In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Newt Gingrich Blasts GOP Budget As 'Right-Wing Social Engineering'


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Gingrich was asked about his own record on health care -- Gregory played a clip of the then-Congressman on the show in 1993 calling for an individual mandate, the same policy that has put Mitt Romney's candidacy in jeopardy. Like Romney, Gingrich did not disavow his support for a requirement that people maintain insurance, defending it as an effective approach.

"I've said consistently we ought to have some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you're going to be held accountable," he said.

He addressed his recent attacks on President Obama as the "food stamp president," which some critics have labeled a racial dogwhistle. In the same speech he introduced the phrase, he hinted at the idea of reinstituting poll tests, which were banned by the Voting Rights Act as a trick to suppress black voters.

Gregory asked Gingrich whether there were racial undertones to the "food stamp" phrase.

"That's bizarre," he said. "What I said is factually true...And to hide behind the charge of racism? I have never said anything about President Obama which is racist."