(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."
Newt is the king of double talk. He misused his power in congress . . . and if you liked Nixon as president, you'll love Newt.
I heard this interview, and Gingrich handled himself well. He is no Rick Perry. I still don't know why the GOP doesn't get behind Romney though. They seem to take issue with Romney care but last I checked it is very popular in Mass. and less than 2% of citizens don't have health care. Sounds like a success to me.
I'm surprised Glenn Beck didn't blame President Obama for Newt's rise the polls....everything is Obama's fault Beck surely missed asking the tough questions, then begged for forgiveness afterwards!!!!
Great. The blind leading the blind.
Having NEWT as the nominee is a great thing for DEMS. YAYY Go NEWT!!!!
The neo-cons listen to the mormon 'beck the hater' but won't listen to mormon Romney the uniter!
newt flip flops on everything he says, and tries to mimic Dr.Ron Paul. Dr. Paul is for an audit of the fed, which when u follow. the money u find the currption. newt is as close to obama as mitt romney they are all the same except Dr Paul. he is our winsten churchill, and has been right over and over again. about the economy, about the police state, the irs and fed are illegal, we are land occupiers of the nation. Paul is the only peace canidate we have, and wants to create peace with all contries, and let the fix themselve within, not by force. you can't force people to do things, it underminds everything.....but the big issues are how america is for sale, brought to you by people like obama, bush, clintons, jimmy carter, and canidates like romney, perry, santorum, gingrich, and thank god cain dropped out, thank god his forums manager, endorsed ron paul while, cain endorsed gingrich.....we live in a very screwed society thsnks to the media ran by democrats, almost all media is ran, and funded by democrats......facebook, add flow hoffman, you ll get all the ron paul you need, see what other true americans are doing, and information we get not media bs that is to mislead you 70% of the time, cia mind warefare........Ron Paul, 2012
Newt and anyone who supports him scares me. I am a little concerned about the American people's good judgement when it comes to liking this guy. There is only one Republican in this field that is sane and that is Ron Paul. If people can't see that something is wrong with this picture.
Glen & Newt are both idiots, listening or talking about them is a huge waste of time
and the newt married a egret.......
Newt is going to be the best thing that happens to Obama in 2012. He can't lose if Newt wins the Republican primary.
Beck and Gingrich- now thats a combination. Being terminated by Fox is like being fired by the Stench Dept. of a Sewer Company- how much lower can ya get.
Newt just wants to be President to add it to his achievements. I think he would write it in just under making millions from fran and freddie mac with tax payers money.
We agree with Scarborogh. Newt is a bad choice and is not a friend to the American people. We remember all his crapola from his Speaker days and honestly, he's worst than satan. seriously.
beck is not a republican.that is a lie on your part cnn.
If he's not a Republican, and snce he is definitely not a Democrat or a Moderate, then what is he?
Do people, who listen to Beck, keep the right to vote?
I can not remember a time when I ever agreed with Glenn Beck, I believe he is a dangerous megalomaniac. However, in this article he actually had a few worth wile things to say about and to Newt Gingrich. Newt is the epitome of a crooked politician and would be a major disaster to the USA we love.
the man doesn't look healthy, should the most powerful man in the world at least look healthy, he need to go to the spa first come back in twenty-sixteen , oh would he be to old, ron is stepping out at seventy-five
Beck is a Mormon.
Romney is a Mormon.
Gingrich is not a Mormon.
It doesn't take much thinking to figure this puzzle out.
mr. gingrich should not worry about what this moron Beck thinks. To put in the words of what Jon Huntsman said about the real estate crook, "e is full of BS".
Send in the clowns. Who is worse?. Just when you thought it was safe to watch the news again.We just got rid of caine who kept quoting pokie man Now we have ol newt. Him and beck should both take a long walk of a short pier. Amazing how the repos keep saying the president is an idiot when we have a whole repo party full of them. Our president has more brains than all of them rolled togeather. Timeb to work on helping the middle class and not these rich fat cats. Wonder if trump will jump into defend newt? what a group of hot air!
Which idiots are paying hate inspirer Beck to speak?
Newt Gingrich – the best thing that could happen for an Obama second term!
Glenn Beck is an entertainer – nothing more. His intellectual output would be exceeded by a one watt LED light.
I love this!! We get to hear the idiots take on a moron. I Love America!!!