Gingrich: I oppose Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform but support a “variation” of the individual mandate; Update: Ryan’s office responds

posted at 1:57 pm on May 15, 2011 by Allahpundit

Says Andrew Stiles of NRO, “Newt Gingrich’s appearance on ‘Meet the Press’ today could leave some wondering which party’s nomination he is running for.” DrewM at Ace’s site thinks it’s yet another illustration of Newt’s loose-cannon lack of message discipline, but I can’t believe that; he surely must have considered how this will play in the primaries, especially after the pounding Romney just took on the right for his health-care speech. What’s his strategy? Maybe he’s decided his shot at the nomination is so long that his only chance is by Mediscaring seniors, who famously turn out in high numbers at the polls, into backing him. Paul Ryan’s budget has played remarkably well with the 65+ crowd thus far, but an AP poll taken late last year, before he introduced his plan, found even Republican seniors opposed privatizing Medicare to the tune of 71 percent. If professional Smart Guy Newt Gingrich is now warning them that Ryan’s gone too far, their jitters about reform may make them inclined to believe him. It’s desperate, but since he’s not going to win with support from the GOP’s right, why not pander to its left? I just hope he’s prepared for the relentless beating he’ll rightly take in conservative media for kneecapping Ryan at a moment when deficit hawks are frantic to move national opinion on entitlement reform via a unified party message. He’s handed the left a campaign commercial here and they’re already using it.

As for his point about mandates, Gregory’s question was presumably inspired by this recent HuffPo piece. Here was Newt’s chance to climb down from his previous Romney-ish rhetoric about our individual duty to buy coverage. But … nope. He’s still all for it — not for a mandate specifically, mind you, but for variations on it, like having to post a bond. What his strategy in the primaries is in taking that position, I have no idea. If anything, it gives Romney a bit of cover by now being able to claim (a) that the mandate isn’t as fringe as conservatives would like to believe and (b) that Mitt’s the more responsible of the two since at least he doesn’t want anything like this at the federal level. Any theories on what Gingrich was thinking here? I’m mystified.

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Update: Via NRO, a pointed rejoinder from Ryan’s spokesman:

“The solutions offered by Chairman Ryan and advanced by House Republicans make no changes to Medicare for those in and near retirement, while offering a strengthened, personalized program that future generations can count on when they retire,” Sweeney says. “Far from claims of radicalism, the gradual, common-sense Medicare reforms ensure that no senior will be forced to reorganize their lives because of government’s mistakes. The most ‘radical’ course of action on Medicare is continue to cling to the unsustainable status quo.”

“Serious leaders,” he adds, without naming names, “owe seniors specific solutions to avert Medicare’s looming collapse.”


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What proposals were made for individuals who are creamed by pre-existing rejections by private insurers

RickyRetardo

Can I send my bills to you so you can pay them for me?

After all, why should I worry about my own bills when lovely, big-hearted people like you believe that I shouldn’t be responsible for them?

mankai on May 15, 2011 at 8:46 PM

That didn’t take long, so, what’s that special reason again, you’re so much different than the cream puff in the oval office?

Hmmm, cream puff?

No Ryan plan, no vote, simple.

Speakup on May 15, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Thanks a lot, Callista-and-I!

steebo77 on May 15, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Lol

Lawdawg86 on May 15, 2011 at 8:50 PM

What proposals were made for individuals who are creamed by pre-existing rejections by private insurers

What’s only slightly funny about this comment, is that if you look at any sort of government intervened healthcare around the world, they go out of their way to exclude people from care for reasons private insurance would never or could never even consider.

lorien1973 on May 15, 2011 at 8:50 PM

God I love Newt being on as many venues as he is. It really lets the people know what kind of socialist he is.

Go Newt, you unmitigated dirt-bag.

I will vote for Obozo before I vote for Newt!

belad on May 15, 2011 at 9:08 PM

What proposals were made for individuals who are creamed by pre-existing rejections by private insurers

Sue them until they bleed dry for breech of contract, damages, and inflicted pain and suffering.

Find others and start a class-action lawsuit against such a negligent insurer.

Take them to the cleaners.

Your insurance contract is a contract and a company that starts to breach their contracts without warning, without seeking accomodation, without doing anything to make sure that both parties are satisfied are due what is coming to them.

