DNC Compiles Gingrich Backlash Into Video

Posted May 19, 2011 at 5:00am

The Democratic National Committee is piling on to Newt Gingrich’s woes in the wake of his reference to House Republicans’ Medicare proposal as “right-wing social engineering” that should be avoided.

In a video to be released Thursday, the DNC highlights the virulent criticism the presidential candidate and former Speaker has received from fellow Republicans for knocking the GOP plan during an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The Medicare proposal, part of a budget blueprint authored by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would revamp the federal health insurance program for seniors and the disabled. Users would instead buy private insurance, and Medicare would help subsidize the cost by making payments to the chosen plan. The proposal would only affect those age 54 and younger; the current Medicare system would not change for those 55 and older.

The DNC views Gingrich’s Sunday comments as another opportunity to paint the GOP as committed to “dismantling” Medicare, which is very popular with seniors.

“If there’s one lesson we learned from the ferocity with which Republicans attacked their supposed ‘ideas man’ and the speed with which he caved, it’s that dismantling Medicare is the new litmus test for any would-be Republican presidential nominee,” DNC spokeswoman Hari Sevugan told Roll Call.

The two-minute video is composed of television news clips reporting conservatives’ backlash against Gingrich. It includes reactions from pundits, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, and Ryan and other elected officials.

Gingrich, who entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination last week, has been backpedaling all week, and he has called Ryan to apologize for his remarks.