Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich criticized President Obama this morning on NBC's "Today," likening the president's approach to the economy and unemployment to that of a "teenager with a credit card."
Gingrich issued the barb in response to Mr. Obama's comments yesterday criticizing Republicans for opposing a bill extending benefits for the unemployed. Gingrich said the bill would do little for job creation and complained its $33 billion price tag would simply add to an already inflated deficit.
"The second biggest concern of the American people after jobs is deficit spending," Gingrich said.
He added: "The president's very shallow politics [is] assuming the American people are dumb enough to follow the latest headline and don't realize the real problem with unemployment is, this is a job killing administration and a job killing Democratic Congress and that's why those people are unemployed."
Gingrich's harsh assessment of the administration will add to speculation that he may seek the Republican nomination in the 2012 presidential elections. Gingrich has already said that's he's "never been this serious" about a bid, though he made similar claims in the 2008 cycle and declined to run.
In the interview, Gingrich was asked how he would approach the deficit if he were elected president.
"I would start and I'd go through this budget pretty dramatically, and I would eliminate a great deal of federal bureaucracy," he said. "I would reform unemployment compensation. I would reform workman's comp at the state level. I would have a very pro jobs, very pro savings, very pro take-home pay policy."
He continued: "We proved with Reagan, with the three-year tax cuts in the 1980s, we proved again with the Contract with America, the first tax cut in 16 years that, in fact, job creating principles of cutting taxes are far better than job killing principles of big government and regulation."