Reid labels Gingrich 'presumptive' nominee
December 14th, 2011
01:31 PM ET
7 years ago

Reid labels Gingrich 'presumptive' nominee

(CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid singled out Newt Gingrich from the Senate floor Wednesday in a disguised dig at the current 2012 GOP frontrunner.

While arguing for a spending agreement to include an extension of payroll tax cuts, Reid invoked the candidate's previous life as speaker of the House.

"I think that everyone can see very clearly that my friends on the other side of the aisle obviously want to have the government shut down and as I've said before–I'll say again– they've had experience doing this," Reid said.

"The presumptive Republican nominee Newt Gingrich tried that once, it didn't work so well."

Gingrich has made no apologies for serving at the helm of a government shutdown in 1995 and 1996 as Democrats and Republicans squared off over balancing the federal budget during President Bill Clinton's second term.

"Everyone knows why the government is going to shut down, if in fact it does," Reid said. "We have 160 million Americans out there cheering for us, that we can get them the tax relief they deserve."

Reid argued the Senate should vote on a broad spending agreement to ensure that government funding continues after a short-term extension expires at midnight Friday.

- CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Harry Reid • Newt Gingrich • Senate
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Mike

    I love that CNN writers care so little that they didn't notice that 1995 and 1996 were both during Clinton's first term...nice fact checking, guys!

    December 14, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. A Texan

    Newt – the Republican front runner !!!! WOW !! He is a poster child for everything vile a person can do as a "public servant" and married man. -- Yet, he is the Republican front runner !?!?!? Just shows what hypocrites many Republicans truly are...................

    December 14, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. Why

    Increaseing taxes just gives the fed more money to squander! I say reduce the spending next year to a zero deflict next year! Then and only then raise taxes with the mandate that all new revenues will go to paying down the debt untill it is 10% of GDP or less. Giving more money with no stipulation of how it will be spent will only empower your goverment to continue there reakless ways! The only way to slow corruption is to starve the beast (the federal goverment) of its funding

    December 14, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. diridi

    Reid, do not worry, nation now knows that GOP is bunch of idiots....

    December 14, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Liz the First

    The rethugs stuck the pipeline authorization into a bill to keep our taxes low because they know that will kill it and they can blame the Democrats for its failure. this morally bankrupt tactic is beneath anyone who calls themselves an American. holding us hostage to get a project that will hasten the destruction of the planet ok'd is reprehensible. yes, we need jobs, but we don't need to kill ourselves with more fossil fuel. rethugs can't bear to move forward, all they can do is cling to the past. i hope the Senate kills this box of chocolates with a turd hiding in it.

    December 14, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. ART

    As usual the Rethuglicans are holding the tax break extension for the middle class hostage. I cannot beleive that any one who is not a millionair would vote for any Rethuglican, they in no way have the interest of middle class in mind,all they care about is the wealthy and big business, remember coorperations are people too.. Yeah right

    December 14, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Gurgi

    @liz, this is the same "tactic" the liberals constantly use. How hypocritical is it to only jump on one offender but support the other offender with no recriminations?

    December 14, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. Jake

    Republican leaders do have family, friends and loved ones, right? i just can't comprehend what they are doing!?

    December 14, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "I love that CNN writers care so little that they didn't notice that 1995 and 1996 were both during Clinton's first term...nice fact checking, guys!"

    Oh brother. Listen, Facepalm, the fight during late 1995/early 1996 was over the budget that would take effect during Clinton's second term, whcih started in January 1997. What's hard to understand about that?

    December 14, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. Angie Sharp

    A Texan

    Bill Clinton – two time DEMOCRATIC president!!!! WOW !! He is a poster child for everything vile a person can do as a "public servant" and married man. - Yet, he was a two-timing, er two-term, president!?!?!? Just shows what hypocrites many Democrats truly are...................

    December 14, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. sonny chapman

    "Starve the Beast" was the George W. Bush mantra. That really worked out well for Middle Class America. Remember when your 401-K was worth something ?

    December 14, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  12. Jules

    Well, Newt is a presumptive something anyway.

    December 14, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Jules

    Hey Angie, Bill and Hillary Clinton are still married, right? No comparison to Newt of the 84 ethical violations, drummed out of congress by his own party and now he has members of the GOP that served with him in Congress say they will not vote for him for president as he is unfit to be president. That's your guys saying that.

    December 14, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    sonny chapman

    "Starve the Beast" was the George W. Bush mantra.
    Actually, Ronald Reagan was arguably the first conservative POTUS to aggressively put that strategy into practice by name. Bush succeeded because he was the first GOP President with a GOP Congress in six decades.

    December 14, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. real American

    I must be really really difficult to completely disregard any form of logic so you can defend the brainless democrats.

    December 14, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    During last summer's debt ceiling debacle, Newt Gingrich criticized Repubilcans in Congress for not letting the country default. He felt it would teach the Democrats a lesson to let the axe fall and then blame Democrats for letting it occur.

    December 14, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. Gurgi

    Those liberals with blinders on would not vote republican anyway, so the opinions of such people are unimportant. The same goes for republicans with blinders on.

    December 14, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Shayne

    @Angie Sharp: Excellent!

    December 14, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. vic , nashville ,tn

    The fact is rich doesn’t wants to depend on Government but Republican Party other side try to force rich to get benfits.
    Employers other side “we need skilled workers we don’t need tax break” republicans never get that

    December 14, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. tykl

    @Liz the First – you do realize that BO put the millionaire's tax into his bill to get his way, right?? there are plenty of other ways to pay for the tax cut but BO is obsessed with increasing taxes on the rich so he snuck it in the bill. if you recognize that this goes on on both sides, you will sound me legit and less left wing crazy.

    December 14, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. Emperor Norton

    Yeah, the problem with this "starve the beast" Republican mantra is that they say the government's the beast. What they mean is that we're the beast: people, you and me, taxpayers, who rely upon the government for the services it provides. There are some services and utilities that do not and should not be operated like a private-sector business: water, power, roads, law, environmental regulation. For those, there is the government.

    Government is necessary, and "starving" it just strands anyone other than the rich in dystopia, living hand to mouth. Increase taxes, cut spending, invest in American infrastructure, and stop acting like anyone who's even slightly left of you is out to plunge you into a Communist nightmare. We're all Americans, and it's supposed to be okay for us to disagree.

    December 14, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. LegendRx

    As usual, the moderate left seem to be winning this debate. What happened to the Republican leadership and party. What a waste.

    December 14, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Government actually should be shut down, as a test, to see what will happen when it actually does shut down in a few years after declaring bankruptcy. Democrats won't cut spending to match what they take in and will not tax us to the level needed to fund the government because that would be very very high tax rates. This is why we will ultimately go bankrupt. It is almost a sure bet.

    December 14, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. Willie K.

    Real American: If brainless means implementing policies that actually WORK and stimulate the economy, then consider me a brainless Democrat. Where I come from, they say the proof is in the pudding. Trickle down policies do not work. Progessive policies led to record economic growth and a budget surplus. Who is brainless now?

    December 14, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    Yes Harry, Newt presumes a lot, doesn't he?

    December 14, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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