GOP Rep. Ryan swipes at Gingrich: 'With allies like that, who needs the left?'

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) took a swipe Monday at Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich after the former House Speaker criticized his proposed Medicare reforms. 

"With allies like that, who needs the left?" Ryan told guest host Raymond Arroyo on conservative talker Laura Ingraham's radio show. 

Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, defended his 2012 budget proposal that includes significant reforms to Medicare. 

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Gingrich on Sunday distanced himself from Ryan's plan, which would transform the program into a voucher-based system for Americans under the age of 55. 

"I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering," Gingrich said of Ryan's plan on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate."

Ryan strongly disputed Gingrich's description of his plan, which House Republicans approved last month. 

"Hardly is that social engineering and radical," he said. "What's radical is kicking the can down the road."

Ryan, who's considering running for the Senate in Wisconsin, refused to say that Gingrich's criticism should disqualify him for the GOP presidential nomination.

"I'm not going to get into any of that," he said.