Debt ceiling: Gingrich urges GOP to stand firm against Obama

Debt ceiling is closing in on federal spending, and presidential hopeful New Gingrich is telling Republicans not to back down in the debate about raising the debt ceiling

Patrick Semansky / AP / File
In this June 16, 2011 file photo, Republican presidential hopeful, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. Now Gingrich is encouraging Republicans to fight hard not to raise the debt ceiling.

ATLANTA (AP) — Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is urging fellow Republicans to stand firm in their battle with President Barack Obama over raising the debt ceiling.

Gingrich outlines his views in a policy paper provided Tuesday to The Associated Press.

He recalls that Republicans were denounced for twin government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996 when he was House speaker. But Gingrich says the shutdown led to the first discretionary spending cut since 1969.

In his words: "Ultimately, standing firm led to the first four balanced budgets in our lifetime."

Gingrich says the choice today doesn't have to be between tax increases and draconian spending cuts. He says reining in waste and abuse and streamlining government management could help save money.

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