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Glenn Beck, Newt Gingrich Spar About Individual Mandate, Climate Change (VIDEO)

First Posted: 12/06/11 11:09 AM ET Updated: 12/06/11 02:35 PM ET

Glenn Beck Newt Gingrich

Glenn Beck grilled Newt Gingrich during a lengthy interview on his Tuesday radio show.

Gingrich has been catapulted to the top of the Republican presidential race in recent weeks, and Beck didn't let him off easy.

"I have serious concerns with Newt Gingrich," he said before the interview. "...I truly, deeply care about the country just as much as Newt Gingrich does but we differ on the answers, I believe. I’d like to have him convince me that I’m wrong. I would love to have him convince me that I’m wrong." He quizzed him on his support for ethanol subsidies, his views on government regulation and his changing positions on the individual mandate in health care.

Beck played clips of Gingrich calling himself a "Theodore Roosevelt Republican," and saying that government regulation was needed in some areas.

"Regulation and the government scares the crap out of me and I think most Tea Party kind of leaning conservatives," he said. Gingrich responded that he thinks "there are minimum regulatory standards of public health and safety that are I think really important." He mentioned the classic book "The Jungle," which features a man who falls into a vat of sausages, citing that as an example of something government should prevent.

"So you’re a minimum regulation guy on making sure the people don’t fall into the vats of sausage?" Beck asked.

In another section, Beck played two soundbites of Gingrich speaking about healthcare in 1993 and 2011. He told Gingrich that "this is where we fundamentally differ," and argued that Gingrich seemed to be in favor of an individual mandate. Gingrich admitted that his current position was a "variation" on the individual mandate.

Beck also quizzed Gingrich on climate change, playing clips of him saying "the government should pay" for some solutions to the problem. He told Gingrich that it seemed as though a belief in combating climate change was a "multiyear stance."

Gingrich said that there was "evidence on both sides of the climate change argument," and that he only meant that government should help pay for things like nuclear energy.

To read the full transcript of the interview, click here.

Watch Part 1 above. Watch Part 2 below.

Background on Newt Gingrich:

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Speaking the day before the Delaware primary, Gingrich hinted he was considering ending his presidential run:

"I think we need to take a deep look at what we are doing," Gingrich said in an interview with NBC News during a campaign stop in Delaware. "We will be in North Carolina tomorrow night and we will look and see what the results are."

According to NBC, the former House speaker said he would need to "reassess" based on the results of Tuesday's primary in Delaware, a state where Gingrich has spent a great deal of time campaigning in recent weeks. Gingrich indicated that the state's 17 delegates were crucial to his viability as a candidate.

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Filed by Jack Mirkinson  |