December 5th, 2012
12:19 AM ET
8 years ago

Gingrich's 'fiscal cliff' lessons from budget battles with Clinton

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich, a former Republican House speaker who knows something of negotiating with a Democratic president over budget issues, laid out his "fiscal cliff" advice to Republicans Tuesday on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight:” if necessary, go over the cliff without a deal.

"I am frankly not at all encouraged by what I see and a little bit worried by it," he said, assessing the negotiations - apparently now in impasse - in Washington to avert the tax increases and spending cuts which lay ahead in the new year.

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"Let me lay my cards on the table," he continued. "I think that no deal is better than a bad deal. I think going off this cliff is less dangerous than letting things build up for a year or two years to have an even bigger cliff."

Insiders foresee progress towards a deal this week as unlikely after President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner each rejected each other's opening proposal in recent days and even back-channel negotiations drew to a halt. Each has accused the other of advancing a less than serious proposal, and Gingrich described Obama's position as one of "non-seriousness."

When Gingrich led House Republicans in the 1990s, he negotiated with President Bill Clinton over budgetary issues.

"We earned President Clinton’s respect in part by closing the government twice and being a very rough and tumble fight," he said. "He came to believe we were serious. ...

"We were the first reelected Republican House since 1928," he continued. "That happened, I think, because we showed we actually were serious people willing to take the heat, willing do what it took, and willing to work our way to get real solutions."

Between Obama and Boehner, Gingrich said he does not "sense any mutual respect right now" and rather sees "political games."

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Why would anybody listen to Newt.

    This is a man who has been married three times , has an outstanding bill at Tiffany's . And loves to rewrite history as only a fool could percive .

    Why didn't Newt stand up for Bob Dole today ? Because men like Newt only use the name of great republicans such as Reagan and Dole when it fits there selfish needs.

    All one has to do is to look at what Newt has done in the last ten years and compare that to a man such as Bill Clinton.

    Newt is a self absorbed use to be.

    December 5, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  2. Squigman

    Please note: The aforementioned politician never missed a meal, nor soiled his hands during the time spent at the fiscal cliff. You on the other hand may not be so lucky. You'll get what they don't want, scuffed up pretty good. They (your political leaders), wont even get dusty if they can help it.

    December 5, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  3. DixonIV

    I think Clinton would remember the Gingrich's effort a little different. I think they came to a deal in spite of Gingrich.

    December 5, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  4. anonoymous

    Newt needs to go get a real job. Im tired of his good ole days stories.Couch quarterbacks always have the answer. Just like Palin these losers are not revelant..

    December 5, 2012 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  5. Wise1Speak

    NEWT GINGRICH = "No Credibility Left"

    December 5, 2012 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  6. Any1

    except for the fact the Newt is not in the Congress any more,,,and, in fact, was asked to leave the last time that he was...

    December 5, 2012 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  7. Mforward2012

    Yep, Newt threatened to shut down the Government and Clinton called Their bluff. The Majority gave Obama a Mandate and the GOP need to hear Our voices: "Corporate Welfare is OVER", the Middle Class refuses to carry their "tax" weight any longer. GOT IT!!!

    December 5, 2012 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  8. CarolO

    Newt Gingrich is almost as relevant as Don Trump or Sarah Palin. Like who cares what Gingrich thinks about anything. The Master of Ethic Violations and constantly bringing up ethic violations against Democrats when he, himself, was the King of Ethic Violations having 84 himself.

    December 5, 2012 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  9. jweeb2011

    I really doubt Gingrich still have any Influence in this GOP at all. He was murdered during the Primaries by his so-called party comrades and now he really expect them to listen him? He should finally recognize that this is another time and a new world. Praises for his so-called success of those days but he was also badly criticized in the Primaries for the same methods he used to gained those Painful-Gains from those years. I believe he thinks he's the right one to talk now because Money Romney lost the final fight.

    Gingrich, it's time you realized that YOU ALL LOST THE FIGHT!! You lost both the Presidency and Senate (it's called 2-1 Victory for the Democrats!) take it and let's move on to help the American People. We are still recovering from a recession caused by your party. We are looking for a more respectable and durable way to finally move things forward. Your suggestion is backward.

    December 5, 2012 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  10. DENNA

    Between Obama and Boehner, Gingrich said he does not "sense any mutual respect right now" and rather sees "political games."
    Boehner clearly does not like nor respect President Obama. The GOP in general believed that their non-action would make the president look bad and lead to his not being reelected. The look you see on Boehner's face is "I can't believe I still have to deal with you. Well, I am not going to do it". Yes you will Orange Man. The American public knows where the roadblock is coming from. If you want to keep that cushy, non-working job you have, you need to get to work and put together a real financial plan for America. Work with our duly elected president or you will be gone in 2014. Bet on it.

    December 5, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  11. ARob

    So, his position echoes many other Republicans lately: hold America hostage for the sake of ideology, and let us all drown rather than looking like you changed your position on something.

    December 5, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |