TRANSCRIPT Newt Gingrich Talks with George

Former House Speaker offers recommendations to the presidential candidates

ByABC News
January 13, 2008, 2:10 PM

January 13, 2008— -- STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, to the Republicans and former House speakerNewt Gingrich. He's calling on President Bush to come up with a Stateof the Union that responds to the Iowa and New Hampshire earthquakeswith a change agenda.

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

Are they willing, this year; are they willing, in February andMarch, to translate their rhetoric into reality, or is it just apolitical gimmick?

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

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, Senator Kerry didn't want to comment onBob 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 aboutthere that you're calling on the president to announce?

GINGRICH: Look, I think there are dramatic changes we need inthis country. I think that the votes in Iowa and New Hampshire wereoverwhelming endorsements of change in both parties. And I think thata State of the Union that got up and said, here are 10 or 12 or 15things we can do together in the next 90 days, and challenge -- afterall, you've got Senator McCain, Senator Obama, Senator Clinton -- itwould 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 AmericanSolutions. And it's at the back of our book "Real Change." It's alsoat Every single item on the list has amajority of Democrats, majority of Republicans, majority ofindependents favoring.

The easiest one is making English the official language ofgovernment.

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

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

Other than the states hit by Katrina, Michigan, which had beenhit by a Democratic governor, Democratic legislature that had raisedtaxes -- 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 percapita income in the United States, to 950,000 people, and it rankstoday 62nd in per capita income. And yet nobody wants to get up andsay the total truth.