This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 24, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich joins us live. Good evening, sir. And why is the president now going out to sell it [health care reform law]?
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I think because they've, frankly, lost their mind.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that...
VAN SUSTEREN: How do you really feel?
GINGRICH: No, the country cares about jobs. The country cares about the economy. The country cares about the deficit. Seventy-nine percent of the country yesterday in a Fox News poll said they think the economy could collapse. The country would like the president and Washington to get on to something which relates to their daily lives.
But the president has decided and his team has decided that they have to go out and they have to win the argument on health care. I don't think they can win this argument.
I think when people start looking at the underlying details, when you realize, for example, that the Mayo Clinic in Arizona will no longer take Medicare, when you watch major institutions like a major drugstore say they will no longer take Medicaid, when you see the system beginning to break down, you look at the cost in Massachusetts, where the first experiment in this kind of program has now proved so expensive, it's probably not sustainable -- they're going to lose this argument. But I think they are fixated on a belief that if they talk long enough, somehow, people will believe them.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, what about all the discussion among the Republicans that they're going to seek to repeal it? Silly or is it -- I mean, is it political? I mean, what -- what...
GINGRICH: What you have to do is be politically honest. If the Republicans win a majority in the House and Senate next year, they will not be able to repeal the bill. The president would veto it. But they will be able to cut off all spending and implementation because they don't have to appropriate. If they...
VAN SUSTEREN: So where does that leave us?
GINGRICH: If they win the presidency in 2012, they can repeal it in February of 2013. That's the earliest you could repeal. Now, this is a bill which, by the way, most of it doesn't go into effect before 2013, 2014, 2015. This is a very gradual takeover of the entire country's health system by the government. And because it's so gradual, you could actually repeal it in February of 2013, and you would have effectively killed it.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let's talk about Speaker Pelosi. Of course, you know her job better than anyone else, having had the job. How did she do?
GINGRICH: She did fabulous. I mean, if your -- if your decision is you're going to write off the country, have everybody enraged, but you're going to pass the bill you want and you're going to muscle your way through by a combination of bullying, browbeating and bribing, she was very effective.
And I think you have to start with the fact -- if you're on the left right now, you won. You feel pretty good. You signed a trillion-dollar bill. You scammed the whole country. And you ran over the country, and you succeeded. And I think the question for them is, Can they keep this up until November, or in fact, does the country punish them in November so badly that she becomes minority leader, in which case she might, in fact, be deposed, and John Boehner become Speaker. That's the great gamble that we're in the middle of.
VAN SUSTEREN: You say that they scammed the country. I think the polls are pretty evenly divided on this, I'm not so sure the country is so overwhelmingly, you know, appreciative of what's happened.
GINGRICH: No. No...
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, half the country doesn't like this.
GINGRICH: No, no, no. Well, scammed it in the sense that they avoided doing town hall meetings. They avoided meeting with their constituents. They stay hidden in Washington. They passed what they wanted. It is now law. And so they look back and said, I don't care how mad you are, I got what I wanted.
VAN SUSTEREN: So what about jobs? I mean -- I mean, is this...
VAN SUSTEREN: Do they now have sort of the wind behind their backs and now they can move forward with more of their job programs, or have they missed the boat on this?
GINGRICH: No, I think, in fact, they're going to go further to the left. I think they're going to ignore jobs. They're going to immigration...
VAN SUSTEREN: How can they -- they can't ignore jobs.
GINGRICH: Sure they can.
VAN SUSTEREN: But with an unemployment rate that's hovering around 10 percent?
GINGRICH: Look -- look -- look, they believe -- at least this is my understanding. They believe that there's enough deficit spending, trillions of dollars pouring into the economy, that they'll get enough of a bounce by November to be OK, and that whatever collapse occurs won't happen until '13 or '14 or '15. I mean, they are potentially adding $8 trillion of debt during the Obama two terms, if he gets two terms. That's their current projection, $8 trillion. That means every young person America will pay more interest on the debt to Chinese and Saudis than they will pay for national security in taxes in their lifetime.
And I think the gamble that the left has right now is that nobody will quite notice it. It's like your -- imagine your parents gave you a car when were you young and said, Happy birthday. And then next month, you learn that it didn't have air-conditioning and it didn't have a radio. And the following month, you learned they hadn't actually paid for it. And then the month after that, you learn they actually got a really bad price and paid four times what it was worth, and now you're going to pay for the next 22 years for a really stupid car you don't want. The Obama...
VAN SUSTEREN: (INAUDIBLE) bad color.
GINGRICH: The Obama people -- the bad color. There you go. We'll make it a purple car that's garish, OK? So the Obama are gambling that nobody will notice all the debt they're piling up, but everybody will be grateful for whatever check they send them this year.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right...
GINGRICH: That's the core -- that's the core gamble.
VAN SUSTEREN: You have a joint press conference tomorrow with the governor of Georgia. What is this?
GINGRICH: Well, we have a Center for Health Transformation meeting in Georgia to talk about reality. The reality is this bill is now law. So the members of the Center for Health Transformation want to know, How do we operate in this new law? What do we have to get done in the new law? What's right with it? What's wrong with it? What can be changed about it?
And Governor Purdue has taken a very courageous position. He believes that this bill is a disaster, that it will bankrupt the state of Georgia, it is going to crowd out spending on education. It will crowd out spending on the environment. It's going to crowd out spending on highways...
VAN SUSTEREN: So what's the courageous position?
GINGRICH: Well, what he wants to do is he wants to file a lawsuit along with many attorney generals, Democrat and Republican, saying that the federal government can't impose this kind of unfunded mandate. And we're going to have a meeting tomorrow and talk about what are the real implications for the people of Georgia of this bill? What can we do to stop them, the federal government, the Washington bureaucrats, from imposing this kind of cost on the people of Georgia?
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think the president tonight is feeling very sort of euphoric and successful, or do you think he's got some sort of worry that this may not pan out quite as he hoped?
GINGRICH: No, I think, based on his career, which has been remarkable, he's probably very euphoric. I mean, he's gone from, you know, state senator to U.S. senator to Democratic nominee to president to passing a trillion-dollar-plus bill. You know, from his perspective, it's been an amazing run. Why shouldn't he be confident?
VAN SUSTEREN: What's sort of the drop dead date when this health care bill -- like, when will people either make a decision for themselves -- you've obviously decided how you feel about it. But when will people know if this is an abject failure or a success?
GINGRICH: Look, I think there's a temporary boost for the Democrats by the act of passing something. People said, Well, they at least got something done. I think that'll last about a week. Then people will learn more and more and more about the bill. And gradually, they'll figure out how expensive it's going to be, how much it's going to weaken the system and how much, in fact, it's really bad stuff. And finally, you're going to have the Washington bureaucracy.
Remember, this bill creates 159 new agencies, commissions and bureaus. Now, the idea that the Department of Health and Human Services can implement a bill that has 159 new offices is just a fantasy. It's just going to -- as it -- it'll be like exactly what happened with the stimulus. As it drifts out and people see more and more about it, they'll be less and less happy.
VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Speaker, thank you, sir.
GINGRICH: Good to be with you.
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