Ever since Newt Gingrich made an appearance on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” on NBC and criticized Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which starts the process of reforming entitlements, Gingrich has gotten his share of pushback from fellow Republicans, including Ryan himself.
Add Fox News senior contributor Brit Hume to that list. On Monday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Hume went right after Gingrich for his remarks.
“Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee have voluntarily departed the Republican field, but Newt Gingrich appears to have taken an involuntary step in the same direction, only four days after entering the race,” Hume said. “The former speaker’s Sunday comments about the Ryan budget plan as it regards health care were simply politically inexplicable.”
“He attacked the Ryan plan as you heard it as quote, ‘radical’ and as quote, ‘right-wing social engineering,’” Hume continued. “That last phrase about as harsh a criticism as one could level at a fellow Republican. And never mind that a few weeks ago, Gingrich told Time magazine he would have voted if for Ryan plan.”
And Hume said not only did this inflict damage on the GOP and himself, his comments from the 1990s during the Clinton health care debate also hurt him. However, he said this was vintage Gingrich.
“Now he has not only disparaged the man that is a hero to many Republicans, he has handed Democrats a potent weapon against Ryan and the Republicans at the moment they stand accused by the Democrats of trying to destroy Medicare,” Hume said.
“Gingrich also indicated as you heard support for some kind of individual mandate, requiring all be responsible for their health care, a centerpiece of Obamacare and an anathema,” he said. “He called his idea a quote ‘variation on the mandate to buy insurance which Mitt Romney passed in Massachusetts.’ Today of course, Gingrich is trying to undo it all, claiming he is against a mandate and that he’s a great admirer of Paul Ryan and so on.”
“Republicans must wonder what he will say next and why he said what he already did,” Hume continued. “In fact though, this is all vintage Gingrich who is what he has always been – a provocative thinker and promiscuous talker.”
“Special Report” host Bret Baier asked Hume if Gingrich would eventually recover.
“I don’t think so,” Hume said. “I think this will haunt him for some time to come. And I’ve listened to the explanations he has tried to make today and his attempt to walk it back. And I’m bound to say I was hoping that he would knock it out of the park in a sense. But I don’t think have been a single-bit effective. I don’t think they wash.”