Gingrich: All out to win in South Carolina. We think that’s a key state for us.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke with CNN’s John King about his expected results in New Hampshire, thoughts on his 2012 presidential competitors and future campaign plans. Highlights from the full interview are after the jump.
Please credit all usage of the interview to CNN’s John King, USA
EMBEDDABLE VIDEO: Part 1: GOP Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich talks with John King about Romney and his strategy beyond N.H.
Highlight from Full Interview
THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED
KING: Well, we’ll let the expectations — I love the way you try to raise the bar to 50 percent in the state of New Hampshire. That’s what makes it fun, Mr. Speaker. So we’ll see how tonight plays out. But, ultimately to be the nominee, you have to start winning. Is South Carolina a must-win state for Newt Gingrich?
GINGRICH: Yes, I think it is. We’re going to go all out to win in South Carolina. We think that’s a key state for us. And we think that the contrast between a Georgia Reagan conservative and a Massachusetts moderate is pretty dramatic.
I fought for tax cuts. He raised taxes dramatically. In fact, at romneytaxes.com we’ve outlined all of his tax increases. I’m for the Second Amendment rights. He was for Massachusetts gun control laws and he raised the tax on owning a gun by 400 percent.
I am right to life. He put Planned Parenthood in RomneyCare. He has state-funded abortions in RomneyCare. He did a number of steps that were remarkable in favor of abortion for a guy who claimed he had converted. So I think when you get to a record versus record in South Carolina, he’s going to have a very hard time defending his record as governor.
KING: If you’re calling on Governor Romney, you say he might have to have a press conference, in your view, eventually — you say in the next week — to just lay out the record at Bain Capital. We’re all for transparency in my business.
Your Freddie Mac contract has been an issue from time to time in the campaign, and at one point, there was a question whether you could release it publicly. Freddie Mac says it’s up to you, release it, but your attorney says no. Why? Why not just lay it all out?
GINGRICH: No, no. My attorney — my — no, my attorneys actually said we’re talking with the Center for Health Transformation, which I no longer own, to get their permission to do it. I mean they — I don’t own it anymore. They have it. And I’m perfectly happy to find a way to do it.
I think they want to make sure that it doesn’t risk confidentiality for any of their other clients, or get them engaged in any other kind of problems. But my advice would be that it’s OK.
KING: Let me circle back and close where we began, the expectations tonight. Newt Gingrich will finish where?
GINGRICH: I think I’ll finish somewhere in the middle of the pack. And late this evening we will go to Rock Hill, South Carolina. And tomorrow morning we are going to kick off the campaign on jobs and economic growth in South Carolina.