The crop of elephants running for the GOP’s presidential nomination are just chock full o’ laughs, aren’t they?
First we have Newt “I was for Paul Ryan’s plan to kill Medicare before I was against it” Gingrich last week on CBS’s Face the Nation.
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): You heard at the top of this broadcast, we kind of laid it out there. You began your campaign last week on Meet The Press with what I have to say was just withering criticism of the plan passed by the Republican House to replace Medicare with government subsidized private insurance and– and you heard them. You’ve heard them all week. Republicans from Rush Limbaugh to Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina to Paul Ryan himself cried foul. Then you backed off and said you made a mistake. But you sounded pretty certain. And I just want to go back and– and let’s listen to what you said–
NEWT GINGRICH (overlapping): Yeah.
BOB SCHIEFFER: –last week.DAVID GREGORY (May 9, 2011): Do you think that Republicans ought to buck the public opposition and really move forward to completely change Medicare, turn it into a voucher program where you give seniors–
NEWT GINGRICH (overlapping; May 9, 2011): Yeah.
DAVID GREGORY (May 9, 2011): –some premium support and so that they can go out and buy private insurance?
NEWT GINGRICH (May 9, 2011): I don’t think right wing social engineering is anymore desirable than left wing social engineering. I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.
BOB SCHIEFFER: So then, you go on television and you just totally retract that. You said I’ve made a mistake. Well, you sounded awfully certain when you said it. What happened here?
NEWT GINGRICH: Look if– if you go back and replay what David Gregory asked.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, I did.
NEWT GINGRICH: Yeah. No, I’m just saying. If you listen to his words, he doesn’t say how do you feel about Paul Ryan? I like Paul Ryan. Didn’t even say how do you feel about Ryan’s budget? I would have voted for Ryan’s budget. He said should Republicans pass an unpopular plan? And I made the mistake of accepting his premise. I wasn’t referring to Ryan. I was referring to a general principle. We, the people, should not have Washington impose large-scale change on us. Paul Ryan has begun a process– he and I’ve talked about it several times this week. And we go back many years. Paul Ryan has begun a process. It’s an important process. This is the third time we’ve seen a Medi-scare campaign by the Democrats against Reagan and–
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Well–
NEWT GINGRICH (overlapping): –now just listen– but–
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): –go ahead.
NEWT GINGRICH (overlapping): –but– my context was we Republicans have to go to the country, we have to explain what we’re trying to accomplish to save Medicare, how we would save Medicare. The country has to have time, the American people have to have time to ask us questions, to modify the plan if necessary, to get to a point where people are comfortable with it and that was my point. I– I probably used unfortunate language about social engineering. But my point was really a larger one that neither party should impose on the American people something that they are deeply opposed to.
Now THAT’S tying yourself up in knots trying save your campaign before it’s even a week old, isn’t it? Talk aboutchyer weasel words. Yeesh.
And then comes Herman Cain, tea party candidate and strict Constitutionalist (via Think Progress):
CAIN: We don’t need to rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America, we need to reread the Constitution and enforce the Constitution. … And I know that there are some people that are not going to do that, so for the benefit of those who are not going to read it because they don’t want us to go by the Constitution, there’s a little section in there that talks about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
You know, those ideals that we live by, we believe in, your parents believed in, they instilled in you. When you get to the part about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” don’t stop there, keep reading. Cause that’s when it says “when any form of government becomes destructive of those ideals, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.” We’ve got some altering and some abolishing to do!
Mr. Read-the-Goddam-Constitution himself, quoting from the Declaration of Independence.