Gingrich to Republicans: Fight against Medicare attacks
May 25th, 2011
01:50 PM ET
12 years ago

Gingrich to Republicans: Fight against Medicare attacks

Washington (CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich encouraged Congressional Republicans Wednesday to fight for the Republican Medicare proposal, despite his past criticism of the plan and the Republican loss in Tuesday's New York special election that became a referendum on the proposal.

"Saving Medicare so it is affordable with no government rationing of healthcare for seniors is the new GOP litmus test," Gingrich wrote in a letter to House and Senate Republicans. "Republicans are working to preserve a doctor-patient relationship and access to care for all seniors."

The 2012 presidential candidate said this is the third time in his career Democrats have unsuccessfully used Medicare to attack the GOP, adding that Republicans need to "stand firm against these attacks."

"The lessons of 1980 and 1995-96 are clear," Gingrich wrote, referencing the Republican electoral victories in those cycles. "The Democrats' Mediscare big lie campaign will inevitably collapse if we cheerfully insist on telling the truth."

Gingrich's apparent endorsement comes after a very public back-and-forth with House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan. He originally criticized the plan publically, only to later backtrack on his comments and apologize to the Wisconsin Republican.

Under the plan originally put forward by Ryan, the government would no longer directly pay bills for senior citizens in the program. Instead, recipients would choose from a list of private insurance providers, which the federal government would subsidize.

Democrats warn the move would threaten the health care security enjoyed by older Americans and have pledged to make the GOP plan a focal point of their campaign efforts in the lead-up to the 2012 election.

Medicare was a key issue in Tuesday's special election to fill the Congressional seat in New York's 26th district, in which CNN projected a win for Democrat Kathy Hochul.

Hochul and Republican Jane Corwin attacked each other over the issue while both political parties and outside groups flooded the market with ads over the reform plan.

But the day after the election, Gingrich told GOP members to think of this time as "'Medicare 3,' a bad sequel to two bad failures."

"Paul Ryan and the House Republicans are trying to save Medicare in a period of enormous economic and fiscal difficulties," Gingrich wrote. "We need to be bold and offer real solutions that improve Medicare so we can preserve it for future generations."

- CNN's Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Congress • House • Medicare • Newt Gingrich • Senate
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Another Right Wing JERK!

    May 25, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    HELL NO.

    Leave our medicare alone, and keep your filthy hands off the money we have put into social security.

    Change tax codess to get rid of loopholes and deductions for the wealthiest.

    May 25, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. RG

    Which Newt should I believe?

    May 25, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. Big Bad Bubba J

    Flippity Flop ..Flippity Flop ...Now he LOVES Ryan's plan? Just plain WoW!

    May 25, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. diridi

    folks please do not eve duped by these GOP thugs....Obama2012..

    May 25, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Chas in Iowa

    Common Newt,...cut the bull,'s about cutting the legs out from under the elderly in favor of another big tax cut for the wealthy.
    It all comes down to priorities,'s obvious the GOP is standing firm behind the rich and coporate America.

    May 25, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Bill

    Does anyone listen to this bloated buffoon anymore. I am sure by tomorrow he will changing his story again. The GOP has dug itself into a huge hole with the Medicare elimination bill and it will cost them dearly at the polls. Thanks Ryan!

    May 25, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. GOP = Greed Over People

    Give me one of whatever newt is having, unless it involves his tongue and flies.

    One week the Ryan plan is right wing social engineering and the next week the destruction of Medicare should be defended?

    Does the GOP ever really listen to themselves or are they too busy just spouting the daily tea bagging talking points.

    And some of you are actually considering voting for this hypocritical, nonsensical toad?

    May 25, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Reginald

    "Preserve" it [Medicare]? Such blatantly phony double-talk. He wants to dismantle it and give it to the for-profit market place. Like Madoff did with people's savings? Beware of folks like this.

    May 25, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Jake

    and the rest of us, say "Fight the Republicans!"

    May 25, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. Four and The Door

    The Democrats will not be doing the future of Medicare any favors by ignoring it. Everyone knows it is running out of funding. But having the government pay directly is no way to make anything more efficient or effective. The fraud alone is a billion dollar industry. We can do better. Paul Ryan showed how. We can save the future of Medicare.

    May 25, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. duke

    Don't worry Newt!
    While your words("right wing social engineering")will be like cinder blocks on the feet of your party,
    You will still be able to go find that next younger wife and you will still be allowed to make political asinine statements to the media,
    Just don't expect me to ever take the republican party serious again!!
    There is no difference between the dictators of the middle east and the republican party in america,nor is their a difference between the republicans and the taliban/alqaeda/likud party?"Do as I or I'll hurt you,because god said I can?

