Democrats highlight Gingrich controversy to GOP stance on Medicare
May 19th, 2011
08:57 AM ET
10 years ago

Democrats highlight Gingrich controversy to GOP stance on Medicare

Washington (CNN) - It seems the Democratic National Committee isn't worried about Newt Gingrich's warning.

In apologizing for his critical comments of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's Medicare plan, the former House Speaker and GOP presidential candidate is warning Democrats not to use his controversial comments from Sunday's "Meet the Press" in any commercials.

"Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood because I have said publicly those words were inaccurate and unfortunate," Gingrich said Tuesday night in an interview on the Fox News Channel.

Thursday morning the Democratic National Committee went up with a web video which showcases both Gingrich's Sunday comments and the ensuing pushback against what he said by a number of top conservatives, to highlight the Republican stance on Medicare.

As of now, the DNC is not paying to run the ad on commercial television. The video can be viewed on the DNC's website and on YouTube.

"If there's one lesson we learned from the ferocity with which Republicans attacked their supposed 'ideas man' and the speed with which he caved, it's that dismantling Medicare is the new litmus test for any would-be Republican presidential nominee," says DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan.

For those of you out of the country the past few days, Gingrich sparked this firestorm on Sunday when talking about Ryan's Medicare proposal, saying, "I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate."

Since then Gingrich has apologized to Ryan and conducted interviews with conservative commentators in what appears to be an attempt of damage control.

The House GOP 2012 budget, authored by Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican, passed the House last month without a single Democratic vote and included a proposal to overhaul Medicare. Under the plan, the government would no longer directly pay medical costs for those 55 and older, but instead would offer subsidies for seniors to use to get private health insurance coverage. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll indicated that 49 percent of Americans prefer President Obama's approach on Medicare, with four in ten favoring the GOP proposals on Medicare.

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer is also weighing in on the Gingrich controversy, saying on Twitter Wednesday that the "biggest takeaway from the Gingrich flap – ending Medicare as we know it is the new GOP litmus test."

Filed under: 2012 • DNC • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood because I have said publicly those words were inaccurate and unfortunate,"

    That statement makes just as much sense as this classic verbal paradox. "This statement is false."

    May 19, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  2. ConservaFASCISTS

    Newt is now the posterboy for all the 2012 ads that will be coming out. There should be non stop right-wing social engineering commercials all the way up to election day.

    May 19, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  3. Rsprings

    Newtie opens mouth inserts BOTH feet. I won't vote for him, wasn't going to anyway since he can't win the nomination.

    May 19, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  4. Cdn Jim

    Gingrich's comments on Sunday morning were bang-on with the centre of America, probably 60-70% would have agreed with him. A middle of the road intelligent person would take the White House everytime, whether he or she was Republican or Democrat. You might get such a person nominated by the Dems, but the extremist Right will never allow the Republicans to do such a thing.

    May 19, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  5. Unisaw612

    Well, it looks like the May Queen is getting "glitter bombed" from all sides of the political spectrum.

    May 19, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  6. Jim

    Why doesn't he use the standard GOP cop out:

    It was "not intended to be a factual statement"?

    May 19, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  7. American

    Partisan Newt is somehow warning 'Democrats' not to use his words. Oh, that's rich. LOL

    Newsflash: it is Gingrich's own party giving him the backlash for his words. Newt is only reaping what he sows.

    May 19, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  8. Mark

    Wow, Gingrich grows more stupid every day. Not surprising.

    May 19, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    I'm not sure which is more amusing, Newt *threatening* the DNC for using his own words against him (and by extension, the Republican Party), or the GOP now stating that the 230+ GOPers who voted to pass Ryan's Budget shouldn't be held accountable for their vote on April 15, 2011. If there is any doubt on how Bush was allowed to economically rape this country during his 8 year tenure, the current GOPer leadership in both the House and the Senate ought to open more than a few minds on just how pathetically corrupt the GOP has become ... a few short months into their House leadership, the GOP are once again heading us right back to where we were financially in 2007 - without any safety net whatsoever.

    May 19, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    Newter is done. Too bad as he is a poster boy for GOP ineptitude

    May 19, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. Tony

    "Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood because I have said publicly those words were inaccurate and unfortunate," Gingrich said Tuesday night in an interview on the Fox News Channel.

