This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 11, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And joining me now are former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, who are the authors of a new book, that, by the way, unlocks the secret of success: "5 Principles for a Successful Life, From Our Family to Yours." It collects the wisdom accomplished — of accomplished people in a variety of fields.
And those five principles: dream big, work hard, learn every day, enjoy life, be true to yourself.
Mr. Speaker, Jackie, good to see you guys. Welcome back to the program.
NEWT GINGRICH, CO-AUTHOR, "5 PRINCIPLES FOR A SUCCESSFUL LIFE": Good to be with you.
JACKIE GINGRICH CUSHMAN, CO-AUTHOR, "5 PRINCIPLES FOR A SUCCESSFUL LIFE": Thank you. Glad to be here.
HANNITY: You know, one of the things — we do live in freedom. We do live in liberty. And I tell people all the time that are nervous that I meet and I run into every day that are so worried about the government impacting their lives. There's more that we can do to raise our family, instill their values, in spite of Barack Obama being president. Correct, Mr. Speaker?
GINGRICH: Absolutely. And I think that this book came out at probably exactly the right time, because there are so many Americans asking what they should do now and what lessons should they learn. And I think people are more ready to rethink what they've been doing with their lives.
And Jackie and I are delighted that we were able to help put together a book like this that does draw on wisdom from a lot of people, including, for example, General David Petraeus, but at the same time applies it to your life or your children or grandchildren's life in a very practical, effective way.
CUSHMAN: He's exactly right. And the important thing is right now, while we're going through a crisis, to really slow down and to figure out what success means to you and then to look at your life and see what you can do to move forward. And this book clearly lays out principles. It is a playbook for success.
HANNITY: Yes. You know, I got to tell you, one of the things: the work hard one, I met a lot of people in life, they don't really want to work that hard. I mean, we may be endowed by our creator, but when it comes to actually putting forward, you know, that effort, you know something? If you don't put forward the effort, you're not going to get the success that you want.
Then people say, "Well, what about all those other people that are rich?" And then they want the government to take some of their money. It really ties and fits into this, you know, whole redistribution class warfare model that we always talk about, right, Mr. Speaker?
GINGRICH: Well, there's actually, I mean, "5 Principles for a Successful Life" restates the heart of the American dream and the American tradition. And you're exactly right. This starts with dreaming big, which Americans have done for 402 years.
But as you point out, he then said, "All right, if you're going to have a big dream you better get up every morning and go to work. And if you work, you better learn every day, because working stupidly doesn't quite get you there."
But I think what's intriguing is that we're at a point where Americans want to get back in touch with reality, and Americans want to know what would really work, as opposed to what's the latest government program to subsidize failure.
HANNITY: I mean, did you dream big? That you wanted to be speaker one day? Did you dream the Republican can take — and then did you work hard to get there?
You know, I think for example, about my life. If I did one thing, I never dreamed that I'd have the opportunities that I have. One thing I did do is I took advantage of them and when I got them, I worked really hard. You know? So...
GINGRICH: Well, and I think — but I knew you when you were pretty young, Sean. I think you always had a dream that you could have an impact, you could become a voice in radio, you could communicate, you could share your opinions, you could learn constantly. And I know how hard you worked in the years in Huntsville and Atlanta before you got to New York.
So you know, I think Jackie has had the same experience. And, frankly, part of the reason we wrote this is that her two children, our two grandchildren, got to the age where they started saying, "How come grandpa got these things done?" And it turned out the same practical rules I've told seventh and eighth graders for the last 25 years, because they're real; they actually work.
HANNITY: Jackie, I mean, was it hard growing up in — with Newt Gingrich as your dad?
Come on. It's not a loaded question. It's a fair question.
CUSHMAN: No, no.
HANNITY: But was it hard?
CUSHMAN: It is a fair question. You know, he's a great dad. Certainly, there have been hard times. As he mentioned, he's worked really hard and, as you know, he lost twice. The first two times he ran for Congress he lost, and it was hard to be a very young girl. At the time I was 7 and 9 and to have my father lose in a very public way.
But what I learned from him is that you have to be persistent, and you have to get up and you have to run again. So I think some of those hard lessons are really good lessons. And I want my children to learn those lessons.
It's not about, you know, running once and winning. It's about getting up again and again. Failure happens. It's what you do with it.
HANNITY: Well — well, you have the whole issue about learning through failure. You're the historian, Mr. Speaker. Just look at the whole life of Abraham Lincoln. There's a lot of failure there, a lot of disappointment, a lot of struggle in life.
GINGRICH: You know, recently, we — I did a movie on Ronald Reagan, "Rendezvous with Destiny." Look at Reagan's life. Reagan gets beaten in 1976. People think he's too old. Bill Kristol told me a great story about his father late in '76, saying, you know, "Maybe Jack Kemp can run in 1980 because, you know, Reagan will be too old."
And then you look at Reagan coming back, you look at how hard that recession was in '81-'82, where his popularity dropped down and then he came back again.
I do think there's an argument for persistence. You know, we both want Maggie and Robert, talking about, who are the same ages right now that you were when I kept getting beaten, not a particularly happy memory, by the way, though I have to tell you — you'll appreciate this from Atlanta.
We'd gone to the Dwarf House recently, where Chick-Fil-A was founded. We used to go to the Dwarf House after every election and have an early, early morning breakfast and at 5 a.m. be out, first at the Ford plant in Hapeville (ph) and then at the Delta jet base just to thank everybody for their vote, even when we lost.
CUSHMAN: Even when you lost we went there. Which was a great lesson.
HANNITY: I think I want — I think I might have slept in that morning, but — myself. Our last question...
CUSHMAN: Not optional.
HANNITY: ... in these tough economic times I worry about the people that maybe aren't where they want to be in life. How does — how does applying these principles help them achieve what they ultimately want to achieve in life?
CUSHMAN: You know, I think we're all given one life, and what we hope from this book is that everyone will take these principles, look at their lives, and as James Carville said, when we talked to him, to make their own music. It's up to everyone to make their own music, to look around and take advantage of every opportunity they have.
And in the end, we have one life. So take the risk. Look around you and live the very best life you can.
HANNITY: I tell everybody, one thing I did: I was scared to death to do television when I first did it. I was paralyzed with fright. And same with speaking in public. And the same time I was on radio. You just got to stand on that high board and dive. You've just got to do it. And if you do that, you're happy you did it the second after you did it and want to do it again, usually.
Guys, congratulations. Thanks for being with us.
GINGRICH: Thank you. Good to be with you.
CUSHMAN: Thank you.
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