Gingrich Weighs In on State of Republican Party After Tea Party Primary Victories

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," September 16, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: We are counting down the days to Election Day 2010 and in a moment, I'll be joined live by former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. I'll ask him to weigh in on the left's claims that a civil war has erupted within the Republican Party.

Now the rise of Tea Party candidates like Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and others have led some Democrats to argue that the future of the GOP is in peril.

And as usual helping to peddle the left's talking points has been the mainstream Obama-mania media and of course the chief propagandist, Robert Gibbs.

Take a look.


JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: The Republican leadership is just stunned by what happened last night in Delaware. And now they are scrambling to get control of a movement that seems to be taking over their party.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Last night showed that there is a very vociferous debate going on inside the Republican Party.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, NBC NEWS: Republican officials in this state and nationally are trying to figure out how to win with a candidate they did not want.

Tea Party upsets like hers have triggered a Republican Party civil war.

DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: I want to get this straight, Jon, because O'Donnell is another Sarah Palin-endorsed candidate.

KARL: Big time.

SAWYER: Big time. And Karl Rove is doing battle now with Sarah Palin over the candidate?

KARL: There you go. Palin versus Rove, get your tickets.


HANNITY: All right, so is it a civil war or are conservatives simply washing away the wishy-washy Republicans in favor of more principled candidates?

Here with reaction, as promised, is the former speaker of the House, Fox News contributor, host of the brand new documentary along with his wife Callista, "America at Risk: The War with No Name", which is available at I'm sorry, .com.

Newt Gingrich is with us. Mr. Speaker, welcome back.


HANNITY: So, you know, nobody wants to be seen with Barack Obama. Nobody wants to be seen with Nancy Pelosi. More Democrats are running ads against health care than for health care. Nobody is running ads for the stimulus. But this is about a Republican civil war if you listen to the media.

GINGRICH: The news media will do everything it can for the next 47 days to try to talk about anything except 9.6 percent unemployment, trillions of dollars in debt, the Democrats' failed, job-killing economic policies, the disaster of the Democratic Party's health bill, the failure of the Democratic Party in the Gulf of Mexico with the BP oil disaster.

The elite media will try to turn every Republicans radioactive for a simple reason. If the Republicans are still standing on Election Day, whether it's Christine O'Donnell or it is Angle in Nevada or it is Rand Paul in Kentucky, or you name it, they are going to win.

And they are going to win for a simple reason. The Obama Democrats have been grinding the economy into the dust, leaving Americans unemployed. We just had the highest number in poverty released today I think in years.

HANNITY: One in seven.

GINGRICH: We have the highest number -- we have the highest number of uninsured --

HANNITY: But that's one in seven Americans now in poverty according to the new census.

GINGRICH: That's right. Highest number of -- we have 50 million people without health insurance. We have the highest number of Americans ever to get food stamps.

So here's a president whose redistribution policies turned out not to be a paycheck, not to be a handout -- a hand-up but to be a food stamp. But I think if the Republicans will simply be the paycheck party and take on the food stamp party they'll make it clear.

And by the way, in Delaware, where all these people are ringing their hands, I think Christine O'Donnell is going to make a very simple case. Her opponent raised taxes, increased spending, is the perfect local model -- his county has lost most of its ratings for bondedness, he has been a perfect Obama Democrat.

And I think over the next five or six weeks, as that case is made clear, that she will in fact beat him. She was tied with him a month ago before all the attack commercials came in. I suspect a month from now she'll be tied with him again.

HANNITY: Well, there was a 17-point swing in just a short period of time there.

Well, what do you make of -- there was a little bit of a battle. There has been a battle between the more conservative wing of the Republican Party and the, quote, "establishment" that's in Kentucky, that's in Nevada, that's in Alaska, that's in Delaware. And there have been other instances.

Now I also heard behind the scenes, and you could put this rumor to bed, that you might have played a role in terms of bridging the gap with the NRSC and Christine O'Donnell.

