OTR Interviews

Gingrich: Joe Biden will run, partly as insurance, but as the ‘Obama candidate’

Former Speaker of the House weighs in 'On the Record' on the possibility of Vice President joining the presidential race and how it would shake up Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Dem field


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 19, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Former speaker of the House and the author of the brand new novel, "Duplicity," Speaker Newt Gingrich is here to go ON THE RECORD.

Good evening, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's -- I'm fine. I'm playing the parlor game in Washington about Vice President Biden and it's gotten so confusing. I don't remember what I last predicted. So at least I need to have you play.

Is Vice President Biden running or not?

GINGRICH: Oh, I think he is running. And I think he is running partly as an insurance policy because Hillary may well collapse at some point. I think he is running partly because as she moves to the left, she is taking positions that are increasingly at odds with the Obama policy.

And if you'll notice, 90 percent of Obama's major fundraisers have not committed to her, 90 percent. That means that there is a huge group of potential fundraisers who are waiting for the Obama candidate. And I think the signs are the Obama candidate will end up being Joe Biden.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why now and certainly now. I mean, there's so much speculation, even speculation that he is going to do it on the eve of Secretary Clinton's testimony before the Benghazi committee.

But, you know, why this sort of, you know, drip, drip, drip and the timing problem?

GINGRICH: Well, I mean, first of all, I think he had to spend some time in mourning for his son. I think that that was a very real, very deep, very personal pain, and I don't think he could just turn on a dime from that.

I think, second, the clock starts to work in terms of entering the South Carolina primary and doing some other key things. And so it becomes a point where you've got to start making a move. But, frankly, Secretary Clinton has had a bad couple months. She has decayed, you know, in one study that I saw when you ask her name and you do word association. The word "liar" comes up as the most frequent single word people associate with Hillary Clinton.

So if you are Joe Biden watching that, you are thinking, hey, there is going to be an opening here at some point.

VAN SUSTEREN: Except you are so popular until you actually announce you are going to run. And all of a sudden, you know, you become a whole lot more, a whole lot less popular. I mean, everyone -- you know, a lot of Democrats love Joe Biden right now, but if he jumps into the race, that honeymoon may be over.

GINGRICH: Well, maybe. And I think -- but he has a very good political personality. I mean, he really does love life. He loves people. He loves campaigning. And I suspect that he will be pretty enthusiastic and pretty energetic.

You know, there is some talk about his age, but the truth is, he has been running around for six years as the Vice President of the United States. That is not an easy job. And he has certainly shown that he has a great deal of energy when it comes to politics.

VAN SUSTEREN: So who does President Obama, if Vice President Biden gets in? Does he just stay silent or does he pick between his former secretary of state and his vice president?

GINGRICH: Well, you just showed a second ago the president saying, you know, I left that up to Joe. You know, good friend, he's described the vice president as the best choice he made.

Remember, he also made a choice of Hillary Clinton, but he put Biden as the best choice he made. I don't think all those bundlers are sitting around not raising money for Hillary because they are getting signals from Obama that they should. I think they kind of feel like the president doesn't mind them sitting on the sidelines waiting for Joe Biden to enter.

VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Speaker, thank you, sir.

GINGRICH: Great to be with you.