Newt Gingrich has been taking heat from Fox News and various GOP elements for his past support of individual mandates -- the portion of ObamaCare that Republicans now profess to hate.
But Newt took issue with people holding him responsible for positions he took, because how unfair is that? And also, he was dumb back then and never got through reading the whole Constitution.
Talking to Greta Van Susteren, a journalist whose influence is so diaphanous that her BFF can't even remember her for five minutes, Newt defended his earlier defense of individual mandates. (My comments are in red.)
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me ask you...are you saying in 1993, that there was some sort of hybrid of mandate or whatever supported by the Republican Party. And now, that was in response to the Clinton administration. And now, you've changed, is that it?
[NOTE: Look at that journalism: "hybrid of mandate or whatever." You can tell Greta totally researched this issue.]
GINGRICH: No, no. I'm saying that ...virtually everybody in the conservative movement was united in trying to stop "Hillarycare."
Now, nobody at that time was talking about the 10th Amendment. Nobody at that time was talking about this kind of constitutional issues.
[NOTE: Newt is saying this: "It would have been totally different if everybody in the conservative movement had been asking is what we're proposing -- individual mandates circa 1993 -- even constitutional? But we were so united in trying to stop Hillarycare that we just threw out the Constitution, or maybe hadn't read it yet. The Constitution just wasn't important when it came to fighting HillaryCare, whereas, it's totally important when it comes to fighting ObamaCare.][Also: "Everybody else was doing it" is a lame excuse for a teenage beer party; it's an even lamer excuse for ignoring what you now think is a Constitutional requirement.]
[GINGRICH, con't] But to jump from that and say, gosh, if Newt said this in 1993, he must be for Obama -- skipping, by the way, 2 1/2 years of active consistent opposition to Obamacare? I mean, I think the kind of amnesia that Washington gets into is, frankly, silly.
[NOTE: What kind of amnesia? The kind of amnesia that remembers that Newt was for it before he was against it? Or the kind of amnesia that says Newt has been opposed to Obamacare for 2 1/2 years but was pretty much in favor of it for 16 1/2 years before that? Gosh.]
[GINGRICH, con't] But let me put that to one side because I want to set a precedent for a new kind of presidential campaigns.
[NOTE: The precedent Newt wants to set is to run the kind of presidential campaign where he doesn't have to answer for anything he did in the past. But that's not a new kind of campaign; that's the kind of campaign McCain ran in 2008.]
[GINGRICH, con't] And I thank [Heritage Foundation founder] Ed Feulner and Bill Bennett for helping me walk through what people were hearing, which is not what I intended to say.
[NOTE: I have never needed two other people to help me explain to people what I really meant as opposed to what I actually said, but, then, I'm not running a new kind of presidential campaign. Gosh.]
[GINGRICH, con't] I made a mistake....
VAN SUSTEREN: When you say you made -- when you say you made a mistake, are you saying that you chose the wrong words or that's not what you thought? Or I'm not sure I understand. Are you speaking about using the words as right wing social engineering, because that seems to be what has really sort of lit your party on fire?
GINGRICH: Look, I made two mistakes.
[NOTE: I imagined, at this point, Newt looking around wildly, trying to find Ed Feulner and Bill Bennett to help him walk Greta through what she was hearing.][Also, Newt's mistakes doubled in about one second. That is an exponential growth rate for mistakes.]
GINGRICH: First of all, if you back and listen to the question David Gregory asked me, I should have said I'm not going to answer it. It's a hypothetical baloney question that had no hope of happening.
[NOTE: The resurrection of the "trick question" defense is proof of the indelible stain Sarah Palin has left on the GOP.]
GINGRICH: The Republicans don't control the Senate. They don't have the White House. They can't do what Obama did. And I should just dismiss it. So, that was a mistake.
[NOTE: Yes. Newt should definitely not have answered a question that first assumed that Newt had reached his goals of Republican control of government, and then asked him what he would do if he reached those goals. Trick question! Gosh!]
GINGRICH:The second was some of the words I used.
[NOTE: Newt Gingrich has three advanced degrees: A bachelor's, a masters, and a Ph.D. He is listed as the author of 28 different books on Amazon. He runs a communications firm. And he can't pick the right words to use?]
GINGRICH: But I was trying to say something that's really important.
[NOTE: Which is why he didn't bother choosing carefully the words he used to say that?]
GINGRICH: We are at the beginning of a process of solving the entitlement problems of the United States. These are enormous challenges.
I believe deeply, that the American people have to be an integral part.
[NOTE: Like Navin Johnson, we're just happy to be in there somewhere.]
Newt didn't actually end there, but I wanted to finish up with a bang, so I saved the best for last. Quoth The Gingrich:
Be forewarned, press: If you go around quoting what Newt says, you are lying. Because you can't be sure what you heard Newt say until he (with his trusty group of advisers) later walks you back to what you heard Newt say.
So, let me say on the record: any ad which quotes what I said Sunday is a falsehood.