Gingrich weighs in on Boehner, midterms and the 'Kardashian culture'
October 15th, 2013
02:59 PM ET
10 months ago

Gingrich weighs in on Boehner, midterms and the 'Kardashian culture'

Washington (CNN) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday if House conservatives don't get their way in the congressional standoff over the budget and debt, they'll be more revved up to fight harder in the coming years, not fade away.

The 2012 GOP presidential candidate and co-host of CNN's "Crossfire" also predicted Obamacare will become the biggest political issue in next year's midterms, as well as the next presidential election.

Gingrich further weighed in on John Boehner's speakership, as the House speaker in power during the last shutdowns of the federal government, in late 1995 and early 1996.

No time for surrender

Boehner was "struggling" to come up with enough votes Tuesday to pass a GOP counter-proposal to a bipartisan Senate plan. Gingrich argued that if the conservative faction of the party fails to get anti-Obamacare measures passed, they'll become further driven to keep fighting in the years to come.

"They will be more embittered, more angry. They will find more ways to go after Obama because they can't find any way to get him to negotiate," Gingrich said. "The reaction is not going to be, 'gee I guess we should surrender'."

Gingrich said he expects Obamacare to "decay rapidly" and become the defining issue of the 2014 and 2016 elections.

"If I were Boehner, I would say this was the beginning of the fight, this was the moment when we forced the country to start to pay attention," he said. "It's going to be an unending fight for three years."

He also anticipates Boehner will finish his current term as speaker, and Republicans will keep control of the House in next year's mid-terms.

No exit strategy

Reflecting on the tense weeks that led up to the government shutdown, which took effect on October 1, and on the ongoing situation as the government nears another deadline to avoid default, Gingrich pointed to two mistakes made by House Republicans: They lacked a clear communications strategy and a coherent exit strategy.

"I'm sure the senior people all understood that Obama was unlikely to dismantle his major legacy, so once you start down the fight to take care of your right wing, you better have a clear exit strategy that makes sense," he said. "I don't sense anybody had any exit strategy."

But most of the blame lies with the President and with Democrats. The recent standoff, he said, will further disenfranchise Congress from the White House down the road. "It's just going to be a mess. How does he call Boehner after this?"

How John Madden felt

So does a former speaker watching all the news unfold on Capitol Hill ever wish he had his old job back?

Not really. The Republican said the feeling is comparable to former NFL head coach and broadcaster John Madden's later-in-life job.

"He got to sit up on Sundays and Monday nights and he got to look down on the field and he got to tell you what it was like to be a coach, but I didn't sense any desire on John's part to go back down," he said.

As for any advice for Boehner, Gingrich said he's encouraging the Ohio Republican to "get a lot of sleep."

"Until you've tried, you cannot imagine the energy level it takes to try to do what Boehner is doing," he said. "It's actually I think the hardest job in the city."

Famous for being noisy

Gingrich also offered his input on why Democrats seem to be faring better than Republicans in public opinion polls.

"This has in my ways, I think, become a 'Kardashian culture,' in which you become a celebrity because you are noisy," he said, referring to the famous reality TV family.

The president has mastered the celebrity culture and an increasingly shorter news cycle, he said, adding that the media tends to favor the Democratic position.

"Obama's very good at politics and personality, and in a 'Kardashian culture,' that carries you an immense distance."


Filed under: Congress • Government Shutdown • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    You know things are tough when the people at the Cruz/Palin rally could not afford white sheets.

    October 15, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Kick the tea trolls out. They are sabotaging GOP thugs. Two are bad for this nation. Listen, ACA IS A LAW. We will kick those that oppose, defund. National need. CNN better publish all comments at this crucial times.

    October 15, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    If the philandering loudmouth is correct about them fighting harder, the people will move FARTHER away, not closer. He is, as usual talking out of his big maw with nothing of substance to say

    October 15, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    More wisdom from Kaptain Koo Koo...

    October 15, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. rs

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday if House conservatives don't get their way in the congressional standoff over the budget and debt, they'll be more revved up to fight harder in the coming years
    ____________________________
    Mr. Gingrich has apparently confused logic for appeasement. Hint: appeasing the Nazis didn't work well.

    October 15, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. PaulCat

    You're right Newt, as long as the republicans control the House, nothing will get done.

    You people need to WAKE-UP.

    Don't you love your country more then you hate Obama?

    October 15, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    My four year old grandson gets pretty "revved up" when he doesn't get his way. However, he's more considerably mature than the teabag toddlers, and is well aware of the consequences if he trashes his room or breaks his toys during a meltdown. The rethugs could take a lesson or two from him.

    October 15, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. teaparty days are numbered

    Keep that mentallity and it will be hard to fight on the outside looking in. STUPID GOP/TP

    October 15, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. A Kickin' Donkey

    Newt is no John Madden

    October 15, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. carrotroot

    Newt is one to talk, he was ousted from power because of the last shutdown. Now under Boehner's weak leadership the House is most definitely going to flip next year.

