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Newt Stumbles Out of the Gate

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By Doug Powers  •  May 15, 2011 04:55 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Newt Gingrich was on Meet the Press this morning in his first Sunday show appearance since announcing his intention to… challenge President Obama for the Democrat nomination, apparently.

Andrew Stiles at NRO has the details:

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.

At which point Gingrich started playing GOP primary Russian Roulette with a bullet in every chamber:

In another surprising move, Gingrich also reiterated his previous support for a “variation of the individual mandate” for health care. “I believe all of us — and this is going to be a big debate — I believe all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care,” he said, insisting there is “a way to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy.”

“It’s a system that allows people to have a range of choices that are designed by the economy,” he said. “I don’t think having a free rider system in [health care] is any more appropriate than having a free rider system in any other part of the economy.”

Somebody sat on the love-seat with Nancy way too long. If there are mandates from Washington, any choices down the line are no longer designed by the free market economy but rather by Washington — which sounds a lot like the social engineering Newt called “undesirable” just a couple of minutes earlier.

In any case, that rush of air you might have just felt was Mitt Romney going “WHEW!”

NRO has the video clips.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Posted in: Media,Newt Gingrich

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