RICHMOND, Va. -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday he would tell his caucus to get "noisy" if he were trying to game out the dispute on a payroll tax cut with President Obama.
Asked about the standoff by a voter, the Republican presidential candidate also called the senators "arrogant" over their refusal to negotiate.
“I would have all of my members on talk radio back home demanding the senators come back. And I could say 'How can the senators arrogantly go home."
Gingrich, who has previously said he doesn't know what John Boehner is going through because President Obama is a much more difficult leader than former President Clinton was to work with, said Republican House "ought to win the argument" and the only way to do it would be to be "noisy."
"The idea that a one-year tax cut is somehow a losing proposition and a two-month tax cut is somehow a winning proposition -- I mean, it takes Washington, and frankly it takes the bias of the elite media -- to get here because I think the Senate has been totally irresponsible and the president has been irresponsible and any normal that looks at the bookkeeping chaos of a two-month cut, it’s just mindless.”
Gingrich also laid blame with Senate Republicans, although he did not single out Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by name.
"Here is the quote that Boehner made: 'most businesses file quarterly,'" he said. "That’s three months, right? The Senate has passed a two-month extension. That means if you’re a small business and you’re an accountant, or you’re a corporation, they just gave you an entire additional layer of paperwork that is utterly stupid. And yet the senators are so arrogant -- And I’m very disappointed in the Republican senators in not demanding Harry Reid come back.”
When a reporter followed up with Gingrich by asking whether presidential candidates should be weighing in on congressional issues, Gingrich said the payroll tax cut wasn't a congressional issue but an American issue.
"People sometimes think that I'm too aggressive but at least I lead," he said. "I suspect that some candidates have had consultants to say to them, oh don’t take any risk. Well I don’t think we’re in a period where a lack of risk is a good idea. We need real leaders who have the courage to say what they really think. This is a mess, Washington’s a mess. Barack Obama has presided over the meltdown of the American system. We look like Italy on a bad day," Gingrich added.
The candidate also said the situation doesn't help the U.S. image in the world.
"This current -- think about how this muddle looks around the world. We can’t even pass a tax cut? I mean it’s one thing to say you can’t pass a tax increase, but when you have a political system that can’t pass a tax cut, there’s something really profoundly wrong with our leadership and I think presidential candidates ought to have the courage to speak out."