NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF, “YOUR WORLD”: Hey, do any of you remember when they said this certain Speaker was spinning out of control, going nowhere? You might want to think again, because Newt is in pursuit. The Republican candidate setting his sights on the Granite State. He’s making his candidacy official in New Hampshire and he is rocketing in the polls.
And while everyone is talking about Rick Perry’s flat tax announcement today, Newt Gingrich wants folks to know that he can do better and in fact has been ahead of this curve long before some of these entrants.
The speaker joins me right now.
Newt, good other have you. Thank you for coming.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, listen; it’s great talking to you.
And we just had a terrific signing up here with the secretary of state in New Hampshire. And I think things have been coming together in a very exciting and a very positive way.
CAVUTO: What do you think has happened, Newt? Because there was a time when, boy, the media was pouncing on your raced, looking like it was discombobulating. And then something happened. What?
GINGRICH: Well, I always -- as Mark Twain once said, I always thought the obituaries were premature.
And I think that substance matters and a track record matters. People realize we’ve tried youth and inexperience for the last three years and it hasn’t worked out very well. And so I think the more I’ve been in the debates the more that they’ve been able to go to Newt.org and look at the 21st Century Contract with America and just see the sheer depth of serious thought that I have put into and all my advisers have put into designing solution for America’s problems and getting us back on the right track, and I think every week we gained a little ground.
We actually, as of today, raised more money in October than we raised in July, August, and September combined. We’re very excited by how this is evolving and how rapidly it’s accelerating.
CAVUTO: Another trend in this campaign, besides your surge, is the surge in simple tax plans, the flat tax plan being pushed by Rick Perry today, a variation of, although not in the same league, as the ‘999’ plan by Herman Cain.
But that seems to be the big theme. We had Ron Paul on earlier, Speaker, saying, look; the problem isn’t what you can do with taxes. It’s what you have got to do with spending. And he says that Perry’s plan to actually try to address getting the budget in balance not until the year 2020 is way too late. He says he will do it in his third year. What about you?
GINGRICH: Well, I think I’m probably not quite as confident as Ron Paul is.
I think it is possible within five to seven years to balance the budget. We did it faster in the ‘90s than I thought we would. And I remain the only Speaker of the House in your lifetime to have balanced the budget four straight years and paid off $405 billion in debt.
But we did it in part by controlling spending, in part by reforming big two big entitlements, welfare reform, where two out of three people went to work or went to school, and Medicare where we saved about $200 billion in reforms.
In addition, we dramatically accelerated the economy by cutting taxes for the first time in 16 years, including the largest capital gains tax cut in American history. And the result was unemployment dropped from 5.6 percent down to 4.2 percent.
So if you get that kind of change, you take people off of welfare, off of unemployment and off of food stamps off of Medicaid, put them back to work where they are paying taxes, taking care of their family, you get a pretty big jump in the direction of a balanced budget.
CAVUTO: Do you think that’s what seems to resonate, though? I know you’ve got this debate upcoming with Herman Cain, like a Lincoln-Douglas.
And many have seen this as your chance to sort of knock him out of the way and prove your credentials.
GINGRICH: No, no, no.
CAVUTO: How do you describe it?
GINGRICH: No, look, that is exactly wrong.
Herman Cain is a terrific guy. He is a great talent. He has a terrific career. He has a good story to tell. He has some ideas I don’t agree with, but they’re big ideas – ‘999’ is a big idea.
I’m in New Hampshire, where there is no sales tax. And I think the idea of a federal sales tax is not going to go over very well up here. But, nonetheless, it’s serious. I don’t have a goal of knocking anybody out. I have a goal of trying to attract people to look at big ideas and big solutions, look at a real track record, and over time, simply outgrow my friends, none of whom are my major opponent.
In my mind, my major opponent is Barack Obama. And all these guys are friends of mine. They’re are smart people. And there is something you can learn from every single one of them. And Herman and I are going to have a great time in Houston on November 5, where they’re having a dialogue about entitlement reform based on Paul Ryan’s work.
And I think people are going to find this surprisingly interesting and educational, but not necessarily hostile.
CAVUTO: Sounds welcoming.
All right, Newt, good hearing you. Again, be well, the former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
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