Beck the latest GOPer to take on Gingrich
December 6th, 2011
01:23 PM ET
2 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. Tom

    Newt is just another neocon from the old Guns and Butter wing of the Democratic party (the LBJ/Scoop Jackson "U.S. as the world's police force") that rafted over to the GOP after George McGovern came to power. The neocons are every bit as responsible for government expansion/growth and the loss of individual liberty as the contemporary Marxist wing of the Democratic party. Two feathers from the same bird.

    December 6, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. luckyone4

    Price of gold LMAO!!! I wonder if everyone gets it.

    December 6, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. luckyone4

    It seems to me their staff's orchastrated the whole interview. There were no tough questions, only carfully planned answers.

    December 6, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. Mr. Moderate

    That sound you hear is Thomas Jefferson weeping....

    December 6, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    When they talk about freeeeeedom, they mean corporate freedom. Like a kingdom,they set all the rules and if people really think they can be negotiated with, think again.

    December 6, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Buckup

    Beck was not interviewing Newt!
    Newt was interviewing Beck for VP.
    Trump is getting secretary of Treasury & Entertainment.
    Perry is getting CIA & Education removal.
    Cain will run Wellfair
    Bachman gets OMB & secretary of State
    Palin & Ailes pulling the strings.
    The GOP dream ticket.

    December 6, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Johnathan

    If the trailer trash that votes republican ever saved enough to leave theirown county line and see what the world sees, they'd feel like the lowest form of life on the planet as far as intelligence is concerned.

    December 6, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Phil in KC

    Poor Newt. Here's a guy who rode into Washington on Ronald Reagan's conservative coat-tails and authored the neo-con's Contract with America – and now he's not conservative enough? Yikes!
    These right-wingers have now become a very vocal fringe element.

    December 6, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. avd

    If Newt wins the GOP, it's OBAMA 2012!!!!

    December 6, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. blf83

    A corrupt, Washington insider and adulterer whose mind compares himself with Churchill, Roosevelt, Ghandi, maybe even God is taken on by a druggie/alcoholic who follows the writings of a crazy "extreme" Mormon and we are supposed to be concerned? Neither Gingrich nor Beck has what it takes to solve the problems created and blessed by the theocratic Repubs.

    December 6, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. scoto

    Gingrich under pressure to prove that he is as big an inhumane dope and ignoramus as Beck and the rest of the parade of clowns in the candidacy.

    December 6, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. glyder

    funny how right wing extremism means "not part of the establishment"and yet the democratic party has been hijacked by far left progressives.but just so the msm doesn't report it that way the idiot sheep will worship at the alter of one of the two parties.

    December 6, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. rammy

    I keep hearing some pols say "negotiate with their doctor or hospital" how does that go?
    Do I say well Doc this is what I can pay, do you have a counter offer?
    I don't know how to do this neither does my 93 year old mother.

    December 6, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. vp

    Rodeo Clown... meet Circus Clown.

    December 6, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. Goptfascists Nationalists Party - radical "regressive" bigoted intolerant fanaticism screwing the USA

    Beck is even a worse human being than Gingeritch- the lowest of low.
    But really ALL of these so called conservatives care only about making money of the fools who blindly follow the false bravado that is GOP. These simpletons who only watch fox media or listen to hate radio deserve to be taken advantage of.

    December 6, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. SuZieCoyote

    I do so hope the Newt gets the nomination. Such a circus that will be – the man is vulnerable on every front. Is this the best the GOP can do? Of course it is.........

    December 6, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Johnson

    Beck is a Mormon. Of course he is going to try and help Bishop Romney.

    December 6, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Harry Baxter

    God Almighty! In a battle between Beck and Gingrich, I'd have to root for None of the Above.

    December 6, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. LMC

    When are people going to finally understand that the Republican Party, or at least those in office and in power are only in support of corporate America? They do not care one bit about the average American citizen and their ability to access and pay for health care.

    December 6, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. Allen

    Glen Beck started the Tea Party, loves gold, and doesn't belive Jesus was against the rich and powerful...he is owned by the Koch brothers and opposes anything to help the middle class. Newt is owned by "The Donald," has a half million dollar lline of credit at Tiffany's, and opposes anything to help the middle class. No wonder they don't get along. The rich are using them as puppets to fight each to see who will have a shot a controlling the United States.

    December 6, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. billy davis

    The GOP's mantra if you are poor get out of America or die.

    December 6, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. Common Sense

    Don't hit him too hard with those pillows, Beck

    December 6, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. Denker

    When two turds collide and nobody is around to hear it, does it still smell horrible?

    December 6, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. Andrew

    Beck is equally annoying and rich as the starlets and liberals he bashes on a daily basis. The GOP candidates are the weakest bunch, yet Obama isn't standing on sound ground either. I'm guess this next election could be a low turn out. The so called conservatives are excited but backing the crazy. Liberals just aren't satisfied with Obama's first 4 years. He's just not tough enough.. the speeches are great but never amount to any real influence. Yet, People need to realize the change has top come from all sides.. we too have to make changes, shop local, search for the better product even if it costs a few extra dollars.. The People have the power yet refuse to use it.. smart phone, facebook and twitter , video games are great gadgets for entertainment but wont do much to actually reshape the countries direction.

    December 6, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. the kat

    I think I may vote for Newt. Why? The enemy of my enemy (beckolas) is my friend.

    December 6, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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