Gingrich Cautions Against Debt Deal With Obama

Tuesday, 13 Nov 2012 08:54 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich cautioned Republican leaders today against cutting a deal up front with President Barack Obama over the looming debt crisis, as he urged them to present their own plan first.
 
"They do not have an obligation to concede that the only mandate in Washington is the president's," Gingrich said Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
 
The Georgia Republican said House Speaker John Boehner would be well advised "not to cut a deal" with the president before at least offering a GOP-sponsored plan to avert sequestration, or the automatic budget cuts and tax increases scheduled to take place at the end of the year.

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Gingrich, who failed in his own bid for the Republican nomination this year, suggested the plan might be offered by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the party's 2012 vice presidential nominee. At the same time, he said the president could be challenged to present his own plan for a House vote that would address spending cuts and revenue increases.
 
Gingrich made the comments as Obama prepares to meet later this week with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders in an attempt to reach a deficit reduction agreement aimed at averting the so-called fiscal cliff at the end of the year.
 
The former speaker also cautioned his fellow Republicans about conceding too much ground to Democrats, based on the election in which the GOP lost seats in Congress but still managed to hang on to majority control of the House.
 
He said the party should take about six months "to figure out what went wrong" and then get "back in the game," as he put it.
 
Gingrich conceded, however, that Republicans did a terrible job of reaching out to minority voters this year, adding that at least "one-third" of the party's election effort should have been targeted at Hispanic voters.
 
Gingrich also commented on the controversy surrounding the resignation of CIA Director David Patreaus. He described Patreaus as a "tremendously talented" individual who would likely be called to public service again in the future. But he said Patreaus was "probably correct" to resign in the face of reports of his extramarital affair in order to focus his attention on the well-being of his family.

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He also predicted the Patreaus affair would have "no long-term effect" on efforts in Congress to determine all the facts in connection with the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

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