If you ever wondered why Republicans won’t go on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show, watch him use Newt Gingrich’s own words against him to prove the Republican wrong on tax cuts.
Here is the video:
GREGORY: Lawrence, this– this idea of how much room the president is willing to give becomes a big question because he wants– based on what I’m hearing, he wants Boehner to say, okay I give– I give on the rates. And then he– maybe he’ll talk a little more.
MR. LAWRENCE O’DONNELL (Host, MSNBC’s “THE LAST WORD”): The problem for Boehner is how does he give on rates. He said this the other day I oppose tax rate increases because tax rate increases cost American jobs. That gives you no room to give on rates. It is, by the way, not an original thought. Who said this? The tax increase will kill jobs and lead to a recession, and the recession will force people out of work and onto unemployment and actually increase the deficit? That’s Newt Gingrich in 1993 on the Clinton tax increase. And those of us who were working on the other side of that tax increase, Newt, have been waiting for your apology for 20 years for being completely wrong about that.
MR. GINGRICH: Well, I don’t agree with you.
MR. O’DONNELL: Well with the– but the economy soared, no one lost a job…
MR. GINGRICH: Baloney.
MR. O’DONNELL:…because of that tax increase.
MR. GINGRICH: Baloney. Baloney.
MR. O’DONNELL: There was no recession. You said there would be a recession.
MR. GINGRICH: You now see the case.
MR. O’DONNELL: There was no recession.
MR. GINGRICH: The fact is if you look at all the indicators the day I was elected speaker, virtually all the economic growth occurs after Republicans take control, virtually all the increase in the stock– the matter of fact, all the increase in the stock market is after Republicans take control.
MR. O’DONNELL: You did not reduce the rates, Newt?
MR. GINGRICH: And– and when we balanced– wait a second.
MR. O’DONNELL: You said the rates would cause a recession.
MR. GINGRICH: When we balanced the– when we balanced the budget, we balanced the budget with a tax cut not a tax– four consecutive balanced budgets with a tax cut, not a tax increase.
MR. O’DONNELL: A tiny tax cut compared to the biggest tax increase in history which is what Bill Clinton did. You didn’t dismantle it.
One gets the sense that O’Donnell has been waiting nearly 20 years for opportunity to directly confront Gingrich about the fact that he was, and still is, totally wrong on the impact of tax increases. Notice how Gingrich tried to take the credit for the economic growth of the 1990s while implausibly denying that the raising taxes had anything to do with economic growth.
This segment also demonstrated how poorly Republicans fare when they leave the Fox News bubble. Conservatives have become so dependent on friendly media that they disintegrate when they are confronted by anyone. O’Donnell came loaded for bear, but his challenge to Gingrich really wasn’t that hard. The former speaker could have given a variety of answers about the many factors that went in to growing the economy. Instead, all he could come with is “baloney.”
When one of the supposed, and self-styled, intellectuals of the conservative movement was asked about a 20 year old incorrect prediction that is just as relevant today as it was then, his answer was baloney.
Lawrence O’Donnell brought a rare attempt to hold Republicans accountable for their inaccurate beliefs to the Sunday morning news circuit today. Newt Gingrich may have squiggled and squirmed, but he still couldn’t face the reality that everything Republicans believe about the impact of tax increases is wrong.
Job creators are the Republican version of the Tooth Fairy, and Lawrence O’Donnell wasn’t about to let Newt Gingrich push anymore of his baloney on to the American people.
We’re still waiting for that apology, Newt.