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Newt Gingrich Explains Why Obama Can't Close a Deal

Newt Gingrich Explains Why Obama Can't Close a Deal
Photograph by Nathan Perkel for Bloomberg Businessweek

For this week’s special “How To Issue” of Bloomberg Businessweek, I interviewed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on “How to Negotiate With a Democratic President.” Gingrich was the last Republican leader to strike a balanced budget deal with a Democratic president (Bill Clinton, in 1996). So I thought his experience might shed some light on how the current House Speaker, John Boehner, and President Obama could hammer out a deal of their own.

Gingrich didn’t necessarily agree. Or rather, he doesn’t think they can strike a deal. But I thought his comparison between the two Democratic presidents, Clinton and Obama, was noteworthy and worth highlighting anyway—even if you don’t agree with his caustic assessment of Obama. Gingrich’s full riff can be found here (and also comes in snazzily illustrated video form, if you prefer). But here’s the portion that piqued my interest: