“I don’t understand the fear that’s involved. We were elected in 1994 under the 'Contract With America.' Part of the contract was to balance the federal budget. We set out to balance the federal budget. The Clinton White House did not want to initially and fought us over it. There was a government shutdown,” Gingrich said. “When we got to the election of 1996, no Republican House had been re-elected as a majority since 1928. And after the shutdown, we were re-elected as a majority. We lost a net of two seats from what we had won in 1994. And so I wonder, when people say to me, ‘Boy, that was really politically expensive,’ my question is to who? Our base wanted somebody who was serious, and this is part of what’s going on in the country right now. People are serious about controlling spending. They are serious about repealing Obamacare.”
Last month, Gingrich acknowledged that he was examining a run for president in 2012 but stopped short of opening an exploratory committee.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.