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May 16, 2011

Newt Gingrich: Still Not Ready For Prime Time UPDATE: Newt Issues Statement On Mandates

Yesterday the disgraced former Speaker of the House (yeah, that's how I think he should be referred to from no on) attacked Paul Ryan's budget and entitlement reform program as "right wing social-engineering" and "radical. Signing on to the Ryan plan isn't a requirement to win the nomination but a Republican and purported conservative shouldn't attack the plan in language that might make even a Democrat step by and blush a bit. Oh and if you're going to attack the one plan on the table, you need to have a plan better than suggesting "a national conversation" on our impending DOOM.

All of that would be bad enough except it turns out waaaayyyyy back in April of this year Gingrich said this about Ryan and his plan.

Bennett played a clip of an interview he conducted with Gingrich on April 5, barely more than a month ago. At that time, Gingrich was full of praise for the Ryan budget. "Paul Ryan has stepped up to the plate," Gingrich said. "This is a very, very serious budget and I think rivals with [what] John Kasich did as budget chairman in getting to a balanced budget in the 1990s, just for the scale and courage involved…"

"Paul Ryan is going to define modern conservatism at a serious level," Gingrich continued on April 5. "You can quibble over details but the general shape of what he's doing will define 2012 for Republicans."

Apparently in Newt's world savaging the Republicans main entitlement plan is simply a "quibble".

Let us not forget that Newt's commitment to positions on serious issues (not to mention the truth) can be, shall we say, situational. Remember how he was for the Libyan adventure before he was against it and that had a laughable explanation when he was caught flipping?

Yesterday, Allah disagreed with my characterization of Gingrich as "a loose cannon". He thinks Gingrich's attack on the Ryan plan was a calculated maneuver to curry favor with seniors, not a slip of the tongue. He's probably right about that but I don't think it has to be one or the other. My point is simply that Newt is going to shoot off his mouth and whether it's planned or not, you never know who he will hit. Very often, it's himself and his already thin credibility.

Update: Newt wants everyone to know he's opposed to ObamaCare and the national mandate.

As Ben Domenech points out, this puts Newt in the same camp as Mitt as far as state mandates go. So, there's that.

Also note...no walk back on the attacks on (not simple disagreement with) Ryan.


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posted by DrewM. at 09:44 AM

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