This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 17, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: With the battle for Congress under way as we speak, a new book is highlighting just how important it is not only for the GOP to win in November but also to take back the presidency in 2012. It is called "To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular Socialist Machine."
And former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is the author of that brand-new book and he argues that we are in a battle for the heart and soul of America. In fact, the greatest battle since the Civil War. He joins me now.
Good to see you.
NEWT GINGRICH, "TO SAVE AMERICA" AUTHOR: Great to be here.
HANNITY: Let's get into this just a little bit here because you write — this is a book you never expected to write. Secular socialist machine. You went into an explanation yesterday on "Fox News Sunday." Give me — just give us a broad overview.
GINGRICH: First of all, I never thought I'd write it because when I was a junior member of Congress I helped Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan proved that cutting taxes creates jobs. He proved that believing in America leads people to be proud of their country to do the right kind of things.
He proved you could defeat an evil empire and replace the Soviet Union. So by the early 1990s I thought, you know, we've proven all the major tenets of modern American conservatism. And it never occurred to me that the hard left would just dig in, bury themselves in the academic world and the news media and the labor unions. And now have come back more left wing, more radical, more determined than ever.
And so I find myself between the terrorism threat, which I think could be mortal us to; the threat of unemployment and bad economics which could cripple our country for a generation; and the degree to which Obama represents a radicalism which you pointed out during the 2008 campaign.
Suddenly we are in a struggle, I wouldn't have thought possible. I literally would have told you 10, 15 years ago I can't imagine the left being this unwilling to learn and this determined to seize power.
HANNITY: What you say in the book, it's clear that if the left stay in power they — and I got to tell you, this is very much in keeping. I just came off a 20-city tour, met a lot of people, shook a lot of hands.
I never saw this level of anxiety, concern, worry, fear — pick whatever word, adjective you want. But if the left stay in power they will transform America into a radically different nation. A union dominated by bureaucratically controlled, high tax, low growth — it'll be that type of country.
GINGRICH: I think that's just the fact. What I had to do was listen careful to what they say. Look at what they do. Put it up on a wall and think about it. And realize that — I mean just listen to Obama, for example, on the arrogance of his right to decide how much people should earn; his right to decide whose wealth to redistribute; his right to decide which companies to punish; his right to decide which bureaucrats to empower. And that's — I mean this is not a country which is based on the idea that politicians tell the rest of us how we should live.
HANNITY: Alright. Here's the question, and you got into this with Chris Wallace yesterday, a little about Bob Bennett and his defeat.
HANNITY: You had endorsed Bob Bennett. You know, I watched Jon Kyl. I like Jon Kyl. He's a great senator in Arizona. But he stated up front he's not going to oppose Elena Kagan for the U.S. Supreme Court. Is that an —
GINGRICH: I don't think he said he wouldn't oppose. He said he wouldn't filibuster.
HANNITY: He wouldn't filibuster. OK. So he wouldn't filibuster.
GINGRICH: But he may get there by the time we're done.
HANNITY: Well, he — well, he said pretty emphatically that he wouldn't filibuster.
GINGRICH: Well —
HANNITY: Here's my concern. Are conservatives and Republicans — you know, where — I don't think they are being strong enough as a —
GINGRICH: I agree. Look, let's take the case of Elena Kagan. I have said unequivocally, a person who decides to file a lawsuit against the United States military in the middle of a war, should not be a Supreme Court justice.
And by the way, a bad enough lawyer that she was defeated 8-0 unanimously. Every liberal in the court voted against her.
HANNITY: Which shows she is more radically left than them on that issue.
GINGRICH: And by the way, she's very narrow in her focus.
HANNITY: About that focus, though. Where are the — except for Jim — Senator Inhofe, there's not another Republican that has been as outspoken as you have. And do they have the fight in them? Do they understand what you're trying — look, you got — Chris Wallace went after you on the issue of this is a threat to America as great as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
Do you think the rest of the Republican Party sees that?
GINGRICH: No. And here's my simple defense for that: If the secular socialist machine wins, we are going to be in a country which no longer resembles America. We will have ended a 400-year experiment, as Lincoln put it, a government of the people, by the people and for the people. And we'll replace it with government of the bureaucrats, by the special interests, for the politicians.
HANNITY: Alright. We're going to come back. We'll pick it up right there. We'll have more with the former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." And we continue to be joined in studio by the author of "To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular Socialist Machine," the former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
I read and I agree with a lot of the book — don't reform, replace. EPA, Educational Department. We look at where we are. I would love to break down the bureaucracy. I would love to lower the tax rates.
GINGRICH: And that requires a big victory this fall for the Republicans. And then a bigger victory in '12 including the presidency. And a willingness to have the courage to just do it.
Understand The New York Times will hate you; understand that the elite media will hate you; understand that the interest groups will scream; understand that the government employee unions will picket and march. That's fine.
