Gingrich weighs in on Boehner, midterms and the 'Kardashian culture'
October 15th, 2013
02:59 PM ET
9 years 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.

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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. Larry NY

    Why are we listening to this guy anyway, he lost against Clinton fight. I want Newt to justify how can T party take the country and the whole world hostage to this debt ceiling issue? You don't want to pay the bills because you have some political issues in the country? Can you say to my bank I don't wnat to pay mortgage because me and my wife are fighting over our differences at home, will stop the payments for a while and get back once it is resolved..You think that will stick?

    October 15, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Wake up People!

    Did this Grand Dragon just compare President Obama to the Kartrashians??

    October 15, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. freedom

    "But most of the blame lies with the President and with Democrats." That's right – what did Obama say? "the buck stops here." it should.

    October 15, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. robert jay

    How do you and people like you even think you can justify your stupidity to people with any intelligence and love for this country. You talk about what will and won't be there for our grandchildren and then entice a country like China to state the world should "de Amercianize" with your typical Republican ploy of fear mongering and paranoia – you Republicans (not people) are stupid ideological morons and you are right about the 3 years – 3 years (actually possibly only 1) for sane people to plan on eliminating the Republican party from our government until they grow up and become civilized (if that's even possible)

    October 15, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Dee

    I was sorely disappointed when I went into the exchange and realized that my coverage was quadroopling from current rates. This is the reality for many Americans. I am glad SOMEONE is trying to keep this in check. Everything is costing me more. I have a large family and my husband is not working. Aren't you concerned that we can't afford the agenda of this president? even bill Clinton understood we need budgets and fiscal responsibility. Many Americans are angry that a bill was passed that the speaker acknowledged needed passed so we can see what is in it,! Who does that? Would you operate that way in your job or home? The bottom line is this government has two legislative bodies and it was created that way so all people will be heard. I want this president and democrats to compromise for the good of us all. I am grateful for the republicans.

    October 15, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. robert jay

    Just remember NEWT – you repugs had 15 years to put a health care plan on the table only could n't find the time ormoney for all the wars you wanted to play in. How about the debt racked up by Bush and co without funding that you now convienently have forgotten and blame the President for? Do you honestly think we are stupid out here? I know we can't ask you to grow some B--and stand up for what is right instead of your soph-moric ideology that is nothing but a broken record!

    October 15, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Newt is a master of talking as though he has special insight/perspective on every issue. He was also sure of a Romney
    victory in the 2012 election. He is a man struggling to stay relevant in the political world and the "nation's teacher" can't accept that it is coming up on 20 years since he was an elected official. Gingrich needs to take Callista and just fade away.

    October 15, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    "Not really. The Republican said the feeling is comparable to former NFL head coach and broadcaster John Madden's later-in-life job."
    That's not how he really felt. Newt is a very enthusiastic zoo lover. Being Speaker was like being a zookeeper. He loved it.

    October 15, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. Data Driven

    Ah yes "Kardashian", as in trashy or ghetto. Unlike Mr. Gingrich of course, with his multiple marital infidelities and financial shenanigans that basically got him booted from the House of Representatives.

    The Food Stamp President, the Kardashian President ... we get it, Newt, you think Jimmy Walker's in the White House. Go eat a lightbulb or something.

    October 15, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "He is a man struggling to stay relevant "

    Indeed...and CNN is struggling to fake his relevance because they've got him on the payroll.

    October 15, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "I was sorely disappointed when I went into the exchange and realized that my coverage was quadroopling from current rates. This is the reality for many Americans."

    No, it's not. It's a fake anecdote used to promote the GOP/Teatrolls' demagoguery and fear-mongering of the ACA.

    Pssst: Anecdotes do not equal data.

    October 15, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Kardashian culture,' in which you become a celebrity because you are noisy,""

    You mean, precisely the game the Teatrolls played because they knew that being noisy and insane would get them lots and LOTS of free media attention to help them advertise themselves and make them look like a bigger movement than they really were? Heck, it even went as far as CNN and the rest of the MSM taking photographs of their "rallies" at bizarre angles in order to portray it as a denser, larger crowd than it really was.

    October 15, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. Michael

    It's ridiculous how Republicans keep on how Obama won't compromise on ACA because it's his legacy and not because it's something that was voted on FORTY THREE TIMES!

    It's the law, it went to the supreme court, the people want healthcare, and you have no alternative.

    October 15, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. John

    Newt's last idea was let's colonize the moon. Now he says of Obama and Boenher, "It's just going to be a mess. How does he call Boehner after this?"

    'Here, doggie, doggie. Silly doggie.'

    October 15, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Wake up People!

    @ Dee.

    That's quadrupling.

    You're welcome!

    October 15, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. Guerra


    CNN, if your very own employee NEWT GINGRICH, Shutdown Federal Government in 1995-1996. Than Clinton. There where no CLINTONCARE or OBAMACARE. Perhaps you have forgotten or you where very young to know what had happened. REWIND your TAPES you will see that the republicans careless about American people. You what to know more? Ask the right person whose NEW JUNCKY… to tell you the truth.