    In other words, he was misquoted by himself. This reminds me of Charles Barkley's comment that he was misquoted in his own autobiography. Seriously, why did Gingrich have to apologize? He said that he favored a system in which a person can voluntarily opt out of Medicare. Under the Ryan plan a person under 55 would not have a choice because Medicare would be replaced by the voucher system. So a person under 55 would get a voucher. And good luck when that voucher runs out.

    May 19, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. diridi

    As a nation, why not we grow up just, and ignore all these GOP thugs in the nation.....God bless....cuts in medicare, and social security will lead to further chaos. don't they know....??????????????Glad Health Care, and Fin. Reg. Reform are passed as law....glad, glad, and glad....God bless Obama...with Bin Laden's catch and demise, Oil should come down...he was regulating it....but we need to be persistent in Oil, energy, and energy....million times energy....

    May 19, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Which means they should juxtapose both statements to prove he flip-flopped when confronted by his own party. Do we want someone who publicly flips like that as our leader?

    May 19, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. Marry

    I very much dislike political commercials that point the fingers at others instead of communicating what the candidate wants to do. However, when they state one thing one day and the opposite on the next on the same important subject– it needs to be pointed out because it shows that the candidate is not honest/serious in his/her believes and only out to grab power! Of cause that is the case often – but it should not be the reason for running.
    A very good reason would be that you are an integer person with extraordinary talents to work for and serve ALL the People! Gratefully we do have a President right now that is fantastic and has ALL it takes to be successful in that job. Never mind how difficult and despite an opposition of "NO, Hell NO"!

    May 19, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    What a retard! Where are the jobs??

    May 19, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. Narcissist

    Boooom, there goes the dynamite. Opps, I meant to say the Newt.

    May 19, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. BlackPanthers2020

    As I said the GOP= is bad for the average American citizen .....and anyone that thinks any differently really needs to have their head examined . This is a party that lives on lies , hate and threats , just look how they threaten their own when one person doesn't agree with the party mantra , and it is put on display everyday in the media . We should be very worried about these types of people controlling anything in America . The GOP ( GREED OVER PEOPLE ) is a very serious threat to our freedoms !

    May 19, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. Realistic

    Newtwarned democrats not use his own words against the republicans"radical rightwing social engineering" dismantling of Medicare.Oh yeah the democrats are scared,,,idiot. Of course the democrats are going to and should because Newt was for one instance being truthful about the radical right wing republicanc parties agenda against american and against common sense.

    May 19, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. Biggge

    What is the guy going to do about it when the do air the commercials..Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood, how is a quote false, it is what U said crazy guy... Egg on your face.....

    May 19, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  20. Eiolgj

    He caves in to the rest of the Republicans. How will he stand up to foreign leaders? I don't like Newt, but I think it is time that somebody on that side of the aisle questions the Ryan plan.

    May 19, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  21. Boytjie

    Any candidate that is so easily "tricked" by "gotcha" questions from the "liberal" media is not someone I would want to see as president. How do they expect to stand up and/or outwit international foes?

    The GOPers whine that liberals are elitists that think conservatives dumb but since they are so frequently outsmarted by liberals they must be pretty dumb.

    May 19, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. gt

    why is anybody even wasteing there time talking about the newt... he is old tired news....foreward america...

    May 19, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  23. kyle

    I think he said Ryan's plan stinks, then he said Ryan's plan still stinks, but not as bad.

    May 19, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. once upon a horse

    Newt is still living back in the 80's before we had internet, youtube and even FoxNews. Today you can NOT get away with making such statements and then trying to backtrack and blame the media just doesn't work anymore. And just like I'm sure the Republicans would do if they were given the same opportunity, the Democrats are going to take Newt's statements and run with them. Back in Newt's day he could get away with such stuff, he should ask President Obama about havingf a 24/7 news channel that mostly likes to go negative on him, along with talk radio and websites. Newt needs to get out and go take care of wife number 3.

    May 19, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    "Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood because I have said publicly those words were inaccurate and unfortunate," Gingrich said Tuesday night in an interview on the Fox News Channel.
    They reported and they decided that he is a traitor and a liberal. All of the Fox talking heads from Fox, Krauthammer on down, have all sentenced Gingrich to excommunication. That is what Inquisitors do.

    May 19, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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