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

    Yeh, you bet he scares Beck and other conservative i d i o t s.

    But Beck swoons around Mitty because he's is another M o r o n... I mean Mormon.

    December 6, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  2. sarah

    "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.

    WOW! this is great! so if Gingrich becomes POTUS my doctor and hospital will overnight kowtow to be and politely ask me how much I want to pay for my medical bills right? AWESOME! I'm so voting for this guy!!!

    December 6, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. Jim in Georgia

    Oh my, oh my... They are both bozos. Newt is for "Obamacare" because the cost of healthcare is driving the country to bankruptcy, he just can't say he supports it. Beck of course is idiotic.

    December 6, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  4. normajean @ verizon ,com

    This man is the personification of everything wrong with the Repulican party. He has no integrity,no honor ,and no shame at all. He stands up there in front of a camera as if he was as fine as any gentleman could be and yet anyone who has ever read a book, newspaper, followed the news or any comments here,, , would know that he has a very unsavory background is not to be trusted and certainly not to be President of our great country!!!!

    December 6, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. Pat in il

    Beck is just an idiot, but gingrich could actually be dangerous.

    December 6, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  6. Trevor

    Gingrich never really had a chance at this anyway. A Freddie Mac lobbyist and supporter of healthcare mandates, sponsor of cap-and-trade carbon legislation.... posing as some kind of conservative, now that the other candidates have imploded. Well here's a hint: He's imploding too. He's just bigger in the middle, so it takes longer.

    December 6, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  7. yogi

    Gingrich is a reincarnation of Napoleon, he wants to get another shot at it.....

    December 6, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  8. Clwyd

    I hate Newt, but I hate Beck even more! Both idiot stupid narrow minded right wing radical nuts!

    December 6, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  9. fred

    Newt being grilled on his principles and character by a man I personally watched rub Vicks in his eyes so he could be seen by the public with tears of patriotism for his country. Now that's a freakin' hoot and a half!!

    December 6, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  10. Reasonably

    Is this news because Beck was making lucid comments not involving Obama conspiracies or Nazism for longer than 5 minutes?

    December 6, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. Portland tony

    In the beginning, I used to find Glenn Beck a fascinating news guy. But since he's anointed himself as the sole speaker of political and religious truth, my eyes glaze over when he speaks. He's found his niche. To bad it's under a rock.

    December 6, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  12. IsaKK Newton

    While any of the GOP would be better than Obama. WE should Get it Right and nominate the best Michele Bachmann

    December 6, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  13. angryoldguy

    Beck the Loon interviews Gingrich the Gasbag! Now that's entertainment! ('cause it ain't nothin' else, that's for sure!)

    December 6, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  14. once upon a horse

    LOL the more I read this stuff the more I think Obama may NOT have to go after much Newt after all...many in the GOP are doing it for him. And the one that says Newt beats Obama heads up must get his poll numbers form FoxNews and right wing talk radio....REAL poll numbers show Obama leading ALL the candidates in the GOP field in head to head except in certain states where he and Romney are in a dead heat. Thus why the Democrats would LOVE to face Newt in 2012.

    December 6, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  15. Namejkane

    All teapublicans should just leave the country and start your own third world country and turn it into a fourth world country.if you want mom and dad kicked off soc sec , Medicare, medicade, food stamps and your family deported, vote for these republican clowns.

    December 6, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  16. TexasPride

    Why do you guys refer to Beck as a Conservative. He is a radical who attracts "useful idiots"!

    December 6, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  17. steven

    Beck is an example of a lving organism that can survive without a brain.

    December 6, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  18. joey

    what a pair, poor america

    December 6, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  19. beardance42

    Newt will get the nomination and select Bachmann as his running mate, to shore up the right fringe. You heard it here first.

    December 6, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. Max


    Gingrich is simply and opportunist who speaks, like Romney, from both sides of his mouth to bait voters. Most of us, however, are too experienced to bite at their baits. Mitt and Newt are both 'flip-floppers' and are not true conservatives to represent our party. They are both political 'opportunists'

    December 6, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  21. Max


    Gingrich is simply an opportunist who speaks, like Romney, from both sides of his mouth to bait voters. Most of us, however, are too experienced to bite at their baits. Mitt and Newt are both 'flip-floppers' and are not true conservatives to represent our party. They are both political 'opportunists'

    December 6, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. Shane

    There is no "GOTCHA" to it. Beck only has a high school diploma and a big mouth. FOX likes their pundits dumb and mouthy so that they have plausible deniability. Gingrich may be a liar and a crook but he can outmatch Beck without even trying. FOX is entertaining in ways they really don't intend to be and watching Gingrich is like watching a train wreck.

    December 6, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  23. justin

    Leadership is not always pretty and does not always come from a kind gentle person asking what one wants- Obama knows this pushed through a health care package the minority of citizens want. Unfortunately, this president is so wounded he is wiling to chase any avenue and take it as his own if it will get him votes. For all the dienchantment with Newt, he is taking on issues the fringes on both side dislike and he is doig that hoping to win an election. It could be he is becoming popular not just because he doesn't just spout what everyone wishes to hear but because others, such as our president, has yet, and still cannot, put together a statement of what he wants to do and where he wishes to point this country. He is planless and governing on hope. Had enough of hope without results. My vote moves from Obaa to Newt if he wins the nomination.

    December 6, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  24. hotfloridalady

    Beck, aren't ever gonna learn that Newt knows how to handle tough questions. All the other candidates are a coward who can't answer tough questions. Donald Trump is moderating the debate on Dec 27th in IA. Some of the other candidates refused to go to the debates b/c they are a coward b/c they can't handle tough questions. Neither can Michele Bachmann. She too is another coward, she did nothing but attack Newt & others(except for Mitt). Newt don't care about anyone attacking him. He is focusing on defeating Obama & that is the smartest thing to do. That's why her's & other's polls are going down & Newt is rising!! NEWT 2012!!

    December 6, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  25. Josh

    Come on Fox fans! Vote him in–Beck for president! He'd be much better than who's in there now. Anyone disagree?

    December 6, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
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