May 30, 2008 - 13:37 ET

GLENN: Last night Newt Gingrich and I were up in Toronto and we spent a couple of hours together and Newt, I think, is one of the few guys that, A, gets it and, B -- Newt, I don't know if you noticed this but when they gave you the presentation last night, did you take it as kind of an interesting left-handed compliment the way you were -- at the phrased it as you are entertaining?

GINGRICH: Well, I think it shocked them because I assume they believe that conservative politicians have to be frightening, boring, and the fact that we're actually funny and some of our opponents are actually frightening I think was very unnerving to some people.

GLENN: It was -- you're very plain spoken. You say it like it is. I asked you last night if you thought that Jimmy Carter was an anti-Semite and I don't want to mischaracterize what you said but I walked away with the impression that you thought he was insane.

GINGRICH: Well, I think he's out of touch with reality and I think that he has a remarkably Carter-centric view of the universe and so he measures everything by him. And when the American people rejected it, it was a sign that they were wrong and he spent the last 28 years sadly but with great determination doing what he could to punish the people who hired him.

GLENN: So last night you were talking and Dick Gephardt, we were having a conversation about how, I couldn't believe -- has Dick Gephardt changed, Newt? He's reasonable.

GINGRICH: I don't think he was ever as liberal as the Democratic caucus and I think that he was under enormous pressure from his left wing, and I think his natural instincts are kind of a Missouri, middle American common sense approach. More liberal than me but much more realistic than the left wing of his caucus.

GLENN: Yeah, he was amazingly sane last night when it came to -- I mean, he was common sense when it came to global warming and when it came to oil. He pulled me aside before you arrived and he said, Glenn, I'm trying to put some people together in business and in oil and everything else. He said nobody in Washington is doing anything. And he said, we're facing one of the biggest crises we've ever faced as a nation. You said that last night. I've been saying that for a couple of years now. And he said nobody is doing anything. And then you arrive and you said the same thing.

GINGRICH: Right. Glenn, as you know that's why we've launched the "Drill here, drill now, pay less" petition drive at Americansolutions.com because we believe that the only way to get congress' attention is to get enough Americans who are fed up with the high price of oil to petition them to fundamentally change what they have been doing. We've had a 30-year policy of locking up American resources. We have the largest supply of coal in the world, 27% of the world's reserves. Our shale oil reserves in the Rocky Mountains are three times the size of Saudi Arabia and they are currently illegal because congress passed a law saying you couldn't get at them. The Brazilians just found two huge oil fields in the Atlantic ocean which makes Brazil energy independent from the Middle East. It is illegal to look in the Atlantic, it's illegal to look in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, it's illegal to look in the Pacific, it's illegal to look in northern Alaska and as I said it's illegal to get shale oil out of the Rocky Mountains and then our politicians vote to sue OPEC for fixing prices. Well, the people have done more damage to gasoline prices in America than anybody else is the U.S. congress.

GLENN: But they don't see that happening and next week they are starting to debate cap and trade which you know and I know, how many times have you seen, Newt, the government make an estimate of what it's going to cost the American people and have them overestimate what it was going to cost?

GINGRICH: Well, Boxer, Warner, Lieberman approach that they are going to bring up in the Senate next week should not be called cap and trade. It should be called "Raise prices and destroy jobs" because that's what it will do. It's going to raise the price of gasoline, it's going to raise the price of diesel fuel for truckers. It's going to raise the price of aviation fuel for an already ailing airline industry. It's going to raise the price of heating oil. It's going to raise the price of natural gas and it's going to raise the price of coal. Now, everybody who's listening to us today who thinks that makes senses, you ought to call and congratulate your congressmen. But if you think that is utterly irrational, you ought to go online at Americansolutions.com and sign our "Drill here, drill now, pay less" petition because we're trying to get the congress to understand that the country is way ahead of the congress and being sick and tired of relying on foreign dictators for high priced oil which is a threat both to our economy and to our national security.

GLENN: Okay. Here's the thing. I'm at Americansolutions.com right now and here it is. Here's the petition that you are asking people to sign: We therefore the undersigned citizens of the United States petition the U.S. congress to act immediately to lower gas prices by authorizing exploration of proven energy reserves and reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries.

You currently have 154,000 signatures [editor's note: now over 400,000 signatures]. Let's see if we can get a few more signatures. It's Americansolutions.com with Newt Gingrich. Thanks, Newt.

GINGRICH: Thank you.

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