Skip to main content

tv   Face the Nation  CBS  May 22, 2011 8:30am-9:00am PDT

8:30 am
>> schieffer: today on "face the nation," newt gingrich is with us live after a week in which he announces for president and his own party goes nuts. >> we all have a right to ask speaker gingrich what in the heck did you mean that paul ryan's budget plan is radical? >> the attack on paul ryan, the support for an individual mandate? in health care? folks, don't ask me to explain this. >> schieffer: headlines in conservative newspapers were no kinder. gingrich to the house g.o.p., "drop dead," noted "the wall street journal." nor was it any smoother when gingrich got to iowa. >> you're an embarrassment to our party. why don't you get out before you make a bigger fool of yourself? >> schieffer: this morning he's here to talk about all of it. it's all ahead on "face the nation."
8:31 am
captioning sponsored by cbs "face the nation" with cbs news chief washington correspondent bob schieffer. and now from washington, bob schieffer. >> schieffer: good morning again. newt gingrich joins us live in the studio here. mr. gingrich, let's just start with the overnight news. mitch dan yells, the one that a lot of republicans, establishment republicans and especially a lot of people who had supported george bush last time out were really putting pressure on him to run for the republican nomination. he said last night he's simply not going to do it. what do you make of that and what is the impact of that? >> i think mitch has been own reasons for not running. but he is one of the great reform governors in this country. his educational reforms are remarkable. he's done a great job of bringing jobs to indiana. his privatization program on highways is really a benchmark
8:32 am
for the country. he has a great future, and i think he'll play a major role in designing a platform and a major role in helping other people learn that you actually can govern and you can actually be creative. i think the scott walkers, the john kay sick, even chris christie learned something from him. >> schieffer: why do you think he decided not to run? >> you have to ask him. he's been a very formidable competitor. i thought he would be in the frontrunners from day one if he had decided to run. >> schieffer: let's talk about your campaign. we kind of laid it out there. you began your campaign last week on "meet the press" with what i have to say was withering criticism of the plan passed by the republican house to replace medicare with government subsidized private insurance. you heard them. you've heard them all week. republicans from rush limbaugh to governor nikki haley of south carolina to paul ryan himself cried foul. then you backed off and said you made a mistake.
8:33 am
but you sounded pretty certain. i just want to go back and let's listen to what you said last week. >> do you think that republicans ought to buck the public opposition and really move forward to completely change medicare, turn it into a voucher program where you give seniors some premium support and so that they can go out and buy private insurance? >> i don't think right wing social engineering is anymore desirable than left wing social engineering. i don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate. >> schieffer: so then you go on television. you just totally retract that. you said i made a mistake. you sounded awfully shert when you said it. what happened here? >> if you go back and replay what david gregory asked. >> schieffer: i did. >> you listen to his words. you doesn't say how do you feel about paul ryan or how do you feel about ryan's budget? i would have voted for ryan's budget. he said should republicans pass an unpopular plan? i made the mistake of accepting his premise.
8:34 am
i wasn't referring to ryan. i was referring to a general principle. we the people should not have washington impose large-scale change on us. paul ryan has begun a process-- he and i talked about it several times this week. we go back many years. paul ryan has begun a process. it's an important process. this is the third time we've seen a med-i-scare campaign by the democrats. my context was we republicans have to go to the country, we have to explain what we're trying to accomplish to save medicare, how we would save medicare. the country has to have time, the american people have to have time to ask us questions, to modify the plan if necessary, to get to a point where people are comfortable with it. that was my point. i probably used unfortunate language about social engineering. my point was a larger one that neither party should impose on the american people something that they are deeply opposed to. >> schieffer: do you think republicans ought to run with the paul ryan plan? is it good social engineering
8:35 am
here? >> it's not a question of is it good social engineering. the question is i believe the republicans should start with the ryan plan, should go to the country and explain it but should listen to the american people and where necessary modify it. this is what paul ryan believes. it won't be a yes or no. this is what's sad about what's happening. this is the beginning of a profound conversation about a fiscal crisis that is going to crush this country. >> schieffer: i know you said you weren't even talking about paul ryan. you told rush limbaugh the same thing. listen to what you went on to say in this interview with david gregory. here's part 2. >> so there are things you can do to improve medicare. >> but not what paul ryan is suggesting. >> i think that that is too big a jump. i think what you want to have a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options not won where you suddenly impose... i'm against obama care which is imposing radical change and i would be against.... >> schieffer: you were talking about paul ryan. >> and i said paul agrees.
