Newt Gingrich on What McCain Should Do in Final Two Weeks of Election

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 21, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: With two weeks to go before the presidential election, there's no doubt Barack Obama's ahead and gaining strength. All the polls show that. So what should John McCain do? Joining us now from Washington, FOX News analyst Newt Gingrich, who has a new DVD entitled "We Have the Power," which he hosts with his wife, Callista.

All right, Mr. Speaker, so I'm putting you in charge of the McCain campaign for the last two weeks. And what do you do?

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NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think you take the left-wing Marxist part of Ayers and you tie it directly to Senator Obama's desire to "spread the wealth" as he said to Joe the plumber. And you basically pose to the American people a pretty straightforward question: Do you want politicians deciding how much of your own money you're allowed to keep, and then having them take it to give to their cronies and friends, like for example the ACORN organization, which has been breaking the law with illegal votes? Or do you think we should focus on economic growth and jobs, on solving the energy problem, and on getting America back to work?

Now it turns out that in June, Gallup asked basically that question. And when asked to choose between redistributing the wealth and economic growth and jobs, by 84 to 13 the American people favored policies that focused on economic growth and jobs.

I think McCain in this environment with this economy has no choice, except to make the issue of the environment central. And the question of whether you want to go with a very left-wing, big tax increase and Obama's own words, politicians "spreading the wealth," or you want to go with a policy of helping small business, helping entrepreneurs, and creating jobs.

O'REILLY: OK. Now let's get real specific. You said the issue with the environment. I think you meant issue with the economy.

GINGRICH: On the economy.

O'REILLY: Right. OK, now, Ayers, Colin Powell says doesn't matter. Other people on — Barack Obama supporters primarily say it doesn't matter, but you said you would take this man and make him the poster boy of your economic attack against Barack Obama? That's what you would do?

GINGRICH: What I would say is Ayers is a clear left-winger. All of Obama's background with ACORN and other groups is clearly on the left. Jeremiah Wright is clearly on the left. And what does the left believe in? The left believes in taking money away from Americans, creating basically a Socialist society. And what has Obama himself slipped up and said? He said that we need to "spread the wealth."

Well, how many Americans really believe that politicians ought to be busy spreading the wealth, as opposed to let's get the economy growing and let's create jobs?

O'REILLY: So I got that. I got that. All right. But I'm just doing tactics here with, you know, we're doing tactics.


O'REILLY: So because, look, when the Gallup tracking poll comes out among likely voters today at 1:00, I was on "The Radio Factor." And it's handed to me, and it's a 10-point spread. I mean, with two weeks to go, that's very, very hard to overcome. Extremely hard to overcome because there's no debate.


O'REILLY: Ronald Reagan got saved in 1980 — yes, 1980, when he was behind Carter with two weeks to go because there was a debate, and he wiped Carter out in the last debate. But there is no debate.

So you say that, OK, two weeks to go, McCain down by 10. He's got to go in now and make his point, one central point that Barack Obama is a far-left, income redistribution guy, which Americans you contend don't want, and that by doing that, he's going to harm the economy further? Are you going to make that…

GINGRICH: Yes, I think people believe if you raise taxes in a recession, if you take money away from entrepreneurs and businesses in a recession, you're going to deepen the recession. We just did a poll two weeks ago with Doug Schoen and Kellyanne Conway. As you know, Doug Schoen was Bill Clinton's pollster in 1996. Seventy-five percent of the country thinks if you reduce taxes in corporations, you increase the number of American jobs. I mean, the American people aren't stupid.

O'REILLY: OK, but…


O'REILLY: If they're not stupid, if they're not — and I'm not saying the American people are stupid. I don't believe that for a second. But let's face it. We've had three debates, and McCain has made that point over and over and over again that his policies of tax cutting are better than the redistributionist policies of Barack Obama. The public hasn't bought it.


O'REILLY: What the public has bought was McCain saying the economy is fundamentally sound in the middle of a meltdown, which is not what he meant, but it doesn't matter because he said it and it was used against him. So I'm not sure in two weeks with the same message, unless there's a difference in the way you present the message, that that's going to work because it hasn't worked so far.

GINGRICH: Well, I think, first of all, if you connect Obama to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and you say these three people want your money so they can redistribute it to their friends.

O'REILLY: All right, so you throw their pictures up, Reid and Pelosi. But remember, only 15 percent of the American population knows who Pelosi is, and it's probably 2 percent for Reid.

GINGRICH: Right. So if you — but if you never explain it, they never learn. Therefore, they never connect anybody. I've tried to make the point again and again. Senator Obama is going to be trying to govern with a very liberal Democratic Senate and House, and they are clearly committed. Barney Frank said today we're going to have to dramatically raise taxes. He talked about massively increasing spending. Much bigger government.

And I think that you have to put — I don't think you can beat Obama in isolation. You either put Obama in a context, and you focus all of it on the economy. And I think that is the only hope that John McCain has, is to make this a core question. If you want politicians to redistribute your money to their cronies, then, frankly, you ought to vote for the Democrats in the House and Senate.


GINGRICH: Because that's what they're going to do.

O'REILLY: All right. So I guess that's the only message McCain has left. Now what's this DVD you and your wife have out?

GINGRICH: Well, it's a brand new one out. It's called "We Have the Power," and it both means we have the power as people to decide what's going on and we have the power as a country. And it carries you from clean coal to nuclear power, to hydrogen, to electric, to solar, to wind, to natural gas, and oil. And our argument is we've helped this economy grow dramatically. If we had a lot more money being spent here at home and instead of having a building boom in Dubai, we ought to have a building boom in St. Louis by creating more jobs here in the U.S.

O'REILLY: And where can people get this DVD?

GINGRICH: They can get it by going to my personal site,, or going to Citizens United.

O'REILLY: OK. And that's a nice tie you're working there.

GINGRICH: Thank you. Yes, a young girl in the 7th grade today at Chris Shays' fund-raiser gave me this and said she was looking forward to me being on your show. She wanted to see me on "The Factor" with her tie.

O'REILLY: All right, so there you go. Mr. Speaker, nice to see you as always.

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