Newt Gingrich, fading fast in polls of the GOP field, is making support for Paul Ryan’s budget — which he once dubbed “right wing social engineering” — his top cause.
In a letter sent out by Human Events on Wednesday, Gingrich asked Republicans to help him defeat “Mediscare 3,” a an effort by Democrats to “divide Republicans and to lie about our efforts to save both Medicare and America from fiscal collapse.” He also used the occasion to announce a sale on his line of DVDs, part of a bustling collection of businesses dubbed Newt Inc.
“For the third time in my public life the Democrats are once again using falsehoods to try to frighten the American people about Republicans and Medicare solutions,” Gingrich wrote in his op-ed. “Think of this as ‘Mediscare 3,’ a bad sequel to two bad failures.”
According to Gingrich, the first two “Mediscare” moments were Jimmy Carter going after Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential campaign and later House Democrats’ attacking Gingrich himself in 1995 and 1996 for proposing cuts to Medicare.
Notably, Gingrich has still not endorsed the Ryan plan, instead using a variety of tactics to get around the issue that include lavishing praise on Ryan personally and emphasizing that his plan is only the beginning of negotiations on a final Medicare bill. He used both methods in his op-ed.
“Congressman Paul Ryan and the House Republicans are trying to save Medicare in a period of enormous economic and fiscal difficulties,” he wrote. “Their plan is the beginning of a serious conversation with Americans about how to achieve real Medicare reform with more choice, lower cost and better quality for seniors while moving America back toward a balanced budget.”
At the end of his letter, Newt included a postscript promoting his movies and books: “P.S. This Thursday, June 2nd marks the 32nd anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s historic nine-day pilgrimage to Poland in 1979. In honor of this occasion, Gingrich Productions is offering a special discount on the Cold War Collection, including the award-winning Nine Days that Changed the World DVD and Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny book. Please visit Gingrich Productions for this special offer.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.