Fox News Network
January 30, 2009
(Begin Video Clip)
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE (voice-over): … called himself a citizen politician and only entered politics when he warned government was gaining too much power. By then, he was age 54, with a successful career behind him.
BILL KRISTOL, WEEKLY STANDARD: Ronald Reagan wasn’t just an ordinary Republican politician who drifted into the Republican Party and moved up the ladder. Reagan got into politics because of what he believed. Reagan was a conservative first and a Republican second
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Now, that was a clip from the documentary “Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny.” And Newt and Callista Gingrich, hosts of the film, were also instrumental in the making of it. And they’re here to talk all about it
We said you’d be back, and you brought your better half.
N. GINGRICH: Absolutely
CALLISTA GINGRICH, CO-HOST, “RONALD REAGAN: RENDEZVOUS WITH DESTINY”: Thanks for having us.
HANNITY: What is his worst quality at home? No, I’m teasing
C. GINGRICH: You’re not going to get to that.
HANNITY: No. But there is an answer. That’s all
You know, I like to say when people ask, “Well, you’re a Republican.” I’m a conservative. I view myself as a Reagan conservative, a — class of 1994 Gopac conservative. How did you get involved in this?
C. GINGRICH: Well, Reagan, too, was a conservative first and a Republican second, just like you, Sean.
We wanted to do this documentary because we wanted to share the inspiring story of President Ronald Reagan and show people how he changed not only our nation, but the world.
HANNITY: Well, he really did.
I have a speech that I brought for this interview here today, and it’s Ronald Reagan, “Let Them Go Their Own Way.” He made the speech, Mr. Speaker, in March of 1975, after a pretty tough election year. And in this speech he says, you know, what are the people looking for? And that’s when he said, “No pale pastels, but bold colors, bold differences.”
Are we beginning to see the re-emergence of that conservative thought process in the Republican Party?
N. GINGRICH: Yes, I think we are. And Callista and I were really struck, because Dave Bossie and Kevin Knoblock, who produced and directed the film, did an amazing job. And we watched the final cut about a week ago, and we both had tears in our eyes. And it helped me reframe what had gone wrong.
When Reagan was governor of California, he had a rule. If you said the word “we” and you meant the government of California, you’d been in Sacramento too long and it’s time to go home. Because “we” meant the people of California.
And I think what Reagan did was create the party of the American people, which is what we’re trying to do at American Solutions. And what happened over the last eight years is Republicans became the right wing of the party of big government and elites.
And hopefully, what you saw in the vote in the House this week — and I hope we’ll see it next week in the Senate — is the re-emergence of a party that represents the American people; it doesn’t represent big government and the elites.
HANNITY: But the biggest success that we’ve had is the Gingrich Revolution in ’94, you know. Out of power 40 years. It was based on ideas. You know, you — I interviewed you a lot during that time. You’d pull out of your pocket a list of 10 things that you said you would do if elected — if you would elect Republicans.
Reagan was built on ideas.
C. GINGRICH: Right.
HANNITY: Strong national defense, cutting taxes. And it worked.
C. GINGRICH: That’s exactly right. He had three major goals, and his goals became his legacy. He did cut taxes, he did defeat the Soviet Union, and he did revive the American spirit.
HANNITY: He really did. And I like the fact that you’re saying that we’re not going to have to wait 40 years. With all this Obama mania, all this redistribution of wealth…
N. GINGRICH: If you look at the last two weeks, and you look at the – – as you point out, 11 days, and you look at a president of the United States who attacks making a profit, which every small business in America knows makes no sense at all. Someone has to explain to the president you can’t redistribute wealth if somebody isn’t creating it, because there won’t be any wealth.
HANNITY: That’s a good point.
GINGRICH: And then you look at the vice president arrogantly saying, “Let’s throw business leaders in jail,” not “Let’s throw congressmen in jail,” or “Let’s throw senators in jail,’ although they are guilty of getting us in this mess fully as much as anybody in the business community.
HANNITY: Do we also need to learn about the Reagan spirit? Because Reagan had a smile. Reagan was happy. Everybody — even his enemies loved him, you know, privately.
C. GINGRICH: Right.
HANNITY: He used to talk about, you know, meeting Tip O’Neill. “Is it after 6, Tip? Can we be friends now?”
C. GINGRICH: Right.
HANNITY: Is that — obviously, I think most Americans would think that’s missing today.
C. GINGRICH: Right. Reagan had a message of growth, hope and optimism for the country. And people believed him, and he believed in America.
HANNITY: Newt, over the years, you’ve been viewed as a controversial figure.
N. GINGRICH: Occasionally.
HANNITY: Occasionally. But, you know something? I’ve known you for all these years. You get along with Democrats. You try and reach across the aisle.
N. GINGRICH: Sure.
HANNITY: But a lot of times, I noticed, when you — whenever Republicans do, they pay a price for it. In other words, that there doesn’t seem to be that reciprocity on the other end. And I…
N. GINGRICH: Well, it’s harder. And I do think that things I’ve done — you know, Senator George Mitchell and I co-chaired the Commission on U.N. Reform. Senator Bob Kerrey and I have co-chaired a commission on Alzheimer’s. And I do think you can reach across the aisle if you keep to your principles.
But part of what Reagan had that is — and you really see it in the movie in a way you can’t write about. I mean, it’s like watching a great athlete or a great ballerina. The very physical grace, the very way he walked. One of my — I think the favorite single thing — Callista and I were looking at it, because she took pictures…
HANNITY: I’m shocked. I’ve been around her. She takes pictures all the time.
C. GINGRICH: I do.
N. GINGRICH: She took a picture of — on the ranch, the showerhead is the Liberty Bell. And you just think about Reagan and his sense of humor.
HANNITY: That’s him.
N. GINGRICH: And you can see him getting into the shower, and here’s the Liberty Bell as his showerhead. And it gives you a sense that he always, I think, enjoyed life.
HANNITY: Well, the — now, how can people get a hold of this?
C. GINGRICH: Go to GingrichProductions.com, and there is information as to how one can buy the documentary.
HANNITY: I love that. Now you add “Speaker,” “FOX News contributor,” “friend of Sean Hannity,” and now TV producer. It’s amazing. He does it all.
N. GINGRICH: We work — well, she does it all. She’s the head of Gingrich Productions. I’m just her lackey.
HANNITY: all right. Next time we’ll bring you back and find out, you know, how — what he’s like at home.
C. GINGRICH: All right.
HANNITY: Which is what America really wants to know.
N. GINGRICH: She may not be back on the show for a long time, Sean.
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Newt and Callista Gingrich on the Hannity show, January 30, 2009.