TRANSCRIPT Newt Gingrich Talks with George

STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, to the Republicans and former House speaker Newt Gingrich. He's calling on President Bush to come up with a State of the Union that responds to the Iowa and New Hampshire earthquakes with a change agenda.

GINGRICH: That poses an interesting question for Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, Senator McCain.

Are they willing, this year; are they willing, in February and March, to translate their rhetoric into reality, or is it just a political gimmick?

And if the president would offer that, I think the country would rally...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, Senator Kerry didn't want to comment on Bob Shrum's book.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm sure you want to comment on yours, the book "Real Change," Mr. Speaker. What kind of change are you talking about there that you're calling on the president to announce?

GINGRICH: Look, I think there are dramatic changes we need in this country. I think that the votes in Iowa and New Hampshire were overwhelming endorsements of change in both parties. And I think that a State of the Union that got up and said, here are 10 or 12 or 15 things we can do together in the next 90 days, and challenge -- after all, you've got Senator McCain, Senator Obama, Senator Clinton -- it would be useful to challenge both parties in the House and Senate.


GINGRICH: To respond to the American people.

We produced a platform of the American people at American Solutions. And it's at the back of our book "Real Change." It's also at Every single item on the list has a majority of Democrats, majority of Republicans, majority of independents favoring.

The easiest one is making English the official language of government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The No. 1 issue right now -- I take it that that could be easy -- the No. 1 issue right now is the economy. A lot of fears we're going to be in a recession. What could the president do right now and the Democrats respond to on the economy?

GINGRICH: Look, I think the first two things the president and the Congress can do on the economy is cut spending. If you'll notice, you have a primary in Michigan, a state which artificially had a recession, because its government is so bad, its taxes are so high, its unionized work rules are so destructive, that Michigan was in a recession when the rest of the country was growing.

Other than the states hit by Katrina, Michigan, which had been hit by a Democratic governor, Democratic legislature that had raised taxes -- yet none of the candidates are willing to be radical enough.

Part of -- real change focuses -- a long section on Detroit. Detroit has gone from 1.8 million people in 1950 and the highest per capita income in the United States, to 950,000 people, and it ranks today 62nd in per capita income. And yet nobody wants to get up and say the total truth.

The truth is, large bureaucracies are destructive. High taxes are destructive. The system we've built discourages any business from opening up in Detroit. The schools don't deliver. They do deliver paychecks. They do take care of the union. But they don't deliver for the kids. And this is at a time when if you're an African- American male and you drop out of high school, you have a 73 percent chance of being unemployed and a 60 percent chance of going to jail.

So I think we need dramatically deeper and more fundamental change. Let me just...

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