Last Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Newt Gingrich offered a carefully-conceived, triangulating strategy of attacking Obama’s health reform plan as well as the Republican plan proposed by Paul Ryan that privatizes Medicare. “I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” he said.
When the right-wing base predictably flipped out at Gingrich’s criticism of Ryan, Gingrich quickly folded, calling Ryan to personally apologize while stating on Fox News on Tuesday night that his comments were an “unfortunate…mistake.” But by Thursday, Gingrich offered a new formulation to Rush Limbaugh, arguing that his original comments about “right-wing social engineering” were not a reference to Paul Ryan.
This morning on CBS’s Face the Nation, Gingrich trotted out the same excuse. “I wasn’t referring to Ryan,” Gingrich pleaded. Host Bob Schieffer then played a clip of Gingrich on Meet the Press last week, in which Gingrich explicitly said Ryan’s plan was “too big a jump.” Caught in a trap of his own making, Gingrich could only say that Ryan’s plan is a “big plan that needs to be worked through.” Watch it:
David Gregory said this morning on Meet the Press that Gingrich’s claim that he wasn’t referring to Ryan is “on its face absurd.”