Gingrich: Republicans 'Can Tell the Truth Better Than Democrats Can Lie'

By Fred Lucas | July 19, 2011 | 2:36 PM EDT

Newt Gingrich. (AP Photo/John Amis)

( – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said Republicans should have more courage in confronting President Barack Obama in the showdown over raising the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion before the Aug. 2 deadline, or else get a “new team” to lead the party.

The Republican presidential candidate said more conservatives should talk about the “Obama depression,” a term Gingrich first used in a GOP candidate debate.

“We should be very confident that we can tell the truth better than Democrats can lie,” Gingrich told during a July 15 conference call about the debt-limit negotiations. “And if we can’t do that, then we need a whole new team because this president -- between his performance failures, his radicalism, his arrogance -- I don’t ever recall such a bully in the White House who says give me everything I want or else I’ll veto everything. His comments with Eric Cantor were just remarkable.”

Gingrich then referenced the widely reported incident in which Obama stormed out of the debt-limit negotiations, telling House Majority Leader Cantor (R-Va.), “Eric, don’t call my bluff. I’m going to the American people with this.”

“I think we should stand up too,” Gingrich said. “Partly out of pride and partly because if you can’t stand up to him with 9.2 percent unemployment, $2 trillion in debt, failed policies and his level of radicalism, when are you going to stand up?”

House Republicans were set to approve the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act on Tuesday. The legislation which would reduce federal spending, cap the growth of future spending, and include an amendment to the Constitution to require a balanced federal budget.

While Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) supports the proposal, his alternative plan to avoid missing the Aug. 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling is to vote to give Obama the power to order increases in the debt limit -- totaling $2.5 trillion over the coming year -- without congressional approval.

President Barack Obama walks away from the podium after a press conference in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

In part, McConnell said, this was to avoid the GOP sharing the blame for the president’s handling of the economy. Several conservative commentators echoed McConnell’s concern.

Gingrich, however, said that should not be an issue.

“Well, first of all, if everyone in the conservative movement would simply agree to do what I’ve done and refer to it as the Obama depression, there is very little likelihood that we’ll get the blame,” Gingrich told

Gingrich further said he was campaigning in South Carolina and noted that the National Labor Relations Board is trying to shut down a Boeing plant there while the Obama administration is preventing offshore drilling for natural gas near the state.

“You can go around everywhere in this country and find ways in which the Obama administration kills jobs,” Gingrich said.