Newt Gingrich: Transcript of ABC/Yahoo News Exclusive Interview


JAKE TAPPER: Grier (PH), via Yahoo, writes, "I'm an independent voter, and it seems to me that the word 'compromise' is missing from the vocabulary of the Republican candidates. If you're elected president and the mix of Republicans and Democrats in Congress remains basically the same as it is today, how can you be more effective as president than President Obama?"

NEWT GINGRICH: Well, I think for the same reason that I was more effective working with President Bill Clinton than President Obama's been working with Speaker John Boehner. Working with a liberal Democrat in the White House, we reformed welfare, two out of three people went back to work or went to school, passed the first tax cuts in 16 years, and the largest capital gains tax cut in history, balanced the budget for four straight years, paid off $405 billion in debt.

We went through a whole series of reforms, doubled the size of national institutes of health. All this was bipartisan. You can-- you can find ways to do that if you're willing to sit in a room and talk with each other seriously, and if you're willin' to listen to each other. But-- but Clinton had been governor for 12 years. We understood dealing with the legislature. Obama doesn't have a clue about how to deal with the legislature.

JAKE TAPPER: There's now a fourth woman-- alleging inappropriate behavior by Herman Cain. And I know that you've been reluctant to wade into this at all. But in an interview with George Stephanopoulos today, Mitt Romney called the latest charges, quote, "particularly disturbing and serious allegations," quote, "that are going to have to be addressed seriously. I think it's important to recognize that a number of women have come forward with concerns." What are your thoughts about this-- this scandal? There are a lot of people, I think, who like Herman Cain, but see that there are now-- there's now a fourth woman.

NEWT GINGRICH: Well, I think-- I think when you move from anonymity to a person standing up in that setting, and saying something, so now there's a ro-- there's a person, it's not just some anonymous charge. Clearly, Herman Cain has to answer the charges. He has to explain what happened. He has to do so in a way that is convincing.

And I think that that's unavoidable. And I think that-- he both owes her that, but he also owes the American people that. And I think-- I hope he can do it well. He's a good friend, and I hope that he has an answer that satisfies people. But he has to have an answer-- and it had better be accurate. Because-- if it's not accurate, it won't survive 24 hours.

JAKE TAPPER: One of the most stunning things about the John Edwards scandal is that he was willing to still pursue the nomination. If he had had his way, he would've gotten the Democratic nomination. And then who knows if the story would have broken by then (THROAT CLEAR) about his-- his affair and-- and-- his child out of wedlock. That is a very selfish thing for a political candidate to do, because it could have had the effect of essentially electing John McCain from a Democrat's perspective. So, from a Republican's perspective, are you at all concerned that Herman Cain might ultimately get the nomination, but the-- where there's smoke there's fire, and this could end up--

NEWT GINGRICH: No, but it-- but it--

JAKE TAPPER: --helping President Obama get reelected.

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