Gingrich: 'Super committee' is 'dumbest idea'
November 14th, 2011
03:28 PM ET
6 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. DaveinSC

    I keep hearing what an intelligent guy Newt is. Thats it??? Ever meet someone who just has to have something dribble out of their mouths regardless of how dumb it is to impress themselves? Meet Newt.

    November 14, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. jim

    Yes, it's almost as stupid an idea as a "Contract with America". That piece of crap really went over big!

    November 14, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. phil

    If they fail to accompSenate members Patty Murray, Washington, Co-Chair
    Max Baucus, Montana
    John Kerry, Massachusetts
    Jon Kyl, Arizona
    Rob Portman, Ohio
    Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania

    House members Xavier Becerra, California
    Jim Clyburn, South Carolina
    Chris Van Hollen, Maryland
    Jeb Hensarling, Texas, Co-Chair
    Fred Upton, Michigan
    Dave Camp, Michigan

    lish anything should they be fired? Here is the list

    November 14, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. george of the jungle

    Newt finds everything stupid these days. He is a pretty big buffone himself. If he gets to big he will dump this wife for a newer version. Seriously why is anyone still listening to this clown. His morals are not any better than cains.

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

    "God didn't come down one morning and say, 'If you don't reach this deadline terrible things will happen.' "

    Talk about pandering to the evangelicals! Pretty rich, coming from Newt the lying adulterer!

    November 14, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. SD

    Newt is about the only politician talking sense...too much sense, certainly, for the loony LeftyLibDems who are soooooo focused on keeping a bad thing going they just don't hear anymore; too much sense for strident moralists practiced at smearing dirt. Newt presided over a congress that jump-started the economy to create the greatest amount of wealth in the shortest time. Sounds like the right man in the climate of dismal performance by BO et. al.

    November 14, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    @phil: Their constituents are the ones responsible for firing or re-hiring these Senators and Reps. We're a democracy, even though it sounds like you prefer authoritarian regimes.

    November 14, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. chuck weidemann

    Tuff choice for Newt to be shot in the head or leg??? Not for anyone else!!!

    November 14, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Nameking

    Ginger you should have said something when the repubs was sabataging the president and the country with their rediculous super committee crap. Hey you should have told your tea bagged crew to snatch up the 4 trillion dollar reduction plan the president and the speaker came up with.

    November 14, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    If the GOP hadn't caved to the teabaggers and their hostage taking of our nation's full faith and credit by blocking raising the debt ceiling in the first place, we wouldn't need a Super Committee.

    Newt, it's YOUR party that's been mucking up the works, for about 10 years now. Your inability to accept the reality that all your economic, military and foreign policies are PROVEN FAILURES are what is keeping our country from moving forward.

    Pride, mental illness, pettiness, egomania, control issues .... call it what you want, but Newt and his cohorts are what is dragging us down!

    November 14, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. Democrat Party - leftist "progressive" socialist communist losers hellbent on destroying the USA

    Newt is right. This was nothing but another way for Congress to avoid responsibility. It is pretty clear the Democrats will never voluntarily vote to cut government spending and live within our means. They'll tax, borrow and spend until we're either bankrupt or have 80% federal income tax rates. Either one is the death of the USA as we know it. If you want to see the future the Democrats have in store for all of us, you need look no further than Greece. Bankrupt, rioting in the streets, no economy,... wonderful isn't it?

    November 14, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    "Newt presided over a congress that jump-started the economy to create the greatest amount of wealth in the shortest time."

    SD, haven't the Cons always maintained the government does not create jobs, or jump-start economies? Than why did you say so, and how do square your statement with that long-held peice of conservative orthodoxy, or does that only apply when your lot are trying to steal credit for things you say they never deserved? Please respond.

    November 14, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    "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."
    Most liberals and Democrats already know that. Thanks for the effort to enlighten your side of the aisle. But, Mr. Gingrich, did you forget that this "dumbest idea" is the brain child of the House Republicans, specifically the Tea Party Republicans? I don't think that you have.