8:36 am
the plan can be modified. i would modify it frankly to start much earlier than he does but modify it in a way that moves in the direction he's going and would modify it in a way that people could voluntarily decide. are there things that can be done to improve medicare that they would like to do? when you deal with a program this size and i don't think anybody including paul ryan believes that you come out and say take it or leave it. this is the beginning of a conversation. he and i are on the same side in that conversation. obama is on the op... opposite side of that conversation. that's an important thing to keep in mind. >> schieffer: what you're saying is that the paul ryan plan is not too big a jump. it's too big a jump. you're saying now it's not too radical or too big a jump? >> i think it is a big plan that needs to be worked through with the american people. in that process it will clearly be modified. i think if republicans approach it that way and have a conversation with the american people, we will in fact totally defeat the democrat scare tactics and the
8:37 am
american people will give us permission to make very significant reform the medicare. >> schieffer: are you saying that this is going to be the republican plan? because here's what i'm saying to you. democrats are just licking their chops here. they're saying, man, i hope we can get him out there and have them against medicare because if they can, we can beat them. i mean they're running ads with you in them. saying that. >> look, this is the third time in my career this has happened. they tried to scare people about ronald reagan. and ronald reagan carried more statses than fdr carried in '32. they tried to scare people in '96. they were the first elected house republicans since 1928. if we have the courage to stand toe to toe and say this is a fiscal crisis, we have every right as a country to talk through how to get to a better medicare system and it is shameful for the democrats to lie about it, we will in fact win that debate for the first time in my lifetime. >> schieffer: let me ask you about a mandate that people ought to be required to buy insurance. you at various times in your
8:38 am
career have said that they should. that everybody ought to pay and have some part in paying for medical care. do you believe in a mandate? >> no, i do not believe in a mandate. >> schieffer: you do concede you have said in the past. >> the heritage foundation have said they were for it at one time. all of us have wrestled with two problems. how do we maximize individual freedom and how do we make sure that people some some responsibility? there are a lot of people who refuse to pay for their health care including people with money. so we're trying to find a way to match both. i believe that we ought to go to the 10th amendment approach and turn a lot of this power back to the states, recognize that decades of washington trying to solve it have failed and try to find a way to approach this. i do not believe in mandates. i think in many ways they're unconstitutional both on religious liberty grounds and on personal liberty grounds but we all have been wrestling with this for a long time. i'm not going to get involved in a gotcha game. i voted 7,000 times and given
8:39 am
5,000 speeches and probably 10,000 interviews. people can pick up a sentence here and there. i am running for president because this country needs very dramatic change. i'm going to outline a program of very dramatic change. i'm prepared to debate and defend that program. >> schieffer: how much did this hurt you politically? i am told that when hours after you appeared on "meet the press" last sunday some of your big donors were the phone saying you've got to get off this or your donations are going to dry up. i'm told in fact one campaign fund-raiser was canceled. is that true? >> not that i know of. to be honest i don't know. i spent all week in iowa. i was in 17 towns. i was also briefly in minneapolis. in 17 towns in iowa they managed to catch the one person... i think i talked to over 2,000 people in meetings. in aims iowa we thought we would have 40 people at 2:00 in the afternoon. we had 178.
