'This Week' Transcript: Newt Gingrich, John Boehner

I can tell you, there are a lot of us who are in Washington today who wouldn't be here, probably, if it weren't for two people, or three people, Bill Buckley, Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich. So for all these people who are -- and, George, I know you're one of them -- Newt Gingrich isn't a real conservative, and he has some ideas that truly are not conservative, but he was the fact of conservativism in the 1990s. He was vilified by the left and he was hailed by the right.

And right now, he is still connecting among independents. Mitt Romney, in the last NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, is shown to be plummeting among independent voters. Gingrich I think still has some strength there. We'll see what happens. I don't think he can withstand this -- this -- this fuselage that he's getting against Romney.

WILL: The most recent poll I've seen of his support among independents is 22 percent.

INGRAHAM: I'm talking about Mitt Romney versus Barack Obama. The metric of Romney versus Obama, the invincibility aura...

TAPPER: With independents.

INGRAHAM: ... of -- of Mitt Romney I don't think is there.

BRAZILE: I want to agree with Laura on one point, because I've gotten beaten in my life. I don't call Florida 2000 a beating. You know that.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: We litigate that some other time.

(LAUGHTER)

BRAZILE: I might pinch you, George. But let me tell you something. Newt Gingrich is perhaps the only Republican that I've been in battle with as a Democratic strategist and organizer that whipped us in '94. Now, in '98, we came back and we tried to whip him. So he knows a battle.

What I don't understand is that he -- he saw the Romney campaign take him apart right before the Iowa caucuses. He knows that they have money. They're using surrogates. I was on Southwest. I fly Southwest. I was on Southwest, and I was -- and you had all these Republican members of Congress...

TAPPER: This is when you went down to the debates in Florida.

BRAZILE: I was in Jacksonville, and I was heading down to south Florida. I'm sitting in the middle, strategically, because I'm sitting between the Romney people and the Gingrich people. And I'm like, where are you going? Newt Gingrich. Well, where are you going? Newt Gingrich. The Romney people are following Newt Gingrich. They're tearing him apart. They're members of Congress that are basically saying he's unstable, he's unelectable, and it got to him.

So he is the conservative in the race, as far as I'm concerned. They both look alike to me. And I don't care who we go up against, because they represent the same policies. But there's something fundamentally wrong with Newt Gingrich's campaign that he doesn't understand how Romney is tearing him apart, and he has not responded.

TAPPER: Well, he understands that it's happening. He doesn't seem to know what to do about it.

INGRAHAM: But you have -- you have National Review, you have folks at the American Spectator, you have Ann Coulter, you have Matt Drudge, and you have people across the board who are -- who are really critical.

TAPPER: Why?

INGRAHAM: Well, I think they believe that, over time, he will -- as George has pointed out -- you know, destroy himself, that Mitt Romney might be too careful sometimes, but he's methodical, and he's a crisis manager, and he's a turnaround guy. He's going to go into this campaign. He's going to figure out what the problems are. And he's going to methodologically solve each problem.

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