Gingrich says collapse of supercommittee 'good for America'

Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said Monday that the "collapse" of the congressional supercommittee tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in debt reduction over the next 10 years was "good for America."

"I think it's going to fail,” Gingrich said at a campaign stop at Rivier College in New Hampshire, according to MSNBC. “And I think it should fail, because it's exactly wrong.”

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The members of the supercommittee needed to find a compromise by Monday evening to avoid automatic cuts to the Pentagon and entitlement programs, but are widely expected to announce that they have failed to reach that consensus after the financial markets close this afternoon. Gingrich said that the parties were unable to come to a deal because the compromise reached earlier this year — in which Republicans traded President Obama an increase to the debt ceiling for future cuts via the supercommittee — was a bad system.

"It's not that Washington is inherently gridlocked,” Gingrich said. “It is that the current players are behaving in the current way are inherently gridlocked. It's partially president's fault, partially Congress's fault, but it's a mess.”


"They were trying to break out of the mess by being, in my judgment, even dumber — that is, creating a committee of 12 picked by the political leadership to magically get in a room to come up with something that 535 couldn't solve. It's profoundly the wrong direction."

Gingrich went on to attack Obama, saying his administration had "a 16-year-old with the first credit card kind of problem."

He also played up his performances in the Republican primary debates, arguing that he would be the best choice to square off against the president in the general election.

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"If you stop and ask yourself, 'It's October of 2012, we get to the debates — who do you want to have debate Obama to draw clarity between the various lies he will be telling and the truth?' ” Gingrich said, “I think most people end up thinking I'm a better debater than my friends are.”

Gingrich leads the Republican field with 22 percent of support in a national poll from USA Today/Gallup, released Monday morning.

Gingrich's fellow Republican presidential contenders have also been critical of the panel. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Sunday said that he would oppose any agreement that raised tax revenues.

Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), however, blasted the supercommittee Monday for failing to achieve significant deficit cuts, saying the lack of a deal "shows how unserious politicians are about our very serious debt problems."

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