Skip to comments.Bill Bennett to Gingrich: You’re Shooting at [Paul Ryan] From Behind! (Testy Radio Interview)
Posted on 05/17/2011 11:33:47 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
I would contend Newt Gingrich’s interview with Bill Bennett this morning did not go well for the candidate. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Bennett, one of the most patient and courteous hosts in talk radio, so exasperated with a guest:
Bill Bennett: We had some tough comments about you, want to give you a chance to respond. Let me put it this way: Is there anything about this Meet the Press interview that you would like to either take back or clarify today?
Newt Gingrich: Yeah, there’s a lot that I would like to clarify, but let me start by just saying something that I think you will fully understand. I don’t think I realized until after Sunday’s Meet the Press how big a threat my candidacy is to the Washington establishment. Think about that show. I go into the show, and I’m hit first with, ‘if you tell the truth about President Obama having food stamps than any other president in history, you’re a racist.’ Then I’m told later in the panel discussion by E.J. Dionne that if you even mention Detroit, you’re a racist…
Finally they ask me totally loaded question that I probably should have stepped back from and answered totally differently, asking me if you were in a position where you had to vote yes or no, on something the American people did not want, would you ram it through?
Now we had just been through Obama doing precisely that with Obamacare. So I suddenly find myself – having spent two and a half years fighting against Obamacare from the Center for Health Transformation which I founded, to help migrate us to a center-right, personally-oriented, market-oriented system – with everything that I’ve said for two and a half years opposing Obamacare, suddenly by late Sunday afternoon, people are confused about where I stand. I then turn, and with Paul Ryan, who I have praised, I have written newsletters about, I have talked about his budget, I said it was courageous, I said it was a tremendous step in the right direction, suddenly I’m supposed to be, as the Wall Street Journal writes this morning, telling House Republicans to ‘drop dead.’ Now that’s just plain baloney.
… a very narrow question. I am totally for what Paul Ryan is trying to do in general terms. I’m actually for more change over the next ten years. This budget is the beginning stage of the scale of change we need. And yet somehow to the Washington elites, that somehow becomes almost a caricature of what I’ve done throughout my entire career.
Bennett: …When you say you’re totally for what Paul Ryan is for and the Washington elites, that’s not what I heard. Maybe I’m part of the Washington elite. That’s not what the Journal heard. That’s not what Krauthammer heard, that’s not what Rush heard, that’s not what Mark Levin heard. That’s not what the listeners to this show heard. We heard you equate Paul Ryan’s plan with Obama’s plan. ‘Right-wing social engineering vs. left-wing social engineering.’ Why the hit on Ryan? It was clearly and unambiguously a criticism of Ryan.
Newt: That’s not a criticism of Ryan as a person.
Bennett: Not as a person, as a plan.
Newt: It is a criticism of — what I said was, you shouldn’t impose radical change!
Bennett: He’s not imposing radical change! How’s he imposing it? He can’t impose it. We don’t have the Senate and White House.
Newt: So since we can’t, then you can say we can all relax because he can’t do it. [Crosstalk] I was asked the question, would you do that? I wasn’t asked a question about where I stood on Ryan; I was asked, ‘should Republicans pass a plan that is unpopular’?
Bennett then plays the audio from Sunday:
Gregory: 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… 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.
Returning to the interview:
Bennett: Why characterize the Ryan plan as right-wing social engineering, and call for a national conversation when we’re in the middle of a national conversion?
Newt: Well, to the degree we are in the middle of a national conversation, and the plan is open to change, and our goal is to move forward and modify and improve the plan, as opposed to either sell it or pass it, I’m for it.
Bennett: No one, Newt, no one took away from your comments on Meet the Press that you’re for it. No one. Left, right, no one.
Newt: Well, I just said I am for the process improving it, I didn’t say I was for the plan as it currently exists. I think that is an important distinction, Bill. I don’t think the job of House Republicans is only to sell the current plan. I think the job of House Republicans is to say, ‘this is the right scale of solution we need for the country, how do we improve this, and how do we get it to be acceptable, what do you American people need to know about this so that when it does pass, you will be glad it passed and you will help implement it?’
A few moments later…
Bennett: You’re equated Ryan’s plan on the right to Obama’s plan on the left. What the Journal said, and what I said yesterday, we’re in the middle of this fight, we’re in the middle of this debate, Ryan’s in the fight of his life, and you’re shooting at him from behind, saying this is just right-wing Obama-ism. This is what I think really rankles people.
Newt: I didn’t say it was right wing Obama-ism.
Bennett: You said it was right-wing social engineering! Even worse!
Newt: Look, if it’s imposed on the country, which was the context of the conversion– which Obamacare is and was!
(audible chuckle from Bennett)
Bennett: It was! But there’s not a chance Ryan’s can be! It can’t be! He’s trying to persuade people!
slip, slither, slide...
Newtie’s for OBAMACARE or something very similar. This guy is unbelieveable.
Newt is a JACKA**!
Does no one care that Ryan’s budget accepts obummers base line and 900 billion in stimulus spending slush funding every year forever. This crap with newt, is classic gagging at a gnat while swallowing a camel.
I have been a partisan of Newt in the past but not recently. He started to lose me with the news of the cheating on his wife(s) and that idiot climate change ad where he sat with Nancy Pelosi. But still I told myself that he seemed to be one of the smarter people running until this weekend. This was a fork in the road and Newt took that fork square in the belly and now he is toast. I’d say he quits the race in the next couple of weeks.
Talk about a precipitous fall.
Why is he ticking off the very voters he needs to vote for him to get the nomination?
He should be called on it, as Bennett did. That's not to say, however, that Ryan's plan, or any other Republican which came to incorporate coercive government mandates shouldn't be debated and criticized.
Newt. Denial is not a river in Eqypt.
Because he’s one of those people that is so smart that he’s stupid.
Newtie doesn’t lack for ego that’s for sure.
The audio of the voter dressing gingrich down was priceless. I think he said something like “Why don’t you get out of the race before you make a bigger fool of yourself”
No, he is not for Obamacare.
The problem is in trying to indentify what is he for, and why his choice of words describing Ryan’s Medicare reform plan were so incendiary.
You’re getting the issue of the personal mandate to purchase health insurance mixed up with the entire Obamacare plan which was thousands of pages and gave Sebilius power to write millions of pages of regulations.
Newt denies he is for Obama’s brand of mandate. There’s controversy over that because he seems to be for some version of a mandate which is yet to be well defined. So by default, many people just assumed he’s for the Obama mandate.
There is no evidence that he’s for Obamacare in general, and considerable evidence that he is not.
I did hear Bennett’s interview with Newt. He took him to the woodshed like the parent of a wayward kid.
Newt said he had a call into Paul Ryan and hoped to resolve the matter.
Newt is a politician. Never get nailed down.
No you jackass! You are and long have been a part of the Washington establishment. Withdraw, get out of the way and find a dark hole to stay in until we can elect a real conservative. Take mitt the twit with you.
Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel
And these two wets persist in calling themselves conservatives. Gag me with a spoon.
That guy spoke for me.
At the rate he’s digging, expect Newt to be shaking hands with a Chinese farmer at any moment.
Its hard to drag your azz out of the swamp with the alligator still hanging on.
“Why is he ticking off the very voters he needs to vote for him to get the nomination?”
He’s too busy talking and talking, to hear what anybody else says.
He can’t say anything briefly, and that is precisely the art of political communication these days.
A party that cannot even unite on issues as fundamental as the sanctity of life is virtually monolithic on these two points, and Newt Gingrich has broken party unity on the question of mandate! Think about how staggering a betrayal that is: the essence of our Constitutional challenge concerns the mandate, and Newt has undermined those efforts. Whether he is for 0bamacare, per se is immaterial. A belief in the authority of the Federal government to coerce private individuals to engage is economic activity is NOT conservative, it is NOT Republican, and as a matter of fact, before 1937, it was NOT even considered American.