8:40 am
on one particular day we had to move three out of five meetings because the rooms weren't big enough. everywhere i went in iowa people wanted to know how do we defeat obama care, how do we get the budget balanced? how do we create jobs? how do we solve our energy problem? they were not paying attention to the noise level in washington d.c. and so i had this unusual experience that i was actually having a great time. i was reading the iowa media, talking to iowans and the campaign looked very, very alive if you were in iowa. >> schieffer: when people say-- and you're right. that's what they're saying in the national media-- i have not heard one single republican come to your defense. perhaps there was one but i haven't heard it here in washington. when they say your campaign is already imploded, that it's over before it started you're saying not the case. >> i think it's amazing the only national reporter who came to iowa was from npr, she came to two overflow meetings and she looked around. i think it was pretty clear to her this campaign was a long
8:41 am
way from over. none of the people rendering judgment of washington had talked to the voters in iowa. none. >> schieffer: i want to ask you about president obama's speech. i want to talk a little about foreign policy. before we go to break i want to ask you about this bizarre revelation that came up last week that your wife in 2005-2006 filed a financial disclosure because she was working with the house agricultural committee that revealed that you owned between $250,000 to a jewelry company. what was that about, mr. speaker. >> it was about obeying the law. she filed a disclosure that's been sitting there for five years. we're private citizens. i work very hard. we have a reasonably good income. i owe one mortgage on a house that's rental property. everything else is totally paid for. my home is paid for. my cars are paid for. we don't have a second house. we don't do elaborate things.
8:42 am
>> schieffer: did you owe a half million dollars to a jewelry company at one point? >> we had a resolving fund. >> schieffer: what does that mean? >> that means that we had a revolving fund. >> schieffer: who has a half million dollars worth of jewelry on credit. >> it's a standard no-interest account. >> schieffer: how long did you owe it? >> i have no idea. it was paid off automatically. we paid no interest on it there was no problem with it. it's a normal way of doing business. >> schieffer: i mean, it's very odd to me that someone would run up a half million dollars... bill at a jewelry store. >> go talk to tiffany's. all i'm telling you is we are very frugal. we in fact live within our budget. we owe nothing. >> schieffer: what did you buy? >> we owe nothing. it is is my private life. i understand that. >> schieffer: you're running for president. you're going to be the guy in charge of the treasury department.
8:43 am
it just sticks out like a sore thumb. >> i'm a guy running for president who pays all of his bills and after tax income at no cost to the tax payor and who currently owes nothing except one rental property in wisconsin. i am debt free. if the u.s. government was as debt free as i am, everybody in america would be celebrating. i think i have proven i can manage money as a small businessman i run four small businesses. they have been profitable. they've employed people. this is the opposite of the obama model. as a private citizen who has done well, i think i'm allowed to pick and choose what i prefer doing. >> schieffer: you paid that bill. >> on time with no interest. i mean it was a revolving account. >> schieffer: all right. we're going to take a break here. we're going to talk a little bit about foreign policy. [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now.
8:44 am
two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy. >> schieffer: we're back with the republican presidential candidate newt gingrich. mr. gingrich, the president made a big speech on the
8:45 am
middle east last week. what did you think of it? >> i think it is a disaster. i think it is extraordinarily dangerous. i think that it defining the 1967 border would be an act of suicide for israel. they are totally not defense i believe. the united states... we don't have moral equivalency. you have hamas which is a terrorist organization whose stated goal is the destruction of israel. you have a democracy. now the idea that somehow we're supposed to be neutral between hamas and israel is fundamentally influenced. i do not believe we should have any pressure on israel as long as hamas's policy is the destruction of israel. as long as missiles are being fired into israel and terrorists are trying to kill israelis. i think it is... a president who can't control his own border probably shouldn't lecture israel about their border. >> schieffer: i have to ask you though you're using words like dangerous. i mean the president was calling for peace.
