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Hannity

Would Founders Recognize U.S. Today?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 19, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The rapid growth of the administrative state in the 20th century which has allowed the government to extend its reach into every corner of our daily lives forces us to ask a sad question, and that is, would our founding fathers even recognize this country today?

Now a new novel is taking us back in time to examine some of the pivotal events in our nation's history and it gives readers an up close and personal look at American heroes like George Washington and Thomas Paine. And in doing so, it reminds us of how far we have strayed and what we can do to get this country back on track.

The book is called "To Try Men's Souls." The author is Newt Gingrich who joins us tonight from George Washington's home at Mount Vernon.

Mr. Speaker, good to see you.

NEWT GINGRICH, "TO TRY MEN'S SOULS" AUTHOR: Great to be with you. And, you know, I think all the founding fathers would have said if you have government this big it's going to be really dumb, it's going to have large sections of corruption, it's going to waste a lot of money, it's going to be a threat to your freedom.

HANNITY: You know what.

GINGRICH: I think all of the founding fathers would be appalled.

HANNITY: Judd Gregg said America if it keeps down this path of deficit spending, reckless spending, it's going to become a banana republic. Is that an accurate statement?

GINGRICH: Well, I think it's accurate in the sense that you can't expect to live beyond your means at every level, to spend more than you earn. Have a government that's massively in debt. To have bureaucracies that don't work. To have inner city schools that don't teach. To think that you're going to be able to do all that and then to add under the Obama administration more layers of bureaucracy, more hostility to jobs.

The new Environmental Protection Agency proposals are going to kill millions of jobs. The energy tax is going to kill millions of jobs. The fact is that this administration's health plan is going to raise the cost of health insurance for virtually every American and will further kill jobs.

You know there's a very real danger that President Obama is about to become Herbert Hoover rather than FDR. And I don't think they understand in the White House that all these job-killing measures are devastating.

The founding fathers would have said to all of us, you better shrink the government in Washington. Get power back home, shrink the government in the state capitals, get power back home. And then as a citizen you better be actively involved in running your own community because that's the only way to preserve freedom.

HANNITY: All right, but — if he's more inclined to end up being Herbert Hoover than FDR, which I guess is what (INAUDIBLE) here, can you cite me any evidence, Mr. Speaker, in observing and following this president — you know, it's almost a year since he has been elected. Any evidence at all that shows that he's got a pragmatic side where he doesn't sort of give in to his ideological instincts?

GINGRICH: Well, I think you have to say that appointing Bob Gates to be the secretary of defense, appointing Jim Jones to be the national security advisor, in some ways, I think frankly appointing Arne Duncan as secretary of education — those were all relatively practical decisions. Those are all relatively practical people but if you look at his policies, his policies, and you are frankly — although I thought you were too strong last year in retrospect, you were too weak in your description.

HANNITY: Wow.

GINGRICH: This is the most radically left wing government in American history and I totally underestimated how many radical leftists he would bring into the government.

HANNITY: I mean, listen to, for example, we have this woman Anita Dunn. Now, look, we've got Kevin Jennings, the safe school czar. I know you've been following the controversy because I've been asking you about it. You have Van Jones. You've got this guy Holdren. You've got Sunstein. I don't want to bore our audience with going through, you know, how controversial they are.

GINGRICH: Let me just say, speaking here at Mount Vernon, at the home of George Washington, which every American should come visit, I'll just tell you flatly the founding fathers would have told us they wrote the constitution to require senatorial confirmation of important appointments precisely because they didn't want a president to be surrounded by a bunch cronies with no checks and balances.

And we should abolish, the Congress should abolish, they should refuse to pay for all of these czars. And just eliminate them. They have become a fundamental impediment to freedom. And they put way too much power in the White House in a totally unaccountable way.

HANNITY: What do you make about the White House's orchestrated, continued attacks on the Fox News Channel, led by Anita Dunn, who has great admiration for, quote, "one of her philosophers." You know one of the biggest mass murderers in the history of mankind, Mao. And more importantly do you view this as an enemies list? You're laughing.

GINGRICH: No, I just have this interesting idea of asking Anita Dunn if this is her idea of a cultural revolution and if she really wishes that she could get Sean Hannity and the other Fox commentators to go to a farm and work the way Mao got sent the intellectuals out.

I mean — look, I really believe in a free society. One of the great lessons of our novel, "To Try Men's Souls," and one of the great lessons of Mount Vernon is that you can't stop a free people from talking and from believing and all they have done is drive up your ratings and the ratings of Fox News because they've now got millions of Americans kind of curious what Obama is so mad about so they now tune in and suddenly find out they agree with you, not him.

I mean if they can keep this fight with you up for another three or four months you're going to set an all-time high for cable networks.

HANNITY: I actually think as a network, we've set a record for the year. In a non-election year, too.

Let me ask you this, because we're running out of time and maybe in light of where you are and your new novel, "To Try Men's Souls," because I find these very trying times. You know here we've got two bills in the Senate, we've got three bills in the House, and they're going to end up in conference here, but the bottom line is that they're going to pass a health care bill that nobody has read. How bad is that for the country?

GINGRICH: Let me make a straightforward promise. These bills can't be implemented before 2013. If they pass a bill which is a disaster the number one campaign issue in 2010 and 2012 is going to be repeal the bill.

We repealed the catastrophic health legislation that was a disaster. We can repeal this monstrosity. If they're determined to put something bad in the country, the country can rise up, defeat the people who do it and repeal it.

HANNITY: All right. Well, the book is fascinating. I got a lot of time to read it today on my way in, "To Try Men's Souls." Newt Gingrich, thanks for being with us. Appreciate it from Mount Vernon tonight.

GINGRICH: Thank you.

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