In this greatly and over-litigious society why is THIS not seen as the answer? It never is by those seeking to give more power to government, because that would be the proper use of the laws already on the books and it doesn’t take many high profile lawsuits to see a company start losing its customers when it treats them like that. Instead we get the damned sob-stories of people who can’t find an abulance chasing lawyer willing to work on contingency basis to take down a wealthy insurance company… why is that? Do these people have heads made of wood that they can’t understand this concept of suing a company for breach of contract?

ajacksonian on May 15, 2011 at 9:09 PM

I don’t care WHO the Republican primary candidate is: If their primary strategy is to attack another GOP/conservative with Left/Lib messaging, then they are off the list.

Let’s see what Newt butt-kisser Hannity is made of next week. Attacking Paul Ryan NOW is more egregious to me now than 2 or 3 more ex-wives. I doubt Limbaugh is going to mince words here.

Marcus on May 15, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Well Newt’s comments over the budget today explains why he was on the couch with Pelsoi.

Rndguy on May 15, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Let’s see what Newt butt-kisser Hannity is made of next week. Attacking Paul Ryan NOW is more egregious to me now than 2 or 3 more ex-wives. I doubt Limbaugh is going to mince words here.

Marcus on May 15, 2011 at 9:09 PM

My guess is that Vannity will have Newt on his shows (plural) to backpedal and obfuscate… and he’ll let him off the hook.

mankai on May 15, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Obama is the only serious candidate running atm.

Well – Michelle Bachmann is serious. Herman Cain is serious – but … do they even have a chance at being nominated?

I don’t think so. Unless Sierra Papa jumps in the race soon – the establishment will give us another McRage candidacy.

OBAMA 2012 BABY!!

HondaV65 on May 15, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Never Get the ‘R’ nomination saying this.

tx2654 on May 15, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Who does Newt think he’s kidding? His time has come and gone and he blew a lot of his opportunities to champion fiscal conservatism in this country, when he was speaker. But he was feeding at the corporate trough “Insurance Industry trough?” Who knows, but you can tell by looking at him, he hasn’t missed many meals. There is NO variation of an Individual Mandate either the Government can make free people buy a “product” from a private company or they can’t period.

Dr Evil on May 15, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Well Newt’s comments over the budget today explains why he was on the couch with Pelsoi.

Rndguy on May 15, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Or maybe he’s just tired of Callista already.

stldave on May 15, 2011 at 9:19 PM

the plan is OBVIOUS;
Newt “Scozzafava” Gingrich and Karl “Tea Party Basher” Rove need someone to the LEFT of RomneyCare to allow RomneyCare acceptable cover to split the GOP that will nullify conservatives…

mathewsjw on May 15, 2011 at 5:59 PM

I believe you are correct. Why else would Newt, in one breath, say he is absolutely against any new taxes, then in the next breath say he is for the individual mandate.!?

What is the individual mandate, if not a universal healthcare TAX! It just doesn’t make any sense.

JeffVader on May 15, 2011 at 9:20 PM

HondaV65 on May 15, 2011 at 9:14 PM

I’m pretty sure Sierra Pappa is waiting until the 2nd anniversary of her resignation passes.

powerpro on May 15, 2011 at 9:24 PM

What proposals were made for individuals who are creamed by pre-existing rejections by private insurers

RickyRetardo

mankai on May 15, 2011 at 8:46 PM

LOL/ This fool belongs at Kos or DU.

bw222 on May 15, 2011 at 9:33 PM

One thing about Newt is that he overestimates his brilliance. Now he’s an intelligent guy, don’t get me wrong. He’s just got arrogance in spades, and among the many problems this arrogance raises is that he thinks he is always the smartest guy in the room. Always.

Everybody knows that the media loves to paint the current crop of R’s as extreme far-right wingers as opposed to decades past. It doesn’t matter when, this goes back for at least a couple generations. It’s their go-to tactic. My guess is that Newt is just throwing them a bone here and counting on them to take it and run with it. Paul Ryan is extreme, and don’t you remember the good old days when Newt and Clinton could work together and hammer something out on welfare reform?

That’s my guess. Of course, it isn’t going to work. It’s either that, or Romney and him have an arrangement where he can position himself to Romney’s left flank to help get him to appear less toxic to the base in exchange for God knows what.

stldave on May 15, 2011 at 9:34 PM

I am now fully convinced RINOs are merely socialists in sheep’s clothing. They are in league with libs in their efforts to destroy this republic. Is there some new world order company they’re all invested in with the promise of great riches in the aftermath? Will they be paid in gold?

Newt didn’t just ‘slip up’ in his support for a mandate or denigration of Ryan’s plan. He thought about it and chose to express this idiocy.

Newt, you’ve neutered yourself. I never would have voted for you anyway.

The only thing I’m grateful for is the fact that all the socialists, in their zeal, are clearly self-identifying. There’s no need to guess any more.

Know thy enemies on both sides of the imaginary aisle.

Opinionator on May 15, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Romney and him have an arrangement where he can position himself to Romney’s left flank to help get him to appear less toxic to the base in exchange for God knows what.

stldave on May 15, 2011 at 9:34 PM

I imagine Gingrich just threw up at the very thought that he might have helped Romney in any way.

I remember Gingrich as being very divisive in his day… so I’m not too impressed that he is even running.

He not only validates Romneycare, he validates Obamacare and seems to forget the Constitution entirely!

My husband points out, that Newt’s policies were popular enough to get Clinton re-elected because Clinton ran on Newt’s ideas.

It makes you wonder, exactly whose side Newt is on.

petunia on May 15, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Like I’ve been saying, Newt’s default position is “pre-emptive concessions.” Why in the world would anyone work for a guy who will sell you down the river at the first opportunity? It’s not just that he happens to be wrong on this particular political problem; it’s that he’ll be wrong on every political problem. Splitting the difference may be a great Congressional strategy but really now why do we even need human politicians if all they’ll do is split the difference down the middle. We can program an I-pad to do as much as Newt ever will for conservativism.

Fred 2 on May 15, 2011 at 10:10 PM

If Gingrich is, in fact, supporting the individual mandate – as he appears to be – he might as well call it quits right now, because he is toast!

seanrobins on May 15, 2011 at 10:11 PM

We should be thanking Gingrich. He’ll do more to discredit establishmentarianism than a thousand critiques.

rrpjr on May 15, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Romney and Newwt are trying to de-legitimize the Repeal Obamacare issue for the conservatives. Maybe they don’t agree with the Republican base but then why the hell run for the nomination if they are so out of tune with the base. Some might call it stupidity. These are our intellectuals???

Herb on May 15, 2011 at 10:26 PM

omg this is just pathetic. Been doing laundry might as well toss a couple of loads of GOP in the washer with LOTS of chlorine…then disinfect the whole thing.

ProudPalinFan on May 15, 2011 at 10:36 PM

What is it with these “senior” Republican candidates self-immolating at the very beginning of the process? They are beyond redemption.

GaltBlvnAtty on May 15, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Bye bye Newt. Come again when you can’t stay so long.

Mirimichi on May 15, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Kicking the entitlement can down the road just won’t work much more. Either you support Ryan’s plan or you support something like it or you are not serious. Joining Harry Reid in the wake me in 17 years mindset is not a winner.

Of course, I suppose you could just deceive people about what you are actually going to do and then do something else when elected like the incumbent

KW64 on May 15, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Newts in, Newts out. That was quick.

Daemonocracy on May 15, 2011 at 11:13 PM

It makes you wonder, exactly whose side Newt is on.

petunia on May 15, 2011 at 9:48 PM

While the rest of us wonder what side petunia is on.

Hey, where has AnninCA been lately?

MeatHeadinCA on May 15, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Newt, your positions are not conservative!
Your position supporting an individual mandate is anti-liberty!
Your position that Paul Ryan’s budget is social engineering is a left-wing talking point.
Newt, my brother, conservatives are going to run you out of town on a rail!

Mark7788 on May 15, 2011 at 11:59 PM

Hey, where has AnninCA been lately?

MeatHeadinCA on May 15, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Texas

Schadenfreude on May 16, 2011 at 12:34 AM

Newt Milhous Gingrich.

holygoat on May 16, 2011 at 12:36 AM

Alas the Republicans did NOTHING.

rickyricardo on May 15, 2011 at 3:54 PM

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Definitely not.:

“We will always keep the promise of Social Security for our older workers,” Bush said. “We must strengthen Social Security by allowing younger workers to save some of their taxes in a personal account — a nest egg you can call your own, and government can never take away.”

Bush also said, “In all these proposals, we seek to provide … more freedom and more control over your own life.”

unclesmrgol on May 15, 2011 at 5:28 PM

And the GOP CONTROLLED CONGRESS refused to do anything right? Dude, the GOP totally betrayed you all. Stop playing games.

True_King on May 16, 2011 at 12:39 AM

Trifecta this week — Huckabee is not running and Newt and Romney did themselves in with any conservatives I know with their healthcare talk. Great week for Republicans to get rid of the three of them from being serious contenders. Don’t think Gingrich or Romney stand a chance in the primaries. Have had enough of them to last a lifetime. The arrogance out of Romney and Newt is unbelieveable that they think they can make their remarks and the primary voters are going to ignore the statements. Not happening!

PhiKapMom on May 16, 2011 at 1:03 AM

This, the 400 lb. gorilla in the room…just got clobbered with his own words…

Which RINO is next?

I am truly enjoying myself watching these RINO morons destroy themselves with their own words.

They are afterall just words…that’s the problem with these RINO wuzzies…they are afraid of words…their own.

Mcguyver on May 16, 2011 at 1:15 AM

Newt has achieved his 3rd strike.
1st strike- backing Dede Scozzafava
2nd strike- saying nothing when the media was accusing Sarah Palin of being an accomplice to murder
3rd strike- this position on the individual mandate. All of these grievances have happened in the last 18 months.
Stick a fork in this pigroast, he’s done.

Conservalicious on May 16, 2011 at 1:37 AM

Newt was never a serious candidate for President, and now confirms this view with his own words.

Think about it: sure, he gets some free media publicity now, but who in their right mind would donate a dime to his campaign? Even those perverse enough to agree with his nonsense have to realize he has ZERO chance and probably couldn’t break double digits in any primary even with decent funding.

Adjoran on May 16, 2011 at 1:49 AM

PhiKapMom on May 16, 2011 at 1:03 AM

Amen, m’dear, amen. You speak the pulse of America.

Opinionator on May 16, 2011 at 2:48 AM

Newt got into Lugosi’s botox stash, now he’s a numb & nuts non-starter…

Gohawgs on May 16, 2011 at 3:20 AM

Hey, Newt, it’s time to sit down and admire yourself for an astounding display of double-think.

If Ryan’s health care is “right wing social engineering” and Obama’s health care is left wing social engineering, does not not simplify into “governmental health care is social engineering.” And if it is bad if either wing practices then “social engineering” is bad?

And I happen to believe that the government should get completely out of healthcare. The government has created obligations to certain members of society over the last decades. It is time to unravel this in such a way that those with time to adapt lose these social engineering attempts while this who have no time or ability to adapt are kept going as much as possible.

But if Newt plans his own “Governmental Health Care” program than he’s out.

I note that this is a serious falling out I have with many or even most of the politicians on both sides of the aisle, today. NOTHING in the Constitution authorizes a governmental health care program – or Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, FDA, EPA, and so on.

{^_^}

herself on May 16, 2011 at 4:46 AM

herself on May 16, 2011 at 4:46 AM

Exactly. “Health care reform” should be the repeal of every single law and regulation in health care by the federal government. If the people of Massachusetts want government involvement, they are welcome to it, but the Constitution does not authorize any federal involvement.

DrMagnolias on May 16, 2011 at 5:42 AM

Let us never forget that Newt’s pprofession is being a professor -which cements his ideology in place as one form or another of smooth-talking leftist!

Remember their golden rule any means to an end (say and do what works now -change it tommorrow)The problem is that not a one of them dare to tell us what that end they hacve in mind for us really is.

The system has failed because the people have failed in their responsibility to vote always for what’s right for the country and not first for themselves – that morality thing.

Don L on May 16, 2011 at 5:44 AM

Time and again Newt validates my decision to never have him on my list of people to vote into any office.

SKYFOX on May 16, 2011 at 6:45 AM

Dr. Bennett ain’t liking this one bit….

cmsinaz on May 16, 2011 at 7:35 AM

Well, the dems have Dennis Kucinich and Cindy Sheehan…we’ve got Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich.

wright on May 16, 2011 at 7:38 AM

morning joe must be lovin newt since he’s going after ryan’s plan

he’s toast before he gets going…

cmsinaz on May 16, 2011 at 7:41 AM

Common sense tells me we should be looking at other health care models around the world. Singapore is supposedly the best health care system in the world. They have a CASH SYSTEM with no health insurance at all….That wouldn’t work here though, you’d be pulling the chains of government off the populace.

adamsmith on May 16, 2011 at 7:49 AM

Newt needs to go back and sit on his “go along, to get along” couch and ponder the mysteries of the global warming hoax some more.

tarpon on May 16, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Raon Paul is done, and now Newt is done. We may have a candidate by the end of the summer, lol.

jeffn21 on May 16, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Gingrich is simply being candid. Gregory attempted to “Gotcha!” him with a quotation out of context (from almost 20 years ago, but that’s actually not the problem.) Gingrich back then — and now — believed in a completely FREE MARKET for health insurance. In the free market, assistance to the poor would take the form of a voucher for health insurance.

