Newt Gingrich on health care
White House hopeful Newt Gingrich called the House Republican plan for Medicare “right-wing social engineering,” injecting a discordant GOP voice into the party’s efforts to reshape both entitlements and the broader budget debate.
In the same interview on Sunday, Mr. Gingrich backed a requirement that all Americans buy health insurance, complicating a Republican line of attack on President Barack Obama’s health law.
The former House speaker’s decision to stick with his previous support for an individual mandate comes days after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney defended the health revamp he championed as governor, which includes a mandate.
The moves suggest the Republican primary contest, which will include both men, could feature a robust debate on health care, with GOP candidates challenging the Democratic law while defending their own variations.
Newt Gingrich opposes Paul Ryan’s reforms
Consider this article from National Review.
Newt Gingrich’s appearance on “Meet the Press” today could leave some wondering which party’s nomination he is running for. The former speaker had some harsh words for Paul Ryan’s (and by extension, nearly every House Republican’s) plan to reform Medicare, calling it “radical.”
“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” he said when asked about Ryan’s plan to transition to a “premium support” model for Medicare. “I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.”
As far as an alternative, Gingrich trotted out the same appeal employed by Obama/Reid/Pelosi — for a “national conversation” on how to “improve” Medicare, and promised to eliminate ‘waste, fraud and abuse,’ etc.
Newt Gingrich on Hillary Clinton
More from the leftist New York Times.
For Ms. Clinton, standing side by side with her husband’s onetime nemesis gives her the chance to burnish her credentials among the moderates she has been courting during her time in the Senate.
But in comments this week, she portrayed the rapprochement as one born of shared policy interests, not calculated politics.
“I know it’s a bit of an odd-fellow, or odd-woman, mix,” she said. “But the speaker and I have been talking about health care and national security now for several years, and I find that he and I have a lot in common in the way we see the problem.”
For his part, Mr. Gingrich, who helped lead the impeachment fight against President Bill Clinton, called Mrs. Clinton “very practical” and “very smart and very hard working,” adding, “I have been very struck working with her.”
Newt Gingrich on global warming
Newt Gingrich on foreign policy
Newt Gingrich endorsed a pro-abortion, pro-same-marriage candidate
Remember when Newt Gingrich endorsed the RINO Dede Scozzafava in New York?
In a major coup for her campaign, Republican Dede Scozzafava today will pick up the endorsement of Newt Gingrich, one of the nation’s leading conservative figures and the architect of the “Republican Revolution” in the mid-1990s.
“The special election for the 23rd Congressional District is an important test leading up to the mid-term 2010 elections,” Gingrich said in a statement to supporters. “Our best chance to put responsible and principled leaders in Washington starts here, with Dede Scozzafava.”
The endorsement is important for Scozzafava, a social moderate, as she attempts to hold onto a conservative base eroded by Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the thee-way 23rd District race.
[…]Hoffman has mounted a late surge in the special election with endorsements by prominent conservatives that include former Republican Sen. Fred Thompson; Campaign for Working Families founder Gary Bauer; and the conservative Club for Growth in Washington, D.C.
Scozzafava’s candidacy is also reported to have triggered a deep divide among House Republicans, with some of the most conservative members refusing to support her campaign.
But Gingrich, who served as Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999, wants to unite the party. He sees Scozzafava and the Upstate special election – the only House race in the nation this fall — as the best hope for Republicans to start a comeback and regain control of Congress.
Gingrich is apparently willing to overlook Scozzafava’s support for same-sex marriage and abortion rights.
The conservative Club for Growth lists some of his fiscal blunders.
The second large error in Gingrich’s entitlement record was equally troubling: the former Speaker played a high profile advocacy role on behalf of President George W. Bush’s Medicare prescription drug benefit bill in 2003. Gingrich penned several op-eds supporting the general thrust and specific provisions of the bill, urging House Republicans to pass what was billed at the time to be a $400 billion expansion of the federal government.
[…]In the 2009 special election for Congress in New York’s 23rd district, Gingrich was outspoken in his support of liberal Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava, up to the moment she finally quit the race after center-right voters rallied behind Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman. Long after most prominent conservatives had endorsed Hoffman, Gingrich held firm in his advocacy for a liberal candidate who supported Obama’s stimulus plan and the pro-union “card check” proposal, among other bad positions.
In 2010, Gingrich openly campaigned for embattled U.S. Senator Robert Bennett in Utah, whom Gingrich’s wrongly called “a true-blue conservative.” In 2008, Gingrich aggressively supported and campaigned for liberal Congressman Wayne Gilchrist (R-MD) when he faced a conservative challenge from now-Congressman Andy Harris. In 2006, same thing, when Gingrich backed liberal Congressman Joe Schwarz (R-MI) when he was challenged by conservative now-Congressman Tim Walberg.
Unfortunately, the problems in Speaker Gingrich’s record are frequent enough and serious enough to give pause. On two of the most important recent issues that confronted limited government conservatives (creating the new budget busting Medicare drug entitlement, and the Wall Street bailout), Gingrich was on the wrong side. His advocacy of an individual health care mandate is problematic. His penchant for tinkering with rewards for favored industries and outcomes shows a troubling willingness to use federal power to coerce taxpayers into his preferred direction. And his occasional hostility toward conservatives who do not share his desire to support liberal Republicans or to compromise on matters of principle is worrisome.
The totality leads one to be rather unsure what kind of president Newt Gingrich would be. Past is often prologue, and in Gingrich’s case there is an enormous volume of past on which to base a judgment. One could reasonably expect a President Gingrich to lead America in a pro-growth and limited government direction generally, possibly with flashes of real brilliance and accomplishment, but also likely with some serious disappointments and unevenness.
Maybe he is actually running to win the Democrat nomination this time.