We all know which Paul Ryan will show up on TV this weekend—the Paul Ryan advocating his plan to end Medicare in order to reward Big Oil with tax breaks. The real question Congressman Ryan and the rest of the GOP are wondering: which Newt Gingrich will appear on TV this Sunday? This week he took so many positions on the GOP plan to end Medicare as we know it, he might as well be playing Twister.
Will it be a Gingrich from this week?
Sunday, May 15:
On Meet the Press, he called the GOP-Ryan Plan “right-wing social engineering,” “radical,” and said it was “too big a jump” for the country. [5/15]
Later Sunday, May 15:
His spokesperson tried to temper his boss’s criticism: “There is little daylight between Ryan and Gingrich,” but added “Newt would fully support Ryan if it were not compulsory.” [5/16]
Monday, May 16:
On a campaign stop in Iowa, he doubled down on his criticism: “I don’t think you want to come in and to say to every single American, we’re going to come in and change uniformly for all of you in the most fundamental way what happens to you when you are 65.” [5/17]
Tuesday May 17:
“I made a mistake,” Gingrich told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, recounting his apology call to Ryan earlier in the day. “The fact is that I have supported what Ryan’s trying to do on the budget,” he said. “The budget vote is one that I am happy to say I would have voted for.” [5/18]
Thursday May 19th:
Newt Gingrich declared Thursday that he wasn’t talking about House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal when he used the phrase “right-wing social engineering.”
“It was not a reference to Paul Ryan. There was no reference to Paul Ryan in that answer,” [5/19]
Maybe it will be April 20th’s Gingrich:
“But would you have voted for Ryan’s plan?” I pressed.
“Sure,” Gingrich replied. [5/15]
Or perhaps we’ll see pro-individual mandate Gingrich circa 2007?
In a June 2007 op-ed in the Des Moines Register, Gingrich wrote, “Personal responsibility extends to the purchase of health insurance. Citizens should not be able to cheat their neighbors by not buying insurance, particularly when they can afford it, and expect others to pay for their care when they need it.” An “individual mandate,” he added, should be applied “when the larger health-care system has been fundamentally changed.” [5/12]
Or maybe it will be vintage anti-Medicare Gingrich from 1995?
Now let me talk a little bit about Medicare…we believe it’s going to wither on the vine… [7/96]
While we wait to find out which Gingrich shows up, we’ll be reading these funnies: