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CBS's Rose Scolds Newt: 'Why Are Drudge and Ann Coulter Attacking You?'

On Monday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose hammered Newt Gingrich on the issue of the opposition his presidential campaign was receiving from some prominent conservatives: "Why are so many conservatives, including...Drudge and Ann Coulter, attacking you?" Rose also spotlighted how apparently "there are those who say that you [Gingrich] are angry and you want to get even with Romney."

The anchor started relentlessly pursued Gingrich not long after he began the interview. He asked the Drudge and "get even" questions in quick succession after getting the former House Speaker to reply to a recent comment from opponent Mitt Romney. Later, the CBS journalist pounced when the Georgia Republican raised what George Soros said recently, that "there isn't all that much difference" between President Obama and Romney [audio clip available here]:


GINGRICH: ...When Floridians learn that George Soros thinks that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are both okay, but that Newt Gingrich is really a threat because he's a genuine conservative-

ROSE: I don't believe-

GINGRICH: I think, in the next 24 hours, things are going to change-

ROSE: I don't believe, Mr. Speaker, that you think that George Soros's opinion is what's going to be at- the issue in a Republican primary in South Ca [sic]- in Florida.

GINGRICH: I think when you have a left-wing billionaire tell Europeans that he thinks Romney's just fine because he's just as much a part of the establishment as Obama, and that he can live with Romney...I think it's pretty easy to make the case- Romney is a guy who will manage the decay; he's not the guy who's going to change Washington.

Rose followed this by returning to the issue of conservatives opposing Gingrich, and dropped the name of a current MSNBC anchor into the mix:

ROSE: But I have still not come to an understanding of why so many people that worked with you are concerned about you being the nominee. This is not people from the establishment necessarily. I mean, these are people who were with you, including Joe Scarborough, Tom DeLay-

GINGRICH: Wait a second-

ROSE: And others who were part of what the revolution that Gingrich made.

GINGRICH: Look, take the case of DeLay. I can't imagine anybody in the news media is going to cite Tom DeLay. Tom DeLay represented a fundamentally different approach to authority than I did. He got in enormous trouble for it. You can argue that, in many ways, he was the architect of the 2006 disaster. I am- look, I was a very tough speaker of the House.

Earlier in the segment, the CBS anchor raised how former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has been coming to Gingrich's defense, and asked, "Do you approve of Sarah Palin talking about what has happened to you as 'Stalin-esque'?"

Two weeks earlier, on the January 17, 2011 edition of the CBS morning show, Rose hinted that the former speaker should apologize for a supposedly racially-tinged comment he recently made: "I want to give you an opportunity, because the point was made...about it's better for black Americans to seek a job than it is to seek food stamps, and many people stepped forward to say, isn't that simply true for all Americans who are desperately looking for jobs?"

The full transcript of Charlie Rose's interview of Newt Gingrich on Monday's CBS This Morning, which aired five minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour:

ROSE: In last night's interview with CBS News, Romney also had this to say about Newt Gingrich and his campaign.

MITT ROMNEY, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unfortunately, in this campaign, when the pressure of a campaign has gotten a little higher, the wrong side of Newt Gingrich is being revealed, and that's actually quite sad and painful.

ROSE: So now, we ask Newt Gingrich about that. He is in Jacksonville, Florida. Good morning, Mr. Speaker.

NEWT GINGRICH, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good morning.

ROSE: You heard what Mitt Romney said- 'sad.'

[CBS News Graphic: "Campaign 2012: Gingrich On Florida Polls & Romney Remarks"]

GINGRICH: Look, Mitt Romney is a guy who has raised an immense amount of money from Goldman-Sachs, who was his biggest financier- last time, there were- Obama's biggest financier. He has outspent me about nine to one here. George Soros, in Europe yesterday, said there's no difference between a Obama presidency and Romney presidency as far as he's concerned. He can get along with either one just fine.

Governor Romney ran- was a liberal, basically, in Massachusetts- pro-abortion, pro-tax increase, pro-gun control- and he's bought an amazing amount of ads to try to pretend he's somebody he's not. I think he's going to find this a long campaign. I don't think the Republican Party is going to nominate somebody whose RomneyCare is essentially the same as ObamaCare-

ROSE: Let me-

GINGRICH: And I think we have bigger issues to fight over, frankly. He can do all the personal things he wants- the fact is, on big philosophical issues, he is, for all practical purposes, a liberal, and I am a conservative, and that's what this fight's going to be about all the way to the convention.

ROSE: Then why are so many conservatives, including people who served with you, and people who are part of the conservative media, like [Matt] Drudge and Ann Coulter, attacking you?

