Gingrich apologizes to Ryan after 'radical' comment
May 17th, 2011
07:55 PM ET
12 years ago

Gingrich apologizes to Ryan after 'radical' comment

Washington (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spoke late Tuesday afternoon with Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin in the wake of his comments regarding Ryan’s plan to reform Medicare.

Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler told CNN Gingrich was “reaching out” and that the call “went very well.”

Tyler did not say directly if Gingrich issued an apology, but did not dispute Ryan’s characterization of the phone call. Ryan told conservative talk radio host Michael Medved earlier that Gingrich apologized.

Tyler said that Gingrich placed the call between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. ET from Minneapolis, where the former House Speaker is addressing the Minnesota Family Council dinner.

“The objective was to get them in a conversation,” Tyler said. “There weren’t hard feelings between them.”

A spokesman for Ryan said he "accepted Former Speaker Gingrich's apology" during Tuesday's phone conversation.

The former Georgia congressman has faced criticism from members of his party for comments he made during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” in which he called the Medicare provision in the House GOP budget plan proposed by Ryan a “radical change.”

"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 it," Gingrich said Sunday. "I am against Obamacare imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change."

Gingrich later walked back the comment, saying he largely supports Ryan's proposal and has long supported a repeal of the health care law.

"Let me just say I think Paul Ryan did a great job overall but I think the Medicare part needs to go through a public process, discussion, and improvement and modification and I think it can," Gingrich told CNN. "I think he has the beginning of what could be an extraordinary plan."

- CNN's Steve Brusk, Kevin Bohn and Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Medicare • Newt Gingrich • Paul Ryan
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Diane

    Sorry, the guy's got no moral character. Just ask his ex wives. Once might be bad judgment, twice reveals a lack of empathy, character, and dignity. Who needs that in a president?

    May 18, 2011 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  2. lost decade

    Firsties! As for Gingrich, he is not a serious candidate, like Trump this is merely to raise his profile for the lucrative speaking circuit and junk book racket. How's that going so far Newt? He has that post-colonial decaying campbells soup kid mindset.

    May 18, 2011 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  3. kyle

    What was he apologizing for, it's just another right wing nut plan that will never work, why won't they touch the oil crooks, and the tax breaks for the rich that do not create jobs.

    May 18, 2011 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  4. John B

    Ok backtracking. And your first opinion was right. Who cares at all about the economy if you worked all your life and at 65 you have no health care. The plan is the worst and hurts the middle class the most. Ryan should be voted out of office and for that matter banned from the country. You can start helping the economy by finding all the fraudlent claims claims. And then addressing the rising costs of healthcare and finding ways of lowering them. And finally investigating HMOs. They are a big part of the reason for the rising costs and need to be fixed or possibly eliminated. At least start there, before taking away healthcare from working people.

    May 18, 2011 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  5. michael , MN

    He better do the right thing and apoligise to Rush Limburger also , after all we all know who there leader is

    May 18, 2011 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  6. ATL Guy

    If you don't follow along the Republican line like lemmings you will be called a Rhino and hung out to dry. No matter how bad the idea is, you've just got to go along and agree with these folks. no independent thought required to be a republican.

    May 18, 2011 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
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