8:46 am
why can you characterize that as dangerous? >> how do you have peace with aha mass organization whose stated goal is the destruction of israel and driving every israeli out of the country? read what hamas says. this idea that somehow these people are firing missiles virtually every day into israel. these people are constantly preparing for terrorism. they're recruiting children to be suicide bombers. the president talks about peace when he ought to be insisting that we cut off all aid to hamas and isolate hamas as long as it is a terrorist organization trying to destroy an entire people. i mean, i really think we have to get over this moral equivalence thing. there is no moral equivalence between a democratic society and a terrorist group. >> schieffer: the president talked about president of syria in that speech. he said assad needs to leave or he needs to move on. what's your response to that? >> well, considering the president's ineffectiveness with qaddafi who on march 3 he
8:47 am
said had to go, he seems to be going around picking places to make large pronouncements with small effect. i think we need a fundamental reassessment of our policy in the whole region. when we give the pakistanis $20 billion in aid since 9/11 and we learned that bin laden was not hiding in a cave in the mountains. he was in a fairly large compound in a major military city one mile from their national defense university, that should raise very profound questions about what's going on and how little do we understand the region. when you look at christians being driven out of iraq and you look at churches being burned in egypt, i think you really need a much more honor and rigorous appraisal of what's happening in the region. >> schieffer: i have to say you have not exactly been a model of consistency especially when he talks about libya. i think it was on march 3 when asked what we should do about libya when all that was breaking out here's what you said on fox news. >> what would you do about
8:48 am
libya? >> exercise no-fly zone this evening. communicate to the libyan military that qaddafi was gone and that the sooner they switch sides the more likely they will be to survive. >> schieffer: you said to put in a no-fly zone. then a few days later you go on the today show and you seem to say just the opposite. listen to this. >> i would not have intervened. i think there were a lot of other ways to affect qaddafi. there are a lot of allys in the region we could have worked with. i would not have used american and european forces. >> schieffer: what some people say, mr. speaker, is that whatever the president said you would just take the opposite tack there. >> if you had taken two other things. on february 22 i said on fox i think we should use indirect means, covert operations and our allys in the region. but i don't think we should get involved. on march 3 when you're talking about it, the president has now announced grandly qaddafi must go. if the president is serious about qaddafi must go, i said
8:49 am
that respond to go the president this is what we should do. two weeks later it's clear there was a total muddle. they had no plan. they had no ideas. the no-fly zone was a joke. qaddafi wasn't being threatened. so you're right. as the president zig-zags as an analyst i was trying to respond to the moment that he zig-zag, but i think the policy has been a failure. if you're assad watching qaddafi, why do you care what the president of the united states says? because the president of the united states has been remarkably ineffective in libya. and i was responding to each stage to what the president said. now i believe in the beginning what i said on february 22 which is don't get directly involved. don't put our prestige on the line. help the people who are rebeling. use local allies like the egyptians or the iraqis and have people who speak arabic doing that. but the president changed the rules. with no planning, with no
8:50 am
preparation on march 3 he staked the position of the united states that qaddafi must go and then did nothing to make sure that ka doofy went except wasted a lot of money and had americans fecklessly running around not being effective and they haven't been effective up until now. >> schieffer: mr. gingrich, why do you think you want to be president. >> i believe the united states is in the early stages of a huge challenge. i believe that president obama is taking us in exactly the wrong direction. we need a program for dramatic in creating jobs. i have one with five major tax policies and with deregulation and an american energy program not going to brazil and saying we're going to be their best customer. we need a program of balancing the federal budget again which i did four times as speaker in a way that people thought was impossible when start. we need very large entitlement reform. the largest entitlement reform of our lifetime was welfare
8:51 am
