Lima, Ohio (CNN) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich offered a piece of advice Tuesday to President Obama, urging him to seek counsel from former President Bill Clinton in the increasingly likely event that Democrats lose control of the House next Tuesday.
Gingrich, asked if he thinks this president can re-calibrate after a midterm drubbing in the way Clinton was able to after Democratic losses in 1994, said "it's up to Obama."
The president can find his footing again, Gingrich suggested, if he "can accept the reality that this is a repudiating election, and can take a deep breath, and frankly sit down and talk to Bill Clinton a while."
"Bill and Hillary Clinton had to go through a lot of thinking in the first six months of 1995," he told CNN. "It was painful, it was difficult, and President Clinton did a tremendous job on working with us on balancing the budget and cutting taxes."
Gingrich was speaking to reporters after headlining an event for his advocacy group, American Solutions, along with Ohio Republican Senate nominee Rob Portman and gubernatorial nominee John Kasich.
Obama "has an enormous opportunity to be in charge if he listens carefully to the American people and if he operates in the framework of what they want," he said.
But Gingrich said Republicans should test the president immediately: If they win, he said, the GOP's "first act of business of the first week" should be to pass a bill outlawing tax increases during a recession.
"And then the president has got to decide: Does he car so much about class warfare that he's going to veto a bill that's going to have lower taxes for every working American?," he asked. "Or is he going to recognize the American people have spoken and sign that bill? That's going to be the first big test."
Looking ahead to Election Day, when he plans to host a celebration at the Reagan Building in downtown Washington, Gingrich predicted that Republicans will have won back the House "before the votes are counted west of the Mississippi."
"By the time we get to the Mississippi River, John Boehner will be the next Speaker of the House," he said. But re-capturing the Senate will be "a little bit harder."