In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Newt Walks Back Attack On GOP Medicare Plan

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TPM SLIDESHOW: Meet The 2012 GOPers: Ex-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

Tyler also softened Newt's condemnation of Ryan's ideas as "radical change from the right," a phrase that Democrats are unlikely to forget any time soon in prosecuting their campaign against Medicare privatization.

"Radical means that politically you can't get to what Ryan wants from where we are," Tyler said. "It will be demagogued to death. Right wing social engineer refers simply to compelling people to participate without giving them a choice. That is a political mistake."

Newt's comments Sunday came at exactly the wrong time for House Republicans, who are trying to relaunch their Medicare plan this week. Ryan will take the lead himself with a speech in Chicago this week on the topic.