GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Speaker Gingrich, as I've said, this has caused quite a reaction in-- in the Middle East. The chief Palestinian negotiator, Sa-- Saeb Erekat, said, "Mark my words: These statements of Gingrich will be the ammunition and weapons of the bin Ladens and the extremists for a long, long time."
SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH: How would he know the difference? Look from historic, George, simply. Is-- is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes. Are we in a situation where every day, rockets are fired into Israel while the United States, the current administration, tries to pressure the Israelis into a peace process?
Hamas does not admit the-- the right of Israel to exist, and says publicly, "Not a single Jew will remain." The Palestinian Authority ambassador to India said last month, "There is no difference between Fatah and Hamas. We both agree Israel has no right to exist."
Somebody oughta have the courage to tell the truth: These people are terrorists. They teach terrorism in their schools. They have textbooks that say, "If there are 13 Jews and nine Jews are killed, how many Jews are left?" We pay for those textbooks through our aid money. It's fundamentally-- time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, "Enough lying about the Middle East."
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney, (APPLAUSE) you just heard the Speaker say he was just telling the truth. Do you take any issue with that characterization of the Palestinians as an invented people?
GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: I-- I happen to agree with-- with most of what the speaker said, except by going down and saying the Palestinians are an invented people. That I think was a mistake on the speaker's part. I-- I think-- you-- you-- I think the speaker would probably suggest that as well. I-- I don't think we want to--
(SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH: UNINTEL)
GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: Maybe not. I-- (LAUGHTER) I think we're very wise to stand with our friends, Israel, and not get out ahead of them. This president decided he was gonna try and negotiate for Israel by sayin', "Let's go back to the '67 borders." That's not what Israel wanted to h-- hear.
They-- Israel does not want us to make it more difficult for them to sit down with the Palestinians. Ultimately, the Palestinians and the Israelis are gonna have to agree on how they're gonna settle the-- the differences between them. And the United States--
GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: --and the-- and the United States of America should not jump ahead of Bibi Netanyahu and say something that makes it more difficult for him to-- to do his job. My view is this: We stand with the Israeli people. We link arms with them. If we disagree with them, like this president has time and time again, we don't do it in public like he's done it, we do it in private.
And we let the Israeli leadership describe what they believe the right course is going forward. We don't negotiate for the Israeli people. We stand with the Israeli people, stand with our friends, and make it very clear: We are gonna t-- we're gonna tell the truth, but we're not gonna throw incendiary words into a-- a place which is-- a boiling pot when our friends the Israelis would probably say, "What in the world are you doin'?"
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So there you have it, Mr. Speaker. He says this is gonna make life more difficult for the Israelis.