Former House Speaker and 2012 presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich met with GOP freshmen on Capitol Hill today and told them stand firm on their principles and “fight to get $61 billion” in spending cuts. That is nearly double the figure rumored to be under consideration. But he also stressed that Republicans should seek to avoid a government shutdown:
“I said that in my view, that their goal should be to avoid a shutdown while not giving in on their core principles” Gingrich said after the closed-door meeting with lawmakers. “They can’t walk into a room and have President Obama think that they can be blackmailed by yelling the word ‘shutdown.’ “
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He said he advised the GOP freshmen to “keep the government open” but push measures that will cut spending and advance their agenda.
“I don’t think they can allow President Obama to reject the outcome of the 2010 election and dictate on his terms what he’ll do,” he said.