Gingrich debt ceiling advice: make Obama responsible

July 13, 2011

Newt Gingrich says he “deeply opposed” to the proposal by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for resolving the debt ceiling impasse because it cedes too much power to President Obama.

“It’s basically a surrender,” Gingrich said Tuesday on the Fox News Channel, imploring congressional Republicans to stand firm in the standoff with Obama.

Obama said on CBS that he could not guarantee Social Security checks would go out early next month if there’s no deal to raise the debt ceiling before Aug. 2nd.

Gingrich, a former House speaker who squared off with Democrat Bill Clinton in a government spending showdown in 1995, had this advice for House Republicans on dealing with Obama: “Put the shoe back on his  foot, make him responsible.” And don’t flinch.

“They’ve got to be courageous because this is hard business. This is history,” Gingrich said, defining the debt ceiling/spending cutting battle as an epic power struggle.

“That power struggle is as deep and as real as anything since the  Civil War and you’ve got to have the courage to stand there and take the heat,” Gingrich said.

In 1995, Gingrich was the top House Republican in a showdown with then-President Bill Clinton over government spending. When Republicans in Congress refused to fund some federal agencies, parts of the government ran out of money and shut down. Instead of earning plaudits, Gingrich was blamed and Clinton won re-election in 1996.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

But the presidents job has nothing to do with budget or money – that is clearly the responsibility of congress. This is how the constitution is written. Does Mitt want us to ignore the constitution and just blame Obama?

Posted by lucidexp | Report as abusive

Where was he when the Republicans made Bush the most powerful prez in history? I didn’t hear him complain about that.

Posted by gahnawal | Report as abusive

Newt is correct, honesty is the best policy!

Posted by DrJJJJ | Report as abusive

One thought about Newt’s shoe comment. If the GOP has its way, many people will go without shoes, and the Amish will have a booming business teaching Americans how to live without …

Posted by SanPa | Report as abusive

When we end Bush-era tax cuts just on the $250,000-a-year set, after 2012, we raise only $700 billion over a decade (today’s Wall street journal FYI)-less than half of this years deficit spending!! Also, the deficit projection for the next 10 years are $10 Trillion and cutting even 4 Trillion means we end up 125% of GDP-probably best case too (falling revenue everywhere)!There is no substitute for deep spending cuts for years-wish there was! Republicans are far from perfect (understatement), but they’re the party of less government! Big government is the problem, not the solution! Honesty is the best policy and time for change!

Posted by DrJJJJ | Report as abusive

Newt! Newt! Newt! Have you learned nothing at all these years since you’ve been out of Congress? This nation was founded, and our Constitution drafted, only because rational people of good will were willing to compromise. You’re a historian. You should know that. Our country demands more than petty ideologies and scorched earth politics.

Posted by gangof4 | Report as abusive

Gingrich led Republican Party down the cliff before and he is about to do it again. Obama is playing Republican leaders (seasoned fools) as only a Puppet Master can. No doubt Obama has few back up plans in his back pocket.

Posted by eRider | Report as abusive