Washington (CNN) – Newt Gingrich, who last week announced he was laying off staff and cutting back on campaign stops, responded coolly Tuesday to President Barack Obama's mention of his past language deriding a GOP budget plan.
In a speech at a media luncheon in Washington, Obama assailed Republicans for what he said was an inflexible position on cutting spending and balancing the federal budget. In making his point, the president dropped in a few references to the former House speaker.
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"Instead of moderating their views even slightly, the Republicans running Congress right now have doubled down and proposed a budget so far to the right it makes the Contract with America look like the New Deal," Obama said, referring to the 1994 campaign document that helped propel Gingrich to the House speakership and Republicans to a majority in the House of Representatives.
Obama went on to refer to Gingrich by name, reviving a criticism the Republican presidential candidate originally made of GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan in May.
"In fact, that renowned liberal, Newt Gingrich, first called the original version of the budget 'radical' and said it would contribute to right-wing social engineering," Obama said. "This is coming from Newt Gingrich. And yet this isn't a budget supported by some small group in the Republican Party. This is now the party's governing platform. This is what they're running on."
In a May 2011 appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Gingrich said specific elements of Ryan's budget plan, including its call for making major changes to Medicare, went too far.
"I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering," Gingrich said. "I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate."
On Tuesday, the White House hopeful said Obama was using his words out of context, and that his assertion that the plan amounted to "right-wing social engineering" was meant only about a specific problem.
"Once again the president shows just how willing he is to distort the facts to score cheap political points, and how dangerous his reelection would be for the future of this country," Gingrich said in a statement. "In fact, I have enthusiastically endorsed the House Republican budget, including the Ryan-Wyden optional premium support plan in Medicare. My concern over previous versions of this budget was limited to the fact that the premium support plan was mandatory rather than optional. That concern has been addressed."
Gingrich concluded the jibe from the president was reflective of a mindset focused only on reelection.
"For the president to so blatantly distort the facts while offering no plan of his own just shows how little he is concerned with governing and solving the debt crisis enveloping this country," Gingrich said.
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nothing blatant here. Newt said what he said, and was dismissive of Ryan (jealous?).
Now he is being called out....
"Americans have until April 17 to file their federal tax returns this year, and ironically, according to the Tax Foundation, the average American will have to work from Jan. 1 until exactly that day just to pay his or her share of the taxes that government will absorb this year."
This is outrageous to those of us who work for a living but it's music to the ears of democrats, most of whom are sitting home right now waiting for their next government check to arrive.
Newt needs the press and will say anything, but his words were not out of context- he said them, I heard him.
The roll of government is to protect it's citizens from invaders foreign and domestic. As I see it, our social problems "invade" our lives everday. And, by not taking care of our health and other social needs, the government is not doing it's job.
But spending a gazillion dollars to build a moon colony for our 51st state is going to help our debt? Oh wait – the reduced friction of driving on the moon is Newt's plan to bring gas down to $2.50/gal. So the moon is a good idea then. Sheesh – I almost voted for the wrong guy.
No, I'm a democrat who works 50 hours a week while barley making it because I want my wife to stay at home with our new born, but thanks for the wrong, broad generalization.
Gingrich's statements were3 not taken out of context as President Obama repeated the statements verbatim. Gingrich did change the "context" of his statements when he received heat from his party for making the true statements.
There goes Newt rewriting history again.
new,ts contract on the middle class,was the start of the republicans war on the middle class
i am democrate and i work for a living. who are taking about, because everybody i know are not sitting at home waiting on checks. they are hard working americans.
Good work Newt. NOW are you beginning to understand the damage you have done? But don't worry, the American people have seen four years of failure from this empty suit of a president. He's spoken sooo much and demonized sooo many soo many times over the last four years, the American public has picked up on his MO. He's used every excuse in the book (dog ate my homework is surely comming), blamed everybody else and attacked everybody else as the problem.
Truth is this country has ONE BIG PROBLEM named Barack Obama. November, 2012 will be that problem solved.
Newt said it. Newt needs to own it. At least Pres. Obama quoted him verbatim, as opposed to the lies and scurrilous 'editing' that Mitt Romney is famous for.
Oh but Newt never distorts the facts to score cheap political points! SNARK!
The Prince of "distort" is upset OH NO what will we do. These Republican candidates are so distorted they would know the truth if it hit them in the face. The Republican party is in grips of what I call the "Palin Effect". Which is lie as if it is the truth or state facts incorrectly without correcting or give interpretation that total distorted from truth. We all remember Mrs. Palin’s version of the midnight ride of Paul Revere and her distorted interpretation of the facts.
Rickster, may I introduce myself? I just finished my 9.5 hour workday and am just sitting down in the home I have bought and paid for in order to catch up on today's news.
I am a former Reagan Republican, now a Reluctant Democrat. Your ilk have made me so, as I can no longer follow people like you down the rabbit hole.
ginGRINCH – YOU LIE!!! Your words were not taken out of context from the box
The truth is Santorum FLIPS while Romney FLOPS and you suffer from the "Poll Number Drops"
Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!!
Grinchy, the truth hurts when you need to change ideas to get votes.
Newt, it is called being "nailed" or "skewered" when the President calls you out.
It is called irony, when he uses your own words as the "nail".
Geeze – Obama shouldn't quote Gingrich. Gingrich came out 2 days later and stated to Greta VanFoxNoise, "Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood"
Clearly, on the Republican side, quoting equals lieing.
Don't you just just hate it when people comment on exactly what you said or did? Gingrich needs to write a book, get a new wife, or go on Dancing With The Stars. He's over.
Newt knew last May when he said "right wing social engineering" that he just handed the President a bipartisan critique of the current state of the GOP.
Watching President Obama wipe the floor with Mittens will need extra investments in popcorn.
Larry L – he can't get a new wife yet. According to his pattern, Calista will have to be in the hospital with cancer before he can start looking.
"Once again the president shows just how willing he is to distort the facts to score cheap political points, and how dangerous his reelection would be for the future of this country"
HE CITED YOUR EXACT WORDS NEWT!!! My God, how do you stand yourself?
T'sah From Virginia
AMEN!!!!!! ENOUGH SAID!!!!!!!!!!!
I guess newt should think befor he opens his mouth. He dishes it out but can't take it. All these headlines saying the president is callin out Newt or slamming romney are so dumb. the president is just stateing facts and in a much more adult way than the repos. Romney has blamed the president for everything but global warming and thats comming. wait untill he has to debate the president that should be good for a real laugh.