On "Meet the Press" Sunday, Gingrich denounced House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan's plan to restructure Medicare, saying, "I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate."
On his radio program Monday morning, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett, who knows Gingrich well but is also close to Ryan, reacted angrily to Gingrich's remarks. Referring to Ryan's Medicare plan as "right-wing social engineering" is, Bennett said, "an unforgivable mistake, in my judgment." Bennett went on to say that Gingrich "has taken himself out of serious consideration for the  race."