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. Mowmyownyard

    I've read the full transcript of the interview. Beck did not "take on" Gingrich, but he did ask many of the tough questions that Gingrich will be asked. Gingrich did an outstanding job of answering them. Bottom-line, Beck did Gingrich a favor by allowing Gingrich to go on the record to counter many of the aqusations being hurled at him. In response to "mrKarnes", any of the Republicans running would be a vast improvement over the blithering idiot now occupying the White House (When he's not on vacation or golfing)

    December 6, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Zeflik

    Gingrich is like Groucho Marx. He has a solid opinopn on every issue. And if you don't loke it, he will have another one.

    December 6, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. gary

    Beck is crazier than a sh–house rat. The really scary thing is that most of the people still listening him are crazier than he is.

    December 6, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. MJ

    Glenn Beck? HaHaHaHa....HeHeHeHe.....LOL.LOL.LOL.LOL......

    December 6, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Antonio666

    "... evidence exists on both sides of the climate change argument." No, it doesn't. Climate change is proven science. The vast majority of climate scientists support the concept and virtually ALL data confirms it. The GOP seems to think that the longer and more forcefully you tell a lie, the more if becomes "the truth." It doesn't. Hopefully, the American people will see through all of these lies.

    December 6, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    "...any of the Republicans running would be a vast improvement over the blithering idiot now occupying the White House (When he's not on vacation or golfing)"

    President Obama works tirelessly to better and protect our country. Has he taken a vacation? Yes, and usually it's a working vacation; regardless, he is always in contact with his advisors and keep abreast of all developments that may need his attention.

    You, on the other hand, are just another Fox-bot who's incapable of thinking for him/herself. And you're in a panic that your party has devolved into a sideshow of freaks. Guess that's to be expected when all of your party's economic, military and foreign policies are PROVEN FAILURES.

    December 6, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. retphxfire

    If bonko beck has it out for Newt, then Newt has me listening.

    December 6, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. Obama Vacationer in Chief

    Anybody seen my golf bag and shoes? I'm late for my tee time...

    December 6, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. detada

    Newt is skilled at stringing together a well spoken line of mumbo jumbo, but in the end, he is just as much a flip flopper as Mitt and he is just as much for sale as Slick Perry. His demise will be the worst of the entire republican field of clowns, because he has so much negative history and because republicans are now lining up against him.

    December 6, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. Bob (Illinois)

    Beck? Who really cares what that bozo thinks or says?

    December 6, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. mike in LA

    love how everybodys head explodes when Glenn Beck is mentioned.
    Have any of you actually watched him or reviewed what he said would happen
    a few years ago, you would be surprised at how many of his predictions have come true.

    December 6, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. Sterno

    I didn't know Beck was still alive. Thanks for the update.

    December 6, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  13. Observer

    Gingrich and Beck ought to fight about which one has less ethics and integrity. It's a dream fight for Democrats to watch.

    December 6, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. PETE

    Straight out.I like glen Beck,he diggs deep for info,and seems to get lots of it.
    I like bothe newt and herman Cain,even though cain is now out. The thing is cain was an Out sider,from the { Swamp} people. That is what every one tried to get away from. Then Cains gone and Mitts out in ,who Knwows where,perry stumbled like drunken Sailor
    and cain just got Ambushed by ,some very nasty rumors. he crashed. That brings me to Newt.he is exactly what we ,{me } at least don't want .The same old fuddy duddy Polatician from Washington DC. .These old long term guys are the problem,with Washinton ,to begin with.They beeen allowed to say there for so long ,they come to think you work for them ,rather thanother way around.You the people let them do business for them selves filling their pockets with money and making you think how great they were <they got goldmine you ben getting the Shaft,Perry has right idea .Return to Constitution ,andpay them only in session,go home work like they had to back then earn their own living . No Guaranted life time pay after working one day.
    No inside trader money mmaking deals.no exempting them from laws they pass and tell you have to ffolow them ,but not thyem
    Wake Up People .Wake up.

    December 6, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  15. Senor Ed

    Wow, even Newt isn't extreme enough for the right wing loonies. Getting kids out working at 9 is far too liberal. They should be at work in the coal mines at 5. Power America with Clean Coal!

    December 6, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  16. Herby Sagues

    And why would anyone care about what Beck thinks? It's not like he has an IQ over 80 or anything like that.

    December 6, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  17. OrangeW3dge

    The Republican Party will be the Loser if they keep insisting that their candidate be a "conservative" fundamentalist. Sure, it may make some of their people feel all cozy inside, but it won't win a general election (unless they rig it). There are not enough people in the country that actually agree with the Puritans anymore (not that their ideas would even work in today's world).

    December 6, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. cpeters

    OK, we know Washington is a den of thieves and liars populated by ego hungry people who will say anything to GET elected, and do everything to STAY elected. We get that. So why put in another career politician?

    December 6, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  19. Guest

    "I would allow people to have the option to choose premium support and then have freedom to negotiate with their doctors or their hospital,"

    What an empty statement. What does that even mean? When you need a doctor or a hospital, you're not in the position to negotiate anything, and the doctor/hospital knows it. This is just stupid, and shallow beyond belief. And he actually thinks he's an intellectual-maybe compared to Cain and Bachman. This man has no real solutions to our nation's problems, and like the rest of Washington establishment, is interested in maintaining the status quo, which has been very, very good to him. He pays no mind to how the status quo is working for the majority of Americans.

    December 6, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. Andrew

    Newt isn't insane enough for the Beckypoo. LOL.

    December 6, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. DJD

    I wonder what questions Beck would ask Romney, a fellow Mormon?

    December 6, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. EPTM

    Glenn Beck going after a GOP candidate? America is getting stranger by the day.

    December 6, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. Jersey3038

    Newt stinks of corruption and I don't understand why america doesn't see how right on the money Ron Paul is.

    Ron Paul.,,,,,,, Go to his site and judge for yourself.

    December 6, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. Carol

    Beck and Palin need to just go away. They have nothing of value to add to a discussion or this country.

    December 6, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. Hmmmmm......

    Dumb interviewing Dumber

    December 6, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
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