Is there any truth to that?

GINGRICH: Well, there've been a news report that apparently was inaccurate and when I checked with Senator Cornyn he immediately said that was wrong, he acted promptly and within minutes they had corrected that report.

Senator Cornyn was clearly committed to helping Christine O'Donnell win just as he's committed with Angle, and with Paul and with everybody. I mean I think both he and Mitch McConnell have been great troopers. They haven't played games. They have jumped in to back whoever won the primary.

And think about it. Here you have a Republican Party which for the first time since 1930 has outvoted the Democrats in the primaries. This has not happened in 80 years and we are supposed to be worried?

You have a Republican Party in which grassroots candidates -- think of Nikki Haley in South Carolina, an Indian-American woman wins the Republican nomination in South Carolina, and we're supposed to feel bad?

You have a candidate for -- you have a candidate for Nevada, Sandoval, who's a great Latino. But of course what's the left going to do? What if we have Latinos win the governorship as Republicans in New Mexico and Nevada?

You have a Latino win the Senate race in Florida. How can that be if they are Republicans? You're going to -- you're going to have an African-American conservative, Tim Scott from Charleston, South Carolina, in the U.S. House.

All of a sudden, all of these people -- how is the elite media going to deal with the fact that the rising energetic, new ideas, grassroots party in America is Republican, not Democrat?

HANNITY: You know, it's interesting because it seems that the only ideas that we're hearing are coming from conservatives. I mean they're talking about returning to constitutional principles, lowering taxes. I like Boehner and McConnell's idea. Let's roll back spending to 2008 levels. I think that's a good start. Let's not have any new spending, repealing health care, on the War on Terror, on borders, there seem to be answers.

The left seems to be at this moment of time -- they don't have any ideas except they are on the attack. So --

GINGRICH: Well, look -- look, now the left has a lot of ideas. They're all bad. And --

HANNITY: Well, they tried them all now.

GINGRICH: And they can't say any of them. They can't be honest with any of them. A competitive network -- I won't name -- had a poll come out today --

HANNITY: There is no competitive network. What are you -- there is no such thing.

GINGRICH: Well, there's a random smaller network --



GINGRICH: -- which came out -- which came out today with a poll that shows that by almost 2-1 the American people are opposed to President Obama on immigration. And that 68 percent of the American people want to see stronger controls and stronger enforcement. The opposite of the Obama position.

You just go through item after item like this and you realize that whether it's the Ground Zero mosque or whether it is the issue of not raising taxes, I mean I think there are going to be votes in the House on not raising taxes.

And I believe there's a very high likelihood that you're going to see Nancy Pelosi lose control of the House in a rules vote over this issue because I think even many Democrats have begun to realize that raising taxes in the middle of a deep recession is just suicidal economically.

HANNITY: I have a lot more questions including the final tactics and strategies that candidates ought to be using.

When we get back we're going to have a lot more with former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich right after the break.


HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." I continue now to be joined from our nation's capital by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

By the way, one last thing on Mike Castle. Wouldn't call and congratulate Christine O'Donnell. But there was a report -- Michelle Malkin -- I'll get into this in more detail in a minute but, that he did talk to Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Now why in the age of Joe Sestak and all these other cases that came out in Colorado, Romanoff, why do I suspect there might be a "you don't endorse her, by the way, we might have a little job waiting for you at the end of the rainbow here?" Why wouldn't he be gracious and call her, congratulate her, and rally around her like he promised to do back in May?

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, I don't think Mike Castle needs or is going to take a job. He's had a very long, very successful career. He's been governor of the state. He's been a sole member of the House for a long time. I know him personally. He's a man of great integrity.

I suspect frankly and you can appreciate this, Sean. I suspect his feelings are hurt. I think this is a guy who at the beginning of the year was the most popular politician in Delaware, thought he was going to win easily, focused on the general election.

