The Washington Times - March 20, 2012, 04:50PM

Newt Gingrich, who last year attacked Paul Ryan’s budget as “social engineering,” has only kind words this year for the House Budget Committee chairman’s second go-around.

In a statement Mr. Gingrich called the new plan “courageous.”


“My plan to grow the economy and balance the budget differs in details but shares the same core principles as Ryan’s impressive effort. As president I would work very closely with Chairman Ryan to reform government and balance the budget.”

Mr. Ryan’s plan mimics last year’s effort, including changes to Medicare which Mr. Gingrich had called “radical.” He later tried to back away from that criticism, and even phoned Mr. Ryan to apologize.

But not every Republican presidential candidate was as eager to embrace Mr. Ryan’s work.

Rep. Ron Paul, who has proposed an immediate elimination of a handful of cabinet agencies, said Mr. Ryan’s plan “doesn’t go far enough.”

Mr. Paul last year released a plan that he said would save $1 trillion in the first year alone, bringing the government far closer to balance than either Mr. Obama or Mr. Ryan would do.