(CNN) - Conservative radio host Glenn Beck became the latest Republican to go after newly minted presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich Tuesday.
After saying the radio segment would not be a "gotcha interview," Beck aggressively questioned the former House speaker over issues including climate change and health care reform.
Gingrich somewhat famously recorded a public service announcement in 2008 with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about steps to combat climate change, something Beck in the interview called "the dumbest moment." In response, Gingrich toed the line on the issue, saying he believed "in the environment in general," and that evidence exists on both sides of the climate change argument.
"I never believed in Al Gore's fantasies," Gingrich said, before adding that he worked against cap and trade legislation as a member of Congress.
Criticism of his long record in public office has increased with his recent rise in polling of Republican voters, something Beck perpetuated during his questioning over Gingrich's stance on health care, and more specifically the changes to Medicare he would or would not support.
Gingrich said he promotes a practical approach to changing the program, instead of completely overhauling or dismantling it, as some, including House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan and Beck have suggested.
"I think what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options, not one where you suddenly impose upon," Gingrich said. "I'm against 'ObamaCare,' which is imposing radical change and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change."
His opinions surrounding the health care entitlement program have come up repeatedly in his candidacy, with his previous statements coming under fire.
In 1993, as Beck pointed out, he said he supported individuals having health insurance "like automobile insurance."
"I am prepared to vote for a voucher system, which will give individuals on a sliding scale a government subsidy so it will ensure that everyone as individuals have health insurance," Gingrich said at the time.
In May he said there should be "some requirement to either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you are going to be held accountable," but said he opposes "the Obamacare mandate. Period."
When Beck said he seemed to be "very interested in the government finding the solution," which would put him at odds with the Republican voting base, Gingrich said he would support the Ryan proposals, which he previously criticized, and added that he wants all Americans to have health insurance. But he stopped short of supporting a national mandate.
"I would allow people to have the option to choose premium support and then have freedom to negotiate with their doctors or their hospital," Gingrich said. "But I wouldn't impose it on everybody across the board. I think that's a very large scale experiment. But I think you could migrate people toward it."
Beck, who hosted a show on Fox News until earlier this year, was the latest Republican to push the former speaker, who cultivated fans and enemies during his time at the top of the Congressional power ladder.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who served with Gingrich in the House as a Republican called him a "bad person" who is a "danger to America" on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday. Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who also served with Gingrich, questioned his leadership style Sunday.
"I'm not inclined to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich, having served under him for four years and experienced, personally, his leadership," Coburn said during an interview on "Fox News Sunday."
Their comments come amid an onslaught of articles, including from conservative George Will, questioning the top tier presidential candidate.
In a recent opinion piece in The Washington Post, Will said Gingrich is the least conservative candidate in the race and "embodies the vanity and rapacity that make modern Washington repulsive."
"And there is his anti-conservative confidence that he has a comprehensive explanation of, and plan to perfect, everything," Will wrote. "Conservatism inoculates against the hubristic volatility that Gingrich exemplifies and Genesis deplores: 'Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.'"
But Beck ended his interview by issuing praise on the candidate.
"It's obvious it was very clear in advance and I hope my staff made this very clear that this isn't going to be an easy interview, but I think you've, you know, there was no gaffes here by any stretch of the imagination," Beck said. "I didn't expect any, but I appreciate the willingness to come on and answer the tough questions."
Gingrich being "taken on" by Beck... Gingrich was having a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.
Cain is out, now it is time time G it get his 15 min. I can only wonder what could come out from Pellosi and Beck. Bring it on!
Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are like my old 2 track tape recorder .
Sounds great , just not functional in todays world .
Did Newt and Glenn talk about the price of gold ?
I never agree on what you have been saying Glen Beck, but today we are both sailing on the same boat.
Once in a while I do listen on Fox News Radio and today on Kilmeade and friends, I heard Andrea saying people share what Gingrich did in the past thats why they should support him. She said: her sister got divorced, her parents as well. This was totally rubbish. Did they have the same reason and went through the same way Gingrich did in his divorces??? I hope not!
You weren't going to be able to slide under the radar for too long Newt. Those moderate views are not going to get you far in a extremists party.
2.8 billion dollars saved on Medicare, since Health Law passed. GOP is willing to ban social security and Medicare. Silly idiots. GOP for rich, corporate, Oil, Saudi, not for you...drive these devils out...from congress...
"I would allow people to have the option to choose premium support and then have freedom to negotiate with their doctors or their hospital," Gingrich said.
This statement is just too funny for words. Has anyone ever tried to negotiate prices with a doctor or a hospital. Has any individual ever tried to negotiate with an insurance company for better rates? This is what the conservatives consider a 'solution' to our health care costs. They live in a fantasy land and use words like 'freedom' to make their pathetic policies sound good. Note to conservatives: We already have the freedom to try to negotiate and it doesn't work for an individual. The hospitals and insurance companies can afford armies of lawyers and keep your 'negotiation' in court forever.
Newt doesnt want to debate Glenn Beck, because he's afraid he'll run afoul of child abuse laws...
I thought the OWS movement was going to drag Beck into the street and murder him. They must have just forgot, or maybe Glenn was on one of his drug induced trips.
Glenn Beck is a Fox News reject. Need anymore be said about his relevance?
Gingrich, I don't like you, but you are still better than 99% of GOP politicians and idiots like Beck. Don't let him influence you on climate change or immigration. You have a bigger heart than that idiot.
Maybe I missed them, but where were the "tough questions"?
Glen Beck going after Newt, what better endorsement could there be..
Beck is a total extremist........anyone who can deal with him, has accomplished something.
GINGRINCH-TRUMP 2012 will be blown out by OBAMA 2012!!!!!!!
Just FYI CNN..... Glenn is not a republican. Get your facts straight.
I do not trust Newt Gingrich.....PERIOD!
Just keep sticking him with cameras and microphones until he pops. He's can be either at his best or his worst when he is angry and being recorded.
As for that Republican Debate, I think there is one next week somewhere. I am pretty sure there is one before Christmas, and Trump's "The Apprentice POTUS Candidate" debate is on Dec. 27. If I were one of those guys who declined to attend, I would walk that back a little bit. I would offer to show up only if Trump made good on his promise to The People that he would make his financial records public if Pres. Obama produced a birth certificate. Remind The People that Trump lied to everyone.
Didn't know Beck was still around. Too bad. Or maybe it's good if you're a Dem.
Cain black adulterer - out of the race
Newt white adulterer - top of the race
There is not much grey area between the two. It is all Black or White
Who is Glenn Beck endorsing. If Gingrich and Romney are too moderate (Huntsman too, I presume), who would he have as POTUS. The libertarian anarchist who wants to dismantle America? The filander who just dropped out? The "dumb version of George Bush" (isn't that a scary thought)? The bat quano wacko with the crazy eyes? Who's left? The one who's name should not be g00gled? Bring back Donald? Sarah? Or is there someone even dumber and wackier he wants to drag out of obscurity? Oh, that went so well last time with the VP pick. Tell us Glenn, who's dumb enough, crazy enough, heartless enough,and unqualified enough to be your pick? You?
I was hoping it was the musican Beck, not the nutjob Glenn Beck.
There is no point in humanity being alive.
Am I the only person who looks at Newt and sees a very physically sick man? He looks like he could fall over from a coronary any moment. I honestly wonder if he could survive another year of campaigning.
fake conservative takes on another fake conservative! and stupid conservatives buy it!