(CNN) – The architect of President Obama's 2008 presidential campaign Monday sharply criticized remarks made by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich over the weekend that President Obama follows a "Kenyan, anti-colonial" worldview.
"Two words that come to mind are 'sad' and 'reprehensible,'" David Plouffe told CNN's John King on John King USA.
"It makes me think . he's probably pretty sure he's going to run for president," Plouffe added, suggesting Gingrich may have been trying to appease the most conservative elements of the Republican Party.
Gingrich has recently made a number of trips to earlier primary states, fueling speculation that a 2012 bid for the Republican presidential nomination is on his mind.
The former House speaker made the comments in an interview with the National Review that was published over the weekend on their website.
"This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president," he said, adding later "I think he worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating – none of which was true. In the Alinksy tradition, he was being the person he needed to be in order to achieve the position he needed to achieve...He was authentically dishonest."
"What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?" he also said. "That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior."
Gingrich said he was basing his comments on a recent column in Forbes Magazine by Dinesh D'Souza that concludes the president's worldview was significantly shaped by that of his Kenyan-born father.
Plouffe said Gingrich is "clearly a very intelligent person" who he sensed, while in Congress, acted based on principle. But his comments, Plouffe added, "are really not the Newt Gingrich I think a lot of us remembered."