Newt Gingrich slammed the House GOP budget on Meet The Press this morning, telling interviewer David Gregory that replacing Medicare with a voucher system was too "radical" an approach. His words were by far the harshest of any major presidential candidate towards Paul Ryan's proposal on entitlements.
"I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering," Gingrich said, calling the plan "too big a jump" for the country. "I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate."
Gingrich has distanced himself from the Ryan plan in recent weeks, calling instead for a system that would preserve the current Medicare program alongside a voluntary, privatized version. But nothing he has said came close to the full frontal assault he unleashed on his own party's top priority in Congress.
He later went on to agree with the individual mandate for health care featured in both the Romney and Obama plans, coming not 36 hours or so after suggesting poll tests for voters and calling Obama the "food stamp President".
So is he appealing to the Tea Party or is he telling them to screw off? Because it seems like he's trying to have his cake and eat it too, trying to be a racist nutjob and a serious Washington candidate. You can't be both, Newton.