Newt Gingrich is getting beaten up for his attack on Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) Medicare plan, but he told the liberal watchdog group Media Matters at a book-signing last night that he would have voted for it as part of Ryan's 2012 budget.
"I would have voted for the budget," Gingrich said. "The question is how do we go through taking the Medicare part of it and turning it into law, which is the next stage."
Since Ryan released his "Path to Prosperity," a long-term budget plan that includes an essential voucherization of Medicare, Gingrich has supported its "general shape" while expressing concern over its Medicare provision. "I think it is a dangerous political exercise," Gingrich told The New York Times in April. On Sunday, he ramped up that criticism of the Medicare provision, calling it "right-wing social engineering," was criticized by fiscal conservatives for the comment, and subsequently apologized to Ryan.
Had Gingrich been a member of the House of Representatives when the Ryan budget plan saw a vote in April, he wouldn't have been the only Republican to support it while expressing doubts about its Medicare provision. House Speaker John Boehner voted "yes" on the plan but told ABC News a week later that he wasn't wedded to Medicare voucherization as a final solution.
Watch the video of Gingrich's remarks: