Which was more inevitable: That Newt Gingrich would be forced to grovel for forgiveness after his costly gaffe, or that Rep. Radical would be gracious enough to take Newt's call and accept the apology? Ryan described their conversation on Mark Levin's show last night:
"He now understands the magnitude of his comments; how wrong they were, and I think he's going to have more to say about that. He basically called and apologized, and I accepted his apology."
Click through to hear the full interview. Too little, too late? Ryan says Newt plans to "say more" about the error of his ways, but are there any words that will mollify the base at this stage? Krauthammer went nuclear on him the other night, and his wasn't the only burned bridge. Plus, doesn't even more chatter enhance the risk of digging a deeper hole? That's Team Newt's unenviable quandary today.
Paul Ryan, meanwhile, is out pitching his case to the American people. And why not? His is virtually the only game in town at the moment. As Nuke Newt sentiment reached a fever pitch on Monday, Ryan traveled to Chicago to give a major address in defense of his budget, and the fiscal realities that triggered its formation. I just got around to watching it in full last night and I assure you it is worth your time. It's a sober and methodical description of the nation's imperiled economic landscape, followed by a succinct summary of a proactive solution. As you contemplate Ryan's words, see if the P-word doesn't creep into your mind, even fleetingly:
And while you're tossing about the thought I just planted in your head (hey, he's still available), take a moment to compare Ryan's approach with President Obama's appalling performance several weeks ago at George Washington University. These two men are $6.2 Trillion worlds apart, stylistically and substantively.
UPDATE - Yuck:
"Newt and I are considered political opposites, but I couldn’t agree more with what he said Sunday about the plan to end Medicare,” Schumer said. “He acknowledged that it is right wing social engineering.”
“It was refreshing to hear such candor from a top Republican,” Schumer continued. “Gingrich was saying what everyone knows to be true: The plan is extreme.”
“We will not miss a single opportunity of reminding the public what it means for seniors,” Schumer concluded.
UPDATE II - Team Newt has swung back into attack mode. Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler released this melodramatic, metaphor-saturated, media-bashing volley to the Huffington Post:
“The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding. Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.”
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography