The Today Show
October 1, 2012
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David Gregory: Back now with wife of former republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. She is also the author of bestselling children’s books, getting kids excited about American history with help from an adorable elephant named Ellis. The second in the series is called “Land of the Pilgrims’ Pride.” Callista Gingrich, good morning.
Callista Gingrich: Thank you for having me.
Gregory: So the second is different from the first how?
Gingrich: In my first book, “Sweet Land of Liberty,” Ellis the Elephant discovers pivotal moments of our history so young children may begin to appreciate the greatness of America.
In “Land of the Pilgrims’ Pride” Ellis discovers how America began as he discovers the 13 original colonies.
Gregory: What is the lure? I think a lot of parents love books about American history for kids, because we would like to be teaching our kids that. Is that the great lure for you, that appetite to write about history?
Gingrich: It is. Unfortunately, there are so few books out there for children between the ages of 4 and 8 that deal with the subject matter of our American history.
Gregory: I know the former speaker is here with you as the spouse this morning, and he’s listening attentively. We’re not going to hear from him this morning. He’s just going to sit quietly over there. But this is a balanced approach here. There is no conservative agenda here, and you’re talking about history.
Gingrich: That’s right. This is a pro-American book. It’s a patriotic book. It’s not meant to be a conservative or Republican book. I see this book as a celebration of our patriotic values and celebration of our nation.
Gregory: It’s interesting, because kids are learning about technology in school, moving so quickly — being rooted in the very foundations of the country is important, isn’t it?
Gingrich: Absolutely. Knowing about Colonial America is vitally important. Unfortunately, this is a large period of our history that is often unknown. It’s really important that our children understand how our nation began, and how our original traits and characteristics as Americans were formed.
Gregory: The backbone of our democracy — so are elections. What was it like being on the campaign trail in such a turbulent year?
Gingrich: It was exhilarating. We were really blessed to be a part of the process. I learned two things – two big things when I was on the campaign trail. The first being that the American people are inherently generous and good, whether or not they agree with you politically. Secondly, that the majority of people are still very optimistic about the future of our country.
Gregory: It’s important at such a pivotal time. Big debate this week. You’re no stranger to the debates, as your husband went through 3 or 400 I think during the primary. Something like that, right?
Gingrich: Twenty-three. I was at all of them.
Gregory: How do you handicap this one?
Gingrich: Well, I think Governor Romney needs to do very well. This is a very close race. I think he needs to make the choice obvious to Americans. He needs to tell us what he’s going to do to create more jobs and create economic recovery. This is a very important evening for him.
Gregory: Is his back against the wall? Is there a sense he’s behind and this is sort of his last moment?
Gingrich: I think he’s got a lot of support throughout the country and he’s a very good debater. I anticipate he’ll do very well. If he is as assertive and direct as he was with Newt in Florida, he’ll be just fine.
Gregory: Probably good advice. Again, the book is called “Land of the Pilgrims’ Pride.” Callista Gingrich, thank you very much.