This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 13, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: COLMES: Early this week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi suggested she would consider allowing a vote on offshore drilling if it was part of a larger energy package in an attempt to put it to rest talks of a government shutdown.
Will the Democrats and Republicans really be able to reach a compromise?
We now continue with former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.
By the way, before we talk about the Democratic side, there's something I'd like to discuss with you. You were blamed — I know you blamed Bill Clinton, but you were blamed for the Republican shutdown back in early 1996. Were you not?
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We were, and the fact is we became the first reelected Republican House majority since 1928 because people realized we were serious, we were determined to balance the federal budget, we were determined to cut taxes, we were determined to reform welfare, and all the Washington news media think that hurt us.
The fact is, we are the first Republicans to be reelected since 1928. And I ask you if it hurt us that much, how come we're the only ones in a 68- year period to get reelected?
COLMES: I went back to see what was going on back then today, and to look at it, it said Republican leaders rejected White House requests to include Democratic counterparts in meetings, that Clinton asked for you to drop a proposal, a proposed increase in Medicare premiums from legislation that would keep the government running, and you refused to do that.
GINGRICH: And that's — well, you selected out things you wanted to select out. I was in a numerable meetings with Senator Daschle and with majority — with Minority Leader Gephardt during that period. We met with President Clinton and Vice President Gore over and over for five, six, eight hours a day.
But the key fact was, we were determined to balance the budget, to cut taxes, and reform welfare, and ultimately we won on every single one of those issues, and we were willing to endure a difficult time to get there.
Here's the challenge, and I'm very encouraged that, you know, Senator Obama is weakening on drilling and saying maybe he could be for it. Speaker Pelosi this week said maybe she could be for it. I've seen Democrats around the country coming out saying now they're for drilling. So maybe what we're doing at American Solutions with Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less, with that petition that has almost 1.5 million signatures. Maybe it's having an effect, Alan. And I think that's good for the country.
COLMES: Well, maybe having an effect on the political front. I'm not sure I agree with Obama switching his position or Nancy Pelosi switching when you have the Energy Information Administration, a statistical agency that provides the numbers to the Bush administration that literally says any impact on prices is and will be down the road and insignificant, and we're talking about 2030 before it takes full force.
GINGRICH: That is just nonsense. And I'm glad you believe in bureaucrats, Alan. I don't.
COLMES: Bush's administration.
GINGRICH: They're just wrong.
GINGRICH: I'm happy to tell you they're wrong.
COLMES: Who would be.
GINGRICH: Oil prices — oil prices have been coming down for three weeks just at the talk about drilling. I think the fact is the world markets are beginning to think the U.S. is going to start producing more energy, and the world market is prepared to accommodate more U.S. energy almost immediately.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: I agree with your assessment, and it's dead on, and it's interesting that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi are now moving in Newt Gingrich's direction, although I suspect that they're going to try and create the impression that they're for drilling, but they're going to be against it.
By the way, there is a problem regarding this issue, Mr. Speaker. There's a report out today that there is a shortage of limousines in Denver for the convention for the Learjet, limousine liberals. This is going to be a problem. What are they going to do?
GINGRICH: Well, I think in the great tradition of calling on the Saudis to help — that they ought to see how many limousines they can have flown in from Saudi Arabia and the UAE and Dubai, and make sure that they bring back the limousines to Denver on behalf of the wealthy members of the Democratic Party and their interest groups so they can travel in style to their popular convention.
HANNITY: Yes, we'll have to import 70 percent just to have the moral equivalent here. We'll import 70 percent of the limousines in for the convention, and then maybe they'll understand why we need to become energy independent. We need to get American oil.
All right, I want to go back to an issue I just talking to you in the last segment. We were talking during the break here and that is, I keep hearing that on his short list there — and I like Joe Lieberman a lot. I want to be very clear. I like him a lot.
But Senator Joe Lieberman being considered really considered for VP, and you said something during the break that — you didn't say earlier that you think it may even have an impact on him getting the nomination.
GINGRICH: Well, remember, the delegates are pledged to Senator McCain for president. But they're not pledged to blindly and automatically vote for anybody that they send in to be the vice presidential nominee, and I remember in 1960 when Richard Nixon picked Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. that the rebellion led to the rise of Barry Goldwater, and there was a serious floor rebellion on that issue.
I suspect you would see somebody else's name whether — put in nomination as an alternative, and I think there'll be a genuine floor fight if they try to nominate somebody who, on every major social value, and on about most economic values, is, in fact, a liberal Democrat.
And, again, I respect Senator Lieberman a lot, I like him a lot, but I can't imagine how he could be effective as the vice president in a Republican administration.
HANNITY: I think he'd be great for secretary of state, secretary of defense. I think he'd be terrific.
All right, one other issue, you said that Barack Obama — and he really hasn't rebounded in the polls. The polls — every one of them showed this is a very tight race, and Barack Obama, Democrats are mystified, he can't, you know, tap above 45 percent. And here he's going to — you said you said he's benefited from being away from the spotlight.
Now he's going to go with this convention, 70,000, 80,000 people, you know, we children-of-the-world speech, I guess, is coming out. He's probably going to mention change 4,000 times in the speech.
Is that going to be helpful to hype it up that much?
GINGRICH: I don't know. This is one of the great rock star performers of our time, and I think the country will be watching. I think he'll have a very, very large audience, and the country has got to decide are you comfortable with this kind of charismatic leader? And he's got to be careful not to get carried away by his crowd.
HANNITY: All right. And thank you, Mr. Speaker, for being with us, and we'll see you, by the way, Sunday night on "Hannity's America".
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