Published April 02, 2009
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," April 1, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is here. He goes "On the Record."
It is now Thursday morning in London and we are hours away from the G- 20 summit beginning. What should the president say at the summit? The speaker joins us live.
Nice to see you, Mr. Speaker. What should he do at this summit, Mr. Speaker, and what will he do?
NEWT GINGRICH, (R) FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: Well, I think what he's going to do is be one of the two or three most left wing, big government, big spending, big bureaucracy people at the summit.
The tone was set last week when the Swedish government, which used to be called socialist, announced that they would not rescue Saab, because, as they put it, they weren't in the business of running the auto industry.
It was also said last week when the French government announced that they weren't going to have a big stimulus spending package because they thought it was very fiscally irresponsible.
So, ironically, President Obama will be one of the most liberal, one the most big spending, and one of the most high-tax people at the summit, which is the reverse of, I think, every American involvement in the summit probably in the history of these meetings.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, a lot of people are surprised at this. For the first time they're sort of sitting down and looking at the policies, whether they're for it or against it.
But is there anything he's doing now that's in any way inconsistent to what he promised the American people?
GINGRICH: Almost everything he's done right now is inconsistent.
He never promised us a 34 percent increase in spending in one year, which is what this budget is. He never promised to take the national debt up to 82 percent of our gross domestic product, double the size of the American debt in comparison to our economy. He never promised us a $645 billion energy tax increase.
If he had campaigned on a promise to raise the cost of electricity, gasoline, and fuel oil, he would have lost the election.
VAN SUSTEREN: But didn't he tell the American people in the run-up, in sort of lay words, "I'm a very active president. I believe that the government has got to take care of everything. The government is going to run these businesses."
He may have never said that specifically, but didn't he tell the American people what sort of his philosophy of how to run the government was? I mean, didn't the American people get what they voted for?
GINGRICH: No. I think this was bait and switch.
Let me give you an example. In New Hampshire last year he promised every bill would lay over five days on the Internet so every American could read it before he considered signing it.
They rammed through a $787 billion, 1,100-page stimulus in 24 hours, with no member of the House or Senate having read it. And that's a pretty big break in a promise, the exact opposite of what he promised.
VAN SUSTEREN: I'll give you that one, but as far as in terms of his sort of philosophy on the role of the government, vis-a-vis people -
GINGRICH: Why don't-
VAN SUSTEREN: I think you and I will disagree on that one for a while. I think his philosophy is exactly what he sort of told us he was going to do, and I'm just sort of surprised that some people are surprised.
But anyway, let me ask you about the G-20. How important is it? Is it really important to the American people and people around the world, or is it really sort of a show-and-tell with a bunch of leaders getting together and we focus a lot of attention and then everyone goes his own way and we go back to the same old problems?
GINGRICH: I think it can be very important on at least two levels. One is if we go back to a worldwide bureaucracy like the United Nations, on top of the current mess, we could trap the American business community and the entire world market in a series of highly inefficient and probably corrupt bureaucracies.
That will be a real problem. And I think there's a great drive, by the French in particular, to create some kind of worldwide regulatory system, which strikes me as totally unmanageable.
Second, there's a big drive underway to have hundreds of billions of dollars go to the International Monetary Fund at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer. That would go to prop up dictatorships. That would go to prop up failing bureaucracies all around the world. And I think that would be, frankly, a bad thing for the long-term future of the planet.
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you make of the demonstrations, the protests in London? And there have been other protests about various economies around the world - France, Germany. What about the protests today?
GINGRICH: I got a note from a friend of mine in Orlando who pointed out there were more people at a taxpayer tea party in Orlando a week ago than they are in London. They just didn't get any coverage out of the media.
There were more people recently in Cincinnati at a taxpayer tea party than there have been demonstrating in London.
But the London demonstrators are breaking windows, they're being violent, and, you know, the media is always happy to cover the anarchic and violent left.
But the peaceful taxpayers of this country are actually turning out for these tea parties, and I predict on April 15 will turn out even more, in much bigger numbers than they are in London.
VAN SUSTEREN: In London it's violent today, but even the tea parties are peaceful examples of social unrest, of disagreement. Do you see any significance to the fact that we're having so many pockets of people collecting of social unhappiness? Is that at least significant to you?
GINGRICH: Sure. I think it's significant, because you can't have the kind of economic pain we're currently having and the kind of failure of government leadership we're currently having and not have a substantial amount of unrest.
You know, a lot of people are suffering. A lot of people are going through very significant financial dislocations, and it's affecting their family budget, their plans, their hopes for the future.
And I think people get very upset when they see governments that are out of touch and arrogant and not responsive.
VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Speaker, if you'll stand by, we'll have much more with you after this very quick break.
Up next, are some government prosecutors just plain crooks? If not, why is there bombshell news tonight from the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder? He just did something big, something attorney generals just don't do.
