OTR Interviews

Gingrich: Uncovered 2007 video of Obama indicative of 'fundamental dishonesty' and 'demagoguery' of left

Former House speaker sounds off on a newly-surfaced 2007 video of Pres. Obama, Mitt Romney's presidential debate strategy, and VP Joe Biden's latest gaffe


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 2, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, controversial and now complete video of President Obama surfaces. And you are about to see parts of a 2007 speech that have never been seen before. In the unedited video, then presidential candidate Obama veers off from his prepared remarks and he accuses the U.S. government of short-changing Hurricane Katrina victims.

Why? Well, President Obama, then Senator Obama, says it's incompetence, but then goes further, implies racism. He was speaking to an audience of African-American ministers at Virginia's Hampton University.

Take a look.


THEN-SEN. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Down in New Orleans, where they still have not rebuilt 20 months later -- there's a law -- a federal law when you get reconstruction money from the federal government, called the Stafford Act. And basically, it says when you get federal money, you've got to give a 10 percent match. The local government's got to come up with 10 percent. Every $10 the federal government comes up with, local government's got to give a dollar.

Now, here's the thing. When 9/11 happened in New York City, they waived the Stafford Act, said, This is too serious a problem, we can't expect New York City to rebuild on its own. Forget that dollar you got to put in. Here's $10. And that was the right thing to do.

When Hurricane Andrew struck in Florida, people said, Look at this devastation. We don't expect to you come up with your own money. Here -- here's the money to rebuild. We're not going to wait for to you scratch it together because you're part of the American family.

What's happening down in New Orleans? Where's your dollar? Where's your Stafford Act money? Makes no sense! Tells me the bullet hasn't been taken out.


OBAMA: Tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans they don't care about as much!


VAN SUSTEREN: Now, that was part of the speech that was not reported on during the 2008 presidential campaign. Other parts were covered, but they were still controversial. One example, then Senator Obama praising his controversial Chicago pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Now, this was just three months after he canceled him from giving a prayer at his February 2007 presidential announcement.


OBAMA: I've got to give a special shoutout to my pastor, the guy who puts up with me, counsels me, listens to my wife complain about me.


OBAMA: He's a friend and a great leader, not just...


OBAMA: So please, everybody, give an extraordinary welcome to my pastor, Dr. Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jr.


OBAMA: (INAUDIBLE) United Church of Christ. Where's he at? There he is. That's -- that's him. That's him right there.


VAN SUSTEREN: Now, will this newly surfaced complete video have any possible impact on the presidential race? Former presidential candidate and speaker of the House Newt Gingrich joins us.

Good evening, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: I'm curious whether or not you think that this tape, now the complete tape -- and part of it was on the public domain -- will have any impact whatsoever on the race.

GINGRICH: Oh, I think it has some impact. It's a little bit like Joe Biden the other week saying, They want to put you back in chains. It's a reminder of the depth of dishonesty, the appeals to racism, the factual falsehoods that are at the heart of the modern left.

By the way, what Senator -- then Senator Obama said was just factually false. New Orleans got far more money than New York City, and New Orleans got a great deal of money that he was not matched by the Stafford Act. The process of the federal government taking care of the people of New Orleans, in fact, was far larger because of the problem was much larger. You had an entire city that was a disaster, as opposed to the immediate crisis of 9/11 and the World Trade Center.

But factual inaccuracies are at the heart of the modern left. If they have to rely on the facts, they will lose every time. So they just routinely engage in demagoguery, which, by the way, the vice president did again today, talking about the middle class.

All of this is the same stuff. It's all a consistent pattern of fundamental dishonesty and appeals to race in ways that, frankly, the press ought to be making totally discredited.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I actually have a slightly different view of it. I think that if this were the year 2000, 2008, it might have a greater impact. But you know, we've had a chance now, three-and-a-half years of a President Obama administration. You either love it, you hate it or you're indifferent. I mean, now he has a record.

And Back in 2007, I think that we put him under the microscope, as we should any candidate, and particularly him because we knew so little about him. He didn't -- he wasn't in the public eye for a long time.

Now, though, I would expect that people are making decisions, Are you better off than you were three-and-a-half years ago? Is the world safer? Do you think we're going in the right direction? You know, those types of questions. I think his record has a far greater impact than what he said in 2007, but I could be wrong.

GINGRICH: Oh, sure. No, no. I agree with you. I don't think this particular speech is definitive, but it's a reminder -- notice on Benghazi, for example, you have the same pattern of dishonesty in the Obama White House that you had in the speech you just showed from 2007.

The amazing thing is the degree to which the elite media desperately tries to avoid all of this and tries to -- they didn't cover it in 2007. They don't want to cover it in 2012. And yet you've just seen literally over the last two-and-a-half weeks, a pattern of breath-taking dishonesty.