No conservative who actually believes in a Constitution which creates a limited government with specifically enumerated powers can possibly believe the mandate is Constitutional. The fact that Newt does, is disqualifying.
hubert humphrey of the republican set... the pudgeball beltway bum is either lying, is so dumb as to believe his own crap or is delusional... my bet is that newt the beltway butt*ole is all three.
After listening to Mark Levin gut the man live last night... and listening to newts's idiocy of spin... I am convinced that newt is all three. I wouldn't allow him in my home much less the White House.
Talk about delusional insanity... the man thinks that he is a Washington outsider... hell he is the so inside the beltway that he is the colon of DC.
Talk about delusional insanity... the man thinks that he is a Washington outsider... hell he is so inside the beltway that he is the colon of DC.
I dont think I realized until after Sundays Meet the Press how big a threat my candidacy is to the Washington establishment.
If anything Gingrich has actually become more “Establishment” than anyone he’s criticizing for criticizing him. All he keeps barfing out about the Ryan PLan is that it shouldn’t be “imposed” on “people” without their consent. Huh?? This makes him sound like nothing BUT and Establishment type. Where does he get off calling Ryan’s plan an “imposition”? The House has a Majority now precisely because of people like Ryan. Yet Gingrich talks about “caution” in reforming Medicare. Levin hit him yesterday with the fact that Medicare’s Actuary is saying the looming financial collapse of the system is going to happen much sooner than anyone thought, after Gingrich got through telling Levin he told a constituent his Medicare is “safe”. It isn’t “safe”. Unless you plan to be one of those Bush-Rove type Progressive Republicans who think you can just keep on spending. Gingrich is basically done now - he’s become Romney, in the sense they both have to defend their stupidity of speech, and are falling because of it.
He’s trying to nuance his way out of his Sunday snafu... account of local appearance today:
Bennett reminded me all morning of a father with a daughter that's dating someone he doesn't care for and regardless of what his daughter says about her date or how the kid comes across it pretty clear dad's not going to be happy.
And for Bill Bennett of ALL people to be talking someone down for having an ego!! He can't get through a single interview without reminding everyone several times that he was Drug Czar, Sec. of Education, in the White House and on and on.
I know I'm inviting a towering inferno to engulf me, but I must say I heard what Newt said and until everyone started giving him grief my response was that he had answered the question that he was asked and had done a great job of doing it. He was asked if the Republicans should ignore the opposition to a measure and pass it anyway. He responded it was wrong for the Left or the Right to disregard so much opposition and make changes that people didn't understand.
And I'm with him on the problem of people choosing to use their money for something other than insurance or medical care,then present themselves for state-of-the-art medical care when they need it and feel free to simply dump the considerable cost on those of use who end up paying the bills, either as insured citizens or tax payers. If expecting people to pay for the care they receive is what the public mandate is then I guess I'm for it.
Think what you want of Newt, and say what want about him, but he is quite correct when he says something as big and monumental as changing Medicare needs to be done with the approval of those who will be affected, AND somehow we've got to find a way to made certain those who get medical care pay for it and don't dump the cost on the rest of us.
It honestly sounded to me like Bill Bennett is backing Rick Santorum or Paul Ryan and his beef with Newt was that he felt Newt wasn't giving them the respect Bennett gives them.
Sorry if I disagree with most everyone on this, but that's just the way it strikes me. And, IMHO, far better to get this chaffing done early in process rather than in the shadow of an impending election.
If all Newt does is bring forth liberal and silly ideas one after the other he's served an important role in our primary process. If nothing else, consider him the dose of attenuated live virus you give a child to give them protection from the real thing later in life.
I believe Ryan worked for Bennett early in Ryan’s career. Bennett took this personally. So do I. I was never for Newt, but I am now as passionately against him as I am against Romney.
