Newt Gingrich Was For The Ryan Plan Before He Was Against It
As I noted yesterday, former Speaker Newt Gingrich pretty much threw the Ryan Plan’s Medicare reforms under the bus in a Meet The Press interview. Interestingly, Gingrich was singing a very different tune two weeks ago:
A couple of weeks ago, I spent a day following Newt Gingrich around New Hampshire. After a radio interview in Concord, Gingrich had a lunchtime Guinness at the Barley House in Concord with Thomas Wilhelmsen, the CEO of a local hospital who first met Gingrich in the mid-1990s. They lapsed into wonky talk about ObamaCare and health insurance premiums. “Every hospital administrator, like Tom here, will tell you it’s unsustainable, it can’t be done,” Gingrich said, explaining why he wants to repeal the law.
So, I asked if he would advocate replacing it with Paul Ryan’s plan.
The former speaker sang Ryan’s praises for being a “brave” “man of ideas,” like Gingrich himself.
“But would you have voted for Ryan’s plan?” I pressed.
“Sure,” Gingrich replied.
“Do you think it would actually save the health care system?”
“No, I think it’s the first step,” Gingrich said. “You need an entirely new set of solutions.”
Yesterday, of course, Gingrich called the plan “right wing social engineering.”
Ed Morrissey notes:
So one day it’s a good first step, and 14 days later, it’s several steps too far? There are only a couple of plausible explanations for this change, and none of them complimentary to Gingrich. The first is that he told Newton-Small that he’d have voted for the Ryan plan as a “first step” without bothering to read it first in order to ingratiate himself with the conservative base. The second is that he read it, but it took him two weeks to understand it. And the third is that Gingrich decided that most of his 2012 competition would back the Ryan plan and that he could get political space for himself by being a contrarian. The fourth option is that Newton-Small is simply making up the story, which seems unlikely although not impossible.
I doubt Newton-Small is lying, so it’s either 1, 2, or 3, and none of them make Gingrich look good at all.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time that Gingrich contradicted himself. He did the same thing back in March over the mission in Libya.