Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich appeared on Meet the Press this morning with David Gregory. Gingrich took the opportunity this morning to move a bit to the left with regard to criticizing Paul Ryan’s budget plan among other things.

Report from National Review:

Newt Gingrich’s appearance on “Meet the Press” today could leave some wondering which party’s nomination he is running for. The former speaker had some harsh words for Paul Ryan’s (and by extension, nearly every House Republican’s) plan to reform Medicare, calling it “radical.”

“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” he said when asked about Ryan’s plan to transition to a “premium support” model for Medicare. “I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.”

As far as an alternative, Gingrich trotted out the same appeal employed by Obama/Reid/Pelosi — for a “national conversation” on how to “improve” Medicare, and promised to eliminate ‘waste, fraud and abuse,’ etc.

“I think what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options,” Gingrich said. Ryan’s plan was simply “too big a jump.”

Gingrich also stated that while he didn’t support the individual mandate portion of ObamaCare, he did support some sort of variation on the concept.

Watch the entire 24 minute interview here:

It doesn’t appear to me, at least, that he’s helped himself in a Republican primary. Not a chance these words won’t come back to haunt him as other candidates try to paint him as soft on fiscal issues for not fully supporting Paul Ryan’s plan. Furthermore, President Obama’s health care reform law is usually greeted by calls to fully repeal it in Republican circles. Gingrich seems to stand off that position supporting perhaps a modification of it.