    In fact, it is diabolically creative. I understand what you are doing, Mr. Gingrich. You are trying to shift the blame for its' existence onto Democrats, hoping that people forget that it was the House Republicans who originated this spending measure.

    November 14, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. w l jones

    Every time one look in his fellow man face he see God thereby he do not have to come down when he here living amonst us. With religious aside we needed and imparcious group of law maker come with something for best instrest for we people of America. Bless.

    November 14, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. seriously???

    @sd... and a month ago when Newt was polling at 4% I'm sure you were saying he was the only one talking sense (and not whatever flavor of the week it was at that time). Newt is an unelectable disaster with zero chance of becoming president. Good luck with that.

    November 14, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. Brandy

    Having a super committee is a dumb idea. If Congress couldnt come together to resolve the issues before, why do they think they will now? Newt did preside over congress that gave a surplus but he worked with President Clinton to get something accomplished. This Congress won't even work with their own party let alone the President.

    November 14, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. John

    Newt Gingrich all this from a man that was force to resign when he was speaker of the House of congress on 84 Ethics charges. If you was force to resign ,why Is It he able to run for President. He was all ready Proven he Is a Crook. He has no Business even being able to run for President. And not only that but he all so cheated on to wife. This man should not be able to get no where near the White House.

    November 14, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    There he goes again, while I agree with him the the super committee is a joke, this disgraced millionaire cheater loves to call everyone else stupid because he is so smart. Must be that big head of his.
    @SD – you do know that not only is he human scum and on his third wife but that he left congress in disgrace, right?
    The 60 Minutes piece on Sunday was an eye opener I don't care which party you belong to. These people make $174,000 a year and when they leave (and before, of course) they are millionaires because everyone from lobbyists to big corporation has kissed their behinds! The little guy is nothing to them. Keep voting teapublikan because they are the worst.

    November 14, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. kenny

    Newt has not seen such a "DUMB" Idea since he last looked in the mirror. He is as bad as Herman Cain with his comment comparing Michele Bachmann to "Tootie Fruity Ice Cream". This from a man his wife claims "Totally Respects Women". While I do not disgree that Bachmann may be a "Tootie Fruity Ice Cream", I suspect Herman Cain is as nutty as a Christmas fruit cake. With the exception of John Huntsman, they are all a bunch of fruit cakes.

    November 14, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Bill

    Ok, Newt. No one listens to you. (they have not listened to you for the last 15 years).

    November 14, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "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?"

    He wouldn't need to. You see, if a GOPer is elected, the GOPers in Congress will magically start being wililng to do something other than obstruct, yell NO, and play hostage-taking brinksmanship games. The Dems, knwoing full well that if they turned the tables and did what the GOP has done for the past 3 years the MSM would swiftly enact the Law of IOKIYAR, would simply continue trying to reach reasonable, rational, fact-based, substantive solutions for our problems. It's pretty simple when you break it down: what the GOP has affirmatively told the nation, in non uncertain terms, for the past 3 years is "you better let us control the government or we;ll break it whenever we don't." For a lot of people out there, having it work poorly and be slowly destroyed by deregulation and tax cuts is better than having it work not at all, so they cave to the ultimatum.

    November 14, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. Stacey

    Actually, Mr. Grinch, you're the dumbest idea! Having the gall to run for POTUS with all your rotten baggage. Just shows how desparate the GOP is. What a joke!

    November 14, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. Sniffit

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

    I'm gonna go with "robot wife" for $250,000 Tiffany's debt, Alex.

    November 14, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Ron

    Congress is full of stupid ideas... why should this one be any different???? While I am a democrat I msut confess that I think Newt is the only one of the GOP candidates who is not ready for a stay in the local mental hospital...

    November 14, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Boston Guy

    Newt is the dumbest idea ever.

    November 14, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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