Rep. Gingrey: ‘Mistake’ for GOP to Disown Ryan Plan; OK With Gingrich’s Apology

By Cullen Dirner

May 24, 2011 2:25pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein (@rickklein) reports: The Medicare plan approved by the GOP-controlled House last month has sparked a political backlash, with a historically Republican House seat threatening to fall into Democratic hands in upstate New York today, and Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., announcing this week that he’ll vote against the budget approved by his colleagues in the House.

But on ABC’s “Top Line” today, Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., told us he continues to believe that approving the proposal authored by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan was the right move, substantively and politically.

“I do think it would be a mistake for the Republican Party to all the sudden back walk against our own budget resolution — sometimes called the Ryan budget — but it’s a Republican house budget: the path to prosperity,” Gingrey told us.

“The truth of the matter is, quite simply, that if we don’t do anything about Medicare as we know it as it is, it will be gone in 202. So I think the irresponsible thing is what President Obama is doing – proposing a budget  that doesn’t mention anything about Medicare or Social Security.”

“People have to hear it,” Gingrey continued. “You can say it’s not time, but it gives people plenty of time to prepare.”

Gingrey said it’s important to stress to those already on Medicare that “they will have Medicare as we know it until their natural death.”

“We’re not about to throw anyone under the bus and end Medicare as we know it,” Gingrey said. “We’re gonna have a better program – indeed, we’re going to have a program for the younger people, the 30s and 20s and even the teenagers of today, who will someday need that program.”

Gingrey said he’s satisfied with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s disavowal of previous comments he made regarding the Ryan plan, where he called it a form of “right-wing social engineering. (Gingrey represents the House seat once held by Gingrich.)

“The press was willing, ready and able to walk back President Obama after his speech on the 1967 lines in Israel,” Gingrey said. “I think Newt Gingrich deserved the same respect from the media, quite honestly.”

And Gingrey said he’s intrigued by the possible presidential candidacy of Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., who told Politico’s Jonathan Martin yesterday, “I think the majority of the Republican electorate isn’t happy with the choices they’ve got and want to take a look at new people.” 

“I haven’t talked to Thad. He’s a good friend, he’s a great member, he’s my classmate in the 108th congress, he does play a mean guitar, he’s got a subtle sense of humor and a brilliant mind. And I think it’s intriguing. I’d like to sit down and talk with him about it.”

Watch the full interview with Rep. Phil Gingrey HERE:

Also today, I had a chance to talk about chemical safety with actress Jessica Alba, who was on Capitol Hill today lobbying Congress in connection with her work for the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition.

Watch that portion of “Top Line” HERE:

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