Beck Doesn’t Hold Back in Gingrich Interview: Tough Questions on Mandates, Big Gov’t, & Global Warming

Glenn Beck’s thorough interview with GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich Tuesday morning has gained traction in political news outlets throughout the day. Jim Geraghty of The National Review tweeted “Bravo for a hard, fair, respectful, but deeply revealing interview of Newt!” and Glynnis MacNicol of the Business Insider writes that Beck “grilled” Gingrich in “a way conservative voters who are seriously considering voting for Newt should be eager to hear.”

Below find video of the interview followed by a partial transcript:

Part one of the interview:

Part two:

(Related: Bachmann Calls Newt a ‘Frugal Socialist’ During Radio Interview With Glenn Beck)

GLENN: Lot to do today, a lot to do. And we begin right now with Newt Gingrich. Look, this is ‑‑ so you know, I am… I am increasingly disinterested in Washington because I don’t believe the answers lie in Washington. However, we all have to be responsible and we all have to do, you know, the right thing and pay attention to politics and vote. Now is the time to ask the questions of each of the politicians.

Newt Gingrich is a man that I’ve met several times. I’ve had dinner with him when we were in Washington, D.C. He seems like a very nice man. We don’t know each ‑‑ we’re not buddies, but I have been around him enough to know that, you know, he’s a ‑‑ he’s an honest guy, a decent guy that has always shot straight with me. I want to make sure that you understand and that he understands that this is not a gotcha interview. I have serious concerns with Newt Gingrich, but it’s not a gotcha interview. This is just, I’m asking questions because I truly, deeply care about the country just as much as Newt Gingrich does but we differ on the answers, I believe. I’d like to have him convince me that I’m wrong. I would love to have him convince me that I’m wrong. Mr. Newt Gingrich, how are you, sir?

GINGRICH: I’m doing well. How are you?

GLENN: I’m very good. Let’s start with ‑‑ let’s start with a piece of audio here where you were talking about healthcare and you went down the progressive road with Theodore Roosevelt.

GINGRICH: And for government to not leave guarantees that you don’t have the ability to change, no private corporation has the purchasing power or the ability to reshape the health system, and in this sense I guess I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican. In fact, if I were going to characterize my ‑‑ on health where I come from, I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican and I believe government can lean in the regulatory leaning is okay.

GLENN: Regulation and the government scares the crap out of me and I think most Tea Party kind of leaning conservatives, and Theodore Roosevelt was the guy who started the Progressive Party. How would you characterize your relationship with the progressive ideals of Theodore Roosevelt?

GINGRICH: Well, that depends on which phase of Roosevelt you’re talking about. The 1912, he’s become a big government, centralized power advocate running an a third party candidate which, for example, Roosevelt advocated the Food and Drug Act after he was eating ‑‑ and this supposedly the story, after he was eating sausage and eggs while reading up to Sinclair’s The Jungle, which has a scene in which a man falls into a vat at the sausage factory and becomes part of the sausage. And if you go back to that era where people had ‑‑ dealing with the Chinese where the people had doctored food, they had put all sorts of junk in food, they ‑‑ you know, I as a child who lived in Europe and I always marveled at the fact that American water is drinkable virtually anywhere.

So there are minimum regulatory standards of public health and safety that are I think really important.

GLENN: Okay. So you’re a minimum regulation guy on making sure the people don’t fall into the vats of sausage?

GINGRICH: Yeah. What I’m against is the government trying to implement things because bureaucracy’s such a bad implementer, and I’m against government trying to pick winners and losers. I mean, there’s no accident that the Smithsonian got $50,000 from the Pierre plane and failed and the ‑‑ from the Congress, and that the Wright brothers invented the airplane because ‑‑

GLENN: Okay.

GINGRICH: But I do think ‑‑ and I think almost everybody will see this, I believe. You want to make sure, for example, if you buy certain electric things that they don’t start fires in your house.

GLENN: Got it.

GINGRICH: You know, that kind of thing.

GLENN: But you’re not into picking winners and losers. So you would not have done the GM bailout?

GINGRICH: No. No, absolutely not. I think they would have ‑‑ I think they would be better off today ‑‑ remember you can have ‑‑ you can have a bankruptcy for reorganization, not for liquidation.

GLENN: Right. But you are ‑‑

GINGRICH: They go through a reorganization bankruptcy, they would be much better off than they are today.

GLENN: Sure. But you have selected a winner when you are for, quite strongly, the ethanol subsidies.

GINGRICH: Well, you know, that’s just in question. When Obama suggested eliminating the $14 billion a year incentive for exploring for oil and gas, everybody in the oil patch who’s against subsidizing ethanol jumped up and said, hey, you can’t do that. If you do that, you’re going to wipe out 80% of exploration, which is all done by small independent companies, not by the majors. I supported, I favored the incentive to go out and find more oil and gas. Now, that’s a tax subsidy. It’s a bigger tax subsidy than oil ever got. But I want American energy to drive out Saudi Arabia and Iranian and Iraqi energy and Venezuelan energy. And so I am for all sources of American energy in order to make us not just independent but to create a reservoir so that if something does happen in the Persian Gulf in the Straits of Hormuz, the world’s industrial system doesn’t crash into a deep depression.

For a full transcript of the interview, visit You can also get a recap here.