Plus, here are two questions we know you've been sitting around thinking about all night. One- why does Queen Elizabeth have an IPod? Two, what songs and videos are on her IPod? We have answers to both those questions, and the answers might surprise you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Get ready. It just happened again. You might have realized it, but yesterday was Election Day. A special election to fill an open congressional seat was held yesterday in New York, and, well, it's too close to call.
Democrat Scott Murphy currently leads Republican Jim Tedisco by a razor thin margin of only 25 votes. So now it comes down to the absentee ballots. There are about 10,000 of those, and they will not be fully counted until April 13.
This is the first national election since President Obama took office.
And while we're on the topic, no, Minnesota still has not called its Senate election that was held last November. It is the never-ending Senate race.
We continue now with former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. Mr. Speaker, these tea parties that are coming up, what exactly are they, and what do you expect the impact to be?
GINGRICH: Well, I think if you go to places like taxdayteaparty.com, or you go to Americansolutions.com, you'll see that all across the country there are people who are actively angry about taxes, about borrowing and spending, about the size of government.
And this kind of sprang up almost unexpectedly over the last two months in a spontaneous effort around the country. I think there were 15,000, for example, in Orange County the other night at one of these tea parties.
I think what you'll see on April 15, which is tax day, is lots of people in many places -- I'm going to be, for example, in New York City at the city hall, where I think we're going to have several thousand people there.
And essentially what I think they're going to be saying is that they don't want to see this budget passed. They don't want to see their taxes go up. They don't want to see huge borrowing. And they don't want to see the inevitable inflation and high interest rates that that's going to lead to.
So I think you're beginning to see the mobilization of citizens who want to take their own government back, and who don't believe that a big government, big bureaucracy, high-tax solution will work for America.
I think it's going to be a nationwide movement. I think there will be a lot of people involved in tax day tea parties all over the country.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me switch gears. North Korea - they're about to launch something. What are we going to do about North Korea, or what should we do about it?
GINGRICH: I think we should be very worried. My good friend and co-author Bill Fortune just wrote a book called "One Second After," which is a novel about what happens with an electromagnetic pulse attack.
There's no question that the newest kind of nuclear weapons -- three of them at the right altitude -- could eliminate all electricity production in the United States, which includes your car.
It would mean that basically we would go back to a preindustrial era overnight, in seconds. It's a very serious threat.
I don't think North Korea should be allowed to launch missiles. I think we should take whatever preemptive actions are necessary.
The idea that we're going to suddenly be shocked one morning as one of these missiles has a nuclear weapon and does something that dramatically changes America I think is a very dangerous idea.
And I find it very difficult to watch the U.S. government be passive as the North Korean dictatorship continues to develop its capacity to deliver nuclear weapons.
VAN SUSTEREN: How did we get to this point? We were speaking to them, we were talking for a while. But now they've got this on the launch pad. And between April 4 and April 8, something is going up someplace.
GINGRICH: Greta, I don't want to sound too bold, but whether it's Hamas in Gaza, it's the Iranians and their nuclear program, it's the North Koreans and their nuclear program and missiles, we in the west have a propensity to lie to ourselves, just as we did in the 1930's about Adolf Hitler and Nazism.
And I think we have been kidding ourselves. The North Koreans have been steadily working toward this capacity. The Iranians are laughing at us as they continue to build more and more centrifuges to build the capacity for nuclear weapons. Hamas laughs at us as they continue to fire missiles into Israel, while Israel gets blamed for responding.
These are real enemies, and in the long run, sooner or later, we're going to have to recognize that changing the regime is the only way to change the behavior, because these dictatorships are not going to change on their own. I don't care how long we talk to them.
And I think the Obama idea of respecting them and being courteous to them and communicating with them -- it implies that they're fools. Kim Kong Il knows exactly what he's doing.
VAN SUSTEREN: We have one minute left. If you were president, what would you do about this North Korea problem?
GINGRICH: I would use whatever methods were necessary for the missile never to be launched. And I think you could do it probably with unconventional methods.
VAN SUSTEREN: So that's military. Are you saying military?
GINGRICH: If necessary. If I can't find a way to bribe somebody to blow it up, I'd find a way to have either a small team go in, or a way to deliver either a laser or another kind of device.
This is a missile that is sitting there on that launch pad, and I think you could take it out with very, very minimal risk to anybody.
But I think the idea of allowing the North Koreans to launch missiles is an enormously dangerous threat in the long run. And it will never be true, until the morning it is, and then it will be just like 9/11, and people will say "Gosh, why didn't we think of this?"
And Bill Fortune's book, "One Second After," which has, by the way, been endorsed by a number of nuclear physicists as technically exactly right, should really worry any American about what we're watching.
VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Speaker, thank you. And, of course, we're going to be watching North Korea April 4 through April 8, and we expect some launch of something. Anyway, thank you, Mr. Speaker.
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