HANNITY: You know I got to be honest. My son plays competitive sports. And at the end of a sporting match that he lost, if he didn't shake the other person's hand, he'd hear it from his dad.


HANNITY: This guy has been in politics 40 years and he doesn't have the graciousness, the grace, the dignity to, you know, go out there like he promised to do back in May and support the candidate and say congratulations? Come on.

GINGRICH: You didn't ask me if I thought it was the right thing to do. You asked me why he did it.

HANNITY: Doesn't sound like a lot of integrity.

GINGRICH: I think frankly -- look, I think Senator Murkowski should endorse Miller in Alaska. I think that Mike Castle ought to endorse Christine O'Donnell in Delaware. If you sign up to run in the party's primary, I think you have a pretty high obligation to support the person that the people have chosen.

This is not about a personality. It's not Christine O'Donnell versus Mike Castle. The people of Delaware -- and by the way, the largest turnout in modern times in the state of Delaware, bigger than the presidential turnout. Four times the size of the turnout in 2006.

HANNITY: All right, but it gets deeper. Not only that today his campaign sent out, you know, an article that just slandered and smeared and attacked not only Christine O'Donnell but the voters. Now that doesn't sound like --

GINGRICH: I think that's a mistake and I hope that Mike calms down and thinks about it and decides he's bigger than that. The party has been very good to him for a very long time.


GINGRICH: I think he owes it to the party in that sense. And he got to --

HANNITY: Sounds like a big crybaby to me. Sounds like -- honestly, like a poor sport, big crybaby.


HANNITY: And I'm sorry he lost. But you know what? He earns his loss with his liberal voting record as far as I'm concerned. He's blaming me, lashing out at me and Rush.

GINGRICH: Look, more importantly than what you or I think or talk radio versus Republican incumbents. The fact is, the people of Delaware have the right to pick the nominee they want.

HANNITY: And they did.

GINGRICH: In the largest turnout in modern times they picked Christine O'Donnell. And folks are -- including the Republican national establishment -- ought to respect --

HANNITY: All right.

GINGRICH: -- the people of Delaware's right to choose their nominee.

HANNITY: Let me ask you. We had Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy on the program. There is a document that -- it's not going to be the "Contract with America." But there's going to be some commitment and promises. They wouldn't tell me what it is.

What should be in that document? Obviously, they're trying to replicate what you accomplished in 1994.

GINGRICH: You know this is a different year. It's a much worse economic year. The unemployment is a much bigger crisis. The spending is a much bigger crisis. The national debt is a much bigger crisis.

My hope is that the heart of this document is going to be drawing a clear contrast between job killing by the Democrats and job creating by Republicans. Is going to focus on cutting taxes, creating jobs, controlling spending, getting back towards a balanced budget.

I know that Congressman John Boehner, for example, has proposed that we go back to the discretionary spending of 2008 under George W. Bush. Nobody in 2008 thought we spent too little. And I think that we ought to be in a position that we could live with that kind of a cap for the next decade.

And I think you'll see them come out with a very clear fiscally conservative position, moving us back towards job creation, towards helping small business with a clear principle: No tax increase on any American when we're in this kind of a severe recession.

HANNITY: Any other items you'd like to see in there?

GINGRICH: Well, I'd like to see them focus very, very heavily on jobs and the economy for a very simple reason. There are many things I believe in. And if we were writing a party platform I'd want many more things.

But what I'd like to try to do is focus the national news media from now to Election Day on the straightforward question, if you think killing jobs and having 9.6 unemployment and then raising taxes and risking a second deeper recession is a good idea, you ought to vote Democrat.

But if you think we need to get back to small business creating jobs, and you want to keep taxes down and spending down, then you ought to vote Republican. If we can have that clear referendum we'll do just fine on Election Day.

HANNITY: All right, Mr. Speaker, we'll see you at the Value Voters Summit this weekend.

GINGRICH: Look forward to it.

HANNITY: Look forward to it. Appreciate you being with us tonight.

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