Gingrich Backs Off His Criticism Of Ryan Budget, Reaches Out To Tea Party

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Gingrich backs off his criticism of Ryan budget, reaches out to Tea PartyNewt Gingrich has begun backpedaling following his verbal attack on Representative Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget proposal, which calls for significant Medicare reform.

The former House Speaker fielded harsh criticism from Tea Party leaders after he described Ryan's plan as "right-wing social engineering" during his May 15 appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. In addition, Gingrich, who is vying for the GOP Presidential nomination, publicly backed the individual mandate in Barack Obama's healthcare law during his television appearance.

According to media reports, Gingrich has admitted he made a mistake, saying that he apologized to Ryan during a phone conversation on May 17. Rick Tyler, Gingrich's press secretary and longtime aide, told Politico.com that the former House Speaker also held two conference calls with Tea Party leaders to explain what he meant on Meet the Press.

The Huffington Post reported that Gingrich is expected to denounce the individual mandate provision of Obamacare despite his track record of supporting the controversial measure.

William Temple, the chairman of the Tea Party Founding Fathers, slammed Gingrich during a speech in Kansas City, Kan. on May 17.

"Like President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Mitt Romney, Mr. Gingrich also favors forcing mandatory health insurance upon American citizens," said Temple. "They all quibble about whether States or the Federal government should do the imposing, but they would all use the power of government to force Americans to buy a product they may not wish to buy." 

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