The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has enlisted a new ally in its criticism of the House GOP budget plan: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
The DCCC sent out an email Tuesday to constituents in Republican districts chastising their congressmen for backing a budget plan it says even Gingrich (R-Ga.) won’t support. He referred to it over the weekend as “radical” and an effort in “right-wing social engineering.”
According to the DCCC, the email went out in 50 Republican districts — including that of Rep. Paul Gosar (Ariz.).
"Gingrich, who famously said Medicare should ‘wither on the vine,’ believes Gosar’s plan is ‘right-wing social engineering.’ Gosar voted for a controversial budget plan to end Medicare and raise health care costs for seniors instead of ending taxpayer giveaways for Big Oil making record profits or tax breaks for the ultra rich,” the message reads. "Gosar’s plan means that people between the ages of 44 and 55 who paid into Medicare for more than 25 years would need an additional $182,00 [sic] in retirement savings to pay for their health care."
"It’s clear Representative Paul Gosar’s vote to end Medicare is too extreme when even Newt Gingrich think it’s radical,” DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson said in the email.
On Sunday during an interview on "Meet the Press," Gingrich referred to Ryan's plan, which replaces Medicare with a type of voucher system for Americans under 55, as "radical."
"I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering," Gingrich said. "I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate."
Since then Gingrich, who jumped into the 2012 presidential race last week, has received criticism from top Republicans for his comments. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), who leads a valuable early Republican primary state, said Tuesday to CNN that Gingrich's comments "cut [Ryan] off at the knees."
Gingrich has since said he used strong language on Sunday, but stood by his comments that Ryan's plan was a stretch politically.
A spokesman for Gingrich said there was "little daylight" between Ryan's stance on Medicare and Gingrich's.