'This Week' Transcript: Newt Gingrich, John Boehner

GINGRICH: Sure. First of all, Greta Van Susteren I thought had the most interesting insight. She said, you know, in 1961, when John F. Kennedy offered a similarly big, bold idea, there was remarkably less skepticism, remarkably less doubt, remarkably less rejection. And she raised the question, what does it say about the culture of our elites that somebody who wants to get America moving again, somebody who wants to do something big and bold, somehow they can't quite imagine breaking out of the timidity and the decay?

You know, Romney's run for six years, and his message on the Space Coast this week was he would assemble a group of experts to think about what he might do as president, some day, possibly.

I'm very different. I think that we can, in fact, fix Social Security with a bold new plan. I think that we can, in fact, re-launch the country with an American energy plan that lowers the price of gasoline and generates huge amounts of revenue for the federal government, creates millions of American jobs. I think we can, in fact, use the private sector and modern science to have a bold program in space.

I never said it would be a government program, but I do believe a president who's visionary, a president who believes in America's greatness, a president who's willing to do -- launch big projects and rally the American people to big ideas -- you know, Eisenhower launched the interstate highway system. We all drive on it now. I suspect if I had proposed that, Mitt Romney would have said, "Oh, that's way too expensive. Let me study carefully two-lane highways."

This is a perfect example of the difference in the two candidacies. He is a manager who will manage the decay. I am a leader who has a vision of a bold, exciting American future where we change Washington decisively. And there's a good reason the Washington establishment is afraid of me. I will, in fact, lead the American people to change Washington. Romney will, in fact, hang out with his establishment friends, managing the decay, and explaining to the rest of us why that's the best hope we have.

TAPPER: We're running out of time, but I do want to get your response to a couple other things in the news. One is this new campaign ad from the Romney campaign, which deals with ethics allegations lodged against you while you were speaker of the House. Take a look.


BROKAW: Tonight he has on his own record the judgment of his peers, Democrat and Republican alike. By an overwhelming vote, they found him guilty of ethics violations. They charged him a very large financial penalty. And they raised -- several of them raised serious questions about his future effectiveness.

ROMNEY: I'm Mitt Romney, and I approve this message.


TAPPER: Now, Mr. Speaker, of course, as you already pointed out, what that ad did not point out is, two years later, the IRS investigated the matter and cleared you of any wrongdoing, but at the very least, does this ad not illustrate that, if you were the Republican nominee, President Obama would have no shortage of ammunition with which to attack you?

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