Gingrich attempts to turn the tables
May 23rd, 2011
10:58 AM ET
4 years ago

Gingrich attempts to turn the tables

Washington (CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich attempted to turn the tables on the negative press he's received inside the beltway at a breakfast with journalists in Washington Monday.

"I can't thank the Washington press corps enough for the last week," he said, recalling coverage of GOP colleagues who lashed out at the 2012 presidential candidate for appearing to reject House Budget Chair Paul Ryan's Medicare proposal, before he acknowledged that it is the "beginning of the conversation."

"For the last week, everywhere I go in Iowa people see me as the candidate of change because they turn on the television and see that … the people in Washington are not happy with me."

"I am the people's candidate, not the capital's candidate," he declared at the Christian Science Monitor’s breakfast series.

Gingrich spoke of his recent 17-city sweep through Iowa and how it presented a different picture of his presidential campaign saying, "The reports of my campaign's death were highly exaggerated."

"I was actually struck last week because while everybody in Washington decided the campaign was over, we were in Minneapolis, Lacrosse, and 17 towns in Iowa where none of those folks seemed to have gotten the message."

He went on to praise the press for changing his image from one of a Washington insider to an outsider, largely due to the flack over his at times conflicting account of how he views the Ryan plan for Medicare.

But at the breakfast, he attempted to set the record straight.

"If you want to liberate the American people with a better healthcare outcome, the Ryan plan is to begin the conversation," he said.

Pointing out that this is the "third time" in his life that the country has been through "Mediscare," and seriously debated a Medicare overhaul, Gingrich stated that he strongly supports decentralization and Ryan's approach to Medicare, including the provision for block granting to states. He also said he is against an individual mandate that every citizen must have health care.

He admitted that he, himself, is on Medicare.

"I'm over 65 … and I have a deep concern over what anybody's going to do to my Medicare,” Gingrich said.

And when it comes to the differences between the two parties Gingrich said, "The contrast between the left and the right is that the left wants sacrifice with a government bureaucracy deciding what the sacrifice is; the right believes that innovation, science, technology, markets, and choice can lead to dramatically lower prices."

The former House speaker also claimed that he has a "clear record of significant change in Washington,” including on welfare reform, Medicare reform and balanced budgets.

"I've spent my whole career trying to build the Republican Party," Gingrich said.


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Roscoe

    Does Gingrich use Medicare? I thought the congress gave themselves up a better system. I guess it doesn't surprise me that they would be taking from several systems. If we want to improve medicare, make congress use the system.

    May 23, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. Roland

    Newt. Go home. No one is buying it and you are just wasting your time and ours.

    May 23, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Name king

    Hey grinch if you want to turn healthcare over to those nice insurance company folks who would rather lose money, rather than make money for those good patriotic investors over seas. Well you can go ahead, but the way the stock markets is today, with uncertainty lurking around every corner, I would rather stake my claims in something a little more stable, where my health is concerned, and that's with a centralized healthcare policy.

    May 23, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. LegendRx

    Who is this guy? Put on a mask, hold you up at gun point and then come riding in on a black horse painted white. To the rescue, he says . . . For I am the people's hero, with the mask hanging out of his shirt pocket. Now that's comedy!

    May 23, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. Jeff in Virginia

    The press was just doing their job. Newt, go home. Your services are no longer required by the American people.

    May 23, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Rep. Gingrich, you are beginning to act like a crash test dummy.

    May 23, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. Bill from GA

    Don't turn your back on newt. He is smart and evil, and just what the big-money right wing needs.

    They (BMRW) know how easy it is to turn around the right-wing voters. Show the a new(t) shiny object, and you've got their attention. And the last 2 weeks show that newt will turn on a dime, to whatever viewpoint is most useful.

    Just what the big-money right wing needs.

    May 23, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. zb

    How a presidential candidate spends his money is a private matter according to Gingrich, but what a woman does with her body is public according to him and the Republican/TParty, the party of hate, lies, hypocricy, and exploitation.

