This was the spontaneous encounter that Newt Gingrich absolutely did not need today. Already in damage control for his comments implying that Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to fix Medicare amounted to “right-wing social engineering,” and the fuzziness of his how his views on individual healthcare mandates might differ from Obamacarian ones, Gingrich had even posted a video clarifying his views. And then this happened. Just one of those chance meetings in the lobby of a Holiday Inn that can prove enormously problematic for a presidential candidate. Key part of the clip hits about 1:40:
Here’s my best attempt at a transcript:
Guy: Speaker Gingrich, what you just did to Paul Ryan is unforgivable.
Gingrich: I didn’t do anything to Paul Ryan!
Guy: Yes, you did. You undercut him and his allies in the house.
Gingrich: No, I…
Guy: You’re an embarrassment to our party.
Gingrich: I’m sorry you feel that way.
Guy: Why don’t you get out before you make a bigger fool of yourself.
At least the guy was polite enough to call him Speaker Gingrich!