This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," March 31, 2006, that was edited for clarity.
DAVID ASMAN, GUEST HOST: Republicans had not controlled the House of Representatives for over 40 years. But Newt Gingrich and his Contract With America changed it all in 1994. Now the former House speaker says the Republicans have done such a terrible job at governing that he has offered the Democrats this campaign slogan: "Had enough?"
You antagonized a lot of folks, Speaker, particularly on the right, conservative Republicans, who thought you were working for the DNC now.
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Look, I think that it is very important to tell the truth to your own party and to your own movement. And, as a conservative and a Republican, I think, when you look at the failures of FEMA, for example, when you look at the recent report that we are spending $1.75 to get 10 cents worth of contracting work done on roofs in New Orleans, when you look at the difficulties in Iraq, where we allocated $18 billion, and my guess is less than $2 billion was spent effectively, the bureaucracy, the paperwork, the system is just so clumsy and so ineffective.
I think the average American wants to see a much more aggressive reform effort. I think they want the Republicans to be in charge, but they want the Republicans to be reforming the government, not defending it. And they want the Republicans to be changing the government, not excusing its failures.
ASMAN: But you use the words "clumsy" and "ineffective." Some folks say that would describe Democrats' attempts to take advantage of Republican mistakes.
GINGRICH: Look, I think we have lots of opportunity to describe the Democrats. I don't think you can write a contract with Vermont and San Francisco. And I think having Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi as the leading examples of the Democratic Party, it is pretty easy to say they are too far to the left.
But I think that it is also too easy for us Republicans. And I am very concerned, in the long run, that we Republicans remember, we are the party of reform. We are the party of people who pay for the pork. We are not the party of people who are grateful for the pork.
And I think Republicans, I go all over the country talking to people. And I think Republicans really do want to see their leadership and their party in the House, the Senate and the White House much more aggressive in reforming the country.
And I will give you one example. We are about to be told that one out of every four schools in America has failed to improve over the last four years. That means that children in one out of every four school are guaranteed that they are getting an inadequate education.
That calls for some fairly big reform right now, while those young people still have a chance.
ASMAN: Now, if Republicans have made as many mistakes as you say, if the election was held today, would they lose?
GINGRICH: I think, if the election were today, they might. There is no guarantee, because the Democrats are so negative, so lacking in ideas, so nastily partisan, that they actually weaken their ability to gain power.
But I think, if the Republicans will do the right things over the next six months, that we can, in fact, win a very decisive election this fall.
GINGRICH: And I would hope Republicans would take the lead in reforming things.
ASMAN: Well, and we mentioned the fact Democrats have not been able to gain any ground, get any purchase on the mistakes of the Republicans.
We saw this week the security plan that they had, which really didn't have much new in it, anything specific that they could say, this is totally different; this is the way we are going to win the war on terror, the way we are going to win the war in Iraq, etcetera.
GINGRICH: Well, look, I think you have to confess that there is no driving energy.
Ronald Reagan brought big reforms to America. The Contract With America reformed welfare, balanced the federal budget, cut taxes. We had big ideas. You don't see anything like that on the Democratic side.
But I feel, as maybe one of the coaches who helped this party be successful, I want to coach us to be so good, that the Democrats are irrelevant. I don't want us to rely on the Democrats being so bad that we can survive, despite ourselves.
ASMAN: Now, you use the word "coach," Speaker. Could we also use the word "president"? Are you running?
GINGRICH: No, no. I am worried about what we do in the next six months to win this year. We have a long way to go before 2008.
ASMAN: All right, but a coach on the sidelines very different from a quarterback, let's say, in the game. Are you going to be in the game at all?
GINGRICH: Well, I don't know. I may be in the game. That is beyond this year. But, this year, I think my job is to advise and to help and to support. And I think part of that involves telling the truth. And the truth is, we need very fundamental reform of government, in order other have the kind of government the American people want.
ASMAN: All right.
Speaker Newt Gingrich, I'm just curious. If there was a bumper sticker that you had for yourself, what would it be?
GINGRICH: I don't have a clue. I can't get into that.
ASMAN: Speaker Newt Gingrich.
ASMAN: Thanks a lot, Speaker.
GINGRICH: Thank you.
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