(WASHINGTON) — Former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Sunday defended the Paul Ryan budget with an attack on the credibility of the Congressional Budget Office, and endorsed Mitt Romney’s foreign policy credentials by suggesting that he will “distrust the State Department” as president.
The CBO estimates that the Ryan plan will generate a budget surplus by 2040 because the plan calls for $4 trillion in tax cuts. Most conservative economists don’t view tax cuts as a loss of revenue because they believe that a stronger private sector will generate more overall wealth and thereby increase revenue.
“One of the great debates which we’re not going to have but should is the Congressional Budget Office and their method of scoring. Because it’s just factually false,” said Gingrich while on CBS’ Face the Nation.
Gingrich ignited a firestorm among conservatives last year when he characterized the first Ryan budget as “right wing social engineering.” He was forced to step back those comments while running for president but admitted on Sunday that the plan did have a wholesale transformation of Medicare.
“The one thing — the one thing I objected to back in May of 2011 was that he — he eliminated Medicare for everybody,” said Gingrich on Sunday. ”He listened — and one of the things I give Paul a lot of credit for is he really listens. And he came back with an approved Medicare plan that Ron Wyden has cosponsored, the only bipartisan reform, by the way, Paul Ryan and Ron Wyden introduced. And it basically allows people to stay in the current system. So he met my only objection.”
When questioned on Romney’s foreign policy experience, Gingrich had this to say: “He will be very cautious. He will think about America’s interest first. He will apply a decision making process that relies heavily on facts and he will distrust the State Department.”
“I am for any candidate who distrusts the State Department over a candidate who trusts the State Department,” said Gingrich.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jeff Zeleny, Dan Merica and Eric Bradner, CNN Newswire
Stephen Collinson, CNN Newswire