Gingrich: GOP presidential battle could go to all the way to convention

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 9, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The vetting of President Barack Obama continues. Now you remember back his whirlwind apology tour, more than three years on this program that we have talked about. It appears we aren't the only ones fed up with the president's behavior. Yesterday, Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert unveiled a checklist on the House floor of "The Anointed One" and how he has apologized and who to and who he's also decided to skip over, well, during his tenure. Look at this.


REPRESENTATIVE LOUIE GOHMERT, R-TEXAS: The CIA enhanced interrogation that saved lives and led to finding Usama Bin Laden, we do have time to apologize for that.

The accidental 2012 burning of these Korans that were desecrated by the writing of detainees, yes, they got an apology.

The families of the American soldiers who were killed after President Obama said he, quote, "calmed things down" by apologizing to Afghanistan, nope, didn't get an apology.

Comments in 2011 that Israel should return to its 1967 borders that would have subjected to relentless attacks and vulnerability as Prime Minister Netanyahu explained. No, Israel doesn't get one.


HANNITY: Joining me now to discuss the administration's shocking apology choices and to give us the latest from the campaign trail, former speaker of the House, presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich.

Your reaction to that and Leon Panetta's comments about we need U.N. approval, we need world approval for military action. I guess he didn't read the Constitution.

NEWT GINGRICH, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, let me say, they are sort of parallel. I think Louie Gohmert is on to something. I think that is powerful indictment of the president's apologies.

Secretary Panetta, I think has made a very serious -- if he believes what he is quoted as saying, that international organizations supersede the Congress and you can be authorized internationally without congressional approval, he ought to resign. He is not the secretary of the defense for the United Nations. He is the secretary of defense for the United States. He is bound by the United States Constitution.

And all of those left wing efforts to get us subordinated to international organizations are efforts to undermine our sovereignty, to undermine our constitutional rights and to take away from us our creator endowed rights that are inalienable.

I think I was very surprised. I've known Leon a long time, but if he means what he said, he shouldn't be the secretary of Defense because he is in the wrong job for the wrong country. He ought to be doing a job for the United Nations.

HANNITY: What do you make of the apologies, the choices of apology and the choices not to apologize as Louie Gohmert was pointing out? What does that say?

GINGRICH: Well, I think that Obama comes out of a very hard line left-wing world view in which the U.S. is usually wrong. What do you make of a president who apologizes to Muslim religious fanatics in Afghanistan while attacking the Catholic Church and every right to life organization in the United States?

How do you explain what the value system is behind those two? That's the sort of stuff Obama is doing. I have to say as a citizen, I don't understand what his reasoning is. As Louie Gohmert, Congressman Gohmert pointed out, these were Korans that had been defaced by Muslim political prisoners.

So the real question should have been, why aren't the clerics in Afghanistan condemning the Muslim extremists who were defacing the Koran? If defacing the Koran is this terrible a thing, why are we taking the blame for what their extremists were doing?

HANNITY: Let me ask you about the economy, jobs numbers come out, unemployment stagnant. We have now gone through a period here that we have lost over a million jobs since he's been president, net jobs that have been lost. We have now unemployment above eight percent, a World War II record, 37 consecutive months.

He said he would cut the deficit in half. They predicted that this time unemployment would be at six percent. And then when you look at real unemployment according to Gallup, unemployed, underemployed, we're at 19 percent. The president says things are getting better?

GINGRICH: Well, I think the president is in a very, very bad position. Somebody calculated that if the work force were the same size today than it was the morning that Barack Obama was sworn in, we would be at 10.8 percent real unemployment.

When you count in underemployment and dropped out, one out of five. People don't realize how fragile the world economy is. Spain is at 23 percent unemployment. The Japanese are decaying. The Greeks are decaying. There are lot of different challenges and the Obama policies are almost exactly wrong. Remember, he was at a $1.89 a gallon gasoline the day he came into office. We've now have had the most expensive year for gasoline in American history was 2011.

So if gasoline keeps going up this summer, this economy will crater again because people are going to have to spend all their disposable income just buying gasoline. So he is in a really difficult situation on the economy.

HANNITY: All right, Tuesday, you got Alabama and Mississippi coming up. You won the big prize on Super Tuesday, which was your home state of Georgia, which you said was pivotal for you.

What do you see happening, unfolding now mathematically as you look at the delegates with Governor Romney now having about a third of those necessary to win the nomination?

What do you see going on here and what will you need to do take the nomination away from him, which is what you are out on the campaign trail trying to do?

GINGRICH: First of all, I'm very grateful to Georgians. I carried 156 out of 159 counties. We only lost three counties and it was very, very gratifying to go home and realize that all the money Romney spent on negative ads, people who have come knew me too well shrugged them off.

We're having a great time in Alabama and Mississippi. I think we're going to do very well here. People shouldn't take these delegate counts too seriously. Governor Romney has a very limited number of delegates who are legally bound to him.

I think there will be fights over both Arizona and Florida, both of which should be proportional. That will reduce his total number of delegates even more. I think you're going to see this is probably going to go on at least into June and July and could go all the way to the convention.

My goal is to do as well as we can here. The last two polls have shown me ahead in both Alabama and Mississippi. We're very encouraged. I think people are responding to $2.50 a gallon gasoline and the idea of an American energy plan.

Then we'll go on from here to other key states, Louisiana, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Delaware, Maryland, and I think we'll continue to pick up delegates. The last two really big states, Texas and California, Governor Perry who is supporting me belives we can carry Texas by a pretty big margin.

California is going to be a very wildcard state because they are going to elect this year for the first time ever by congressional district, not statewide. I think we'll carry a lot of districts.

My commitment is going to be to reach out to every delegate who is not legally bound. There are lots of delegates you can pick, but they are not legally required to be for their candidate.

HANNITY: Not legally bound that makes a difference. But we'll have you back to talk about that. Mr. Speaker, thank you for joining us from Mobile, Alabama, former speaker of the House, presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich.

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