Sunday, January 8, 2012

Transcript: 'Meet The Press' GOP Presidential Debate (1-8-12)

Full transcript. Excerpt below:


09:02:46:00             Speaker Gingrich, why shouldn't Governor Romney be the nominee of this party?  What about his record concerns you most or makes him-- disqualified to be the nominee?

                                      NEWT GINGRICH:

09:02:58:00             Look, I-- I think what Republicans have to ask is who's most likely in the long run-- to survive against the kind of billion dollar campaign the Obama team is gonna run.  And I think that a bold Reagan conservative with a very strong economic plan is a lot more likely to succeed in that campaign than a relatively timid Massachusetts moderate who even The Wall Street Journal said had an economy plan so timid it resembled Obama.

09:03:25:00             So I think you've gotta look at, you know, Massachusetts was fourth from the bottom in job creation under Governor Romney.  I-- we created 11 million jobs while I was Speaker and I worked with governor-- with President Reagan in the entire recover of the 1980s.  That is they-- there's a huge difference between a Reagan conservative and somebody who comes out of the Massachusetts culture with an essentially moderate record who I think will have a very hard time in a debate with president.

09:03:49:00                           (OVERTALK)

                                      DAVID GREGORY:

09:03:49:00             Speaker Gingrich, bottom line, you believe that Governor Romney is unelectable?

                                      NEWT GINGRICH:

09:03:52:00             Well, I don't believe he's unelectable but I think he has a much-- I-- look, against Obama's record, I think , you know, the fact is President Obama's gonna have a very hard reelection effort.  But I do think the bigger the contrast, the bolder ideas, the clearer the choice, the harder it is for that billion dollar campaign to smear his way back into office.

                                      DAVID GREGORY:

09:04:10:00             Speaker, this your flier that you're--

                                      NEWT GINGRICH:

09:04:12:00             Right.

                                      DAVID GREGORY:

09:04:12:00             --circulating here in New Hampshire.  It says very clearly, "Romney is not electable."

                                      NEWT GINGRICH:

09:04:15:00             I think he will have a very hard time getting reelected.  Getting elected?

                                      DAVID GREGORY:

09:04:19:00             Governor?

                                      MITT ROMNEY:

09:04:22:00             David-- I'm very proud of the record that I have and I think the one thing you can't fool the people about New Hampshire about is-- the record of a governor next door.  And people have watched me over my term as governor and saw that I was a solid conservative and that I brought important change to Massachusetts.

09:04:36:00             They recognized that I cut taxes 19 times.  Balanced the budget every one of the four years I was in governor.  Put in place a $2 billion rainy day fund by the time I'd gone.  We had-- we'd seen job losses-- in the month leading up to my-- becoming-- the governor and then we began to finally create jobs.  And by the way, we created more jobs-- in Massachusetts than Barack Obama's created in the entire country.

09:04:58:00             We also got our state police to enforce illegal immigration law, put in place-- English immersion in our schools.  I'm very proud of the conservative record I have and I think that's why some of the leading conservatives in today's-- world who are fighting the conservative battles of today that don't have any axe to grind have gotten behind my campaign.

09:05:16:00             Governor Nikki Haley of-- of South Carolina.  Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.  Right here, the great senator of-- of New Hampshire, Ken-- Kelly Ayotte.  These are conservative who looked at my record, looked at my plan to get this economy going.

09:05:29:00             I happen to believe that if we want to replace a lifetime politician like Barack Obama, who had no experience leading anything, you have to choose someone who's not been a lifelong politician, who has not spent his tire-- en-- entire career in Washington, and instead has proven time and again he could lead in the private sector twice, in the Olympics and as a governor.  We've got to nominate a leader if we're gonna replace someone who is not a leader.

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