During a radio interview on Tuesday with the lead Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, conservative host Glenn Beck questioned Gingrich’s stance on climate change and increased government involvement.
Before the interview, Beck announced to listeners: "I have serious concerns with Newt Gingrich.”
“I truly, deeply care about the country just as much as Newt Gingrich does but we differ on the answers, I believe. I would love to have him convince me that I’m wrong."
Beck played soundbites of the candidate proclaiming himself to be a "Theodore Roosevelt Republican," and seemingly endorsing government regulation.
"Regulation and the government scare the c*** out of me and I think most Tea Party kind of leaning conservatives," Beck said.
"There are minimum regulatory standards of public health and safety that are I think really important," Gingrich responded.
Beck played another clip of Gingrich commenting on climate change. In the clip, Gingrich says he believes “the government should pay” to help curb the problem.
Beck told Gingrich that he believed fighting climate change is a “multi-year stance,” to which Gingrich wavered there is "evidence on both sides of the climate change argument."
“Do you do you still believe in the, you know, the Inconvenient Truth as outlined by global climate change advocates?” Beck asked the Republican candidate.
“Well, I never believed in Al Gore’s fantasies and, in fact, if you look at the record, the day that Al Gore testified at the Energy and Commerce Committee in favor of cap and trade, I was the next witness and I testified against cap and trade,” said Gingrich.
“Cap and trade was an effort by the left to use the environment as an excuse to get total control over the American economy, centralizing a Washington bureaucracy. In the end it had nothing to do with the environment. It had everything to do with their desire to control our lives,” Gingrich added.
The host also expressed his frustration with Gingrich’s consent for an individual mandate for healthcare. Beck told Gingrich that he and the candidate “fundamentally differ” on the issue.
“I’ve said consistently we ought to have some requirement to either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you are going to be held accountable,” said Gingrich, admitting his current stance is a “variation” of the individual mandate.
Beck concluded the interview cordially: “Newt, I have to tell you, I--you know, because, you know, it’s obvious it was very clear in advance and I hope my staff made this very clear that this isn’t going to be an easy interview but I think you’ve you know, there was no gaffes here by any stretch of the imagination. I didn’t expect any. But I appreciate the willingness to come on and answer the tough questions, and I wish you the best.”