Newt Gingrich says Republican leaders have been outmaneuvered by President Barack Obama in the debt talks and he sees no chance of a "a real agreement" before the so-called fiscal cliff deadline of Jan. 1.
"I think they have been caught up in a . . . losing proposition," the former House speaker told Fox News' Sean Hannity Thursday evening. "They are not going to get a real agreement out of Barack Obama before the end of the year.
"He just won an election. He is feeling like he is dominant. He has like [what] the Japanese used to call 'victory disease,'" Gingrich added.
Gingrich, who lost his bid for the GOP presidential nomination this year, said the best thing Republican leaders could do now is "to make it very clear" they do not want taxes "to go up on working Americans."
To do that, he said, requires passing two bills in the House before Congress adjourns for the holidays.
"I'd pass a complete extension of every single tax cut and then I'd pass an extension of every tax cut, except the rates at the very top," said Gingrich, who pushed the country into back-to-back government shutdowns during his own budget negotiations with President Bill Clinton in 1995.
"Pass both of them. Send them to the Senate and say, 'We are not dealing with anything else right now; we are not playing games right now; we want to make sure the middle class doesn't face a tax increase.
'You pick. You pass something. Get it done,'" Gingrich continued, adding: "Now it's up to these Democrats in the Senate and the President."
Gingrich said short of a deal, Republicans don't have much of a choice, since Obama is also making what he called "outlandish suggestions, such as eliminating the debt ceiling permanently" so he can "run up any level of deficit he wants to."
"I think [Republicans] have been out maneuvered by Obama for the last few weeks," he added. "They need to get past that, make clear to everybody, 'We don't want taxes for the middle class to go up.'"
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