Gingrich: Boehner Is "Stronger Now Than He Was Three Months Ago"

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NEWT GINGRICH: Look, I think this a very audacious -- to use one of the president's favorite words -- this is a very audacious strategy. He wants to repeal 60 years of tradition going back to Eisenhower of putting things in the debt ceiling, and he wants to pretend that the 18th government shutdown since 1976 is somehow radical and different. And if he can pull off this alternative reality, he's then free for three years to do virtually whatever he wants. The House Republicans, on the other hand, want to make sure that the president has to pay a price every time he gets a debt ceiling and every time he gets an appropriations bill. And that's why this is actually a legitimate, historic struggle, not just a problem of personality defects.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you think that Boehner is going to survive this?

GINGRICH: Sure. I think Boehner's probably stronger now than he was three months ago, inside the conference.

SCHIEFFER: How so?

GINGRICH: I think every conservative who had doubts about Boehner has watched Boehner now very resolutely keep moving the system down the road and stand by the values that they -- that they told him they cared about. And I think John is probably closer to his conference today than he was three months ago.

DEE DEE MYERS: But he can't move a bill.

(LAUGHTER)

GINGRICH: But, on the other hand, they may be comfortable saying, "OK, the president gets to choose. Does the president of the United States really want to default? The president of the United States really wants to leave the government closed?

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