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Lawrence O'Donnell vs. Newt Gingrich Over 1993 Comment About Tax Increases

MR. NEWT GINGRICH (Former Speaker of the House): Well, I mean some Republicans are prepared to do more. But I think as Senator Durbin just indicated they are not likely to get a very big fig leaf. I mean, the administration-- the president won. The president has a very clear simple position, he wants to prove he can dominate and he proves he can dominate getting the rates up. And he has a veto pen and it’s pretty hard for me to see how the House Republicans are going to get past the Senate Democrats to even get to a veto.

GREGORY: Right.

MR. GINGRICH: So, at some point, either you’re going to go over the cliff or you’re going to find some kind of dramatic concession to the president.

GREGORY: Lawrence, this-- this idea of how much room the president is willing to give becomes a big question because he wants-- based on what I’m hearing, he wants Boehner to say, okay I give-- I give on the rates. And then he-- maybe he’ll talk a little more.

MR. LAWRENCE O’DONNELL (Host, MSNBC’s “THE LAST WORD”): The problem for Boehner is how does he give on rates. He said this the other day I oppose tax rate increases because tax rate increases cost American jobs. That gives you no room to give on rates. It is, by the way, not an original thought. Who said this? The tax increase will kill jobs and lead to a recession, and the recession will force people out of work and onto unemployment and actually increase the deficit? That’s Newt Gingrich in 1993 on the Clinton tax increase. And those of us who were working on the other side of that tax increase, Newt, have been waiting for your apology for 20 years for being completely wrong about that.

MR. GINGRICH: Well, I don’t agree with you.

MR. O’DONNELL: Well with the-- but the economy soared, no one lost a job…

MR. GINGRICH: Baloney.

MR. O’DONNELL:…because of that tax increase.

MR. GINGRICH: Baloney. Baloney.

MR. O’DONNELL: There was no recession. You said there would be a recession.

MR. GINGRICH: You now see the case.

MR. O’DONNELL: There was no recession.

MR. GINGRICH: The fact is if you look at all the indicators the day I was elected speaker, virtually all the economic growth occurs after Republicans take control, virtually all the increase in the stock-- the matter of fact, all the increase in the stock market is after Republicans take control.

MR. O’DONNELL: You did not reduce the rates, Newt?

MR. GINGRICH: And-- and when we balanced-- wait a second.

MR. O’DONNELL: You said the rates would cause a recession.

MR. GINGRICH: When we balanced the-- when we balanced the budget, we balanced the budget with a tax cut not a tax-- four consecutive balanced budgets with a tax cut, not a tax increase.

MR. O’DONNELL: A tiny tax cut compared to the biggest tax increase in history which is what Bill Clinton did. You didn’t dismantle it.

(Cross talk)

MR. BOB WOODWARD (Associate Editor, Washington Post/Author, The Price of Politics): ...to re-litigate the 1990s.

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