Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich slammed President Barack Obama as "Barack the First" for vowing not to negotiate with Republicans over the U.S. government's borrowing limit.
“This idea that suddenly ‘Barack the First’ announces to us, as the king, what he’s going to do... Well that’s not how the Constitution works,” Gingrich said in an interview for Post TV’s “In Play," Chris Cillizza reports.
"[H]e's not a king, and I think you have to really be careful," Gingrich said. "He could get sour very fast with the country, if the country concludes he’s trying to be a petty dictator.”
The AP reported earlier on Obama's refusal to negotiate:
Obama told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that he would not cooperate with House Speaker John Boehner's demand for budget cuts in exchange for House Republicans' allowing the government to continue paying its obligations.
"I'm happy to have a conversation with him about how we can deal with the so-called sequester, which is making across-the-board cuts on stuff that we shouldn't be cutting, while continuing tax breaks, for example, for companies that are not helping to grow the economy," Obama said on ABC's "This Week." "What I haven't been willing to negotiate, and I will not negotiate, is on the debt ceiling."
Much of the federal government will shut down unless Congress passes a budget, or a temporary spending bill, by next month. Not long after that, the U.S. will run out of borrowing authority, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the world economy if the government defaults on its debts. Some Republicans want Obama to gut his own health care law in exchange for a functioning government.
Obama called the GOP's debt ceiling demands unprecedented.
"Never in history have we used just making sure that the U.S. government is paying its bills as a lever to radically cut government at the kind of scale that they're talking about," he said. "It's never happened before. There've been negotiations around the corners, because nobody had ever presumed that you'd actually threaten the United States to default."