    May 25, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    This guy is truly unbelievable. He is factually on record slamming this thing and now in an attempt to try to recover he digs himself further by completely going the other way with it and spitting out this garbage. It would have been in his own best interest to never talk about Medicare again if he could help it. What an idiot. Obama/Biden 2012

    May 25, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. 'merica ruined by rethugs

    Fight for radical right wing social engineering!!
    I'm confused though, can we use Newt's words or if we quote him we will be lying????

    Ryan's plan is toxic, go ahead and endorse it Repubs.

    May 25, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. majestic

    Gingrich is a joke.

    May 25, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. gina

    First he was for it and then he was against it. The problem is that he was right the first time. The medicare bill engineer by Paul Ryan is right wing attempt to destroy Medicare. I would have more respect for Gingrich if he defended his original statement since it is obvious to everybody that is what he truly believes. There is nothing wrong in speaking against your party, if what they are doing is wrong, instead it shows courage and the ability to think for yourself. Something no Republican is capable of doing.

    May 25, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Mr. G, you are getting senile on me. Don't you get it? Stick to your original statement about social engineering. You were a Republican icon to the conservatives in that district. They were listening to you, YOU; really listening when you told them what the current leadership was doing. They were appalled and justifiably horrified. They believed you, and then they watched you get thrown under the bus. The kicker was when you were came out the E.R. tamed and cowed. Their last conservative champion for Medicare had fallen to the dark side.

    And so NY-26 voted Democratic.

    May 25, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    STILL waiting for Obama and the Democrats to offer ANY plan to save Medicare OR Social Security. When will they EVER present a plan to save it? They say they need to raise revenue. Well, where is the plan to raise revenue? HOW MUCH WILL YOU RAISE TAXES???

    Endless pot shots and demagogery while the plans go belly up IS NOT A PLAN! Maybe iti s YOUR plan to get re-elected or lie to the American people, but it is NOT a plan to save the plan for the people on it or that will be going on it. Sorry, that is NOT leadership. It is a sham.

    Yes people, Obama and the Democrats LIED TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Obamacare has ZERO to do with reform or cost reduction. It is simply another new healthcare entitlement plan this country cannot afford, especially while Medicare and Medicaid is going belly up. You have all been Obamboozled. the ONLY way to correct this massive fraud is to vote all Democrats and Obama OUT of office in 2012.

    BTW, how many THOUSANDS of companies and groups (accounting for MILLIONS of people) have been granted waivers to avoid this disastrous law? If it is so good as the Democrats proclaim, why are people RUNNING FROM IT?

    May 25, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. Yanni

    How a week makes a difference in Gingrich political life

    May 25, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    To hear this from a womanizer that was booted out for 84 unethical charges is just too much to bear.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE. If the republicans EVER again get the house and the senate they will turn us ALL into paupers to be used by them.

    May 25, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. aaron in MN

    In in GOP landia can you call the republcan Medicare program extremem social engineering and turn around a few days later and say they're actually trying to preserve Medicare. What you learned 1980 and 1995-1996 is that a government program the collectively bargains for seniors creates lower costs to seniors. Trying to privitaze Medicare only increases costs to seniors. But here you are again telling us if we privitize it'll save Medicare. And he calls the democrats message a lie, now that's just ripe!

    May 25, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. king

    aahhh the masters of spin doctor, if it is bad change it around somehow and make it look good. hey the repugs have been trying for ever since these entitlements came out to destroy it. they just do it with pretty words that can snatch up and win over grandma. now when its too late and grandma is out their negotiating with the insurance wolves, she'll scream, dam! i let those republicans fool me with their sweet talks and fear mungering again, i guest 2010 will still be fresh in grandma's mind with the repugs mantra: jobs jobs jobs. ginwitch you need to give it up, you had a great basis the other day when you rightly called Ryans plan right wing engineer. if you had kept your views, you probably would have been standing on a firmer ground than what you are standing on at the moment.

    May 25, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Me

    Wait, ...what? This man is unscrupulous and can not be trusted. Yesterday was the flip, this open letter delivers the flop. His statements are SO unbelievable and is amazing...I'm amazed

    May 25, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. duke

    It should read,
    Gingrich to alqaeda,the taliban and the likud party!
    Keep up our ideological fight we have god on our side and to he!! With the truth,
    Afterall we are brethren fighting the same fight!

    May 25, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    Watch Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. Is that what YOU want the entire country to be like?

    May 25, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
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