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Democrats taunt GOP with diapered Newt

November 16, 1995
Web posted at: 11:15 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The debate over balancing the budget temporarily degenerated into name-calling and low comedy on the House floor Thursday. Democrats trooped to the floor to ridicule the Speaker Newt Gingrich for allowing his personal anger over a perceived snub by President Clinton to influence his attitude during budget negotiations.

NY Daily News front page

Lawmakers paraded around with blowups of the New York Daily News' front page, which featured a caricature of Gingrich as a wailing baby in diapers with the headline "Cry-Baby."

Republicans voted 231-173 to stop Democrats from bringing the blowups into the chamber. They said it was against House rules to call the speaker a "cry-baby," and said Democrats were just trying to divert attention from Clinton's inability to balance the budget.

Rep. Patricia Schroeder, D-Colorado, held up a mock Oscar, and said she awarded it to Gingrich for best child actor. "There's only one problem," she said. "This speaker is not a child."

Rep. Thomas Ewing, R-Illinois, retaliated. "All your actions here today will not block out that the Democrats and the president are refusing to work with the Republicans," he said.

Gingrich had told reporters Wednesday that he had felt snubbed by Clinton and his staff when they traveled to Israel for Yitzhak Rabin's funeral. He said that Clinton's behavior had caused him to toughen his stand during initial budget discussions.

WH photo: on Air Force 1

The White House rebutted Gingrich's claim that he was snubbed, and released two pictures: one showing Clinton talking with the speaker, and another showing Gingrich sitting with Clinton and others in a VIP seating section.

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