One man’s opinion–Iowa Republican tells Gingrich to drop out of race
The fact that I agree with the Iowan is the basis of the post:
As he was getting ready to leave a speaking engagement Dubuque resident Russell Fuhrman approached him in the lobby of the Holiday Inn:
“Get out now before you make a bigger fool of yourself,” Fuhrman said directly to Gingrich.
Gingrich, visibly stunned, quickly moved forward to talk with other guests.
The reason Gingrich was visibly stunned, one assumes, is he doesn’t expect to hear such things from ordinary people, especially those he thinks should welcome his candidacy. And, of course, few politicians do – they live in a bubble most of the time, expecting some flak from the other side, but essentially expecting relatively smooth sailing from their own side – a few bumps, but no bruises. This was a big fat bruise.
Frankly, I like it. It is high time some of these egos had a little air let out of them. And Gingrich’s ego is quite inflated.
As might be expected, he’s in full tilt denial mode about his former endorsement of the individual mandate:
On Monday, Mr. Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, sought to explain away just that kind of Sunday-morning pontification, in which he blasted the budget by his Republican colleagues in Congress and endorsed an individual mandate for health insurance.
“I am completely opposed to the Obamacare mandate on individuals,” Mr. Gingrich said in a new video released Monday. “I fought it for two and half years at the Center for Health Transformation. You can see all the things we did to stop it at HealthTransformation.net. I am for the repeal of Obamacare and I am against any effort to impose a federal mandate on anyone because it is fundamentally wrong and I believe unconstitutional.”
Nonsense. And the man in Iowa makes it clear Gingrich is going to have a very rough time selling that.
Gingrich was trying to “walk back” this:
“I agree that all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care. And I think that there are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy,” Mr. Gingrich told the host David Gregory. “I’ve said consistently, where there’s some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you’re going to be held accountable.”
Well this is one libertarian that isn’t happy at all – Gingrich, despite his denials and in spite of his weasel wording, still supports a federal mandate of some sort as has been clear for years. As I pointed out previously, this is nothing new:
At an Alegent Health event in Omaha in 2008, Gingrich said it was "fundamentally immoral" for a person to go without coverage, show up at an emergency room and demand free care.
During the keynote address to the Greater Detroit Area Health Council’s annual Health Trends Conference in April 2006, Gingrich said he would require Americans earning above a certain income level to buy health insurance or post a bond, the Detroit Free Press reported.
In a June 2007 op-ed in the Des Moines Register, Gingrich wrote, "Personal responsibility extends to the purchase of health insurance. Citizens should not be able to cheat their neighbors by not buying insurance, particularly when they can afford it, and expect others to pay for their care when they need it." An "individual mandate," he added, should be applied "when the larger health-care system has been fundamentally changed."
And in several of his many policy and politics-focused books, Gingrich offered much the same.
In 2008′s "Real Change," he wrote, "Finally, we should insist that everyone above a certain level buy coverage (or, if they are opposed to insurance, post a bond). Meanwhile, we should provide tax credits or subsidize private insurance for the poor."
In 2005′s "Winning the Future," he expanded on the idea in more detail: "You have the right to be part of the lowest-cost insurance pool and you have a responsibility to buy insurance. … We need some significant changes to ensure that every American is insured, but we should make it clear that a 21st Century Intelligent System requires everyone to participate in the insurance system."
"People whose income is too low should receive Medicaid vouchers and tax credits to buy insurance," he continued. "Large risk pools (association health plans are one model) should be established so low-income people can buy insurance as inexpensively as large corporations. Furthermore, it should be possible to buy your health insurance on-line to lower the cost as much as possible."
Gingrich is now trying to waive that off as just being a bit “wonky”.
Newt Gingrich has acknowledged that his tendency to spout off like a political analyst might get him into trouble on the campaign trail.
Unfortunately for Gingrich, most of us who’ve followed what he’s said don’t consider what he said Sunday as “being wonky”. Instead, it is a position, as you can see, he’s held for years.
In sum we have the usual happening – another politician engaged in a desperate attempt to waive off past words and pretend he didn’t mean them, while assuming you’ll swallow the latest politically necessary words and positions as the “real” him.
Like the Iowan said, Mr. Gingrich, “Get out now before you make a bigger fool of yourself.”