(Vino Wong/ Associated Press )
Reporting from Decorah, Iowa — Newt Gingrich on Saturday said House Republicans have shown leadership on the debt ceiling and other fiscal matters, while Senate Democrats have failed and President Obama has been “totally irresponsible.”
“There’s a point where the country’s got to say to the president and Democrats in the Senate, ‘You have a pretty big obligation too,” he said, speaking to reporters after taking part in the Nordic Fest parade, which draws thousands to this town in the northeast corner of Iowa, many wearing Viking horns in celebration of their Norwegian heritage.
“I think it’s very ironic – the House Republicans passed a budget, the Ryan budget. The Democratic Senate hasn’t passed a budget in 800 days, 2-1/2 years,” the former House speaker said. “The president’s budget was rejected in the Senate by 97-0. Nobody holds them accountable.”
He noted that the House passed the "cut, cap and balance" proposal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, while the Senate has failed to act.
“You may not like it but they passed a solution,” he said. “The Senate has passed nothing. The president has not proposed a single public serious solution. Now [House Speaker John] Boehner, with enormous effort, has passed a second solution.”
He said he supported both proposals pushed by House Republicans.
“You’ve got to have a proposal which substantially cuts spending or you’ve got to have a very short debt ceiling with modest cuts,” he said. “I don’t think conservatives can give Obama a credit card. He’s proven to be totally irresponsible fiscally.”
It wasn’t all business for Gingrich and his wife Callista. They were in town for a Luther College alumni band reunion. Callista Gingrich, who plays the French horn, rehearsed with the band Saturday morning as Gingrich greeted diners at a fire station pancake breakfast.