Interviews

Gingrich: Trump is going to be executive producer of America

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 9, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST:  In the meantime, we still have no word of a secretary of state.  

More and more Cabinet positions are being filled out here, but still no word on who will be Donald trump's secretary of state, arguably the most important of those Cabinet posts, again, in the eye of the beholder.

To former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, author of "Treason" and so many other great books.

You know, Speaker, what do you make of that?  I mean, growing talk now that they have widened the pool out of possible candidates beyond Rudy Giuliani initially thought to be the front-runner, then to Mitt Romney.  Then they sampled out.  And now the word seems to be ExxonMobil CEO is getting a closer look.  

What's going on here?  

NEWT GINGRICH, R-FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  Well, I think it's actually a very good thing.

And let me say about your last conversation, I think the number one challenge for the entire Republican team, House, Senate and White House, is going to be to take the Trump rally and turn it next year into a Trump reality.

And if they have do that, economic growth will boom and the market in fact will be underpriced because of the size of the American economy once it's unleashed after the last eight or nine years of stagnation.  

CAVUTO:  By the way, we should explain that.  You're an encyclopedia.

But if the economy does grow to the extent that many hope that it will, all of a sudden, corporate earnings and all will pale by comparison.  

But go ahead.

GINGRICH:  So, if you put that into context, I think I'm actually reassured by the way president-elect Trump has been approaching the secretary of state's job.  

He has talked to a lot of smart people, people like Condi Rice, like Henry Kissinger.  He's really thought about the job.  Given the degree to which he wants America to have a stronger role overseas and greater representation for American interests, which also requires a secretary of state strong enough to fix the State Department, which is one of the weakest, I think, and most destructive of American departments, he is looking for the right kind of person.  

I think he has gradually begun to realize that Dwight Eisenhower was right when he picked John Foster Dulles, who had been an international lawyer, who had made a very, very good living working on real deals, real contracts, real negotiations, not a theoretician, not a bureaucrat.

And so I think he has drifted more towards people like Mulally at Ford, Tillerson at ExxonMobil, people who have been in the real world, negotiating with governments, getting deals done that they had to implement.  And so...

CAVUTO:  Then do you make of the fact that Rudy Giuliani has not been seen at Trump Tower for a couple of weeks?  People are wondering what happened to Chris Christie and the days that he was highly regarded as someone who early on risked a great deal of political capital by putting his political capital behind him.

These early people, in other words, who were big supporters, and helped out, now, there isn't always a quid pro quo.  I understand that.  But what are we to read into that?

GINGRICH:  Well, I'm not sure I read a whole into it.

I think in Rudy's case, I think there were two or three jobs that they would have loved for him to have said yes to.  He didn't want any of them. As I understand it, he said, the only thing I want is secretary of state.  

They looked at it, and Trump, for whatever reason, said, gee, I'm not sure. Well, you know, Trump was the one elected president.  This is his decision.  

CAVUTO:  No, you're right.

I think when it came to Mitt Romney, though, I think it was you.  When you went on the air and you started saying all these horrible things about him, I think Trump said, all right, well, there goes that one.  

(LAUGHTER)

GINGRICH:  No, no, no.  

Look, all he had to do was follow my good friend Sean Hannity, who kept replaying Romney's nastiest comments about Trump.  

CAVUTO:  Yes, indeed.  Yes, indeed.  

GINGRICH:  About eight minutes of that, and you begin to realize, this is going to be hard.

CAVUTO:  But everyone knew that.  Everyone knew that.  

Let me switch gears here, if you don't mind.

GINGRICH:  Sure.

CAVUTO:  Donald Trump has apparently indicated, Newt, that he will still be playing a role as an executive producer for "Celebrity Apprentice."

He is president the United States and he will have an E.P. role on that role.  It might be just a credited title that comes up, but what do you make of that?  

GINGRICH:  I think it's weird.  

CAVUTO:  You think it's appropriate?  

GINGRICH:  Just it's weird.  I don't think it's relevant.  

First of all, they're not going to pay him enough money to matter, if they are going to pay him at all.  If he's doing it pro bono, it's to have his name in print.  He doesn't need his name the print.  

Donald J. Trump is going to be the executive producer of a thing called the American government.  He's going to have this huge TV show called leading the world.  

I think he ought to just relax, give executive producer to Eric or Donald or to Ivanka, and keep moving forward.  I think he is still going through some transition things here, where it hasn't quite sunk in totally.  

This is the hardest, biggest secular job in the world.  Only the pope rivals it.  And the pope has a kind of help that Trump can't count on.  

CAVUTO:  But the pope can tweet and does tweet.  We do know that.  

GINGRICH:  That's right.  

CAVUTO:  Do you think -- do you think distinguish that maybe this weekend, if there is a live "Saturday Night Live" -- I think there is this weekend -- he shouldn't watch, and if he does, he shouldn't be tweeting about it?  

GINGRICH:  I think he should watch if he wants to.  And I don't mind if he tweets, as long as he has one person who edits it.  

I think it's very good for him to tweet.  I think the country kind of gets into his tweeting.  I think it's been effective for him.  But he has got to have an editor.  He can't just sit there.  And I say this as a guy who has done the same thing.  He can't sit there and at 11:15 at night have some whacked idea and then send it out to the entire planet.  

He is going to be president of the United States.  He's no longer a rich businessman.  He is now in the most important, the most powerful secular job in history.

CAVUTO:  No, there's no doubt.  There's not.

GINGRICH:  And he has got to grow into that.  That's a responsibility.  

CAVUTO:  I hear you.

But there's also talk.  You mentioned "Celebrity Apprentice" a little bit ago.  And now there is talk that Mark Burnett, he could actually co-produce an inaugural extravaganza.  Talk is that it could even involve a Fifth Avenue parade event before Washington.  

Again, all of this is scuttlebutt and all.  But what do you make of that, to produce or to have a Burnett type produce an inaugural extravaganza?

GINGRICH:  Look, I think if the president-elect wants to commission a friend of his to produce an extravaganza, that might be fun.

I actually had hoped there would be a little bit more of that in the convention.  Trump is a showman.  He's been remarkably successful in so many different fields, including television, including Miss Universe.

So, if he wants to put on an unusual show, I'm working right now on a project so that every town in America that wants to could put on a local Trump inaugural party that night and be linked together across the whole country, so we have taken the inauguration to the whole country, not just to Washington, D.C.  

CAVUTO:  All right.  

Newt, always a pleasure.  Hope you have a merry Christmas, my friend. Thank you very, very much.

GINGRICH:  Thank you.  Have a merry Christmas.

CAVUTO:  Newt Gingrich.

END

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