As Andrew Stiles noted, former House speaker Newt Gingrich distanced himself from the Ryan budget this morning on Meet the Press, calling it “too big a jump.”
Gingrich’s comments are part of a broader argument he has made since announcing his presidential bid last week. Instead of championing the specifics of Ryan’s proposal, Gingrich is urging Republicans to run on “core principles,” framing 2012 as a path toward a mandate, not an endorsement of Ryan’s long-term fiscal fix.
Other examples of Gingrich’s break with Ryan on parts of his budget have popped up in recent months. On his Facebook page in April, Gingrich staked out a Medicare position that was supportive of Ryan’s effort, but not a full-fledged endorsement. In other words, Gingrich gave a thumbs-up to the Rivlin-Domenici plan on Medicare.
“One option is for Congress to move towards a 21st century personal Medicare system that would allow seniors to choose, on a voluntary basis, a more personal system with greater options for better care,” he wrote in a note to supporters.
But Gingrich was not always a Ryan skeptic. As Katrina Trinko and Andrew McCarthy observed, Gingrich once hailed the Ryan’s pre-budget ‘roadmap’ as “comprehensive, bold solution to America’s serious problem of rapidly rising debt . . . the Roadmap would restart the American jobs machine, and restore traditional American prosperity.”
Ryan’s budget, of course, echoes much of the ‘roadmap.’