- The Washington Times - Friday, September 20, 2013

Responding to criticism that a government shutdown would be the fault of Republicans for bundling Obamacare with a debt ceiling deal, Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, blamed the president for his unwillingness to negotiate.

“This isn’t a dictatorship. The president can’t say, ‘Give me exactly what I want, or I’ll blame you,’ ” Mr. Gingrich said on CNN’s “New Day” on Friday.

House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, made a similar criticism of President Obama in a video released Thursday that wondered why the president was so eager to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but would not negotiate with Republicans on the debt ceiling.

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Mr. Gingrich had some advice for current Mr. Boehner: “Pass a bill to keep the government open and see if President Obama will negotiate.”

However, Mr. Gingrich said that the two government shutdowns in the 1990s were not a mistake and led to spending reform in things like welfare — something he doesn’t believe would have happened without the shutdowns.

The House is expected to vote Friday on a continuing resolution that would keep the government running, but would defund Obamacare.

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