    October 15, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Yes, thank you weeper. You have allowed your party to be taken over by domestic terrorists and, yes, you have awaken the giant but in this case it's the country who was asleep while the teatards were not so quietly taking over our government. Go have a drink or two or three or more.
    Sure, sure, grinch, blame the shutdown on our President instead of putting the blame squarely where it belongs. The ones from the repug fringe who ran on shutting down the government and have put millions of Americans close to bankruptcy for some and losing whatever little they had in savings. This includes individuals and businesses. Wait, that is what the teatards are all about. Silly me.
    Why is this cretin allows to speak and why is CNN paying him for nothing!!??

    October 15, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. sonny chapman

    So what does Newt think about HIMSELF ? He passes judgment on everyone else. Remember what Jesus said, "For as you judge, so shall you be judged". Matthew 7,2.

    October 15, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. teaparty days are numbered

    hey Newt, isn't it about time for a new wife? , or you waiting for this one to become terminally ill ?!

    October 15, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. Chris Wyman

    That's a good analogy. Kardashian. That's what conservatives are mad about. Gingrich is so old he farts dust.

    October 15, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. rs

    PaulCat

    You're right Newt, as long as the republicans control the House, nothing will get done.

    You people need to WAKE-UP.

    Don't you love your country more then you hate Obama?
    ________________________________

    They just love their party- nothing else.

    October 15, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Newt is the King and Sarah Palin the Queen of 'Kardashian culture.

    Tom DeLay " Dancing with the Stars !

    October 15, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "when democrats and obama refuse to negotiate, what is there to stick around for? republicans have passed bill after bill and dirty harry reid refuses to vote on them. i say pass your final offer and adjourn. enough is enough. democrats simply want to continue dictating to the country and we have had enough of it."

    Nice bit of projection there, champ. Did you have to actually physically contort yourself to accomplish those psychological contortions too? The Senate has, in fact, voted on every single bill the House GOP/Teatrolls have passed with respect to funding the gov't this time. They voted and amended the first one, removed the GOP/Teatrolls' nonsense of trying to destroy the ACA, passed it as "clean" and sent it back to the House, where it is Boehner and the GOP/Teatrolls refusing to allow it to come to a vote...and accomplishing their obstruction of said vote by having changed the procedural rules in the House on September 30, 2013, just so they could make sure the shutdown couldn't be stopped by people trying to act reasonably.

    October 15, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "He also anticipates Boehner will finish his current term as speaker, and Republicans will keep control of the House in next year's mid-terms. "

    He also expected Mittens to win in a landslide, so I'll take that bet: Boehner is going to end up the proud owner of a vote of no confidence and the GOP/Teatrolls and their extremist temper tantrum is going to lose them the House in 2014.

    The ONLY thing that might save the GOP/Teatrolls is if their gerrymandering and voter suppression efforts combine to help them hold onto the House by a very thin majority.

    October 15, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Once Gingrich was hired for "Crossfire" and flip-flopped on the wisdom of Republicans shutting down the government, I now regard anything he says in the following way. The money made him say it, which is pretty easy to do for a Republican.

    October 15, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Dave Scoven

    So old Newt is a Tea Party extremist. Fine, but the American people are not extremists. They are centrists. Now is the time for rational Republicans to realize that they can make the best of all of this by purging the Tea Party from their ranks.

    October 15, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. Bill

    The GOP needs to forget about the ACA. The ACA was an apolitical business decision made by Wall Street. A cost savings achieved by hiring temporary staffing and placing the burden of health insurance on the taxpayer. The ACA was pre-ordained. If McCain had won in 2008, we would now have McCain Care!!! Corporate America has decided to quit offering group health insurance as an employee benefit, the same as they generally no longer offer pensions. A business decision that the politicians have co-opted to try and use for their own political agendas.

    October 15, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Hank

    STUPID old man--go home, you were a joke since 1994-5.

    October 15, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Willard's Hidden Tax Returns

    I see Newtie did not learn his lesson from his personal experience of the last govt shutdown. GOP lost big after that, as they will this time; ignoring history and doomed to repeat it. Good. Please proceed.

    October 15, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "They will be more embittered, more angry"

    Who cares? You let the baby tantrum till it tires itself out and falls asleep. Besides, the only thing "more angry" and "more embittered" that's left to them is outright rebellion and calling for secession. They've already reached the level of trying to secede by killing the federal gov't and passing nullification laws...yes, nullification laws in the 21st century, after well over 600K+ deaths decided the issue in the 1860s.

    October 15, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. Wake up People!

    Did I just read this story wrong ( which could be the case as I am working while blogging) or did Newt just basically say, President Obama should just give the GOP what they want, if not they are going to just go after him harder???

    What in the hell is wrong with these people? Mitt LOST. Get over it. Elections have consequences!! And the more they push, the more we will push back. It's almost like they are in a fairytale land where everything goes their way.

    October 15, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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