Newt Gingrich on Report of Sen. Reid Outburst

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This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," July 25, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CONNELL MCSHANE, GUEST HOST: Harry Reid blowing up at the press? The Senate majority leader reportedly having a temper tantrum when he was asked about Republican demands to drill offshore, telling one reporter to — quote — "turn up your hearing aid."

But are Democrats hearing the American people?

? Video: Watch the 'Your World' interview

There is a FOX News poll out finding 75 percent believe the U.S. should increase drilling immediately in order to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.

With us now, the former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

The Democrats do not seem to be listening to the people, are they, Mr. Speaker?

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, you know, I think Senator Harry Reid is under particular pressure because his home city of Las Vegas is beginning to go through what I would call the Reid recession.

They have had a decline in car travel from Los Angeles. They have had a decline in air travel from around the country. Hotel usage is down. Casino usage is down. This is — they have had a dramatic decline in construction. The state of Nevada has had a substantial drop in tax revenues.

And all of this is because of Harry Reid's policies of favoring sending money overseas for foreign oil, cutting off all drilling and all development in the U.S. And I suspect he is under more and more pressure, because his left-wing donors won't let him permit drilling.


GINGRICH: And, yet, people back home are suffering from the economy.

MCSHANE: As with, as we said, polls showing about three-quarters of the people support drilling offshore, the political question to you, as somebody who led the — quote, unquote — "the Republican revolution" back in 1994, if you were back in that kind of position right now, how would you take advantage of this? Is this a winning issue for Republicans in the fall?

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, at, we have a petition called drill here, drill now, save money — or pay less, rather — drill here, drill now, pay less. And that petition has over 1,300,000 signers.

Dave Ryan, the president of American Solutions, last week presented that to the Republicans in the House and Senate.


GINGRICH: I think it is a clear issue. I think that what Congressman Boehner did, introducing the bill this week, it is not just about oil. It is about energy across the board, wind, coal, nuclear, solar, conservation, flex-fuel cars.


GINGRICH: And it is interesting. Even The Washington Post today...

MCSHANE: Yes, I saw that.

GINGRICH: ... said that Speaker Pelosi should allow a vote. And I would say that Senator Reid ought to allow the Senate to have an up-or-down vote and have a debate on whether or not we should be allowed to develop not just offshore oil, but also shale oil in the Rockies, where, by the way, we have three times as much oil as Saudi Arabia.


Now, it is interesting. As you well know, from a political standpoint, this is an uphill fight this year for — for the Republicans. You have an unpopular president sitting in office, and Democrats ahead, and expecting to gain seats in both houses of Congress, according to most of the polls. How much can this issue do to reverse that?

GINGRICH: Well, if it starts to sink in that the country can't afford the Democratic leadership, and the country cannot afford policies that would raise taxes, keep the price of energy very, very high, and in a variety of other ways hit the family budget, I think you could see this election change as decisively as 1988, when Governor Dukakis was ahead by 19 points, and, on Election Day, lost by six...


GINGRICH: ... which meant — and this is one of the big issues, because every person who is out there and fills up their own car, and stands there at a self-service station, and looks at the price running up, knows that they believe that Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi ought to allow a vote on drilling, and, frankly, ought to allow the U.S. to develop American resources for the American economy.

MCSHANE: All of that said, Mr. Speaker, it is still a long shot, isn't it, that the Republicans would actually take back a majority in Congress, whether this issue works or not?

GINGRICH: Oh, well, look, I think it is a long shot, but I think that it is a dramatically better prospect today than it was four months ago. And I think the leadership of people in the House and Senate, what Congressman Boehner has done as the leader in the House, what Senators McConnell and Alexander and Kyl have done in the Senate, I think there has been real movement in the last six weeks.

And, frankly, I think our petition drive at has also help set that up.

MCSHANE: This is one issue. Before you go, give me one other winning issue for Republicans in a tough year in the fall. What is one other one?


I think what Senator Obama said two weeks ago about language, that he was embarrassed by Americans going overseas who can't speak the language. By the way, he does not speak the language in Iraq, in Jordan. He doesn't speak Hebrew. He doesn't speak any of the languages of Afghanistan.

I do not believe he speaks German. I don't believe he speaks French. He was the personification of his own embarrassment. And if you look at that issue, Rasmussen said he was in the 13 percent side of an 83-13 issue. Eighty-seven percent of the country want English to be the official language of government. I think that there are a number of these issues coming where the more left-wing the Democrats are, the more trouble they're going to be in.

MCSHANE: We will see.

It's a fun political year. Mr. Speaker, thank you very much.

GINGRICH: Thank you.

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