June 11th, 2012
08:47 PM ET
10 years ago

Gingrich disagrees with Jeb Bush on GOP

(CNN) - Former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich pushed back against comments made by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush Monday, in which Bush argued Ronald Reagan would struggle to fit in with what he described as today's partisan-charged Republican Party.

"I'm not sure what Jeb's referring to," Gingrich said on CNN's "John King, USA." "We just had a pretty grueling campaign, which had a fair amount of disagreement, a pretty wide range of views from Ron Paul to say Tim Pawlenty."

He continued: "In that framework, you see us come together as a party. I think there's plenty of room in the Republican Party for a wide range of candidates."

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Earlier Monday, Bush told Bloomberg editors that Reagan and his own father, former President George H. W. Bush, would not mesh well in a party that some say allows little room for dissension.

"Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad – they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party – and I don't – as having an orthodoxy that doesn't allow for disagreement, doesn't allow for finding some common ground," Bush said, according to the website Buzzfeed.

Gingrich, however, took issue with that assertion, saying he sees more tolerance in the GOP than among those on the left.

"I would argue in many ways we have a more diverse party today than the Democrats. It's much easier to be of a different view as a Republican, without having the kind of pressure you would have if you were a pro-life Democrat," he said.

Also in the interview, Gingrich came to Mitt Romney's defense over comments the presumptive GOP presidential nominee made Friday, remarks that have since drawn fire from Democrats.

Taking questions after an event, Romney faulted President Barack Obama for wanting more government spending to stimulate the economy and create more jobs in the public sector, notably more teachers, fire fighters and police.

Opponents quickly seized on the remarks and accused Romney of wanting to cut those jobs, rather than stop them from growing.

Gingrich, however, said he understood what Romney was saying, arguing that the candidate was simply being realistic about the consequences of reducing the deficit.

"Does that mean there will be fewer teachers? The honest answer is yes. Does it mean you're not going to be getting quite the same pension plan people have been getting? The honest answer is yes," Gingrich said.

The former House speaker further predicted the public sector versus private sector jobs debate would continue to amplify this election year.

"It's going to affect Senate races, Houses race, the entire national dialogue," he said.

Gingrich appeared at a private fund-raiser with his one-time rival, Romney, in Georgia Monday night.

Also see:

Axelrod weighs in on Obama's private sector comments

Romney video goes after Obama's comments on economy

Daniels, Walker want Romney to go bold

McCain: Obama responsible for leaks, Holder has no credibility

Filed under: 2012 • Jeb Bush • Newt Gingrich • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Grow up already...

    Is that you "public" position, Newt? Or your "honest" one? It's quite clear that the two are frequently at odds...

    June 11, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    Yes, I have to give it to your party of hell no newterman. Anytime any of you, and it happens quite often, does or says something wrong you circle the wagons and stick to your guns.
    Reagan wouldn't recognize this party of teapublikkkans. A president who raised taxes 11 times!!!

    June 11, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  3. Name JR

    Ronald Reagan was not the initial choice of the GOP. The republicans rode his coattails into office and later lauded him as the great one. He transcended the party with his vision and ability to hire very smart people. The better comparison is JFK and Clinton would not fit with these democrats.

    June 11, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Does any one cares these GOP thugs???? I do not think so ....yes, on OBAMA12.

    June 11, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  5. Karm99

    You have to laugh when Gingrichs own comment supports the divisions in the Republican Party. He can't even allow Bush to have his own opinion!

    As an Independent, l might vote for a Republican who has values expressed by Bush.

    I will however not be voting for the slash and burn Neo-Condervative Party and their serrogate Romney.

    June 11, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Gingrich is wrong. Reagan's record would have kept him out of the higher ups of the Republican party. There is no way that anyone would let him get any further than the state level.

    June 11, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  7. King

    what you expected, he started the whole lunatic movement.

    June 11, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  8. Squigman

    Newt's nuts. Who cares what Newt, has to say, think, or do. Go away, and stay away.

    June 11, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  9. Clint, Wa.

    How about that, there is one Bush that can see the truth and tell the truth!

    June 11, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  10. JT

    I wonder how many pro-choice Republicans Mr. Gingrich knows.

    I'm betting the only one he knows used to be Mitt Romney.

    June 11, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  11. dnick47

    He was eferring to you Newt! You made the Repub. Party the laughing stock of any Ameican who has more then a High School Education, is not a racist bigot, an authoritian control freak, anyone who think beyond the end of their nose, does not take Fox News at face value, realizes that the greatest traitor in American History was not Benedict Arnold but Rush Limbaugh, – in short who believe in a diverisified, pluralistic American where all races, all religons, all cultures, and both genders can live and prosper work together for a greater good: in a word, the exact opposite of twhat the GOP stands for.

    June 11, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  12. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Bush is correct on this one. Gingrich is one of the most divisive people in current day politics.

    June 11, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  13. Roy

    Ask Romney if he is willing to donate all of his $250 million to help to pay off USA debt but he can keep his $10 million so in that way we can see if he truly cares about our country.

    June 12, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  14. Steven Colo

    Yep, the GOP is diverse and tolerant. There are young white men, old white men, rich white men, poor white men...

    Gingrich stopped too soon. He acknowledged that pensions would be cut and there would be fewer teachers. He forgot to add that the 1% would still get to keep their record low tax rates.

    June 12, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  15. mk1

    There is absolutely no question that Reagan would not be welcome in the modern day Republican party. He would be appalled at what the GOP has become.

    June 12, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |

    When the dirty tricks unhinged GOBP are done with Mitt McCain in Tampa, the swiftboat operation they pulled on Herman Cain will look like a garden party.

    June 12, 2012 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  17. TNPatriot

    As if Newt hasn't made enough of a fool of himself over all these years, now he is proving to be either a bigger liar than ever or just plain blind and stupid. I'm not sure that Dick Cheney would be far enough to the right for this current crop of GOP lunatics. The Tea bagger, the Koch brother's sheep, have talked for the last three years about taking back America, well if by some ill fortune these folks get control of congress and the white house, I believe that the true Americans will revolt again.

    June 12, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  18. wgf

    I think Jeb Bush was inferring that Reagan would have been able to find common ground with Democrats, and accomplish something. Gingrich seems to believe that it's an accomplishment that the Republicans are able to agree with themselves.

    June 12, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  19. TomNPitt

    It's all really very simple. The Republicans want people to pay more in their daily lives in order to get less in the future. In exchange, the rich will get wildly richer. Under Clinton's Taxes and spending the country and GNP grew like crazy; and there was a surplus. Under Bush we cut taxes and went to war – and now we complain about deficits. The rich continue to grow richer and demand additional tax breaks. Jobs have not grown. The economy has not grown. How can we even have a thought about what to do next, when we've already seen the results of our current direction?

    June 12, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  20. jamarsu

    That's right republicans. Keep it up. Sure, do away with teachers firefighters and keep that money rising right to the top. What kind of country would this be with less police offers, firefighters and teachers. The repukes will ruin this country if they get in. Ugh.

    June 12, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  21. anagram_kid

    Well apparently the party was not tolerant enough to accept an adulterous disgraced former Speaker as their nominee. And once again Mr. Gingrich is playing word games and missing the point; there is a difference between a candidate, nominee and winner. President Reagan would not have made it past the primary if he ran today.

    June 12, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  22. Dan

    Is there any wonder why the eye of Newt was thought of as so crazy that he could not win the nomination in a field of crazy people? I have a hard time with the republican idea of reducing the deficit on the backs of the middle class by cutting jobs and taking away earned benefits. I also think that not many people would argue with a balanced approach to reducing the deficit such as making the new welfare class (the 1 percent) actually pay what they owe. The argument that they are the job creators does not hold up, they have had a free ride for the last 11 years. Where are the jobs?? after all is that not the platform that the gop/teaparty ran on in 2010. They have tried to ram social issues since day one and have not introduced a single jobs bill. But they have managed to table the presidents job bill. Makes you wonder if they want this country to fail!!!!!

    June 12, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  23. Bill from GA

    I'm sure ol' Jeb Bush will have a lot of sleepless nights over Newt's comments.

    June 12, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  24. Bill from GA

    And, BTW, when the 'government spending to stimulate the economy and create more jobs' was going on in 2009 and 2010, the economy was growing like gangbusters. Then the repugs got the ability to filibuster in the Senate and, later, to STOP ALL PROGRESS with their majority in the House.

    June 12, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  25. Mr. Moderate

    OK, so Newt cites an event that occurred 20 years ago as an example of Democratic intolerance (GOV Casey of PA not being allowed to speak at the DNC convention)???? Of course his pro life son has no problem being a Democratic senator from PA. Its laughable to say there was a diversity of opinions on the Rep side. Case in point, not one candidate was willing to raise taxes one dollar for ten dollars in spending cuts. And name me one publicly pro-choice or anti-gun Rep?

    June 12, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |