Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich defended the bizarre claim by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin that the president's health care plan would result in a "death panel" that could kill her Down Syndrome son.
"You are asking us to trust the government," Gingrich declared on ABC's "This Week." "You are asking us to decide to believe the government should be trusted."
"Communal standards historically is a very dangerous concept," he added.
Reminded by host George Stephanopoulos that there was no such thing as communal standards in any health care bill -- just language that would allow for optional Medicare consultations on end of life decisions -- Gingrich grew a bit flummoxed.
"The bill is a thousand pages of setting up mechanisms," he said. "You are asking us to trust turning power over to the government, when there are clearly people in America who believe in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards."
On Friday, Palin posted a message on her Facebook account warning that "death panels" would be set up to encourage euthanasia -- a wild and baseless complaint that has grown popular in conservative circles.
"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care," Palin wrote. "Such a system is downright evil."