Transcript: Newt Gingrich on 'Good Morning America'

Diane Sawyer: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich joining us this morning. Not just as a politician, but also a novelist. Jake says he has a new book out, co-authored with William Forstchen, called "Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th" about that war, and other wars since. Good to see you this morning.

Newt Gingrich: Great to be back.

Sawyer: Want to talk about the war in Iraq. It is the giant undertow for Republicans out there. You have said some very tough things. You have said that it is tragic what has happened there. You have said that the Bush administration went off a cliff in handling the war. Tomorrow, not down the road, but tomorrow what would you like to see President Bush do on the war in Iraq?

Gingrich: First of all, I said we went off a cliff in December of 2003. So I've had a long period of saying we need to find a better way to prosecute this war. I think that requires major reforms in Washington. The system doesn't work. It doesn't deliver help.

Sawyer: Specifically?

Gingrich: Everything from the State Department to Treasury to the Justice Department. You can't get the civilian aspects of the American government to work. We saw this in Katrina. Is a major problem today -- you live in an age of worldwide television. The bureaucracies live in an age of very slow paper processes.

Sawyer: But what is it you want them to do? At one point you said there should not be an open-ended commitment. Do you want a deadline?

Gingrich: No, I think we have to turn over policing responsibility to the Iraqis as quickly as possible, pull our troops out of the city as rapidly as possible. I think in the long run the Americans can reinforce, but they can't enforce. We don't have the language capabilities. People who are policing have to know the neighborhood, they have to know the families. This has been a continuing problem we've had from Day 1.

Sawyer: A couple of quick political questions, then I want to move onto the book. Hillary Clinton, according to a report, you implied when someone said something about a nasty man that she might be a nasty woman. Also you talked about the fact that no one will outmug the Clintons, that they are ruthless?

Gingrich: Let me distinguish this. I was asked a question about Rudy Giuliani, and the editor said Rudy can be nasty. My point was, running for president is a tough business and [if] the Democrats nominate Sen. Clinton, she'll be as tough as she needs to be. She's not going to be shy about this. At the same time if you watch the history of the Clintons, and I think Obama will have an opportunity to revisit this, they are very effective on taking on their opponents.

Sawyer: At this point, things continuing as they are, if you don't get in the race, do you think she'll win the presidency?

Gingrich: I think she has a very good chance of winning the presidency. I recently wrote in a newsletter, that there's a French lesson for Republicans. That Sarkozy, who's in the Chirac Cabinet, I think unless a Republican who is nominated is committed to fundamental change in Washington, they will certainly lose the election.

Sawyer: Some threshold questions here because you saw the button there. Rudy, [Mitt Romney], which some conservatives are saying, can a pro-choice candidate ever be nominated? Could Rudy Giuliani ever be nominated?

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