This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 2, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: So he's been in office nearly a year and unemployment stands at 10.2 percent. The stimulus bill has not done a job of denting that number, so President Obama has decided to take things into his own hands.
What has he decided? He's just going to give another speech. Now tomorrow's White House job summit is a little more than a hollow effort to demonstrate that the president cares about you, the American people, and the people in this country that are unemployed, even if he has no idea what to do about this.
But the president hasn't exactly set politics aside. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than three million businesses, will not be present at tomorrow's summit. They were not invited.
And you may remember that the chamber came under attack from the White House proposing health care reform and cap-and-tax. Also the National Federation of Independent Business was also left off the list, and I think that's a good indication of where the president's heart is in this fight to create jobs.
Well, former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, is taking the president on directly. Earlier this evening, he held what he was calling a real jobs summit. And he proposed taking concrete action for the economy like cutting payroll taxes by 15 percent and abolishing the capital gains and estate taxes altogether.
Joining me now with much more on this is the author of the brand-new book, "Rediscovering God in America," which by the way, his wife did all the photography for the book. And you can buy an autographed copy, a great Christmas gift, at Newt.org.
Mr. Speaker, from the great city of Cincinnati, welcome back.
NEWT GINGRICH, "REDISCOVERING GOD IN AMERICA" AUTHOR: It's great to be with you. We had a great, great town hall meeting here in Cincinnati, and we actually had real job creators here, unlike the Obama summit. We have people who have created real jobs, who've hired real people, who are real manufacturers.
The tragedy of tomorrow's meeting in the White House is I don't believe there's a single small business that's going to be at that summit, and yet, small businesses create three out of every four new jobs.
HANNITY: Well, but obviously the only jobs that we see being created right now are government jobs. That's the only growth sector in terms of job growth.
What does it mean that his projection for job growth , which was — it wouldn't go above 8 percent unemployment if we passed the stimulus, otherwise we faced a catastrophe? What does that say about his stimulus plan? Does that mean it's failed?
GINGRICH: Of course, it's failed. The stimulus plan was a politician pay-off to other politicians. It allowed governors and mayors and county commissions to avoid hard choices and wasted an enormous amount of money while creating virtually no jobs.
The fact is there's a steady at the American Enterprise Institute that indicates this is the worst administration in American history at appointing people who had any kind of private-sector experience. I think 92 percent of this administration has government background or academic background.
Only 8 percent of the senior appointees have a private-sector background, so you've got folks trying to sit around in a room at the White House who've never created a single job, talking to each other about job creation as if they know what they're doing, and the fact is, they're having a job killing effect.
Their energy tax increase is a job killer. Their willingness to send taxes back up next year is a job killer. Their health plan is a job killer. And this will become the worst job killing administration, I think, in American history.
HANNITY: Well, cap and tax, you can add to that. Is it political as much as the Chamber of Commerce is eliminated, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, they are excluded. Why would you exclude them? Why? Because they oppose some of your policies? Is that the inclusion that the president talked about?
GINGRICH: You know, I — there's something strange about this administration. This goes back to his fight with Fox News, which was equally childish and foolish. If you're the president of the United States, and you want to bring the whole country together, then you have some obligation to let people who criticize you in the room, and you have some obligation to listen to them.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is an enormously important business institution. The National Federation of Independent Businesses is the largest business organization of small businesses in America.
To try to have a job creation summit without the two of them would be like trying to have a pro-football meeting without the NFL. It wouldn't make any sense.
HANNITY: Well, but that — obviously, that's the inclusion that the president promised. End of partisan bickering.
Something interesting is happening. The president now, I can — Quinnipiac, Zogby, Rasmussen, Gallup, he's now below 50 percent. Harris has them at 43 percent approval rating, some of the lowest numbers he's ever had.
