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. PT Barnum

    What is more fulfilling than watching two cheap, self-serving hypocrites battle each other?

    December 6, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, it is one of those cases where I hope that both lose as one of my fraternity brothers said. I don't think that Glenn Beck really cares about the whole of the country. Gingrich doesn't really sympathize and understand what people are going through. So, neither one likes the country as a whole. They only understand and like their sections which they seem to believe are the only true America.

    December 6, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. Tex71

    Of course Gingrich crushed Beck – Gingrich may be a selfish, amoral pr!ck but he has more brainpower in his left butt cheek than Beck has in his head. The whole thing is like a hyena being attacked by a... now what kind of animal is cowardly, parasitic, dimwitted, eats excrement and has rabies? That would be Beck.

    December 6, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Christia

    Newt was a disaster as speaker. He is arrogant, a liar, he insults people and is a self absorbed Pillsbury Dough Boy.He says he is now a Catholic and found God after 6 years of an affair with Colista while his wife was going through cancer treatments. Why anyone would walk across the street to see this man is incomprehensible.

    December 6, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Busted

    Conservatism inoculates against the hubristic volatility that Gingrich exemplifies.... riiiiiiiiiiiight and that's why we are in Iraq.

    December 6, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. A Democrat

    The more I read that Fox is against him, the more I support him.

    December 6, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Martin

    In the future. Newt will claim that Oceania has ALWAYS been at war with Eastasia. Oceania was NEVER at war with Eurasia.

    December 6, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. Martha in CF

    Who cares what Beck thinks. All the Republican candidates are is a joke.......Adding The Donald to the equation is the topping on the cake......

    Obama/Biden 2012

    December 6, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Stupidscript

    "Gingrich somewhat famously recorded a public service announcement in 2008 with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about steps to combat climate change..." "I never believed in Al Gore's fantasies.."

    Erm ... the video was recorded and broadcast as part of the "We Can Solve It" campaign sponsored by Al Gore's "Alliance for Climate Protection."

    If Newt "..never believed in Al Gore's fantasies...", as he now claims, then his positions stated in the video are ... um ... lies? So that makes him ... um ... whaddyacallit ... a "liar"? Or is "flip-flopper" the preferred nomenclature, this election cycle?

    December 6, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. Doug from San Clemente

    Its funny how these days being concerned for the environment is looked upon as a weakness or bad policy. Gingrinch with Trump and Beck. His 15 minutes are almost over.

    December 6, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. Expat American

    Beck had better pack a big lunch when he takes on Gingrich....just as Gingrich should pack a similar lunch for his 12/12 showdown with Huntsman.
    Finally, the race is getting interesting.
    BH2O12.

    December 6, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Lost in Texas FOREVER and EVER

    wow who do you root for in a conflict when you can't stand EITHER one of them? Can't even begin to figure out who is the worst of two evils here.

    December 6, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Scott S.

    Gingrich may be a selfish, amoral pr!ck but he has more brainpower in his left butt cheek than Beck has in his head

    ----------–

    That's not saying much. We're talking about a rather large butt cheek.

    December 6, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. AmericanAgainstFascists

    Lord Newt being interviewed by arch Duke, Professor Emeritus, Dr. Beck.
    Who said human cloning has no downside?

    December 6, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. rexedie

    these comments are all "tooo goood".... I got nuthin to say.... right on amerikans...! !! ! at least it looks like somebody's are a thinkin....

    December 6, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  16. Largo

    Romney must've loaned him some Teflon

    December 6, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. Todd C

    Gingrich's downfall as a GOP candidate will be that he actually staked out reasonable positions on issues when he was out of politics. He is never going to be able to walk away from his support for a health care mandate. In fact, his Center for Health Transformation (gingrichgroup.com) still has a mandate as part of its proposal.

    December 6, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. Martin

    PT Barnum
    What is more fulfilling than watching two cheap, self-serving hypocrites battle each other?
    --------
    Watching two 1%er self serving hypocrites battle each other.

    December 6, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. Pete

    Gee, Glenn Beck is a Mormon so you know he's behind one of the two candidates who share in it. And if you think there isn't strong nepotism there try getting a job in Utah when you aren't one.

    December 6, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Beck is a Mormon?!! Whaaaattf?!

    December 6, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Newt said that sleeping with another woman was an act of patriotism. Let's face it. The man is either delusional or thinks that he's James Bond, 007.

    December 6, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. BinMesa

    Newt Gingrich is what a dumb person thinks a smart person is. He was a crook and sleeze. From what I can see and hear he is now a crook and a sleeze. I would not buy a used car from this guy.

    December 6, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. Martin

    Gingrich is an utterly and totally corrupt cog in an utterly and totally corrupt political system. He is part one of the ones that created the mess the US is in in the first place. He is no answer for the US, only further disaster in the making.

    December 6, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. Me

    Beck interviewing Newt = Dumb and Dumber

    December 6, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Harry Wortz

    Anyone who cheats on their spouse is not worthy of the office of dog catcher let alone POTUS. It speaks directly to Newt's character and integrity as well as to his decision making process.

    How could the religious base square their religious convictions with voting for an adulterer?

    Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

    Ephesians 5:28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

    December 6, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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