Newt's ascention to Speaker was the high-water event of the 90's IMHO; the Contract completed, welfare reform, four years of balanced budgets and a lot more. But he made a lot of enemys among the freshman class of '95 and I've never understood why . . until now. He has spent many years out of office, and with his declaration to run his views are suddenly made clear, and he obviously has a flawed understanding of the dire straights in which we are sailing.
The audio clip of the Bennett interview is remarkable revealing and I commend it to everyone. Especially at 11:08 when Bill advised Newt to apologize and "admit you blew it" and "put this thing behind you" because "what you're doin' is not workin' . . . it's...not... ..workin'".
And the final seconds (13:30):
". . . and you have done much to advance the cause, but you didn't on Sunday, and I think you need to acknowledge it, and that's the best advice I can give you."
Your points are valid EXCEPT you defined mandate as Obama’s mandate is structured. Newt denies he wants anything even remotely like it. His idea of mandate is that first, you give states the role of creating plans. Then, the states can choose how to get more people insured or at the very least keep them from walking away from medical bills they can afford to pay on. Newt’s big bugaboo seems to be people who make enough to afford insurance who refuse it, then use healthcare, then don’t even pay their bills.
Newt’s problem is that people get lost in the weeds on this and keep wanting to assume his mandate is like Obama’s. It really is nothing like it. He disagrees with the Federal mandate that forces everyone to purchase health insurance or face penalty. Yet you believe he supports it.
Hello. Newt. Problem...
Medicare is an entitlement program. So now we're not permitted to change an entitlement program unless the people receiving that entitlement approve of any changes??
If expecting people to pay for the care they receive is what the public mandate is then I guess I'm for it.
Based on your defense of Medicare, you're clearly not in favor of people "paying for the care they receive." In fact, they're entitled to have other people pay for it, and we can't change that unless they "approve" of that change.
Ever since Medicare was created, people have built their lives around it. All their expectations and actions have been built around it.
It is an entitlement and is going bankrupt and must be changed. But an 80 year old should not suddenly have Medicare substantially changed to their detriment. It is politicians’ fault that they promised something that people counted on but is not sustainable. Do not needlessly punish their victims. There are millions of people who actually swear to you that the premiums deducted for Medicare means they have “paid for” their Medicare, just like they believe that they have “paid for” their Social Security through withholding.
The way around this is to let them keep it...they will die soon enough anyway from old age. But things have to change for people below the elderly age.
Medicare is an entitlement, but the people who benefit from it pay for it.
Although it’s not enough to cover the cost, those who benefit from Medicare are paying a price for what they get. The ones I’m talking about are the thirty-somethings who choose to drive a new car rather than have health insurance. They get sick and I have to pay for their care. I can’t drive their car, and I can’t afford a new car because my insurance is twice what it should be because I’m paying for me AND for them. Where’s the equity in that?
When that thirty-something gets sick and has made no provision for primary medical care he or she shows up at the emergency room where they have no choice but to treat them. Sometimes it’s a lot more than a cough, cold or sore hole, more like a gunshot wound or some other trauma. They walk out with out paying a cent and then it’s up to me, and Medicare and United Health Care, and you and every other patient who pays for their care to pick up the tab.
I HAVE to pay for Medicare AND I have to pay another $300 a month in addition just to be sure that if I need another new hip or have a heart attack I am not a burden on others like me. I pay as much for my medical insurance under Medicare as I paid for my plan through my employer.
Don’t lose sight of the question that was asked, and that was, should Republicans vote against the will of the people and force a program on them they don’t understand and/or don’t want? The response was, it doesn’t matter whether the forced program is from the Left or the Right, it’s not good government.
I honestly don’t think we’re as far apart as it seems. The Left has confused the issue so badly over the years to make sure their ability to feather their nests at our expense that it’s tough to separate the aspects of medical care in America. It’s not one big monolithic system. A huge amount of money is spent every year in the name of Medicare that has nothing to do with medical care for those 65 and above. But when more is spent than brought in it’s the retiree who gets the bad rap.
