Newt Gingrich Calls Out Fellow Republicans, Says They Have “Zero Answers” for Health Care or Voters

Newt-GingrichNewt Gingrich might be a lot of things (liar, unethical, adulterer) but one thing he’s not is afraid to speak his mind.  Speaking at the RNC’s summer meetings this week, Gingrich became very candid with his fellow Republicans when it came to their seemingly obsessive behavior as it relates to the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”).

In front of about 200 GOP leaders, he had this to say about his party:

“I would bet for most of you, you go home in the next two weeks while your members of Congress are home and you look at them in the eye and you say, ‘What is your positive replacement for Obamacare?’ and they will have zero answer.  We are caught up right now in a culture, and you see it every single day, where as long as we are negative, as long as we are vicious, as long as we can tear down our opponent, we don’t have to worry, so we don’t.  This is a very deep problem.”

He’s absolutely right—on all of it.  And it’s been something I, as well as many Democrats/liberals, have been saying for quite some time about Republicans.

While they’ve sat there and tossed any kind of vitriolic, hateful venom they could possibly think up towards the Affordable Care Act, they’ve offered absolutely zero answers as to what they would do to replace it.  Because the fact of the matter is, many parts of the law are popular with Americans (even Republicans) and these parts are some of the areas of the law many Republicans have said they wouldn’t want to repeal.

The only problem is—they have zero plan.  

Republicans have voted 40 times (with I’m sure number 41 coming as soon as they’re back from recess) to repeal “Obamacare,” but we’ve yet to see any actual plan from the GOP as to what alternative they propose to deal with our health care system.

And that’s because they don’t have one.

But maybe the most ironic thing about their intense opposition to the Affordable Care Act is that the law was built based on Republican ideas!  

In the 90’s, as a response to President Clinton’s health care plans, Republicans insisted on an individual mandate.  The damn mandate is their idea.  

Pop quiz: Who can name the state which has actually implemented a successful health care law almost identical to the Affordable Care Act over the last few years?

If you guessed Massachusetts you would be correct.  And I’m sure if you knew the state, you’re well aware of who was governor when that bill was passed.  None other than Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate.

It’s just comical irony you really can’t make up.

But Gingrich’s comments go well beyond just health care.  He strikes directly at the heart of the Republican party which, for the last several years, has simply been the party of “no.”

“If President Obama and Democrats support something, we oppose it.”  That’s essentially been their entire political philosophy for the last 4+ years.  For many Americans, since 2010 when Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, Congress has been referred to as the “do nothing Congress”—because they’ve essentially done nothing.

This Congress has made a career out of holding this country hostage any time they don’t get their way.  Procedural votes which have never been an issue in our nation’s history, the debt ceiling for example, are suddenly now political tools Republicans use to try and blackmail the President to get what they want.

Their entire conservative political ideology has morphed into a platform of opposing everything, supporting nothing and pandering to their far right political base to save their own asses during their primary elections.

And while I don’t agree with Gingrich on much, he’s absolutely right—this is a real problem.

He knows this party can’t continue to shift further and further to the radical right if it hopes to stay nationally relevant.  He knows that their whole campaign can’t be basically, “See what I opposed!”  Because that’s honestly all any of these people have, because they don’t stand for anything.

Well no, they do stand for something consistently—the opposite of whatever President Obama supports.

There’s the joke I’ve seen around the Internet that says if Obama came out in support of oxygen, Republicans would suffocate.  And while it’s an over the top joke, it just strikes at the core of how Republicans have behaved since he’s been President.

My personal joke is that I’d love for President Obama to say he’s switching parties and becoming a Republican.  Then you’d probably see every Republican in Congress suddenly become Democrats.

And while Gingrich believes Republicans need to offer alternatives to Democratic policies, not just attacks, reality proves that won’t be so easy.

Because besides opposing everything Democrats support—most Republicans don’t know what the hell it is they actually stand for.

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Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on both Twitter and Facebook. Have feedback, inquiries, criticism or hate mail? You can email him as well.


Facebook comments

  • The Moo

    Yes his statement is very true Allen. What concerns me most is why the sudden change of view? People like him with his record does not change over night unless they have an agenda to achieve. One statement from him is not going to make any one who can think for themselves say “Hey that Newt isn’t such a bad guy after all”. I sure as hell am not drinking any kool aid from this man no matter what he says.

    • nmykita

      Those are my thoughts too. For all the times I’ve disagreed with Newt, now that I do agree I find myself asking what his angle is.

    • mike_thoms

      He’s still a bad guy…but plenty of Conservatives have lately spoken their mind in the same way, be it about the ACA or shutting down the government or not pushing through the Obama nominations…they’re being pragmatic in most cases. They are worried that in the event the roles are reversed that the Democrats will be doing the same obstructionist things to them and they won’t have a leg to stand on.

  • Quacker

    So true man! Love the story, really great! I said, (before I read this) that if Obama said he was switching to GOP/Republican they entire party would go nuclear then just melt down! It would be so much epic fun to watch. Keep the good stories coming man. Common sense isn’t a Republican strong point, they must hate you!

    • chrisclement

      I wish he would start using the phrase ” don’t hold your breath”.

  • mre2000

    My favorite Obama joke… if Obama walked on water, Fox News headline would be “President Can’t Swim”

  • Runawaygirl83

    Did Newt Gingrich just become the “smart” Republican?

    • memeremalek

      Indeed, he is The Best they have to offer up now. Pretty sad.

    • Vivian E McPherson

      The older you get, the wiser you get. I’m 65 and I am wiser for the wear; what I didn’t know even 20 years ago. Newt, I think, has learned alot, a lost alot in the last 10 years. It’s called experience!!!

  • Matthew Reece

    Neither Republican nor Democratic ideas will fix healthcare because they are statist ideas. Statism is organized violence. Violence cannot solve social problems, and will in fact make such problems worse. The free market must be used, something Democrats generally hate and something Republicans generally just pay lip service to without truly understanding or supporting it.

    • mre2000

      You dont think the health care industry is free market? lol Thats the ENTIRE PROBLEM that needs to be fixed.

      • b64

        Matthew Reece, in order for us accept that idea we would have to forget the last ten years of American history.

      • Matthew Reece

        I know that the healthcare industry is not a free market. A free market has no government interference of any kind.

      • mre2000

        Thats the most absurd comment yet. I assume you work for a pharmaceutical company.

      • Matthew Reece

        Informal fallacies are an admission of defeat and stupidity, as people who have the intellectual capacity to debate rationally have no need to resort to such illogical tactics.

      • mre2000

        Admission of defeat and stupidity against a guy with no logical argument. Yea go with that.lol

    • Bob in Boston

      You mean the same free market that brought the world economy to its knees a few short years ago? Yeah, we should definitely trust it with our health and well-being. Socialized medicine is the only sane, humane, and, incidentally, cost-effective choice.

      • Matthew Reece

        What we have had bears little resemblance to a free market. The violent monopoly of the state controls the currency and imposes regulations that cripple economic potential. Politicians and central bankers created the environment that led to the crash, not the free market.

      • mre2000

        Go look at a chart for the stock performance of health care stocks over the last 10-20 years. Yea I’m crying them a river. Your ‘free market’ health care system is the one that denies people coverage, but ONLY when they get sick… all in the name of profits. While you are of course entitled to your opinion, I am entitled to call your opinion utterly ridiculous.

      • mre2000

        I LOL’d at the ‘economic potential’ comment. You need to check your wallet at the door. Or get sick and stare down a $2M health care bill, if they decide to treat you at all.

    • sodah

      Ok.Are you going to get off your high horse and explain to those of us who need notes what your view of free market is?

  • ricklee228

    OMG!! Newt has actually said something that is both honest and true and the scariest part is, i agree with him! Enough said because I will not crawl into that bed with him any further. Today is the last day of the GOP! Hurray!!!!!!

  • Doug Watkins

    Whats sad about the Republican party is that the country needs a viable second party(or even a third like we have in Canada) As fun as it is to watch them self-destruct, Democrats should have a vigorous opponent so we keep sharp(I say “we” as I am a dual citizen) Bring good ideas to the table to be debated. One party rule is good for no one.

  • jen

    That’s what I’ve been wondering about too. Their lack of an alternative is startling, considering how opposed they are to it. You’d think they’d know they’d be asked that question. Not just by the voters, but by the Administration. Don’t have an alternative? Then sit down, shut up, and stop trying to repeal it. It’s not going to work anyway. My State Representative is a Republicon. He Tweets endlessly (to the point I’m almost ready to unfollow him) about repealing the ACA. I Tweeted back to him that he and the other Republicons need to form an alternative. *crickets* Not a word in response. My Governor is a Republicon too. (I know, it sucks) But he actually WANTED to expand Medicaid. It was the state Senate that refused to vote on whether to expand. The Governor’s going to try and propose a vote when they get back from Summer recess. So even if you have a Republicon Governor who wants to cooperate and expand Medicaid, he could very well be blocked by his own party in the state. I guess he could force a vote, but that would just backfire. And I’m really tired of them calling it ObamaCare. If you want to get technical, it’s RomneyCare. But the bill’s called The Affordable Care Act. Call it that or use ACA.

    • Jeoffrey Bristow

      You must live in Florida or Texas.

  • chrisclement

    500 lawyers can only vote “no” 40x in a row. I think they are underworked and overpaid IMHO.

  • Johnny Valverde

    I’m a left-leaning moderate, and I can’t read this. I’m sure Mr. Clifton is very smart; this looks as if it was written by a middle school student. His grammar is terrible, his organization is non-functional, and there’s a lack of credible sources or annotations. He uses quotes when he paraphrases! I can’t read this – it’s just awful.

  • fivefoottwo

    Newt is right. Not surprising though he would speak these words to 200 GOP leaders. Newt’s like that. Newt’s biggest fan is Newt. He’s always like to hold himself high. Newt along with the 200 GOP leaders know the score.

    1. Healthcare reform has been batted around for the better part of 2 decades. Never seriously enough to hammer out a plan by anyone until Democrats did following the 2008 election.

    2. Standing against something for this long is lame. Strength is demonstrated by standing for something.

  • Pingback: Forward Progressives — Bill Clinton Schools Republicans on Facts About Obamacare()

  • jasmith4

    Republicans: they’re “The Stupid Party” says Bobby Jindal, or as I like to call them, the party of Stupidi-TEA, Insani-TEA, Duplici-TEA, Infantili-TEA and Insani-TEA!