Newt: ‘I am reaching out to Paul Ryan’

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Former Speaker Newt Gingrich began a blogger conference call today by noting his the “Meet the Press” comments were much more controversial than he intended them to be.

Gingrich blamed the “adversarial nature of the show” for distorting his position on individual mandates by showing an “18-year old clip from 1993 involving HillaryCare.”

On his comments about Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, Gingrich said: “I used language that was too strong — although the underlying principle, I think, was right.”

By this he means that Republicans shouldn’t “impose” policies this significant on the American people unless they can first persuade the American people to support it. Gingrich then noted that when Republicans passed Welfare reform, “we had 92 percent of Americans in favor of it.”

Gingrich added that he simply wanted to warn Republicans (presumably Ryan): “Don’t think that your high IQ … allows you to impose on the American people something they haven’t accepted.”

“I have since signed a pledge…pledging to repeal ObamaCare,” he added. “I am reaching out to Paul Ryan. My hope is to find a way to work with the House Republicans.”

Matt K. Lewis