In that context, a mandate for health insurance is not nearly so offensive as it is in a government-run system. I am against it, but I can tolerate it. Give me a free market FIRST so I can choose what sort of insurance to buy. THEN we can have the debate over whether I should be required to carry insurance.

philwynk on May 16, 2011 at 8:48 AM

love the ryan response. Newt just needs to go home. I worry for his marrigae as the race gets more stressful…..

unseen on May 16, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Can we please get Ryan in the race now?

fossten on May 16, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Newt just reinforces why the establishment republicans have to go. They are the main reason the political environment was so receptive to a incompetent narcisstic thug to be able to seize control of the country and expedite the downward economic spiral against the best interests of the American people.

volsense on May 16, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Not sure where Ryan is, but I don’t think that I can rework my retirement now at 53… especially in this economy with two more years of hope and borrow as the strategy for getting out of this mess, or more likely “the plan” for further destroying the country.

rgranger on May 16, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Newt even before couchgate:

Posted 5/11/2005 10:10 PM

Former foes Clinton, Gingrich band up on health care plan
By Andrea Stone, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Even Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton detected a hint of “cognitive dissonance” Wednesday as she stood next to onetime political enemy Newt Gingrich to help unveil a bill to “transform” the health care system

mankai on May 16, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Sierra Pappa? Who the heck is… Oh wait… I get it! LoL. I’m a little slow in the mornings.

bitsy on May 16, 2011 at 9:35 AM

This is the Newt I remember actually. I never really had a great impression of him.

It is like he sort of skipped the last couple of years.

Maybe he is senile.

petunia on May 16, 2011 at 10:30 AM

My first thought on this is “Thank you, Newt” for making himself irrelevent and so quickly.
I am now starting to think that the wise posters here are correct, there is a socialist thread in the Republican Party and Newt is the key to finding it. Good thing the liberals are so stupid or they would jump on this version of liberalism in disquise. It would get them further than BO.

ORconservative on May 16, 2011 at 10:53 AM

What his strategy in the primaries is in taking that position, I have no idea. If anything, it gives Romney a bit of cover by now being able to claim (a) that the mandate isn’t as fringe as conservatives would like to believe

The mandate has never been a fringe position. Many conservatives liked it.

Here’s a list of conservatives who backed Mitt Romney’s health care plan.

Conservative Samizdat on May 16, 2011 at 11:13 AM

The mandate has never been a fringe position. Many conservatives liked it.

Here’s a list of conservatives who backed Mitt Romney’s health care plan.

Conservative Samizdat on May 16, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Some of the quotes you provide don’t back up your assertion. Neither Rubio NOR Perry, for example, actually defend Romneycare. You’re just falsely implying that in order to push an agenda.

I see no need to read any more of your pathetically false blog.

fossten on May 16, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Scratch Newt off my list. Same with Paul. The last thing we need when trying to upend the messiah are Republican presidential candidates attacking Republican ideas because they’ve calculated that is their personal best way to the White House.

BillCarson on May 16, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Give Newt to the Democrats . . . Quickly.

rplat on May 16, 2011 at 11:37 AM

I don’t see much “right wing” in Ryan’s plan. What I think Newt is playing off of is the immediate fear that comes up as soon as someone mentions any change whatsoever to Medicare. The press instantly plays it as “cuts”, even if a reduction in spending wouldn’t reduce services provided.

I believe it would be cheaper for the federal government to simply make a premium payment for seniors to private insurance companies rather than run their own insurance bureaucracy. The insurance companies already have things like fraud detection and what the federal government does is basically duplicating the effort of the private insurers.

crosspatch on May 16, 2011 at 11:38 AM

mankai on May 16, 2011 at 9:19 AM

I wasn’t aware of that. Thanks.

rrpjr on May 16, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Gingrich is a snake and who cares what he was thinking?

I will not vote for a RINO in 2012.

disa on May 16, 2011 at 7:56 PM

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