You talked about the record. Well, take a look at the actual facts that are coming out about when we learned things in Libya and what this administration has said to us, and it's a record that is filled with fundamental, basic dishonesty.

VAN SUSTEREN: In that speech -- and actually, I sat through the whole speech tonight. I went through this whole 2007 speech, quite lengthy, and it's now on line. He talks about -- you know, about poverty. He talks about the inner city. And when you hear it, you think that -- you know, that poverty's such a huge problem in this country for so many people, whether you're the one who's enduring it or you're the one who's paying for it. It is a crisis in this country. And he talks about -- you know, about how important it is.

Yet you know, in this race, you hear nothing about the inner cities. You hear nothing about whether -- I mean, anybody who's had -- you know, (INAUDIBLE) incredible poverty, whether that person's life has changed at all in the last three-and-a-half years -- I mean, I don't see any of it!

GINGRICH: Well, in fact, it's worse than that. If you take -- if you assume for a minute that his desires to help people were real, then he is a total, abject failure. A hundred percent of the American people are paying more for gasoline today. Gasoline's the highest price it's ever been. That hurts everybody, but particularly hurts the poor.

The unemployment rate particularly hurts minorities and particularly hurts younger minority members. So his failure economically hurts everybody. The degree to which he's piling up debt, which will absorb tax money which could have gone to schools, could have gone to health care, could have gone to other things, now it's just going to pay interest on the debt. That hurts everybody.

In many ways, it's almost sad to go back and look at that speech and realize the degree to which he has failed to achieve any of the goals that he implied were his goals back in 2007.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, he did say that he was going to get health care. That he did do, whether you like it or not. I mean, at least he did achieve that. But one of the things that he said -- you speak about the debt -- is what he said -- and he was rather sarcastic about other politicians in this speech. And what he said, in part, he said, "Don't worry about trillions of dollars in debt, someone else will pay." And he was being sarcastic about politicians who run up debts, who have no concern about the debt -- his sarcasm.

Now if you fast-forward to now, in just the last year -- last year, he's added $1.3 trillion to the debt, and nobody is over here -- you know, he's not in Washington working on it. The Capitol Hill isn't working on it. We're just running up the debt. We have no idea with sequestration or with the tax cuts -- so it sort of makes a mockery out of the whole process.

I mean, this is -- this is what he promised in 2007 as a candidate. I mean, he thought it was important then.

GINGRICH: Well, look, I also think there's a deeper part of this, which is that this was a candidate who on the one hand said he wanted to bring us together and then gave speeches like this, that are clearly divisive. I mean, there's no way you can listen to this speech and not hear it as a deliberately divisive speech that pits Americans against each other, and does so largely with racial innuendoes that are very, very clear when you hear the speech.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, let me talk now about a gaffe, the one you just spoke about. And of course, the offender is today -- is Vice President Joe Biden. And what is that gaffe? Well, the vice president outright admitting the middle class has been buried the last four years. And his opponent, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, jumping all over that comment.


JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is deadly earnest, man. This is deadly earnest! How they can justify -- how they can justify raising taxes on the middle class that's been buried the last four years -- how in Lord's name can they justify raising their taxes with these tax cuts?

REP. PAUL RYAN, VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Vice President Biden just today said that the middle class over the last four years has been, quote, "buried." We agree! That means we need to stop digging by electing Mitt Romney the next president of the United States!


RYAN: Of course, the middle class has been buried! They're being buried by regulations! They're being buried by taxes. They're being buried by borrowing! They're being buried by the Obama administration's economic failures!


VAN SUSTEREN: So will the Obama campaign take a political hit with that one, Mr. Speaker? Is that -- I mean, that...


VAN SUSTEREN: It's so dangerous to talk these days!

GINGRICH: Look, it's pretty hard to take anything Joe Biden says seriously. But if you look at it for a minute, there are two parts to it. He admits that in the last four years -- that is, the Obama years -- the middle class has been buried. As I said a while ago, highest price of gasoline in history, hits the middle class. The unemployment rate hits the middle class. The debt that's being piled up hits the middle class.

But then he goes on to say something which is just frankly nutty. No Republican is proposing a tax increase on the middle class. None. Zero. There are no proposals to raise taxes on the middle class.

Who's proposing to raise taxes? Obama. Who actually has a whole range of tax increases in "ObamaCare"? Obama. So Biden pivots and says something -- charges the Republicans with something totally false after having admitted that in the time he was vice president, the middle class was buried.

And I agree with Paul Ryan's characterization. It was buried by tax. It's buried by unemployment. It's buried by regulation. It's buried by debt. It's buried by a variety of government actions under Obama and Biden.