reform which i led as speaker. people went back to work and back to school. i think we're in a period where we face enormous choices about which kind of country. i think obama is in exactly the wrong direction. i think the republicans has led the congress, achieved four balanced budgets, achieved economic growth. when i entered we had 5.6% unemployment. when i left it was drifting down below 4%. i think i have both a record of real achievement and a record of real choice compared to obama. >> schieffer: what about your personal life and your personal behavior sfwh are people supposed to put that ajid aside. >> i think the american people have to decide. recognizing that i did some things what were wrong. i had to go to god and ask for forgiveness. i've had to seek reconciliation. look at who i am now. look at my marriage. you have to look at a our daughters and son-in-laws and my relationship to our grandchildren. they have to decide. am i now a mature person who has in fact will be an effective leader in getting this country back with jobs
8:52 am
and with lower gasoline prices and with a real american energy plan and with a balanced budget. >> schieffer: do you think you're that person. >> i think... with the help of the american people, no one person can do this. but with the help of the american people as we discovered in iowa, there was a huge crowd, i do believe it's possible for this country to get that job done. i think i could help lead the american people in getting that job done. >> schieffer: newt gingrich, thank you very much. back in a moment with some final thoughts. your advertising mail campaign is paying off! business is good! it must be if you're doing all that overnight shipping. that must cost a fortune. it sure does. well, if it doesn't have to get there overnight, you can save a lot with priority mail flat rate envelopes. one flat rate to any state, just $4.95. that's cool and all... but it ain't my money.
8:53 am
i seriously do not care... so, you don't care what anyone says, you want to save this company money! that's exactly what i was saying. hmmm... priority mail flat rate envelopes, just $4.95 only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. every time a local business opens its doors or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business, it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities, so we're helping them, with advice from local business experts and extending $18 billion in credit last year. that's how we're helping set opportunity in motion. [ technician ] are you busy? management just sent over these new technical manuals. they need you to translate them into portuguese.
8:54 am
by tomorrow. [ male announcer ] ducati knows it's better for xerox to manage their global publications. so they can focus on building amazing bikes. with xerox, you're ready for real business. so they can focus on building amazing bikes. somewhere in america, a city comes to life. it moves effortlessly, breathes easily. it flows with clean water. it makes its skyline greener and its population healthier. all to become the kind of city people want to live and work in. somewhere in america, we've already answered some of the nation's toughest questions. and the over sixty thousand people of siemens are ready to do it again. siemens. answers. finally today, what a couple weeks this has been. america got osama bin laden. i got pneumonia. as someone who prides himself as always being ready when the
8:55 am
bell rings i felt like someone hit me with a bell. for me there is nothing worse than a big story unfolding and not being there to cover it. there was more news than we could handle and i was flat on my back. and that was just the half of it. i had to cancel moderating the cbs news economic town hall meeting with the president. thanks to harry smith for stepping in and doing a great job on that on face the nation. we can't along without harry around here. i did manage to get through a commencement asdres to the students at american university without falling over. it wasn't easy but i had to cancel emceeing a hung new york dinner for a friend of three decades. steve kroft stepped in for that one. thank you, steve. i found a sub to give a commencement address i was supposed to give at l.s.u.last week. and he had to cancel too. i'm really sorry all you fellows down there at l.s.a.u.and ladies, but commencement is not about the speaker. it is about what you did.
8:56 am
i can't even remember who spoke at my graduation let alone what he said. and in the middle of all of it, i was not there to hear donald trump say he won't run for president. it was good to know he said he could have won if he had run. perhaps. but to update what we used to say back home, the dog would have caught the rabbit if he hadn't stopped. back in a minute. ♪ crossing borders with ease ♪ ♪ clearing customs' a breeze ♪ ♪ that's logistics ♪ ♪ a-di-os, cheerio, au revoir ♪ ♪ off it goes, that's logistics ♪ ♪ over seas, over land, on the web, on demand ♪ ♪ that's logistics ♪ ♪ operations worldwide, ups on your side ♪ ♪ that's logistics ♪
8:57 am
8:58 am
>> osgood: thank you for watching face the nation. we'll see you right here next week. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh ,,,,,,,,
8:59 am