Gingrich apologizes to Ryan after 'radical' comment
May 17th, 2011
07:55 PM ET
10 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. ThinkAgain

    Crumple, crumple. These Republicans are a bunch of greedy scaredy cats, way too willing to jettison their beliefs in their pursuit to suck up to the wingnuts in their party.

    Not only are Republicans policies PROVEN FAILURES, so are all these "candidates."

    May 17, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. A disgusted former Republican

    It looks like one loser trying to con another loser but they are republicans so what the heck.

    May 17, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  3. Republican Robber Baron

    First Fox News – Facts Don't Matter – criticizes Obama for calling labeling the Ryan plan as "radical". Then Fox News paid "commentator" and GOP 2012 candidate Gingrinch himself calls the Ryan plan as "radical". Gotta love those Republican flip-flop hypocrites. Impeach Clinton while Gingrinch himself was cheating on his own wife = priceless.

    May 17, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  4. Clwyd

    The republican zombie who broke ranks is ready to fall back in line. How typically republican!

    May 17, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. Squigman

    Pathetic. Just pathetic.

    May 17, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  6. PacificView

    This is already beyond ridiculous.

    May 17, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  7. kakaraka

    Really? you told a damn true about your party and now are forced to apologize against your feeling? Is that the freedom of speech and thinking that the conservatives are talking about? Disgusting. Obama 2012.

    May 17, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  8. wanderer

    We don’t judge Gingrich’s past, but his past can tell us what he is doing at the present and help us predict what he will do in the future.

    May 17, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  9. runner305

    BOTH of these politicians owe everyday Americans an apology for trying to "reform" Medicare...which is a kinder, gentler way of saying they want to abolish it entirely

    May 17, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  10. Terry

    Oh boy a republican speaks the truth and it ignites a poop tornado, except the word isn't radical it's reactionary. They won't be happy until we're back to the Gilded Age, a few rich families at the top and the rest of us toiling for peanuts to support them.

    May 17, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  11. Jake

    so where's his apology about his "radical" accusations about our President of the United States Barack Obama? oh wait, he doesn't have to pander to him for a nomination....

    May 17, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  12. GOP = Greed Over People

    The GOP porker tries to save his bacon!

    May 17, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  13. thomas

    That's a start !
    Now Newt can call Bill Clinton and make amends !

    May 17, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  14. Veteran

    Newt at it again, Mr. Reverse and Rewrite, with that kind of double speak, he would make an excellent President. Dang, what am I saying, I have got to cut back on the Coffee, its causing a slight delusion.

    May 17, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  15. Republicans Are The American Taliban is so embarassing watching Taliban man love!!

    May 17, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Typical GOP, say what you mean then apologize when it does't sell.

    May 17, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  17. jma58

    Newt is more changeable than the weather or John McCAIN.

    May 17, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  18. Chaz

    You're kidding??? A candidate for the highest office in the land, apologizing to a lowly (and irrational) congressman for an errant comment he made within the first week of his candidacy??? Really; is this how bad we've evolved? Has evolution regressed? It's such a sad period for the country I have always loved!

    May 17, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  19. gentwelve

    It's not about improving a situation it's about supporting "the party" nothing else matters except "the party" only those that conform to "the party" are accepted..... conservative republicans.... amaerican fascist.......

    May 17, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  20. Howard

    I guess that free speech and a healthy exhange of ideas is beyond the Republican's comprehension!! I don't recall any Democrat thinking that they had to apologize to the party for merely expressing themselves!!

    Maybe Newt is a closet Democrat!!

    May 17, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  21. Edthe4th

    “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me NOW! It is fun to be Newt, but you have to know how. I can insult the left! And lambaste the right! I can promote my new book! Then start a GOP fight! I can stump Rush Limbaugh, a boisterous old man! And look! With my ‘thang’ I can hold a red fan! I can fan my new mistress, as I hop on a ball! But that is not all. Oh, no. That is not all...” That is what Newt said (then he fell on his head).

    May 17, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  22. JonnyL

    Gingrich just bought Ryan's plan...

    Or Vote Repub today for no Medicare tomorrow, sorry old dudes!

    May 17, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  23. T'sah from Virginia

    Now apologize to President Obama for calling him the "Food Stamp President!!" Like that's gonna happen!

    May 17, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  24. Jeffer65

    Flip-flopper! Trying to save face.

    May 17, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  25. X

    Kiss butt mode

    May 17, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6