POLITICS
01/15/2013 08:25 am ET

Newt Gingrich: For House GOP, Debt Ceiling Is A 'Threat They Can't Sustain'

WASHINGTON — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says House Republicans are making a mistake by using the issue of increasing the borrowing limit to challenge President Barack Obama on spending issues.

Gingrich tells "CBS This Morning" that's a losing proposition. "In the end, it's a threat they can't sustain," he says, because no one wants to see the country default on its debts.

The former Georgia congressman also says Republicans have two "much better arenas" for a fight, including a stopgap spending bill and a budget sequester.

Obama told a news conference Monday he wouldn't engage Republicans in a fight over raising the federal debt limit.

In the interview Tuesday, Gingrich accused Obama of trying to "bully House Republicans," but said the GOP shouldn't "pick fights" that they cannot ultimately win.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Monday that the government would reach its statutory borrowing limit from mid-February and early-March.

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