He was for it, calling it a “first step” before denouncing it as “radical” and “too big a jump.”
So, I asked if he would advocate replacing it with Paul Ryan’s plan.
The former speaker sang Ryan’s praises for being a “brave” “man of ideas,” like Gingrich himself.
“But would you have voted for Ryan’s plan?” I pressed.
“Sure,” Gingrich replied.
“Do you think it would actually save the health care system?”
“No, I think it’s the first step,” Gingrich said. “You need an entirely new set of solutions.”
So, I was surprised to see Gingrich on Meet the Press Sunday morning telling David Gregory that the Ryan plan was too bold.
MR. GREGORY: But not what Paul Ryan is suggesting, which is completely changing Medicare.
REP. GINGRICH: I, I think that, I think, I think that that is too big a jump. I think what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options, not one where you suddenly impose upon the–I don’t want to–I’m against Obamacare, which is imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change.
Update: Now Gingrich’s spokesman is saying that there isn’t all that much daylight between Gingrich and Ryan. He just wants to tweak it. Like, apparently he also wants to tweak the individual mandate in ObamaCare.
Gingrich’s basic problem boils down to a simple ratio: He comes with too much political calculation, and too little principled thinking.