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Newt Gingrich Explains His Illegal Immigration Policy

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 28, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now the lead story tonight let's go down to Charleston, South Carolina where Newt Gingrich is campaigning today after receiving an endorsement from the Manchester Union Leader in New Hampshire yesterday.

So Mr. Speaker I want to do some rapid fire stuff here. You know something I'm interested in all right but that has occurred during your campaign. First of all, Nancy Pelosi, you sitting there talking about global warming on TV. What was that all about?

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I've said it's one of the dumbest things I've done in recent years. It was an effort in my part to say that conservatives are concerned about the environment. We have better solutions. I actively opposed cap and trade. I testified against it the same day Al Gore testified for it.

But the commercial is just a mistake.

O'REILLY: Ok now do you believe in man-made global warming that because the planet is polluted and we spew a lot of stuff into the air that has influenced the way climate comes about? Do you believe that?

GINGRICH: I don't think we know, I think that the evidence is not complete and I think that we're a long way from being able to translate a computer program into actual science.

O'REILLY: All right, so you're an agnostic on the subject. Would that be accurate?

GINGRICH: And it would fair to say that I'm open-minded and certainly not prepare to spend trillions of dollars on the theory.

O'REILLY: Now Nancy Pelosi is obviously the poster woman for the far-left and -- and what was the benefit -- put the issue aside of global warming, the environment because I think that's an important issue and I know you're interested in it and I have been for many years. Put that aside. Did you think that being associated with her in any forum would be damaging to you?

GINGRICH: No. I thought at the time, look I was a private citizen, I wasn't contemplating public life and I thought how -- I just written a book called "Contract with the Earth" with Terry Maple on a conservative approach to the environment on how to use incentives and business and common sense to have a better environment without the EPA. And so I wanted to be in the middle of an argument about the environment to make a case the conservatives can actually have a better ideas about the environment than liberals do.

O'REILLY: Ok. That was a pretty eerie occurrence though I mean, just looking back on it.

GINGRICH: I agree.

O'REILLY: Very frightening.

All right, let's go to immigration. Border fence, would you put a border fence from Brownsville in San Diego if you were president?

GINGRICH: Yes.

O'REILLY: Ok.

GINGRICH: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: Would you move the National Guard down to the border in certain precincts that are dangerous and would put the U.S. National Guard to back up the border.

GINGRICH: Sure, I would use whatever -- look I would use whatever resources we needed to. I've said, you know 23,000 Department of Homeland Security employees in the Washington D.C. area. I'd move half of them to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona if we need the manpower.

O'REILLY: Well, that would just frighten the people not to come here because they'll being the federal employees. I mean, President Bush did not want to --

GINGRICH: I would be willing to use -- I would be willing to reinforce, there's a profound reason to not get the military too close the drug dealing because of its enormous potential for corruption. But I think as reinforcement for local sheriffs, as reinforcement for local law enforcement and for the border patrol you certainly would use whatever level of military you use to make sure we had overwhelming power.

O'REILLY: Ok because President Bush was not -- did not want to do that. He did not for whatever reason and he never clearly articulated it.

GINGRICH: Right.

O'REILLY: He did not want to use the National Guard to get down there and help Arizona in particular which is just awash with the whole of the stuff.

And Arnold Schwarzenegger the Governor of California flat out refused to do it when he could have called out the National Guard. They refused to do it.

Do you understand President Bush and Governor Schwarzenegger's reluctance?

GINGRICH: No. And I think that's -- they have to explain their reluctance. What I can tell you is we have -- we have a crisis in national security. We've have it since 1986 when President Reagan wrote that he was signing the Simpson-Mazzoli in his diary in order to get the border controlled. For a quarter of a century we failed. I've said it at Newt.org, you can see it right there one of my top priorities is we would have complete control by January 1, 2014.

I think it's a national security imperative and I would take whatever resources were needed to get the job done.

O'REILLY: Ok. Now the 11 million -- this is an estimate but I think it's accurate -- the 11 million illegal immigrants already here have to be dealt with in some way. My program which I've had up on BillO'Reilly.com for years says you start with registering, you give illegal aliens a time period, maybe a month, maybe two months that they have to register at the post office with their name, their address and their status, all right.

And if they have a Social Security number or something like that they have it. If they don't register within the time period that the government decides it's a felony. It's a felony all right, would you support that?

GINGRICH: Well, look I want to deport the people who don't register, I don't want to put --

O'REILLY: No, no but you have to find out where they are and who they are.

GINGRICH: Right.

O'REILLY: And we don't know where they are and who they are they are living in the shadows.

GINGRICH: Right and if you're saying --

O'REILLY: Would you support a registration of illegal aliens.

GINGRICH: Yes, I would support a universal registration of those who are here illegally. And I think the immediate -- you'd have immediate deportation if you did not sign up within a certain time. I just the way you frame it Bill. I wouldn't support putting them in jail because I don't want our taxpayers subsidizing them in jail if they are here and not obeying law. Let's kick them out.

O'REILLY: Well, I'll tell you what it would do, I understand that but the deterrent then becomes much higher if it's a felony and you're sentenced to two or three years in a federal penitentiary which you can build all right, that's a deterrent for anybody coming in here. It's not only deals with people who are thumbing their nose at your order but it also prevents people from coming in here.

But all right be that as it may it can be massaged.

All right so they register under President Gingrich. You know where they are, and they ones that don't are immediately deported, picked up or whatever. And you would order the states to comply. Sanctuary cities, what would happen to San Francisco if they told President Gingrich we're not going to do it. What would you do to them?

GINGRICH: Look, we're going to propose a bill that cutoff all federal funding to any sanctuary city or sanctuary state. They get no money of any kind from the federal government, period as of that moment and if San Francisco wants to bankrupt itself and some fantasy it's fine.

O'REILLY: All right, so you would take a tough approach and you're not sending anymore federal money on any level to anybody that doesn't aggressively support the federal law. Ok. Final --

GINGRICH: Including by the way I would reward, let me just say, I would reward and encourage South Carolina, Arizona and those states that are correctly using local law enforcement and I would withdraw the federal lawsuits because they are doing the right thing trying to help us find people who are here illegally.

O'REILLY: Ok. Final question for you. Herman Cain has got more trouble today. I don't know whether you know about it or not but there's a report that there's another woman who says she was involved with Mr. Cain for a number of years. His support which is going down or some of it's likely to come to you. Do you think Mr. Cain is done?

GINGRICH: No. Look people said I was dead in June and July as you will remember. I'm not going to say any candidate is done. Every candidate has a chance to go out and make their case. These are all good friends of mine and I wish all of them well, personally although obviously I'd like to be the nominee and the person who ends up winning the campaign.

But I don't want to wish ill anybody and they have to have a chance to defend themselves to explain themselves and see whether or not they can recover. And I'd say that's true across to various candidates who had a good -- good run at some point and then faded in --

O'REILLY: Yes but it's a big break for you there's no doubt about it. I mean, you know Herman Cain is a break to you.

GINGRICH: Well, if it's -- it's been nice to get endorsed by the "Union Leader" and it's been nice to have the recent surge of support.

O'REILLY: All right, Mr. Speaker. Thanks very much for coming on we appreciate it. Nice to see you good luck.

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