Newt Gingrich is no longer playing Mr. Nice Candidate.
In an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” the former House speaker ripped Ron Paul, telling Blitzer that he couldn’t imagine voting for the Texas congressman if he somehow won the GOP nomination.
“I think Ron Paul’s views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American,” he told Blitzer.
“I think the choice of Ron Paul or Barack Obama would be a very bad choice for America,” Gingrich added, bluntly saying “no” when asked if he could cast a ballot for Paul.
Among the reasons Gingrich cited for being unable to support Paul were the racist, conspiracy-laden newsletters that were put out for over a decade under Paul’s name.
“As people get to know more about Ron Paul who disowns 10 years of his own newsletter, says he didn’t really realize what was in it, had no idea what he was making money on, had no idea it was racist, anti-Semitic … all of this is a sudden shock to Ron Paul,” he exclaimed. “There will come a morning when people wont take him as a serious person.”
Paul claims he didn’t write the newsletters and that he does not share the racist sentiments expressed. A 2008 Reason magazine article showed he profited from them.
Gingrich said that he won’t be forced to choose between Paul and Obama because Paul isn’t “going to get the nomination.”
“The people in the United States are not going to accept somebody who thinks it’s irrelevant if Iran gets a nuclear weapon,” he said.
Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton told CNN that Gingrich’s comments were motivated by “frustration from his floundering campaign.”
“Frustration from his floundering campaign has Newt Gingrich showing who he really is: a divisive, big-government liberal,” Benton said. “Newt has a long record of standing against conservatives dating back to his support for liberal Nelson Rockefeller over Barry Goldwater, so this sort of childish outburst is nothing new.”
Paul is currently running ads in Iowa attacking the notion that Gingrich is a conservative.
One week away from the caucuses, the Texas congressman currently holds a slight lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Iowa according the RealClearPolitics polling average. Gingrich registers in third place.