This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 21, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: With the Michigan and the Arizona Republican primaries approaching, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has been ramping up his attacks -- not on his GOP rivals, but on President Barack Obama. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Barack Obama is the most dangerous president in modern American history. This administration has intellectually disarmed, it is morally disarmed, it is incapable of describing what threatens us.
The president wants to unilaterally weaken United States. He wants to cut the aid to Israel for its anti-ballistic missile defense, he refuses to take Iran seriously. We are in a world that is very dangerous, and I say this to those of you who represent the next generation because you are going to bear the consequences. We are really at risk some day in your lifetime of losing an American city.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Now Speaker Gingrich has also attacked the president's energy policy calling it, quote, anti-American," a message that is likely to connect with voters who are now suffering from sky-high gas prices.
And joining me now from the campaign trail, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. Mr. Speaker, welcome back sir.
GINGRICH: It's good to be with you and I thought that Governor Palin was exactly right at the end when she said, we ought to be taking on the Obama anti-American Energy Program , we should tie it back to National Security, which indicate why we're for drill here, drill now, pay less. And why we think it's essential both for our economy and for our security to get back to an American energy program that is designed to maximize our own production, the opposite of Obama.
HANNITY: Especially what you see happening now with Israel and Iran, and I'm going to get to that in a second. Let me go to what we've first played of you about saying about the president, the most dangerous president in modern American history. It's got a lot of press. Explain.
GINGRICH: Well, this is a president who refuses to recognize who is trying to kill us. The FBI spends a year setting up somebody who is a Moroccan would-be terrorist who wants to bomb the capitol, but under the Obama administration rules, you can't explain what motivates him. You can't explain why he is inspired to do it, you can't use radical Islamists, you can't describe the network he belongs to. And I think there's a desperate effort on the part of Obama and his administration to avoid reality. You now have the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt threatening to end the peace treaty with Israel, threatening to seek a nuclear weapon, you have the Pakistani's, we now know for sure, protected bin Laden for years, and they didn't arrest the people who were protecting them, they arrested the man who helped us find him. Again and again, you find that the Obama administration fails to meet the challenges. They are doing nothing effective about Iran. And if anything, they are undermining and cutting the aid to Israel to develop the anti-ballistic missile system that would protect Israel from Iranian and other rockets. So, look at his defense budget, which is going to weaken American defenses everywhere. It is going to lead to very substantial cuts in our capability, and I think it's something we should all be very worried about.
HANNITY: Well, I think we ought to be concern about it. And frankly, why the president would be discouraging Israel from doing what is obviously in their best national security interests, I don't know, because I think at some point this is now inevitable. They have made their intentions clear. They have been aggressive. They have literally been saber rattling and planning assassinations on American soil of foreign dignitaries.
Let me ask you about the state of race. You said that if any one of you candidates that are now vying for this nomination, lose your home state, that you know, what? That might be the end. And obviously, the person that's going to be tested first here is Governor Romney, the state of Michigan. Rick Santorum had a big lead. The gap has now narrowed. You have been declared dead on numerous occasions. How do you rise from the ashes once more?
GINGRICH: Well, I think in my case I rise by focusing on an American energy policy, getting back to $2.50 cents a gallon gasoline, outlining both the economic and National Security implications, indicating that instead of bowing to a Saudi King we ought to be drilling, and our goal should be to be so independent that we don't care with the Iranians doing in the Straits of Hormuz. And I want to go back to big ideas and big solutions which twice made me the frontrunner in the race. I think the country is hungry for real solutions.
I also think all of us have real challenges. Governor Romney's put $40 million of his money into the race, has ran for six years, outspend the rest of us by at least three to one. His Super PAC has outspent us by even bigger margins. He needs to carry Michigan. He may well do so, the race is narrowing. I need to carry Georgia. Rick Santorum needs to carry Pennsylvania. That's just basics. Doesn't strike me as all that profound an insight. You have to have some proof that somewhere you are electable, and in Governor Romney's case, you know, he doesn't have social conservativism like Rick Santorum, he doesn't have big conservative reforms like I do, he's basically -- he was inevitable, he was going to win. Well, he needs to win if he's going to win.
HANNITY: He still has the most delegates at this particular point. There's still a lot of contests. I mean, after Michigan, you know, Arizona and then, boom, Super Tuesday. A lot of states are on the table, a lot at stake coming in up here in a very short period of time. You said that the negative ads have lowered the voter turnout and that's something that a lot of pundits, a lot of critics have looked at and say, why, with all the enthusiasm to remove Barack Obama, is that happening.
Let me ask you this, because whenever somebody gets to the top and they come under fire, and now its Rick Santorum's turn, once that scrutiny comes their numbers go way down. And that's why it seems we've had this back and forth, this topsy- turvy race, you know, volatile race that we're watching here. I think you called it Space Mountain.
GINGRICH: You know, and also, let's be fair, in my case and in Santorum's case, a lot of the negativity comes directly from the Romney campaign. I mean, I had $20 million of negative ads in Florida, $5 million in Iowa. Santorum is now getting that treatment in Michigan. You know, the Romney campaign wants to shrink everybody else as opposed to growing Romney. I believe positive campaigning works, in South Carolina we had a huge increase in turnout, historic size. In North Florida, where I carried counties, we were increasing Republican turnout.
HANNITY: But doesn't negative campaigning work -- doesn't negative campaigning work --
GINGRICH: It's only the places Romney is winning the turnout went down. I think, for example, the $2.50 a gallon gasoline, an American energy policy, drill here, drill now, pay less, I think that will bring people out to vote. It's not going to discourage them. And I helped design the 1994 campaign where a positive contract with America led to the largest one- party increase in the American history. Nine million additional votes came out over 1990.
That's the kind of campaign I like, where you offer big positive solutions, people get enthusiastic and they are excited turn out and vote.
HANNITY: Last question, this is going to be the last debate before Super Tuesday. Obviously, I would assume you want more debates. Are you concerned that this may be the last debate?
GINGRICH: We are going to find ways to communicate with the American people. I like debating. I think debating is good for the country. It gives us a chance to communicate without editing by the news media. It happens to be particularly good for me.
But if the other guys are afraid to debate, which makes you wonder how they would ever stand up to Barack Obama, that's fine. I will find other ways to communicate to the American people with or without their debating.
HANNITY: All right, Mr. Speaker, it's always a pleasure to have you. Thanks so much for being with us. We will be looking forward. We'll be watching that debate coming up. Thanks for being with us. It's going to happen pretty quickly now and as an accelerated pace, if you will. Thanks for being here.
GINGRICH: Good talking to.
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