    Jealousy of Clinton = democrats of economy where up and surpluses until incompetency of republicans presidency of 2000 until recession of 2008. You don’t know that is when republicans it’s means WAR-first before democracy or diplomacy if they know what it means.

    You see, Republicans are being bought by the 10 giants of Insurance companies to fight OBAMACARE which are agonist. You need equation to figure it out? REPUBLICANS ENJOY TO SHUTDOWN GOVERNMENT. It’s because they are rich and careless for these little poor Americans.

    Sadly, here it is: you 27%+ of Americans are with so called pre-existed conditions that have been turn down by all of Americans Health Insurance Companies and the Republicans Party, have stand on sidelines doing or willing to help them the these needed it’s own people of the HEALTHCARE. However, the OBAMACARE is not the solution that American people have been waited for but it the start to look into the AMERICAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS. You see, healthcare is not a LUXIRY but necessity.

    I think I can debate any of republican politician or republican reporter from FOX NEWS to NRA or else. You CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS. I wish you would ask your politicians the right questions that an AMERICAN would want to know. But you don’t ask them, why? Are you afraid or fear? of what? I CANNOT UNDERSTAND AS WHY AMERICANS MEDIA NEWS NETWORK DON”T ASK A REAL QUESTIONS TO GET REAL ANSWER TO YOURR POLITICIANS? BUT YOU KNOW HOW TO INVESTIGATE WHEN A CITIZEN COMMIT A CRIME like: Dateline, 48 hours, 20/20 among others.

    PS: these are known facts, since Reagan era. Many of us don’t watch most of these Americans network news media. But other source of news such as: DW, PBS, CBC, NHK, EYEWITNESS of Australia and BBC.

    Even the OBAMACARE SITE GLICH is not a failure but it’s being attacked by the same opposing groups the UNTIOBAMACARE so that website can be blamed of: glitch, insurers privacy comprises, malfunction just to name few. These giants’ insurance companies and Republicans are working hard for OBAMA government to fail since he took the presidency. As well they working hard to derail/delay but to kill OABAMACARE.

    October 15, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Tom

    As usual, Gingrich is wrong. This whole debt ceiling debacle signals the end of the Tea Party's influence beyond the dwindling community of far-right extremists. The polls tell the story - the Republican party is losing ground everywhere except those gerrymandered districts that keep electing Tea Party nitwits to Congress. That raises huge questions about how much impact the Republican party will have in the future if it continues on its current course. If Republicans can't win statewide (i.e., Senatorial) elections or national (Presidential) elections, the party will become nothing more than a handful of extreme lunatics that can easily be maneuvered around.

    October 15, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    By his definition, that makes Ted Cruz into Kris Kardassian, with Boehner as Bruce Jenner, the sad, pathetic, whipped husband: lets hope Boehner grows a pair and asks for a separation as well.

    October 15, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. Silence DoGood

    I think I will use the Tea-Publican approach next time I get a speeding ticket:
    officer: "you have broken the speeding law and now I am writing a ticket"
    me: "yes but I took your pen and I won't give it back to write the ticket until you negotiate about this law – I don't like it"
    officer: "but it is a law already"
    me: "why won't you negotiate? It is your fault you don't have a pen now"
    officer: "let me explain about laws......"
    At this point I start kicking, screaming, and crying like a spoiled brat........

    October 15, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. mickster1

    Who really cares what this failed human being believes. He's failed miserably as husband and he's failed miserably as a politician. Basically a dim bulb capitalizing on his failures. If he vanishes from the media it will no great loss.

    October 15, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Steven Colo

    The whole country blames the GOP for their insane actions, and he blames the Kardashian culture. The sad thing is that he's supposed to be the deep thinker of the party.

    October 15, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. omeany

    I suspect after this debacle the GOP will no longer be trusted with having a majority in either the House or the Senate. Unfortunately the Tea party lunatics will be the only thing that remains of the GOP after 2014 & 2016.

    As for Obamacare, you may not like it or agree with it but you will either pay for health insurance with protections for you and your family will pay ever increasing premiums for health insurance that writes it's own rules and whose premiums will continue to rise because the uninsured working poor will continue getting care at the ER. To me Obamacare makes more sense and is more humane.

    October 15, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. Never Vote Republican Again

    @Dee–you have a large family and your husband is not working? You went online and checked the health exchange rates? You are grateful for the republicans? Sorry your husband does not have a job.

    October 15, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "As usual, Gingrich is wrong. "

    Newtered could claim the Jews started WWII and the MSM would broadcast it as the work of a brilliant man. It's freekin pathetic. He's a historical rewrite charlatan and nothing more.

    October 15, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Justin

    Kardashian.. I thought he was going to compare them to Cruz or any tea-partier... lol and Silence DoGood pretty much explained the whole situation. This conservative/libertarian is tired of Republicans or Tea Partiers playing these childish stupid games, we need a leader! ... oh why do I bother, I've sent many a letter to my politicians they only seem to understand after they leave office???

    October 15, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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