By BURGESS EVERETT |
12/15/13 10:32 AM EST
Congress's bipartisan budget agreement intended is "brilliant politics" that will allow the GOP to keep the heat on Obamacare and avoid the terrible optics of more government shutdowns, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on "This Week."
Gingrich said Republicans can now unwrap the "gigantic Christmas gift" of Obamacare's bungled implementation -- something the party failed to do in October when a focus on defunding Obamacare led to the first government shutdown in 17 years and a corresponding GOP nosedive in the polls.
"It’s clear that it didn’t work and in that sense they learned a lesson. I think this is mediocre policy and brilliant politics," Gingrich said of the budget agreement supported by House Speaker John Boehner and most of the House Republican caucus. "It doesn’t get them what they want on policy terms but it strips away the danger that people will notice anything but Obamacare. And the longer the country watches Obamacare the more likely the Democrats are to lose the Senate."
Gingrich also said Boehner's blow up at tea party-flavored outside groups that opposed the budget deal before it was even unveiled was understandable.
"Later in my career I blew up exactly like he did and I think sometimes it’s healthy. He had worked very hard to get to this point, they were very battered by the shutdown and I think he just thought: 'Why not," Gingrich said.