Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Sunday labeled the dismal economic situation in the United States as the “Obama depression,” just days after a grim jobs report and amid continued signs that negotiations on a comprehensive federal debt deal are faltering.
“At 9.2 percent [unemployment] now for month, after month, after month, this is the Obama depression,” Gingrich said on “Fox & Friends” Sunday morning. “Housing prices have dropped deeper than in the Great
Depression and it’s very clear that under [President Barack] Obama’s job-killing policies, we’re not going to get out of this deep unemployment.”
The former speaker of the House praised his successor, John Boehner, for making the decision that Republicans will reject tax increases in any deal to increase the debt limit. Boehner announced late Saturday night that Republicans would not pursue a $4 trillion, 10-year deficit reduction package. Instead, the GOP focus will be on a $2 trillion deal.
“Republicans are correct to say first of all, no tax increase -- period. John Boehner was right. He deserves credit for recognizing that the right position for conservatives is no tax increase. Second, they ought to get the biggest spending cut deal they can by taking what Vice President [Joe] Biden put on the table,” Gingrich said. “I think the largest deal possible with no tax increases is fine.”
In a National Review op-ed Friday, Gingrich wrote, “Republicans should reject the establishment's demand for a tax increase. There is plenty of money to be saved from a bloated government without giving Washington one penny of higher taxes."
Gingrich also criticized Obama adviser David Plouffe’s claim that Americans won’t cast their votes in the 2012 election based on unemployment numbers.
“If you’re David Plouffe and you’ve got a nice job, it’s easy for you to say the unemployment rate doesn’t matter,” Gingrich said. “When you go out and talk to Americans in the rest of the country outside Washington, I guarantee you the unemployment rate matters, the economy matters, the price of housing matters, and in every one of those issues, this Obama depression is real.
“If David Plouffe thinks they’re going to be able to have 9.2 percent unemployment and not have a very public reaction against the president, I think he’s living in a fantasy,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he agrees with Boehner that a deal to cut $4 trillion and raise the nation’s debt ceiling is not going to happen, Politico reports.
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” McConnell said Boehner was right that the White House’s insistence on increasing revenues is a deal-breaker.
“I think it is because everything they’ve told me and the Speaker is that to get a big package would require big tax increases in the middle of an economic situation that’s extraordinarily difficult with 9.2 percent unemployment — we think it’s a terrible idea, it’s a job killer," McConnell said.
Obama, Boehner and seven other top congressional leaders are scheduled to meet Sunday at 6 p.m. for more discussions on the debt-limit issue.
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