They are on the other side. They're wrong. They represent crippling America. And I think if you watch what's happening in Greece, you can tell the people who are selfishly against change and the people who understand that Greece will not survive without change.
HANNITY: The IMF predicts that our national debt will be 100 percent of GDP by 2015, well over 100 percent.
HANNITY: Which is right at the level of Greece.
HANNITY: Which is —
GINGRICH: It's impossible.
HANNITY: It's unsustainable.
HANNITY: OK. So America — what's the worst-case scenario?
GINGRICH: The worst case —
HANNITY: Do the —
GINGRICH: The worst-case scenario is, we have a sudden catastrophic run on U.S. debt. Interest rates jump — remember, Jimmy Carter had 13 percent inflation and 22 percent interest rates. So this is not — this is why I'm a historian. This is not a theory.
President Carter who is a liberal Democrat much like Obama, except not as radical, ended up with 13 percent inflation and 22 percent interest rates and the economy started to collapse. And we drifted into the deepest recession since the Great Depression only surpassed by Obama mini-depression which I think was going to get worse, not better.
HANNITY: Alright. But — so you're saying everything I believe. It's almost like in my solar plexus, just a gut feeling we're so far down this road that it's almost — change almost has to happen immediately.
GINGRICH: Well —
HANNITY: But here's my point. I don't see — where the Republicans going to just stand up with a loud, strong voice and oppose them in a united way?
GINGRICH: Well —
HANNITY: With an —
GINGRICH: But in all fairness. They opposed them unanimously on Obamacare.
HANNITY: They did. They did, OK.
GINGRICH: I mean straight out. Unanimously.
HANNITY: On Obamacare, on the stimulus, on cap-and-tax.
GINGRICH: Yes. I mean so, so in some ways, I mean, look, you and I are both probably more aggressive and more risk-taking than a fair number of Republicans. But if your choice is, where John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are, or where Pelosi and Reid are. I mean we're talking about a gap the size of the entire country.
HANNITY: Yes, it's big.
GINGRICH: And I mean — and I think there is no question every person who worries about this country's future should make sure that they are actively involved in the campaign this fall because this is one of the most consequential elections in American history.
HANNITY: See, I agree with that, too. As you described, entitlement reform, building on welfare reform, eliminating poverty in America — your agenda that you're laying out here is fairly radical. Forty-seven percent, though, of American households don't pay any federal income tax.
GINGRICH: No, but they love their children and grandchildren and they love their country. And you have an ability to reach — remember, a lot of those people are retired. I mean, I believe you can reach out and you can rally a 70 or 80 percent majority that wants more jobs, more economic growth, lower taxes, a better healthier, more prosperous country.
And I have a — in the near future I'm going to go and give the keynote speech to the Detroit Chamber of Commerce on how do you rebuild Michigan and Detroit. And it's going to be fascinating because I think the time has come to talk straight about what we could do. Not what's wrong, but what we could do with a lower tax, less regulation, less litigation, work-oriented American system.
HANNITY: I have a radical idea to rebuild the city of Detroit. All those house that have been abandoned, give them to people, for free.
HANNITY: With one stipulation. They have to repair it. They have to keep their home — the upkeep of the home. How's that?
GINGRICH: It's a big start.
HANNITY: And that would bring, hopefully, manufacturing. Here's another radical idea: no taxes for businesses for a decade.
HANNITY: Alright. Would that be —
GINGRICH: And that's what's in "To Save America" —
HANNITY: By the way I'm not running for office. I'm not running for mayor.
GINGRICH: Well, (INAUDIBLE) you might run for governor of Michigan at this rate. But I think in "To Save America," what I'm trying to start outlining is, one, there is a secular socialist machine. And two, there are solutions that will work. They are just outside the politics of the elite media.
HANNITY: What do you — what are your plans now? I've asked you this a number of times. Is this is book laying the foundation for a run for you?
GINGRICH: Well, I mean Calista and I have discussed it as you know because you've been part of this conversation at times. We'll decide next February. What I will say is, that a fundamental debate for the next three years: Do you want to go to a European-style slow growth, high tax, politician dominated welfare state or you want to go to an America that — where you get to work hard, keep your own money, create jobs and you're at the center of society?
I think that's the debate of the next few years. And hopefully this will —
HANNITY: It's actually —
GINGRICH: — help set that.
HANNITY: Doesn't it seem a lot like Reagan versus Carter? Reagan versus Mondale? One of those moments where —
GINGRICH: Yes. I think this is —
HANNITY: It's a classic —
GINGRICH: This is like Reagan versus Carter very much.
GINGRICH: And I think that — I honestly do believe Obama will be a one-term president because I think his policies cannot possibly work and his radicalism is repelling the majority of the American people.
HANNITY: I tend to agree with you. But time is going to tell. We'll see tomorrow when we start and we'll be watching.
GINGRICH: I agree.
HANNITY: Congratulations on the book. Appreciate it, Mr. Speaker.
— Watch "Hannity" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!
Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.