    May 23, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. Stephen

    Interesting that it was the conservative media that lambasted him the most. Is he saying that Rush, Fox News and all the rest on the right not being happy with him is a good thing? I guess to Newt all press is great press, because he spins it all in his own mind anyway. He had a great week last week? Amazing. That explains a lot of his views. Up is down, forward is backwards...

    May 23, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Zombie candidate does not even know he's gone!

    "Anyone that quotes what I said is a liar" NG

    May 23, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. j

    SPIN–SPIN- SPIN Newt . You can only dazzle the stupid with your BS. Fortunately for you, they`re lots out there.

    May 23, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. me

    Over 65? I don't want anyone that old in the WH.

    May 23, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Whammybar

    Like Bob Dylan said, he's kissin babies, he's eatin chitlins ,oh yeah! Scary thought of him being POTUS. We would all wear the same shoes, go to the smae kind of school and church that is approved by the Newt. Watch what is approved on TV and at the theatre. We would be at war with everyone all over the globe within a year. Nope, not the Newt!

    May 23, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Bill from GA

    When is someone going to tell us how much it might take to actually FIX medicare, and Social Security, rather than destroy them? Americans like both systems, especially those currently using them.

    Both paid a surplus to the Government for many years; even now SS is. Ronald Regan increased the tax rate to keep them alive; repugs now want to destroy them.

    Gutless Dems, get off your butts and SOLVE some problems, rather than let evil repugs rule the conversation!!

    May 23, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    He's complaining about the right wing media. They criticized him. The rest of the media reported on the right wing.

    May 23, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. Michiko

    He's out of touch. He talks of only the "left" and the "right" while most people prefer the center, compromise and cooperation. Saynora, Newt!

    May 23, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    so when a right winger makes a mistake and says something he is sorry for it is really the fault of the "evil left wing media" for making him say such things. That class Sarah Palin must have been teaching to her co-hearts seems to be working.

    May 23, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. thomas

    Like David Brooks said ,
    I wouldn't trust Newt to run to the 7 Eleven store !

    He's retired and doesn't know it !
    As for his no interest 500,000.00 Tiffany s account , could you imagine if Obama did that. Newt would be all over him for being out of touch with the american working class !
    As for Newt's stance on the Mid East , and support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Both Netanyahu and Gingrich supported apartheid in South Africa up until the mid eightys .

    May 23, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. w l jones

    My friend a certian health care ins. co. wouldn,t sell some segiment of the country people a policy. History is yours best teacher.

    May 23, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. rhumba

    Uh, who told Newt that he is the "candidate of the people?" I'm a people, and he's not my candidate. I think he's a creepy guy who makes up stuff to suit his own purposes. I suppose that his desperate times call for his desperate proclamations.

    May 23, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Ed

    No fossil Republican candidates for me.

    May 23, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. GrogInOhio

    Wow... spinning like crazy there Newt. Dizzy yet?

    May 23, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. HAD ENOUGH? 9% unemployment, massive foreclosures, $4-5/gal gas, $1.7 TRILLION deficits, $14 TRILLION debt, Obamacare, Libyan war, unsecure borders, illegal alien invasion, alienated allies, embolden enemies

    STILL waiting for Obama and the Democrats to offer ANY plan to save Medicare OR Social Security. When will they EVER present a plan to save it? They say they need to raise revenue. Well, where is the plan to raise revenue? HOW MUCH WILL YOU RAISE TAXES???

    Endless pot shots and demagogery while the plans go belly up IS NOT A PLAN! Maybe iti s YOUR plan to get re-elected or lie to the American people, but it is NOT a plan to save the plan for the people on it or that will be going on it. Sorry, that is NOT leadership. It is a sham.

    May 23, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Jamie from Riverside

    Sooooo. Newt had a morning meal with journalists this morning?
    Did they have Breakfast at Tiffany's?

    May 23, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. Brett

    He is a good candidate. After listening to Obama's horrible comments about Isreal last week, I will never vote for him.

    May 23, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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