'This Week' Transcript: Newt Gingrich, John Boehner

Before the Florida primary, Newt Gingrich appears on 'This Week.'

ByABC News
January 26, 2012, 1:07 PM


TAPPER (voice-over): Good morning. Welcome to "This Week."

Up for grabs.

GINGRICH: This is the desperate last stand of the old order.

TAPPER: Just 48 hours until Florida goes to the polls. A fierce and largely two-man battle.

ROMNEY: The idea that I'm anti-immigrant is repulsive.

TAPPER: Can Newt Gingrich recapture the big mo? Has Mitt Romney regained his footing? And has the fury in Florida gotten so nasty it will hurt the GOP's chances this fall?

GINGRICH: You cannot debate somebody who's dishonest.

TAPPER: Questions this morning for our headliner, the former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.


BOEHNER: Let's point the finger where it belongs.

TAPPER: ... the current speaker, John Boehner, on the Republican race and the president's agenda.

Plus, analysis of all the week's politics with our powerhouse roundtable, George Will, Laura Ingraham, Donna Brazile, and former Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee.

ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos. It's your voice, your vote. Reporting from the Newseum in Washington, Jake Tapper.



TAPPER: Good morning, everyone. George Stephanopoulos has a well-deserved morning off.

With just two days until Tuesday's critical Florida primary, it has been a wild weekend of campaigning in the Sunshine State. Two pieces of breaking news for you overnight from Florida, first, an endorsement from Tea Party favorite Herman Cain.


CAIN: I hereby officially and enthusiastically endorse Newt Gingrich for president of the United States.

Speaker Gingrich is running for president and going through this sausage grinder. I know what this sausage grinder is all about.


TAPPER: The pizza man knows about the sausage grinder. And the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times released a new poll of the race. Mitt Romney has opened up his lead over Newt Gingrich into double-digits, 42 percent to 31 percent, while Rick Santorum trails at 14 percent, Ron Paul bringing up the rear at 6 percent.

This intensely competitive race is where we begin the show this morning. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich joins us from the Tampa area.

Mr. Speaker, welcome. Thanks for being here.

GINGRICH: It's great to be with you, Jake.

TAPPER: So as we pointed out, last night, you held that rally in which you received the endorsement of the Hermanator, Herman Cain, but around the same time that poll was coming out indicating that, even though at one point in Florida you were neck-and-neck with Mitt Romney, he seems to have opened up his lead. Why do you think your poll numbers in Florida have collapsed?

GINGRICH: Well, I think that they haven't quite collapsed. And the fact is, when you combine the Santorum vote and the Gingrich vote, we clearly are -- the conservative combined would clearly beat Romney.

I think he's run a relentlessly negative campaign. Negative ads have an impact. We have not been as effective in telling the truth as he has been in running ads, some of which have had to be pulled because they were so inaccurate.

But the fact is, this race is going to go on. The conservatives clearly are rejecting Romney. He is nowhere near getting a majority. And the fact is, once you get beyond Florida, these are all proportional representation states, and he's not going to be anywhere near a majority by April.