In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, or as Herman Cain called him “Blitz”, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich held no punches when it came to his political opinion of rival candidate Ron Paul and it was harsh.
When asked by Blitzer if Newt could vote for Ron Paul, Gingrich replied with an immediate and unequivocal “no”.
As seen in the video provided below this post, Gingrich explained that Ron Paul was “totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American”. The former Speaker of the House expanded on his answer by stating;
“I think it’s very difficult to see how you would engage in dealing with Ron Paul as a nominee,”
“Given the newsletters, which he has not yet disowned. He would have to go a long way to explain himself and I think it would be very difficult to see today, Ron Paul as the Republican nominee.”
Despite being an interview on the Communist News Network, the entire 30 minute interview was quite insightful and afforded Gingrich an excellent opportunity to defend both the factual blemishes of his record and the false accusations against him and his record.
The most recent damaging and true charge against Gingrich was the revelation of direct quotes from him which in 2006 praised Romneycare. For his part, Gingrich did not try to back away from his early praise but instead drew a contrast between him and Mitt Romney on the issue by stating that although he did praise it as a promising experiment back in 2006, since then he has seen that the experiment failed and is willing to admit it, while Mitt Romney on the hand, is still not admitting that Romneycare was a failure and even continues to defend it to this day.
Another interesting tidbits coming out of the interview were Newt’s admission that his bipartisan commercial appearance with Nancy Pelosi back in the 90’s regarding the dangers of greenhouse gasses, was the dumbest thing he has ever done. However he took the opportunity to demonstrate that people still don’t have their facts straight and try to use the commercial to claim that he supported Cap-and-Trade policies. Newt explained that around the same time that the commercial in question came out, he was offering his opposition to such policies in testimony to Congress.
But it was Newt’s statements regarding Ron Paul and chief rival Mitt Romney that really captured the headlines.
When discussing Romney, Newt threw down the gloves and told Romney that if he wants to run a negative campaign, he should “man up” and stop hiding behind his staff and the attack ads paid for by his millionaire friends. He also told Romney that if he believes he can beat President Obama in a debate, he should prove it and take Newt up on his challenge to debate him.
The harshest words were reserved for Ron Paul though.
In addition to claiming that it is hard to believe that Ron Paul knew nothing about newsletters which he profited from and that contained racist and antisemitic statements, because he did not read them until 10 years after they were published, Gingrich also made the case that Ron Paul is hardly credible as a presidential candidate. According to Newt, when it comes to casting a protest vote, Paul is “a very reasonable candidate”, but he adds;
“As a potential President, a person who thinks that the United States was responsible for 9/11, a person who believes,…who wrote in his news letter that the World Trade Center bombing in ’93 might have been a C.I.A. plot, a person who doesn’t believe that it matters if the Iranians have a nuclear weapon, I’d rather just say, you look at Ron Paul’s record of systemic avoidance of reality, his ads are about as accurate as his newsletter,”.
Newt also balked at the possibility of Paul getting the Republican presidential nomination by stating “he won’t” get it.
What struck me most about the interview was the natural and sincere delivery of Gingrich’s defense of his record and criticism of his opponents and their records. In addition to being quite comfortable, he presented a case that wassubstantive and refreshingly honest and blunt. Something which politicians are not often known for.
In my eyes, the interview reinforced my confidence in Newt Gingrich’s candidacy and it deepened my hope to see him eventually become the Republican standard-bearer in 2012.
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