Gingrich blasts McConnell over debt ceiling
July 12th, 2011
05:41 PM ET
10 years ago

Gingrich blasts McConnell over debt ceiling

(CNN)- Despite recent public scraps with his own party, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich didn't hold back Tuesday on the subject of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's debt ceiling plan.

"McConnell's plan is an irresponsible surrender to big government, big deficits and continued overspending," Gingrich tweeted.

As Democrats and Republicans remain divided on a solution to resolving the debt ceiling, which will reach its limit August 2, McConnell pushed for a limited debt ceiling increase deal.

At issue is whether the deal will include revenue from taxes as well as spending cuts. McConnell favors a deal that relies solely on spending cuts and proposed a plan including three short-term increases in the amount the government can borrow. He pledged the GOP would "choose a path that actually reflects the will of the people which is to do the responsible thing and ensure that the government does not default on its obligations."

But for Gingrich, it seems that's not enough.

He addressed a tea party group in Charleston, South Carolina, saying, "I don’t quite know what Sen. McConnell was trying to accomplish today. It is a fundamental mistake for the congressional Republicans to try to find a way out of the current fight. They cannot allow Obama to intimidate them by trying to frighten senior citizens. What they should be doing is offering very small bites that are impossible for him to turn down."

The 2012 GOP presidential contender advised the GOP to confront the debt ceiling head-on. "What Republicans shouldn’t do is try to back down from this fight," he said.

Battling an old foe, Gingrich, who was at the helm of a shutdown of federal government after a budget stalemate during the Clinton administration, again sought to highlight the value of a standoff between both parties.

"The Washington media will tell you we made a huge mistake closing the government in 1995 and 1996 and I will tell you, as one of the people who did it, that is baloney," he argued.

"I would say to the Republicans in Washington today: You have to have the courage to stand for what you believe in and believe that the American people are smarter than the elite media think they are or political consultants think they are. You have to be prepared to go nose to nose with the president and win the argument."

Gingrich drew fire from fellow Republicans in June when he called House Budget Chair Paul Ryan's plan to battle the deficit "right-wing social engineering." After being openly chastised by GOP leaders for undermining his party's efforts to battle the deficit, Gingrich later walked back on the comments, stating that he'd made "a mistake."

"The fact is that I have supported what Ryan's trying to do on the budget," he said.

"Let me say on the record: Any ad which quotes what I said … is a falsehood," Gingrich continued. "I have said publicly those words were inaccurate and unfortunate. And I'm prepared to stand up, when I make a mistake … because that way we can have an honest conversation."

And, honestly, Gingrich believes McConnell's plan is just plain wrong.

"The answer to Obama's irresponsibility is a principled "no," not a blank check," he wrote in a follow-up tweet.

CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

Filed under: Debt • Deficit • Mitch McConnell • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Jon

    Seems to me that *all* of the Republicans are being equally irresponsible. Like the President, I don't agree with any temporary extensions. The problem isn't going to go away in a month. Time to get the job done.

    July 12, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on America

    What a lying sack McConnell is. The American people, by an overwhelming majority, want taxes raised on the filthy rich. Yet the GOBPbaggers refuse to ask their millionaire/billionaire masters to make ANY sacrifices whatsoever. What an un-American group the Greedy Old Pigs are.

    July 12, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. George

    Any ad that quotes what he says is a falsehood? There you go. Don't quote me, because I'll deny it.

    July 12, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. Liz the First

    The problem with McConnell's plan is that it's totally unnecessary. President Obama already has the constitutional right to raise the debt ceiling all by himself. and if the rethugs can't grow up and accept the reality that if you want a civilized country, you have to pay for it, that's exactly what he needs to do. then he can rightly claim he saved the country and the world from the mad rethugs who would rather keep their greedy hands on every last dime than do what's best for the country.

    July 12, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  5. Shawn

    Newt Gingrich is simply irrelevant. What a loser has-been and the world's biggest hypocrite. Nobody cares, Newt.

    July 12, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  6. they call me "tater salad"

    Yeah, and that idea worked out soooooooo well for you and the Republican controlled Congress back when you tried it with Clinton during the end of his second term didn't it Newt...........Guy's a total double talker, he has absolutely no clue what the American people really want nor does he care!............ Bottom line,...........Newt's in it for Newt and that's about it.

    July 12, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  7. Eye of Newt

    Go get 'em, Newt! Just when it looked like you were going to be down for the count, you deliver a marvelous body slam to Mr. McConnell. Your timing, as usual, is excellent. Mr. McConnell has proposed a solution to the budget crisis that salvages a thin slice of credibility for republicans. By taking the hard line, perhaps you can guarantee that republicans everywhere will be held accountable for holding our Great Nation hostage for the benefit of millionaires. Go Newt!

