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. Papasan

    The best thing to happen to the GOP is Gingrich!

    Oh yeah! I forgot Palin, Trump, the Birther / Deather conspiracies and those Tea baggers too.

    With that line up the GOP has nothing to worry about in 2012...

    May 17, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  2. Seattle Sue

    There must be a lot of money to be made running for President even if you (Gingrich) has no chance what so ever of winning. What a low life loser.

    May 17, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  3. JAB

    Flip Flop, Flip Flop

    May 17, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. YnotNotY

    Way to back-peddle, Big Fig Newton! What a crop of losers the GOPers have to choose from so far.

    May 17, 2011 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  5. Mark

    Why apologize when you are right. Ryan's program does nothing.

    May 17, 2011 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  6. lastsaneman


    May 17, 2011 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. sean

    You would think that this was Rush he's bowing to!

    May 17, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  8. richard

    i have no opinion whatsoever to contribute to this thread

    May 17, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. jimatmadison

    Toast. Burned straight through, not worth bothering with the butter.

    Y'know Newt, you weren't going to get the nomination anyway. We remember who you are.

    But to flame out like this in just a few days is hilarious.

    May 17, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  10. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    he must have gotten a phone call from "Boss Limbaugh" who is already used to folks crawling back apologizing to him.. Newt has just shown me that he is a WUSS and will not stand up for what he believes. Not a Maverick here folks. He needs to reel it in before he is totally embarrassed

    May 17, 2011 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. OneMoreTime

    Did he apologize to wife 1, wife 2, the little twit between wife 2 and affair 3 before she became his wife? No
    Did he apologize to Clinton for his brazen hypocrisy? No
    Did he apologize to the Senate for lying? No
    Did he apologize for writing hot checks to pay off his debt to the Senate? No
    Did he apologize to Ryan to save his own ass? YES
    What a guy!
    Why does he always wear black suits? Is he trying to look like a preacher or a creep. The latter, I think.

    May 17, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  12. Lenny Pincus

    Conservative summit. Goober and the Pea.

    May 17, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  13. John

    ... Newt... just doing whatever will score him the most post at the given moment... same philosophy he has with spouses.

    May 17, 2011 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  14. John

    ... Newt... just doing whatever will score him the most points at the given moment... same philosophy he has with spouses

    May 17, 2011 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  15. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Flippity Flopity Flip Flopper!
    (not a really good start)

    May 17, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  16. Randy, San Francisco

    Although Gingrich put his foot in the mouth, he got it right. Ryan's plan is radical conservative social engineering that will hurt senior citizens. Asking senior citizens to pay more for their health care without a corresponding sacrifice by the rich is simply wrong.

    May 17, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. Kenny

    He apologized to Paul Ryan? What about the rest of the country? He should apologize for insulting the intelligence of the voters of this nation. As often as he has changed positions on issues, if he was made of rubber I could wear him as my "Flip Flops". Gingrich has not changed from the way or type of person he was back in the 90's. He's only changed the the pants and jacket he wears to make him look different. Underneath he still wears the same filthy underclothes. You know it every time he opens his mouth. You can detect that attitude that says, "I'm saying one thing while it is coded to mean something else and I don't expect you to be smart enough to realize it". He is also as bigoted today as he was back when he was the Speaker of the House. The only way I would ever alllow myself to vote for someone likes of Newt Gingrich is ............................. Hell there is no way I would vote for him. He stands as much of a chance for my vote as does a snowball in hell stands of surviving.

    May 17, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  18. Roscoe

    He's apologizing to Ryan? He wants to lead the country and he has to apologize for calling an extreme plan an extreme plan? I think he better bow out now. It's not going to get any easier once your wives start talking. I think I hear the toilet flushing at the Gingrich home.....

    May 17, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  19. Patrick from Minnesota

    What a hypocrite!! Does Newt already forget that he shut down the government in 1995 because Clinton wouldn't adopt his plan to slash $650 billion from Medicare?!?! And now he's defending it?!?!

    May 17, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  20. Grand Oil (and Tea) Partiers

    Big daddy Rush took the Newtered one to the woodshed - hence the apology. Too late, it's on record and really people appreciated Newt's honesty (if only for the moment). Still LOL'ing at the Repub clown show. No chance in 2012.

    May 17, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  21. michaelam

    Uh, oh! Rush must have taken the lizard behind the wood shed for a butt whoopin'. That will teach you, Newt, to go against your Party's plan to eliminate Medicare and destroy America as we know it! Shame on you, Newt!

    Do us all a favor and just end your feeble attempt at winning the GOP/Teahadist party nomination.


    May 17, 2011 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  22. SS

    Conservatives are always in competition with one another in the "holier than thou" and "who's a bigger conservo" category–they usually eat themselves up by doing that. As a result, they have no viable frontrunner. That's a good thing actually, Repubs in control of the White House will just increase defense spending out of paranoia and tax breaks for big business who WILL NOT bring back all those mfg jobs they outsourced to China and the like.

    May 17, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  23. Rick McDaniel

    There you guts and no personal fortitude, for his ow personal beliefs.

    Is there any reason to elect ANY candidate from either party?

    May 17, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  24. Liberal4Obama

    Only in the republican party a.k.a the GOP politicians have to apologize for telling the truth

    May 17, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  25. jesse

    All of "Obamacare" is not bad by a long shot. Their are many parts of it that need to be gutted and as much was said when it was passed. It was mainly rushed through to stop the atrocities that insurance providers were commiting like claiming pregancy as a prexisting condition.

    May 17, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
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