Newt Gingrich: Government Shutdown Is Preferable To GOP 'Breaking Their Word' On Spending

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich counseled Republicans Friday to stand by their principles and opt for another government shutdown if the alternative is compromising on their budget cutting promises.

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Gingrich, a veteran of a government shutdown during his tenure as Speaker, defended the legacy of the GOP's decision during the 90s and urged the current class of Republicans to stand by their commitment to meaningfully address spending, even if it means grinding the government to a halt in an act like the one that proved damaging to the GOP majority in 1995.

"The lesson for today's House Republicans is simple: Work to keep the government open, unless it requires breaking your word to the American people and giving up your principles," Gingrich wrote. "Becoming one more promise-breaking, Washington-dominated, sellout group is a much worse fate - politically and ethically - than having the government close for a few days."

Gingrich then advised Republicans to frame the ultimate shutdown debate as one that would be decided by Democrats. Either Obama and Senate Democrats work together to enact "significant spending reductions," or they force a government shutdown, Gingrich said, going on to argue that it would make clear it is their "stubborn liberalism that is closing the government."