GINGRICH: Well, in a lot of cases, because they're part of the establishment. I mean, look at who their ties are to; look at where their money comes from. The Washington and New York establishments together want somebody that they can trust- somebody, for example, like Romney, who praised Secretary of the Treasury [Tim] Geithner; somebody who's comfortable with his biggest donor getting 13 or 15 or $20 billion in taxpayer money. They'll say and do virtually anything to keep the system alive, and I think they recognize I'm a genuine outsider; I know a lot about Washington, having served as speaker; but I have none of the establishment ties, and I will shake the system up. They don't want to be shaken up. They're very comfortable presiding over the decay as long, as long as they get to keep playing their games.

[CBS News Graphic: "Campaign 2012: Gingrich Responds To Attacks On Temperament"]

ROSE: There are those who say that you are angry and you want to get even with Romney- (Gingrich laughs) that that is what drives you.

GINGRICH: You know, there are people who reduce politics to pettiness. This is about very big issues. The Obama administration has just launched an attack on Christianity so severe that every single [Catholic] church in Florida had a letter read from the bishops yesterday- all across the country, Cardinal Dolan was leading an effort to explain that literally, freedom of religion in America is now being attacked by Obama. The RomneyCare does the same thing. RomneyCare has tax-paid abortions; RomneyCare put Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, in the bill- no right-to-life groups in the bill, Planned Parenthood is. Romney himself approved taking away a conscience clause from Catholic hospitals.

So let's be clear: I'm running because there are big issues. Do you believe in an America dominated by the New York and Washington establishment, or do you believe in an America where people matter more than money?

ROSE: Do you approve of Sarah Palin talking about what has happened to you as 'Stalin-esque'?

GINGRICH: I think she's correct to say that all of the elements of the old establishment are in a moment of hysteria. Look, we nominated a moderate for president in 1996 and we lost- badly. We nominated a moderate for president in 2008, and he lost badly. If we nominate a Massachusetts liberal, I don't see how he defends RomneyCare as being different from ObamaCare; I don't see how he defends his gun control as being different; his pro-abortion position as being different; or, for that matter, his tax increases as being different.

ROSE: Where do you expect to win? How do you see your route to the nomination? If not in Florida, where then?

[CBS News Graphic: "Campaign 2012: Gingrich On Staying in Race 'Til Convention"]

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, I think it's closing here in Florida. I think the next 24 hours are going to make a big difference. When Floridians learn that George Soros thinks that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are both okay, but that Newt Gingrich is really a threat because he's a genuine conservative-

[CBS News Graphic: "The Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald/Tampa Bay Times Poll: Florida GOP Race: Romney, 42%; Gingrich, 31%; Santorum, 14%; Paul, 6%; Margin Of Error: +/- 4.5% Pts."]

ROSE: I don't believe-

GINGRICH: I think, in the next 24 hours, things are going to change-

ROSE: I don't believe, Mr. Speaker, that you think that George Soros's opinion is what's going to be at- the issue in a Republican primary in South Ca [sic]- in Florida.

GINGRICH: I think when you have a left-wing billionaire tell Europeans that he thinks Romney's just fine because he's just as much a part of the establishment as Obama, and that he can live with Romney; and then, you look at Goldman Sachs, which was the number one funder of Obama; now, they're the number one funder of Romney. I think it's pretty easy to make the case- Romney is a guy who will manage the decay; he's not the guy who's going to change Washington.

ROSE: But I have still not come to an understanding of why so many people that worked with you are concerned about you being the nominee. This is not people from the establishment necessarily. I mean, these are people who were with you, including Joe Scarborough, Tom DeLay-

GINGRICH: Wait a second-

ROSE: And others who were part of what the revolution that Gingrich made.

GINGRICH: Look, take the case of DeLay. I can't imagine anybody in the news media is going to cite Tom DeLay. Tom DeLay represented a fundamentally different approach to authority than I did. He got in enormous trouble for it. You can argue that, in many ways, he was the architect of the 2006 disaster. I am- look, I was a very tough speaker of the House. The fact is that we balanced the federal budget, passed a bill in 1997, which led to four consecutive-

ROSE: What do you say to Tom Coburn then?

GINGRICH: I think Tom Coburn and I had genuine differences. He would not have compromised with Bill Clinton to get bills signed. I compromised, and as a result, bill got signed. We signed a balanced budget act, we signed the first tax cut in 16 years, we signed welfare reform. Lindsey Graham is a good person to talk to. Lindsey Graham today will tell you, that his view of what it takes to govern is dramatically different than it was back in the 1990s, because he's concluded that the things I did actually got something done. It wasn't just ideological posturing. But if you wanted a balanced budget, we did it for four years-

ROSE: I have to go now, Mr. Speaker-

GINGRICH: If you wanted welfare reform, the biggest entitlement reform, we did it-

ROSE: Thank you so much-

GINGRICH: Thank you-

ROSE: I hope to see you again.

GINGRICH: Good.

ROSE: Speaker Gingrich from Jacksonville.

— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.