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. stives

    Another reason why Newt is not Presidental ready, nor a man that has some respect for himself, let along for others. He lose his temper and say things knowing he mean them and then, try to soften them by sending an apology for his actions. Let us all know this, if you start a war, you cannot recalled it; bad temper that newt has can put the US in a bad situations if he is elected; don't make this mistake.

    May 17, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  2. Dan

    Way to gp Newt, now you understand how to play the tea bagger game, say the truth and then apologize. Next time clear your speeches with them before you give them so you can all be on the same page of the party doctrine. Looks like Europe in the 30's and 40's.

    May 17, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  3. Abraham Linclon

    Just watching these has been idiots from the GOP self-destruct one after the other is either completely sad or thoroughly entertaining. It all depends if you're listening to them before or after happy hour.

    May 17, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  4. Larry King

    Apologizing for telling the truth! If there was an olympic event for HYPOCRISY, Mr. Gingrich would have a closet full of gold medals. What a complete buffoon! There is something stuck to the bottom of my shoe that has more integrity than this disgraceful, pathetic huge-headed ego-maniac!!!

    May 17, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  5. Bob Dog

    Its going to be great entertainment to see Newt get ripped to shreds of the next several months!!!

    May 17, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  6. BruceF

    so now its "the beginning of an extraordinary plan" sheesh

    May 17, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  7. Tim

    Starting to curry favor after only one week and one comment. Gingrich is done before he started.

    May 17, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  8. duke

    Boy oh boy,don't these republicans remind you of another group??
    Think about this,
    What group in the middle east is super conservative?
    What middle eastern group does all it can to keep women silent and in their place??
    What middle eastern group goes after anyone who's NOT in lock step with what they say??
    Give up??

    May 17, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  9. duke

    This party has installed most of the dictators the middle east has ever known,yet here at home no one ever calls them on their dictator like policies??
    Do as I say or else its the republican mantra!!

    May 17, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  10. 21k

    he's already down on his hands and knees, licking the boots of the gop crazies. what a limp excuse for a man.

    May 17, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  11. Peter s

    Oops Giacomo Casanova, with literally no Cajones to stand with what he said five minutes ago, If I were you Mr. Casanova I could have told Ryan the truth "Take your teatard economics and shove" it to the nearest express or patriot before it starts pulling plugs on grandma!

    May 17, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  12. duke

    Republican=Americas version of their brethren's,
    The Taliban,alqaeda, and the likud party!!

    May 17, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. Michael

    Guess now the media can call you a "flip-flop"? Let's see if Fox News will only reserve that term for non-ReThuglicans

    May 17, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  14. Tony

    After the 2012 election Paul Ryan will be apologizing to Republicans. Ryan's plan propose that Medicare is replaced by a voucher system for people under 55, and the switch to a voucher system is compulsory for them since they cannot stay in a system that is being replaced. Once the voucher is gone people would be on their own. If Republicans think they are going to win with a proposal like this, many Republicans will be facing compulsory retirement in the 2012 election.

    May 17, 2011 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  15. CSM

    Only Newt can "Flip" and "flop" in the same breath..

    May 17, 2011 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  16. Stacey, Connecticut

    Gingrich was right – Paul Ryan's plan is radical and I'll add that it's a cruel plan. I'm 54 years old. If Ryan's plan becomes law, all the money I put in since age 14 would be all for nothing. Every worker age 54 and under would be in trouble if they are not rich when they reach age 65. Medicare will be gone.

    May 17, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  17. Tom, St. Paul

    Advice to Gingrich: Just...stop...talking.

    May 17, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  18. Mike

    Don't retreat Gingrich, RELOAD!

    Oh wait... I forgot that party line obedience is a must to make it anywhere in politics, and that line only refers to people who target the opposite party.

    Face it, the plan sucks, even republicans are running away from it.

    May 17, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  19. Larry L

    Republicans continue with the nonsense. I see they just blocked the effort to end the subsidies for big oil – even with the deficit and the huge oil profits. They are absolutely evil and every American who cares about anybody beyond the very wealthiest needs to get out and stop them. This is class warfare and the Republicans will do anything to make the rich richer.

    May 17, 2011 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  20. Carol

    First time I've ever agreed with Gingrich; Paul Ryans plan for Medicare is radical, the people who voted for it are radical. Now if he wants to stay with the boys, he has to be sure he checks with the Republican Party before thinking for himself. Too funny and pitiful.

    May 17, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  21. Ron

    Try apologizing to Rush. See if that helps. These people will eat you alive if you don't tow the line. Dot the i's and cross the t's–or else....

    May 17, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  22. Who opened the gate? The Idiot's have walked In !

    Newt you just blew any chance you had ! Just give up now because you are completely worthless ! Do like Trump and make your exit speech now ! If there was any doubt that Newt Gingrich was just a loud mouthed pandering buffoon , Newt you just validated the fact that you are exactly that !

    May 17, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  23. valwayne

    I really like Newt Gingrich. I've liked him since he took the Republican party to power by winning the House in the 90s. I've always thought his Speakership helped lead the nation to a decade of prosperity and years of balanced budget. Certainly he played a bigger role than Bill Clinton actually did even if Clinton got the credit. However, despite being one of the smartest people in politics he has a habit every once in awhile of going off like an idiot bomb. Why he would attack the only budget plan in town that has any hope of becoming the bases for an agreement that could save this nation from Obama's insane corrupt spending and mountains of debt is beyond me? If he didn't like parts of Ryan's plan he could have said he had some reservations, but he just outright attacked the plan in a way that will appear in ever democrats campaign ads in 2012. It wasn't just a gaff, it was an immense insane stupid gaff, and far to typical of what everyone says about his lack of discipline. Newt has put bullets in the guns Obama is going to use to try and defeat all attempts by the Republicans to end the massive corrupt spending and get the debt under control. How anyone so smart could do something so stupid and damaging is beyond me.

    May 17, 2011 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  24. Republican's Are Fraud's !

    Seriously ! Why would anybody take any of the GOP contenders seriously ? They have an awful bunch ! President Obama won't even have to campaign much ! It's over already !

    Obama 2012 !

    May 17, 2011 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  25. springthecat

    Newt. You have to stick to your guns to maintain any level of credibility. You can't even comment on the weather without back peddling. I disagree with you on so many things, but I think you need to go back to teaching the history of some sort economics in the Congo, where your dissertation will come in handy. Stay out of USA politics

    May 17, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
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