We now have two Democrats, Bobby Rush and Marcy Captor, are now saying you know what? News job is — and creating jobs is more important than health care reform. Now they stopped short of threatening their vote on health care reform, but is this the beginning of Democrats now abandoning the president because they want to save their jobs, on health care, specifically?
GINGRICH: Well, I think — look, I think you have several things happening to the president, all of them bad. The fact is, when you're at 10.2 percent unemployment, and you don't have a clue what you're doing, the country begins to think you can't lead and you don't understand reality.
The fact is, when you spend all your time trying to pass a giant energy tax increase that will kill middle America, trying to pass a health insurance plan that will kill virtually every small business in America. Talking about letting all the tax cuts lapse which will kill small businesses in America.
People just think you don't get it. So he's actually suffering from a reality problem. Not a communications problem. In the real world, people are frightened about their jobs, and they don't think that he understands what's going on.
HANNITY: All of these suggestions that you laid out, that we just mentioned, are ideas that I think would jump-start the economy and entrepreneuralship and real job creation because I think that's where those jobs are going to be created. But all the incentives are being taken away from small business.
All right, we've got to get into an area — I have in front of me an article that just passed the wires. The headline is "Gingrich Praises Obama on Afghanistan." And in this you said that the president last night made a difficult decision that took considerable courage, because it will split his supporters. And I hate to disagree.
I'm going to lay out my case, and then I want you to just eviscerate me and tell me where I'm wrong.
GINGRICH: I'm not going to eviscerate you.
HANNITY: Well, you might. You're capable of it. All right.
GINGRICH: Well, I might. That's true. No, but you're my friend. How about beat on you a little bit?
HANNITY: You can beat on me a lot, if you want. But here's my take. Three quarters — he only gives General McChrystal three quarters of what he asked for. He says he's going to pull the troops out in 18 months. Does not put an emphasis on victory.
It seems to me the moral equivalent of his entire career or representative of his entire career of threading the needle and voting present instead of saying we're going to be in this to win it and we're to give the commanders the troops they need.
Tell me where Sean Hannity is out of his mind wrong and why the president deserves praise?
GINGRICH: No, look, I don't think you're wrong about what you just said, but I watched that — Callista and I watched that speech last night. And I'm an Army brat. My dad spent 27 years in the infantry. And I know that the young men and women who are sitting there who are cadets, who are going to risk their lives for this country, would like occasionally for politicians to find a way to get together.
The one big applause was when he said, "Surely we should find a way to work together." Now all of us hated it when the left found every possible excuse to beat up on George W. Bush.
I think that President Obama may be only did 65 percent of what he should have done, but I think if you are a left-wing candidate, who defeated Hillary Clinton with the support of the anti-war left, and you walk into the U.S. military academy to give a speech announcing a 30,000 troops increase, knowing that your left is going to savage you — and they started it last night, they've continued it all day today — this is going to break up the unity of the Democratic Party. That's not a trivial decision.
HANNITY: But he had said during the campaign, "This is a war we must win," and he appointed General McChrystal. And it seemed to me that last night.
HANNITY: If he did anything, I think he announced to the world when we're pulling out. Announced to our enemies, you just wait us out 18 months. That seems like a very dangerous idea to me.
GINGRICH: OK. Look, you were right all through 2008 on several big issues and I was wrong. So I am going to go out on a limb with some hesitancy. He has an escape valve on that promise. I don't believe they're going to pull out in 18 months.
I believe in 2012, there will still be troops in Iraq and there will still be troops in Afghanistan, and I frankly believe with General Jones as the national security adviser, that they are afraid — that they have a very.
HANNITY: All right.
GINGRICH: . realistic sense that they're in for the long haul.
HANNITY: All right, now that jobs summit continues tomorrow.
GINGRICH: But I may be too optimistic.
HANNITY: Well, I hope for the sake of our troops that we have enough troops there to help them but — the jobs summit tomorrow in Mississippi, and we'll continue to follow.
Mr. Speaker, thanks for being with us.
GINGRICH: Great to be with you.
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