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Newt Gingrich came down hard on Paul Ryan's plans to destroy the way we know Medicare on Meet The Press:
"Do you think Republicans ought to buck the public opposition and really move forward to completely change Medicare, turn it into a voucher program where you give seniors some premium support so that they can go out and buy private insurance?" NBC's David Gregory asked Gingrich on Meet the Press.
"I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering," Gingrich said. "I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for free society to operate. I think we need a national conversation to get to a better Medicare system with more choices for seniors, but there are specific things you can do."
"But not what Paul Ryan is suggesting, completely change Medicare?" Gregory wondered.
"I think that is too big a jump. I think you want to have a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options, not one where you suddenly impose upon the -- I'm against Obamacare, which is imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change," Gingrich replied.
Ouch, that's harsh coming from a Republican. What Gingrich has done now is put the pressure on all GOP 2012 Presidential candidates to be forced to answer for Ryan's Budget plan that the House passed with flying colors and I doubt many Republicans like that very much.
And the Republican whiz kid from Wisconsin isn't happy about Gingrich's comments either:
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) took a swipe Monday at Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich after the former House Speaker criticized his proposed Medicare reforms. "With allies like that, who needs the left?" Ryan told guest host Raymond Arroyo on conservative talker Laura Ingraham's radio show.
Trying to walk back statements calling Ryan's ideas "social engineering is basically impossible, but Newt is trying:
Gingrich on Monday acknowledged that he “may have been too dramatic” in describing Ryan's plan as social engineering, but renewed his warnings to Republican to tread lightly on Medicare, which polls suggest voters do not want to change.
Gingrich prepared well for his MTP appearance so it wasn't an off-hand remark. You know he thought long and hard on how he would try to get seniors on his side after Ryan has stirred up a lot of resentment from the older community after releasing his lunatic budget proposals that include destroying Medicare and Medicaid.
Byron York accesses the damage Newt has caused:
On his radio program Monday morning, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett, who knows Gingrich well but is also close to Ryan, reacted angrily to Gingrich's remarks. Referring to Ryan's Medicare plan as "right-wing social engineering" is, Bennett said, "an unforgivable mistake, in my judgment." Bennett went on to say that Gingrich "has taken himself out of serious consideration for the  race." --
Gingrich's remarks rankled for three reasons. One, they hurt the Republican plan. Two, they were particularly disdainful; Gingrich didn't just said that he disagreed with Ryan, he referred to Ryan's plan as "right-wing social engineering." And three, they contradicted what Gingrich himself has said about Ryan's budget.
To make that last point, Bennett played a clip of an interview he conducted with Gingrich on April 5, barely more than a month ago. At that time, Gingrich was full of praise for the Ryan budget. "Paul Ryan has stepped up to the plate," Gingrich said. "This is a very, very serious budget and I think rivals with [what] John Kasich did as budget chairman in getting to a balanced budget in the 1990s, just for the scale and courage involved…"
The NRO says that Gingrich made Mitt Romney look good, but we know that's a very big overstatement.
When will Rush Limbaugh demand Newt to bow down to his alter and apologize for his transgression?
UPDATE: NPR: Newt Gingrich Becomes Democrats' Weapon Against GOP Medicare Plan
Who knew Newt Gingrich would enter the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination and immediately become the Democrats' not-so-secret weapon against the House GOP's Medicare proposal?...read on