Here is what ex-conservative Newt Gingrich actually said:
I am for people, individuals -- exactly like automobile insurance -- individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance."
If that isn't clear enough for you, here, again, in the former Republican's own words:
"I agree that all of us have a responsibility to pay--help pay for health care,"
... But ... if YOU'RE STILL IN THE WEEDS on the subject, let's give Newt one last try to disabuse you:
I've said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond ..."
Now, your assignment for the evening is to go and find anywhere in the Constitution of the United States where it says that the government has any authority to require citizens to either buy insurance or post a bond in lieu of coverage -- not as a result of any particular activity which involves implied consent, like automobile insurance -- but simply as a matter of breathing.
Good luck! When you wander out of the weeds, please post your findings.
As my father, who was an electrical engineer, used to say, “too much book learning, no common sense”.
Nobody objected to that part of his answer.
If expecting people to pay for the care they receive is what the public mandate is then I guess I'm for it.
That is not what the public mandate is, and that is not what Gingrich said he wants. I quote him directly in the post preceding this one. Read it, if you don't know what he said.
Say what you want about Newt ... but he is quite correct when he says something as big and monumental as changing Medicare needs to be done with the approval of those who will be affected,
In which case, his characterization of Ryan's plan as "right wing social engineering" must bother you quite a bit, because those most in favor of Ryan's plan (and they are overwhelmingly so) are seniors.
AND somehow we've got to find a way to made certain those who get medical care pay for it and don't dump the cost on the rest of us.
Good for you. That means you can't be very much in favor of Gingrich's plan, because the largest class of people, receiving by far and away the most health care they aren't paying for, are already in government programs called Medicare and Medicaid. And yerboi thinks that trying to make those programs fiscally responsible is, in his words, "radical." This despite the fact that only people under the age of 54 would actually be affected. So Gingrich thinks a proposal that would not affect anyone for TEN YEARS, during which time we can talk and debate our silly little fannies off, is "radical," "right wing social engineering."
If nothing else, consider him the dose of attenuated live virus you give a child to give them protection from the real thing later in life.
Congratulations! You have actually come as close to your mentor as anyone on any thread or program in making the stupidest comment of the week. The only people who're receiving "innoculations" from this inane boulderdash are Democrats. Between now and Judgement Day you will be hearing the attack ads like this: "The Democrats want to save Medicare. But Ryan's plan? Even Ultraconservative Newt Gingrich called it 'radical.'"
Thankfully, he's innoculated a lot of us from further considering him a serious candidate.
With all politicians trying to come up with an acceptable political solution to our perceived health care problems it is easy to forget that our problem is that the consumer is removed from the decision making process. When health care becomes market driven again then the problem will be solved. When you hear a politician refer to this you’ll know that we are finally on the road to relief.
Granted I’m not as gifted in the intelligence field as you are, but I don’t have to resort to insults to make my points.
If you want a reasonable discussion of the situation, fine. If all you want to do is get on my case because I see something differently from you then you need to find someone else.
Newts acting like the kid in the class who put his hand up first and wasn’t called on. He then tries to give an even BETTER answer than everyone who was called on before him.
Now it’s recess and we are taking turns hitting him in the gut.
Newts acting like the kid in the class who put his hand up first and wasnt called on. He then tries to give an even BETTER answer than everyone who was called on before him.
Now its recess and we are taking turns hitting him in the gut.
Now that was an outstanding post....perfect!
For an alleged conservative to give the kinds of answers Newt gave to several questions yesterday, I'd be more inclined to believe he'd pulled an all-nighter, fell down the steps on the way off the bus, got beat up at recess, and then was called on for an answer.
Your post makes it sound like a gang of conservative bullies is picking on Newt for an essentially well-intentioned effort . If that wasn’t your message, I’d say somnolence is your issue, not mine.
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