    July 12, 2011 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  8. LMC

    Senate and House Republicans who refuse to have anything that isn't 100% their way are irresponsible and childish!

    July 12, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Mitch McConnell surrendered today.......unconditionally. It's about time Republican tea baggers quit holding a metaphorical gun to America's head.

    July 12, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  10. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on America

    Newts irrelevant and the rest of the GOBP is nuts and/or in thrall to their cult of corporatist worship. It's pretty shameless now that they've shown their true colors. Not a single teatard has identified a SINGLE sacrifice corporations or the filthy rich should make. That tells you everything you need to know about their un-American agenda.

    July 12, 2011 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  11. taylor

    he is right about mcconnell, but for the wrong reasons, mcconnell is useless and needs t go, now,
    no newt is good newt.

    July 12, 2011 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. roscoe

    Gnewt, you've fallen off the map. You're a non factor. Better go back to the wife and start planning for the next mistress. Let the current gop leaders sink the boat on their own.

    July 12, 2011 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  13. The end of GOPerate welfare

    More sleazy politics from the King of Sleaze that is the Gingerisch. These slimey Repubs prove time and again that they care nothing for our country. Now risking the finacial staboility of our country by playing GAMES with the debt ceiling is fair game. They should all move to Somol;ia where they have the "limited" government they claim to desire.
    BTW Jefferson was a LIBERAL in the TIME OF ENLIGHTENMENT. These GOP parasites want to take us back to the dark ages of ignorance.

    July 12, 2011 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  14. SHug

    If Newt doesn't like it, then it must be good for the people.

    July 12, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  15. Joe

    Gingrich? The name is familiar, but I can't place him. Didn't he use to be somebody?

    July 12, 2011 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  16. the witch

    I turned him into a newt, but I can't get him back to a normal person!!!
    He will have to stay a small, slimy, repulsive thing forever!

    July 12, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  17. pk

    Newt has not realized the he is insignificant. He was and is a failure.

    July 12, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  18. Frank

    Since the Republicans have failed to fulfill the position for which they are being paid by the American people based on today's announcement by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by refusing to effectively negotiate an agreement that cuts spending, increases taxes by closing loopholes, and raises the artificial debt ceiling, I propose that he, the other members of the Republican caucus, and their staffs refuse to take their salaries or benefits for the office to which we elected them! If nothing else, this will save a lot of money and hot air in the Beltway this summer.

    I think that is what would happen in the private sector if I refused to do my job!

    I look forward to the next election when I can "vote the bums out". Unfortunately they will do irreparable damage in the interim!

    July 12, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  19. Dan, TX

    lol, who cares with Gingrich has to say. How about cut spending and raise taxes – just drop the Bush tax cuts. Sure the economy will tank, but if the stimulus bill wasn't big enough to acheive escape velocity from the recession we are all screwed anyway.

    July 12, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  20. the witch

    I turned him into a newt!!!!
    But he DIDN'T get better!
    He will have to stay a small, slimy, repulsive thing forever!!

    July 12, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  21. steven harnack

    If that tripe made sense to anyone then please translate it for me, except for the part where you don't do ANYTHING that the President suggests, even if it's the very thing that you asked for. Especially if it's something that you asked for, because, it might make him seem reasonable and that would be bad.

    July 12, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  22. Jeff in Illinois

    I think it's hilarious that the GOP is suddenly about fiscal responsibility. Here's a news flash: NONE of this is the responsibility of the office of the President of the United States. This is all congress' baby. The president can either sign it or veto it but FIRST congress has to give him something. Why are the House and Senate populated by middle-schoolers? Vote against ALL incumbents and clean the slate.

    And Newt, there's a reason you no longer hold public office.

    July 12, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  23. Sank

    You tell him Newqt. McConnell needs to take not of Obama's threat of not paying the Elderly or Military retirees their salaries they have earned anbd have due is enough for him to be impeached. And for the Republicans to give in to him on this threat would be traitorious. Obama is a sick man who is following George Soros plan to the letter to bankrupt us and destroy our military. Nayone who would threaten the elderly i a sorry lowm down scumbag . I don't care if he is someone's President for

    July 12, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  24. CitizenJP

    Is it responsible to hold the nation hostage in order to protect the pockets of the super rich (the millionaires and billionaires)? Haven't they sucked the system enough getting disproportionately richer on the back of the middle class? It is time to give some of that money back to the system. STOP HOLDING THE NATION HOSTAGE – IT IS TIME THE RICH PAYS THEIR FAIR SHARE!

    July 12, 2011 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  25. ibrad

    This coming from a guy with almost a million dollar debt at a jewlery shop at 0% interest!

    July 12, 2011 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
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