And I'm sure that he wishes he hadn't said it. But Joe Biden in that case was sharing an insight into what's happened.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, a two-part question. I know one part you won't want to answer, but I'm going to ask it -- both -- two-part. What is the one question President Obama doesn't want to be asked tomorrow night? And here's the question I don't think you want to answer, but what is the one question that Governor Romney doesn't want to be asked tomorrow night?.

GINGRICH: You know, you are much -- you are so much more clever than I am. It had not occurred to me to try to come up with that, and I'm not sure I'm smart enough to come up with it right now.

I suspect that Obama will go after Romney on the whole, Why don't you release your taxes, all that personal stuff, because that seems to be the heart of the campaign. I think that Governor Romney ought to simply ask the president, how does he justify running for reelection with an economy this bad, policies this failed, and his complete inability to bring Washington together to get anything done?

I think the more Romney can stick to the facts, the more trouble Obama will be in tomorrow night.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you expect tomorrow night in terms of, though - - I mean, if people think that this is going to be, like, some huge event, or is this sort of a -- you know, this is just one debate of many, it's sort of chipping away. And what is sort of interesting is I think is that afterwards, the pundits and the analysts -- and maybe I'll even be doing it -- is, you know, calling who won and who lost.

GINGRICH: Well, I think -- look, I think it's a very clear-cut situation. Romney has to go in and be very clear and very factual and stick to his grounds. He's got to recognize he's up against the incumbent president of the United States. Obama will try to over-awe him. And I think Romney's got to be able to stick straight in there, not flinch, not back off.

And he's got to recognize he's going to be double-teamed. The fact is, Jim Lehrer is part of the cultural left. And so Romney's going to have to communicate past Lehrer and past Obama to reach the American people.

If he does that, I think he could have a very good night, and I think you could see a very different race by Thursday morning.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think Jim Lehrer's going to be unfair? I mean, it's -- I mean, he's got -- he's got the spotlight on him. I mean -- I mean, you know, the -- he's going to -- I assume he's going to try his best to be fair.

GINGRICH: He will try his best to be fair. I'm not saying he's a partisan. I'm saying he comes out of a news media culture, you know, the whole network of where he lives, where he operates, what he does, which has the assumptions of the left and which asks questions on the framework of the left. So they're very often, in their mind, being totally neutral when they ask questions that clearly reflect the biases of the left. And I think that's a key part of this.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think that these -- that in general, moderators try to pit one candidate against the other, not to get the substantive issues but to generate a little spark in order to sort of, quote, "generate" news?

GINGRICH: I think all too often, moderators try to play gotcha. They try to be clever. The show becomes, Can the moderator look intelligent?

I really would much prefer to see debates in which there was no moderator. There was a timekeeper, and the two candidates controlled the whole thing and the two candidates had to talk without -- I mean, who can tell you 90 minutes, what's the right question to ask? And I think you'd be better off to let the two candidates ask each other questions, let the two candidates make their case. You know, Lincoln and Douglas debated, they had a timekeeper, they didn't have a moderator.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, it -- what unfortunately happens in all of this, when you try to get a snapshot of the candidates in 90 minutes, but you know, from the debate, it is true that we're going to -- if either candidate makes a gaffe, that's the one we're going to play a million times...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... you know, whatever it is.


VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, last night in Massachusetts, it was Senator Brown against Elizabeth Warren. They both said something a little goofy. I've seen that played a billion times, or heard it. I mean, that's, regrettably, the unfortunate part of this. But the viewers get to watch the whole thing.

GINGRICH: Well, and I think if -- I think if the viewer tunes in, it is a chance to see both people side by side. The great danger for an incumbent president is if the challenger comes off as being competent in that setting, all of a sudden, the challenger's elevated to being equal of the incumbent president. And I think incumbent presidents have more at risk going into these debates than do the challengers.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it smart to engage your opponent, or do you just deal with the moderator? Do you ever just turn to the opponent -- your opponent and say, Look -- and challenge that one?

GINGRICH: I think you're better off to talk straight to the American people, not even talking to the moderator, but talking to the American people, although, you know, one of the most famous lines -- back to your point about clever lines -- was Ronald Reagan saying, I'm not going to let my opponent's youth and inexperience count against him.

And everybody broke up laughing because he had taken the issue of his own age, turned it over in such a way that if you looked at Walter Mondale's eyes, he clearly knows at that instant he's lost the election and that Reagan has just decisively ended that debate. So sometimes, it does come down to some magic moment that comes to characterize the whole debate.

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, you'll watch our midnight show "On the Record," the special one, right?

GINGRICH: Absolutely. I want to find out what you said about it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, Speaker, I hope I don't -- after I just criticized people calling the race, I hope I don't do that. But who knows.


GINGRICH: We'll see.

VAN SUSTEREN: I am -- I can easily make that maker -- that blunder.

GINGRICH: I'm going to watch...

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

GINGRICH: I'm going to watch you tomorrow night and tweet. All righty.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Thank you.