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Gingrich slams supercommittee as 'dumbest idea' in a lifetime

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had some harsh words on the campaign trail for the deficit-reduction supercommittee.

"I am watching the supercommittee in Washington with amazement. This is the dumbest idea I've seen in a very long lifetime," said Gingrich at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday.

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The committee is tasked with recommending at least $1.2 trillion in federal government savings through spending cuts and revenue by Nov. 23. If the committee fails to reach its deadline, automatic cuts will be triggered to defense spending, Medicare and other programs.

Gingrich, a former House Speaker, called the looming deadline and the threat of automatic cuts "artificial."

"God didn’t come down one morning and say, ‘If you don’t reach this deadline, terrible things will happen,' " Gingrich said.

Gingrich blamed lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for what he said was "failing to reach and intelligent solution" to reduce the country's deficit and debt. 

"You don't have to have an automatic stupidity as a replacement for self-government," he added. 

For more on Gingrich's criticism of the supercommittee on The Hill's Briefing Room blog, click here.