Beck the latest GOPer to take on Gingrich
December 6th, 2011
01:23 PM ET
3 years ago

Beck the latest GOPer to take on Gingrich

(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."


Filed under: 2012 • Glenn Beck • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (209 Responses)
  1. rosaadriana

    I am trying hard not to get too giddy about the prospect of Newt being the nominee. I can't imagine who would vote for him in a general election.

    December 6, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. mark

    " have freedom to negotiate with their doctors or their hospital" hey newt, this ,may be possible when you're a part of the 1% but, for the rest of us the doctors and hospitals would just laugh at us if we tried to negotiate a better deal. plus, do we really want a cut rate medical market? how about a 2 for 1 heart surgery? come on, are you really that out of touch of how WE, the other 99%, live our daily lives?

    December 6, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. vatoloke

    Grinch, I thought you were your own man until your pilgrimage to the Chump Palace for his annointment. You're history here. Next!

    December 6, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. zip

    Next week, Newt will appear on the Puppy Slaughter network. He will demand the slaughter of puppies. He will say that he has always demanded puppy slaughter. In two weeks, he will be on the Don't Slaughter Puppy network. He will condemn puppy slaughter. It all depends who Newt talks to to determine his values. Hopefully, America will figure this out before we make a really big mistake.

    December 6, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. kenny

    Newt Gingrich being interviewed by Glen Beck? Now there is a joke that's almost as funny as "Trump The Chump" being a moderator for a Republican Debate. Some make call it "The Blind Leading the Blind". I call it "Stupid Is As Stupid Does". I would vote for Newt Gingrich in a race for Dpg Catcher provided he was the dog.

    December 6, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Glen is a fair commentator; in fact he is most times very tough on conservatives as compared to his dealings with democrats. The newt is ready for this kind of close scrutiny and non really expects him to fail.

    December 6, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. anagram_kid

    Tough questions would have been about when he was fired as SOTH by his own party and had to pay 300K in fines. I remember a joke from that time – Did you hear about Newt Gingrich's contract with Pepsi? They are paying him a million dollars to drink Coke.

    December 6, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. It is sad

    It was just like listening to a conversation between Palin and Buchmann.... interesting but no substance... and everyone waiting for a catfight. I was not moved.. they both still suck.

    December 6, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Bob

    An idiot interviewing a self-aggrandizing moron.

    What a waste of time.

    December 6, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. Qev

    Looks like one of the "Right"-Wings maniacs has come home to roost. You reap what you sow.

    December 6, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. Bob

    "I thought the OWS movement was going to drag Beck into the street and murder him."

    That's a strictly Teabagger tactic. OWS is better then that.

    December 6, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. glyder

    beck is not a republican.that is a lie on your part cnn.

    December 6, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Patriot

    Can't believe that that vile little man, Glen Beck, gets any attention at all. Why would Gingrich even give him the time of day. The G.O.P. candidates pandering to these dimwits hurts their chances and will soon lead the party to oblivion.

    December 6, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. DaveM

    What a circus Gingrich and Trump, Gingrich and Beck, what's next, Gingrich naming Palin for Vice-President? He didn't realize Beck is anther Mormon? He didn't realize Beck is crazy? Got to love Republicans. Defending 1% of the voters.

    December 6, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. JWeed

    Newt has a lot of questions to answer, and he is doing so. I don't care for his politics (too liberal), but he doesn't appear to be dodging as much as most other politicians. Will probably be the next president, much to the chagrin of most here, which I don't understand. Why do you people love Obama so much and hate Bush and Gingrich so? The three pretty much share the same politics.

    December 6, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. JohnRJ08

    Well, we can have high school graduates like Glenn Beck give us the solutions to our problems, or we can get that help from people in government who haven't already signed a pledge to an unelected lobbyist who hates taxes of any kind. Or, we can listen to Newt Gingrich, a man who was thrown out of the speakership by his own caucus for ethics violations and who currently has several scams going to get money from naive, misinformed people.

    December 6, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Keith

    Beck provides a serious service for the American people. If it's something that Beck advocates, then you know immediately it must be bad for the American people.

    December 6, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. diridi

    Both are idiots...period.

    December 6, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. JPX

    There is no one to root for here; Glenn Beck is mentally ill and Gingrich is just a vile, disturbing looking human being on every possible level. It amuses me that Republicans are so against the idea of climate change. I'll never understand why they are so threatened by that idea and why it has to be a political issue. Today it is December 6 and it is 61 degrees here in Rhode Island. It has been in the 60s since November. Try to tell me that something isn't going on with our environment.

    December 6, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. OBXJEWEL

    Why doesn't Glenn Beck just crawl back underneath his big rock? Newt is the devil in disguise. As my husband says, "I wish fat Newt had to REALLY, REALLY work hard just one week. Maybe a 12 hour job in a factory with forced overtime on top of that. When he finishes at a factory, send him to the coal mines and let him work there for a little while. Just let him get a REAL TASTE of middle America and how they struggle." I agree. NONE of these candidates have any idea what real work is about. OUTSOURCE ALL THEIR JOBS and let THEM go on unemployment and THEN let's hear Gingrich say, "It is wrong for the government to pay 93 weeks of unemployment to 'these people'." LET THEM SEE HOW IT FEELS TO BEG FOR WORK! Oh, yeah.

    December 6, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  21. Jeff in TX

    This is proof of the impossible marriage of convenience between the TEA Party and the Socially Conservative Republicans. It won't work. Gingrich, and all GOP Presidential contenders, are cornered on one position or another, as those two factions in the GOP are at odds on some basic levels. Sad thing is that the more extreme each of those factions gets, the further apart they split their own party! Not to say that Gingrich is undeserving of this fate....

    December 6, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. Dyermoe

    The only way the Republicans have even a slim chance at winning the white house is if they have a moderate candidate. The extreme right-wingnuts make good sound bites on Faux News, but the majority of Americans see it for what it is. It's the Professional Wrestling of news channels. The extreme right-wingnuts are made up of the 1%ers and assorted cousin-marrying southerners. That's not enough to elect a president.

    December 6, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. Seattle Sue

    Beck is just as crazy as Gingrich and the other GOP candidates. Actually more so.

    December 6, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. David Claytor

    "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," Mr. Gingrinch sounds more and more like a moderate. This is guy is as "politiciany" as they come

    December 6, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. hogg

    That liberal media attacking an other Repub again!

    December 6, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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