'This Week' Transcript: Newt Gingrich and David Axelrod

Newt Gingrich and David Axelrod are interviewed on 'This Week.'

ByABC News
March 3, 2012, 10:18 AM

NEW YORK, March 4, 2012— -- STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning and welcome to "This Week."


STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Super Tuesday showdown.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Mitt Romney survives a scare in his home state.

MITT ROMNEY, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We didn't win by a lot, but we won by enough, and that's all that counts.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But at what cost?

RICK SANTORUM, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A month ago, they didn't know who we are, but they do now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Can the front-runner translate that win into Super Tuesday success and secure the nomination?

ROMNEY: The pundits and the pollsters, they were ready to count us out.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Questions for our headliners, the man who still hopes to play spoiler -- Newt Gingrich -- and Obama's top re-election strategist David Axelrod.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK SHOW HOST: She must be paid to have sex.


SEN. OLYMPIA SNOWE, R-MAINE: It's time for a change in the way we govern.

STEPHANOPOULOS: A Senate centrist retires.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Nobody's announced a war. You're jumping the gun a little bit there.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And sabers rattle on Iran.

All that plus the rest of the week's politics on our powerhouse roundtable, with George Will, Donna Brazile, Matthew Dowd, Peggy Noonan, Howard Dean, Jeffrey Goldberg and Christiane Amanpour.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning. Could we finally be seeing a winning streak? Coming off those two crucial wins in Michigan and Arizona, Mitt Romney won again last night in the Washington state caucuses. Ron Paul edged out Rick Santorum for second place. In the delegate race, Romney has a commanding 2:1 lead now over Santorum.

But the biggest prize yet comes in two days. Voters go to the polls in 10 states for the Super Tuesday showdown, 437 delegates at stake. Can Mitt Romney win enough to finally pull away? Or will one of his rivals up-end the race again?

Our headliner hopes to be the one, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich joins us now.

Good morning, Mr. Speaker.

GINGRICH: Good morning. It's good to be with you, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Glad to have you back. Five wins in a row now for Mitt Romney. In the last eight contests, you have done no better than third, and you're well back in the delegate race. So even if you win your home state of Georgia on Tuesday night, how can you put together a viable path at the nomination?

GINGRICH: Well, I think, first of all, the big ideas matter. Twice in this process I have been the front-runner in national polling. I think we have a chance to get back by having ideas like having a national energy strategy that gets us back to $2.50 a gallon. Making sure that we are independent of the Middle East so that no American president ever again bows to a Saudi king. And I think people are responding to big solutions and big ideas.

The biggest state on super Tuesday in delegates is Georgia. I think I'll win Georgia by a much, much bigger margin than Romney won Michigan. We're going to go on. We're competing in Tennessee, in Ohio, in Oklahoma, in a number of other states. We'll pick up delegates in a number of places.

Then I think the following week, we're going to win Alabama and Mississippi, and we're going to be very competitive in Kansas.