Radical Engineering of an Apology


Newt Gingrich apologized on Tuesday to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for calling his Medicare plan “radical” and “right-wing engineering.”

Gingrich, who announced his presidential candidacy just last week, has come under fire in recent days for a series of missteps that some top Republicans believe have crippled his campaign right out of the gate.

Original DVD cover

Chief among the former House Speaker’s recent gaffes is a series of comments he made on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, in which he argued that Ryan’s 2012 budget proposal – and, namely, its plan for Medicare – was “radical change” and that we “need a national conversation to get to a better Medicare solution for seniors.”

“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering… I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate,” Gingrich said during his appearance on the show.

In light of the criticism he has received as a result of his comments, however, Gingrich is now asking for Ryan’s forgiveness.


Appearing on Fox News’ “On the Record” with Greta van Susteren Tuesday night, Gingrich had a warning for any of his political opponents who may try to use his words against him.

“Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood, because I have said publicly those words were inaccurate and unfortunate,” he said.


According to the Associated Press, Ryan accepted Gingrich’s apology.

Whether or not the rest of the GOP will be as quick to forgive the candidate, however, has yet to be determined.

And here’s the latest spin. From USA Today:

GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich told Rush Limbaugh on Thursday that he wasn’t referring to Rep. Paul Ryan when referred to “right-wing social engineering” during a much-criticized appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“I want a government that is much more humble about its ability to tell you what to do whether it’s people on either side of the ideological spectrum,” said Gingrich, a former House speaker, on Limbaugh’s radio show. “And by the way it was not a reference to Paul Ryan, there was no reference to Paul Ryan in the answer.”


But when asked Thursday by Limbaugh why he apologized to Ryan if he was not referring to his plan, Gingrich said, “It was interpreted in a way which was causing trouble, which he doesn’t need or deserve and it was causing the House Republicans trouble.”


Here’s a partial transcript of what was said Sunday on the NBC program:

GREGORY: What about entitlements? The Medicare trust fund, in stories that have come out over the weekend, is now going to be depleted by 2024, five years earlier than predicted. Do you think that Republicans ought to buck the public opposition and really move forward to completely change Medicare, turn it into a voucher program where you give seniors.


GREGORY: …some premium support and–so that they can go out and buy private insurance?

GINGRICH: I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate. I think we need a national conversation to get to a better Medicare system with more choices for seniors. …

GREGORY: But not what Paul Ryan is suggesting, which is completely changing Medicare.

GINGRICH: I, I think that, I think, I think that that is too big a jump. I think what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options, not one where you suddenly impose upon the–I don’t want to–I’m against Obamacare, which is imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change.

(Emphasis mine)


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19 responses to “Radical Engineering of an Apology

  1. John Erickson

    As Jon Stewart said, the whole “sneak attack” concept mighta worked if Newtie hadn’t been on that show some 35 times previous.
    I love the guy Newt meets glad-handing in Iowa that calls him an embarrassment. Maybe THAT dude should run for office! πŸ˜€

    • david gregory had even said to newtie himself on the show that that was his 30-somethingth appearance. it shows just how low the so-called brilliant newtie has come when he has to employ the princess sarah defense.

  2. Pinocchio is right. what a crock of shit.

    That little Ryan is especially creepy in the diminutive. 😯

  3. jeb

    I always get a kick when Rethugs accidently let a moment of reality slip. It’s really funny watching them rapidly backstroke as they simultaneously cover their broad backsides. Should be an Olympic event. I give Newtie a 9.1.

  4. jean-philippe

    Doesn’t “A hole in the head” work better?

  5. to continue the foot-in-mouth metaphor….it’s seems like Newtie dipped his toe into the waters of moderation and got it bitten off by sharks..that’ll teach him!

  6. Oh he’s sorry alright… no argument there.

  7. That poster says it all. Did anybody see the masterly reading of the press release tonight by John Lithgow? It was masterly done. But my question is: are the “illiteralli” that same old bunch of renegade Jews and Masonites?

    • wasn’t john lithgow hilarious? he’s one of my favorite actors. he can do comedy brilliantly and then turn around and scare the crap out of you.

  8. Poor Newt. For someone who is billed as an intellect, he sure knows how to gaff. Meanwhile, Saint Sarah to the rescue by blaming the “lamestream” media.

    BTW … I caught the 3 – thus catching on! πŸ™‚

    • yeah, poor newtie is such a neophyte when it comes to the media. it’s so easy to take advantage of him. πŸ™„

      now you’re really an official raisinette, frank, because you get my little jokes. πŸ˜‰