department memo's the most amazing. The most amazing is closing the White House tours. I mean, here you have a president who spends over $900,000 of your money going on a golf vacation. You have a president who keeps all sorts of people and staff at high prices at the White House. And they're telling the American people, The one thing we're going to cut is your tour?

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, actually -- it's funny, I talked to -- I mean, I talked to some people involved with the tours, and they -- and it's a very sort of different perspective from the inside, is that they -- they need to figure out what they could cut because they may have to do overtime, for instance, for other departments, and it seemed like that would be a good place.

    But the funny thing about it, the people who are complaining aren't people like you and outside, but they're actually people in the White House who are complaining because they have relatives coming into town...

    GINGRICH: Right.

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... or they -- or they've Congressmen. So it's sort of funny. It's sort of the squeeze play on the people doing the tours in the White House from within and from without...

    (CROSSTALK)

    VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, they're trying to figure out a solution, and this has sort of been the poster child.

    GINGRICH: Well, let me just make two quick observations. First, Speaker John Boehner made the correct point that the House had prepared for the sequester and they are not slowing down any tours at the Capitol because they had thought it through and they'd done the right thing to protect the American people.

    Second, I think, you know, if the White House would tell us how much it costs, I suspect we could find three or four people who'd put up the price. We can subsidize the tours. The idea...

    VAN SUSTEREN: So are you announcing tonight that you'll start a fund to pay for tours of the White House?

    GINGRICH: If the White House would tell us what much it takes, we will raise the money to enable the White House tours to continue, period. I have no doubt about this. Because it's just silly! Of all the things you could cut in the White House, whether it's the chef -- I mean, tonight the president is taking a bunch of guys over to the Jefferson for a very expensive dinner...

    VAN SUSTEREN: One of the greatest hotels in Washington...

    GINGRICH: That's right.

    VAN SUSTEREN: (INAUDIBLE) owned by Connie Milstein, but great hotel.

    GINGRICH: So...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Expensive!

    GINGRICH: I'm not -- look, I'm not against going to the Jefferson, I'm just saying...

    VAN SUSTEREN: He's paying for it, by the way.

    GINGRICH: Personally?

    VAN SUSTEREN: That's what I'm told.

    GINGRICH: Oh...

    VAN SUSTEREN: At least that was in our -- in our computer, we have urgents in the computer, it said that he was.

    GINGRICH: The president was personally going to pay for it?

    VAN SUSTEREN: I was surprised, but that's what I read.

    GINGRICH: This is wonderful. Maybe he would...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Maybe -- I mean, maybe that's wrong.

    GINGRICH: Look, maybe he'd like to reimburse the $920,000 for his golf vacation. They could apply that to keeping open the White House tours.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me go -- let me go on to something else. You were talking to Laura Ingraham. You said -- you made a crack about CPAC. You're not a big fan of CPAC anymore?

    GINGRICH: Well, I'm going to speak there. I think that CPAC serves an important function. But I think it's lost some of its ideological edge and some of its focus, and I don't understand some of its decisions.

    VAN SUSTEREN: You're going to get booed if you're saying all this stuff before you speak!