From the October 15 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
SEAN HANNITY: You know, I suggested, and I know some people think I'm crazy, let me lay out my case to you. I think you ought to bring back Gingrich. And let me make my case. Name me a more consequential, successful speaker in the last half century than Newt Gingrich - or longer. I can't think of one, maybe you can. I don't even think Tip O'Neill with all that he was able to do for liberal causes can match the real, genuine success of Newt. Newt made promises, 10 promises specifically, the Contract With America, and he kept his promises. Newt was willing to challenge sitting Democratic president, not unlike the situation we have now, and he actually ended up shutting the government down twice. It resulted in last balanced budget surplus we've ever had. He also reformed welfare, something we didn't think a Democratic president would ever do. And we were better off because he was willing to lead the fight. I think he's somebody of great intellectual firepower. I would argue that he is a wiser man than he was when he left in '99. He's a guy that has probably read a thousand new books. He has taken to his faith, which is Catholicism, in a huge way, I know that from personal experience with him. Just got back from Israel, he was there when the pope was in town, so I think he's wiser, a little more humble. Add that to his intellectual firepower, and I think he's the guy that could rally an intellectual charge against Obama and the Democrats and win. Am I wrong?
REP. MICK MULVANEY: I won't disagree with anything that you said, but I'm going to offer a different perspective - which is that I don't want a consequential speaker. That's a 20th century way looking, with respect, at a 21st century problem. One of the things we're going through right now in Congress is what the private sector calls creative destruction. And I'm not looking to go back to the future, I'm not looking to go back to the consequential speaker like Gingrich or like Tip O'Neill. I'm looking for someone to deal with this new power structure in Washington, D.C. that has tried to defuse power, to fight the status quo, that has people who participate in social media, that has much more transparency in government. I'm looking for somebody who can empower the members and really redefine Congress, change the business model, not take it back.
HANNITY: Listen, the only argument I might have with you, you can't have a bunch of generals and no soldiers. I mean, you need somebody that's going to rally and lead the caucus into a fight, because that's what it's going to take, a united Republican conference and caucus to go out there and be willing to pass bills, not have the Senate dictate what bill you ought to pass or not pass because they can't get 60 votes there, and get the job done. And I can't think of - you know, name me one person that has intellect of Newt Gingrich, the ability to articulate that vision like Newt Gingrich. Can you name one person?
MULVANEY: No, I can't. Newt is the smartest guy in the room, there's no question. But I disagree with your premise that we're all generals and not soldiers. On the CR, the continuing resolution a couple of weeks ago that funded Planned Parenthood, an overwhelming majority of Republicans voted against that and wanted to have the fight. I think that what you're seeing, Sean, is a disillusionment across entire conference, centrists, moderates, and conservatives alike, that what we've had is a dictatorial system where three or four people make all the decisions and control all the power.
HANNITY: Yeah, but you know what, I watched Newt on Fox News Sunday and I interviewed him either Monday or Tuesday this week on TV, all these days go together now, and he told me it'd have to be a different system than the system that he had when he was speaker. You know, here's my suggestion. Why don't you invite him in and at least have the freedom caucus or the entire conference listen to him?
MULVANEY: Listen, we're open-minded to anything. We actually reached out to Bobby Jindal to talk to him about it. We tried to get in touch with Mike Pence, somebody who has some familiarity with the system. There were some ideas for some folks who are even further outside politics, but I don't think you could do that. Anybody who's willing to talk about improving the process, I think, should get at least one look.