Newt Gingrich Apologizes to Paul Ryan
Former House speaker goes into damage control quickly
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2011 6:14 PM CDT
Newt Gingrich says he's sorry for slamming Paul Ryan's budget plan.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Newt Gingrich says he's sorry and sounds like he'd take a do-over if he could. After running into a buzzsaw of GOP criticism for bashing Paul Ryan's budget plan over the weekend, Gingrich personally called the congressman today, reports Politico. “Newt apologized,” says his press secretary. "The call went very well.” The trouble began for Gingrich on Sunday when he described Ryan's Medicare proposal as "right-wing social engineering" and "radical change."

He immediately began taking heat from fellow Republicans. "With allies like that, who needs the left?” asked Ryan himself yesterday. Rush Limbaugh and others piled on, prompting Gingrich to make his conciliatory calls today not only to Ryan but to Tea Party groups and conservative bloggers. “We’ve tried to correct the record and admit it could have been done better,” says his press chief. He adds that Gingrich still intends to weigh in on Medicare reform and help Republicans "design a winning plan that the country will support." Click to see an Iowa man's angry reaction to Gingrich in person.