Gingrich: 'Super committee' is 'dumbest idea'
November 14th, 2011
03:28 PM ET
7 years ago

Gingrich: 'Super committee' is 'dumbest idea'

West Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Newt Gingrich on Monday criticized the congressional panel that is trying to hammer out a deficit-reduction deal as nonsensical.

"I am watching the 'super committee' in Washington with amazement," Gingrich said. "This is the dumbest idea I've seen in a very long lifetime."

Gingrich spoke to a group of employees at GuideOne Insurance in West Des Moines, Iowa. The company describes itself as a leading insurer of "churches, church-goers and faith-based institutions."

The Republican presidential candidate explained his reasons against the panel.

"One, because of its strategy," Gingrich said. "The other, because of the totally artificial nature of the threat."

The former House Speaker continued: "God didn't come down one morning and say, 'If you don't reach this deadline terrible things will happen.' The politicians in Washington, in both parties, failed to achieve an intelligent solution in the summer, kicked the ball down the road and are now in the process of failing to achieve an intelligent solution in the fall."

"The way I characterize it: it is as though someone walked in and said, 'I am under instructions to shoot you in the head unless you let me cut off your leg.'"

The "super committee" was borne out of the debt ceiling deal reached earlier this year. It has until November 23 to hammer out a deal to cut $1.2 trillion over 10 years. Congress will vote on any agreement by December 23. If none is reached, or if Congress and President Barack Obama do not approve one, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts - primarily in defense and non-defense discretionary spending - are triggered. Those cuts are scheduled to take effect starting in 2013.

Members of the panel have said there is not yet agreement between Democrats and Republicans Democrats want a deal that includes spending cuts, entitlement reforms and new revenues through increased taxes. Republicans oppose any tax increases, instead advocating major reforms to entitlement programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

At the Monday gathering, Gingrich said Congress should drop the automatic trigger of deep spending cuts.

- CNN's Tom Cohen contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Debt • Deficit • Deficit commission • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Newt is still angry he had to sit in the back of Air Force One in 1996. I am not sure how Newt figures God in this, but teavangelicals will like it.

    November 14, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. Jack_of_Arts

    Then I have a question for this candidate for the Presidency: What measure(s) would you employ to give both aisle of Congress the swift kick in the @$$ to get to actually do the jobs they were elected to do and figure a way to balance the budget, deal with the inevitable cut backs necessary to keep this country running, and create plans that will help jump start our snail's paced unemployment reduction?

    November 14, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. cali girl

    oh wow, because he has so much better ideas?... where was the country at when he was around? Tearing up the country so we could deal with the money mess now? Big spender that Newt.

    November 14, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. kayla

    cabbage patch doll

    November 14, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Newt is so smart !

    The Emperors new clothes !

    November 14, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    Not as dumb as your claim that you stand for "family values" as you diddled your assistant while married

    November 14, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Dumbest idea since that Contract with America thing!

    November 14, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. Laverne

    Newt is an angry, pesstimistic type of guy and the only right way is his way. Obviously his strategy is to make himself seem like the only sensible, reasonable candidate by attacking the media and of course Obama. He is asking the republican candidates to ban together against Obama so the heat WON'T be on him and then once he gains that control over the other candidates, he will go in for the kill and attempt to destroy whomever is left standing. This guy is trifling!

    November 14, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. bum

    Everyone knows that congress will not work with this president. It's much easier to elect a president that congress will work with, democrat or republican, than it is to elect a new congress that will work with our current president. So, the easiest answer to all of the deadlock is to elect a new president, a few more republican senators, and get this country back on track. Simple as that.


    November 14, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. We ALL Know, Mami

    Ha! I think that next to Gov Rick Perry's hair, Newt is the dumbest idea!

    [What DID they tell Newt about Rick's hair?! Y que le dijieron del pelo?!]

    November 14, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. Ron

    "This is the dumbest idea I've seen in a very long lifetime."
    No, newt, you running for the president of the US is the dumbest thing you've ever seen, except you forget to look in the mirror today. How quickly the republicans forget what a low life this guy was and still is. But if he gets the nomination, I highly doubt the US voter will forget.

    November 14, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Corporations R. People II

    Newt thinking that he passes the family values sniff test trumps that idea. People have not forgotten the 90s.
    Latest Clown of the week.

    November 14, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Dustin

    Well at least they tried something since debate and compromise won't work anymore. Maybe if cutting their salaries to zero dollars were in the "trigger" we might get somewhere.

    November 14, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. pmk1953

    Does an insurance policy for a church have the usual "act of God" clause in it?

    November 14, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. blizzardo

    A kernel of truth for a change from this guy;
    "The other, because of the totally artificial nature of the threat."

    November 14, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "This is the dumbest idea I've seen in a very long lifetime."

    We know. And we have the GOP/Teatrolls holding the debt ceiling hostage and causing the first credit-rating downgrade in the country's history to thank for it. Had they not played ridiculous ideological, partisan games solely to damage the economic recovery and, in turn, to damage Obama and the Dems, then we'd have raised the stupid debt ceiling, avoided the credit rating downgrade and started talking about how to deal with the budget deficits and debt levels. Instead, they played brinksmanship games and here we are...with auto-cuts that nobody on either side likes that will likely be triggered by the GOP's loyalty to the anti-tax pledges over their loyalty to common sense, rational thought, their oaths of office, expert economic opinion, facts, evidence, historical record and reason.

    November 14, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. a6102658

    I want so much for Newt to be nominated, It will guarantee that Obama gets re-elected.

    November 14, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. FedUp

    And...what did you expect????

    November 14, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. SecedingfromTexas

    The true "dumb idea" is the TeaPublicans putting a moral degenerate on a pedestal after throwing an "alleged" moral
    degenerate off the same pedestal. This so-called "conservative", "family values" aka "moral majority" group is
    not only disgusting, they are the epitome of hypocrisy. Out of one side of their mouths they yell "Praise God, and
    Pass the Ammunition" and the other side is screaming "Show me the Money". Either way, they are a destructive
    bunch of bananas.

    November 14, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Maybe if cutting their salaries to zero dollars were in the "trigger" we might get somewhere."

    Their salaries should be inextricably linked to the average middle-class salary. They mess up, they get a pay cut. They do well and increase employment and middle-class wages, they earn a raise.

    November 14, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. 66Biker

    The dumbest idea I've seen in a very long time is Newt Gingrich running for President. At best all he would do is make a bad situation worse, and at worst he would make it much much worse. Go home, Newt. And stay there.

    November 14, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. Bruce

    No Newt you're the dumbest idea...

    November 14, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. Buzz

    Ethics' violator. We shall not forget this.

    November 14, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Mikey

    @Bum – speaking of really bad ideas, eh? Aren't the Republicans the ones who drove our economy into the ditch in the first place. Perhaps we should start a couple more wars, give deficit ballooning tax breaks to those who don;t need them, gut environmental and workplace protections, make war on our own workers, continue to have no energy policy, destroy the social safety net, peeve off all our allies by acting like arogant jerks, and give all our cronies no bid contracts and public resource (oil, gas, mineral, and timber) givaways.

    Oh, wait, we already did that – it was called the Bush Administration.

    November 14, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If he has a better idea, I am willing to listen despite not liking much of what Gingrich has to say. I think that they are stuck because too many stick to ideology rather than a pragmatic approach.

    November 14, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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