Paul: Gingrich's rise is 'bewildering'
December 2nd, 2011
05:57 PM ET
11 years ago

Paul: Gingrich's rise is 'bewildering'

(CNN) - While national Democrats have been pushing a media strategy against Mitt Romney as a flip-flopper, fellow GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul said the political world is focusing on the wrong person.

The more alarming candidate, Paul said, is surging frontrunner Newt Gingrich, a man he labels a "counterfeit conservative."

"Most people realize that I keep saying the same thing over again, whereas in (Gingrich's) case, he tries to catch up and change his position to fit the particular time in which he's speaking," Paul said on CNN's "The Situation Rom."

Paul released a scathing web ad against the former House speaker on Wednesday, editing a dramatic montage of news media clips to frame Gingrich as a flip-flopper.

In a press release accompanying the ad, Paul referred to his opponent as a "counterfeit conservative" who's taken "liberal positions" over the years.

He followed up the ad with an appearance in New Hampshire, where he called Gingrich a "flip-flopper" who was getting a "free ride" in the election cycle.

Asked Friday why Paul was zeroing in on Gingrich instead of Romney, who's repeatedly been targeted this cycle for his record, the Texas congressman said he found Gingrich's inconsistencies more significant

"I was more energized to do something when I found these things he had said. I thought they were more meaningful," Paul said.

The web ad attacked Gingrich on a range of issues from health insurance to climate change.

But Paul said he's most disturbed by the hefty $1.6 – $1.8 million paycheck Gingrich took from Freddie Mac as a consultant prior to the mortgage giant's near-collapse in 2008 and ensuing government bailout.

Critics went after Gingrich at the time the story broke, calling him a lobbyist for the mega-lender. But the presidential hopeful has since denied he took part in lobbying of any kind.

"He made money off the bailout, you know, if you add up the numbers and put it all together," Paul charged. "So that to me was rather annoying because it was something I worked so hard to prevent."

He continued: "It's ironic that the American people are seriously considering that he's supposed to come in and straighten things out. That sort of is bewildering to me."

Also see:

Romney campaign works on anti-Gingrich strategy

Romney meets former President George H. W. Bush

Newt believes in Newt

On Leno's show, Perry laughs off recent gaffes

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Ron Paul • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Tammy

    It's bewildering because it's made up, this is what they want us to believe. Newt is an evil despot.

    December 2, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. Joe M

    It is amazing that the Tea Party, who supposedly hates all the bailouts, is falling for Gingrich, who clearly plays all sides of all issues as long as he gets paid.

    December 2, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    I'll go you one further, Dr. Paul. The entire cast of GOPer presidential wannabees is bewildering, and incredibly humorous. Haven't laughed so much in ages - well, not at prospective presidential candidates anyway.

    December 2, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Registered Voter

    I thought Paul brought up a good point in this interview. How can the Americans not see through these two "Front-runners". Both Mitt and Newt, have been saying one thing and doing another. How can anyone be sure of what they're getting when voting for them?

    It is unfortunate that most people write-off Ron Paul just because of a disagreement with his foreign policy. Many people don't understand that he has said that if congress votes for the authority to go to war with Iran, he will do it. Not voting for the guy because he doesn't believe in being overly aggressive and violent?

    Good job CNN for giving Rep. Paul a fair shake in the news. Hopefully more and more people start realizing that the it's either we pick the other candidates (doesn't matter which, they're interchangeable) and we're F'ed, or we pick Ron Paul and we have a chance to turn this country around.

    December 2, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. woodpile

    Little known fact...Santa has to make two trips at Christmas...a sleigh full of loot for Newt and a sleigh full of Chinese coal for the rest of us.

    December 2, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  6. Jon

    I want to see Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate.

    December 2, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. Dixie AZ

    Mr. Paul, if you were only an inch or two to the left, you would get my independent vote. Gingrich is damaged goods.

    December 2, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  8. Albion

    Gingrich is a lobbyist and a liar. It is bewildering that anyone would take him seriously. And hopefully they won't after people are reminded of just how bad he is.

    December 2, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. gt

    newt wont last....

    December 2, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Gypsy

    Sorry Ron Paul, but I support the pro-war candidate with no moral values. Newt 2012!

    December 2, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. Matty

    It is quite unbelievable that anyone would seriously consider voting for Gingrich as president. He is completely incompetent with zero credibility. Newt Gingrich was taking millions of dollars from Freddie Mac while at the same time they were getting tax payer money from bailouts, and foreclosing on peoples homes. That says about enough right there.
    Ron Paul is honest, and quite literally the only hope for the country.

    December 2, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. woodpile

    Please, please, please Santa....all the sane people want for Christmas is a Ron Paul 2012 GOP Nomination which comes standard with the Peace On Earth attachment.

    December 2, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. joe rogan

    Doctor Paul is the only grown up in the race . the rest are all dopes cut from the same cloth. Think America.Think

    December 2, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. Alec Richardson

    Two articles on CNN in two days centered around Ron Paul.. Maybe the media will actually start to report on Ron Paul. I see this as his chance to snag the GOP nomination.

    December 2, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  15. Ryan (future Prez)

    Ron Paul is the man!

    December 2, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. dave_in_altmar

    He continued: "It's ironic that the American people are seriously considering that he's supposed to come in and straighten things out. That sort of is bewildering to me."

    Not "the American People". The righty nitwits with serious long-term memory issues.

    Bottom line, the Republican Clown Car keeps on rollin'...

    December 2, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Paul: Gingrich's rise is 'bewildering' ?

    No , not at all . The older over 65 voters want the past . And with such stagnation on both sides of the isle , mostly republican obstruction . People want a dictator.

    Similar to 1930s Europe .

    December 2, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. Voice of Reason

    This is Paul's achilles heel – he is an idealist, and still believes in people doing the right thing. That's why he is running, so why not everyone else?

    Unfortunately, Newt is a lying sack of doo-doo, and he'll tell any lie, and swindle any voter just to pull off his power grab. Cain and Romney are the same way. This is why it's all so baffling to Ron Paul – because it doesnt square with his perception that politicians should do the right things for the right reasons.

    Unfortunately, we see that as Ron Paul's fault, and we'll likely nominate someone else because of it. People wonder why we're cynical – it's because the only politics that works is the poltics of the gutter. Ron Paul would be a hero in another time and place. But today – he's written off as a crackpot.

    December 2, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  19. Tired of the nonsense

    It's not bewildering. There are too many "new" voters who have no idea what Gingrich did in the 90's. If they did, they'd be melting tar and plucking feathers and getting ready to ride him out on a rail. This man is a disgrace.

    December 2, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. Val in MA

    I absolutely 100% agree with Paul. It is also appalling to me that Republican voters, especially those social conservatives, would choose adulterous and multiple-times married Gingrich over a decent family man Romney just to rob him off of the nomination just because of Romeny's faith. What hypocrisy! Conservative Republicans better wise up before it's too late.

    December 2, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Obama's Change has left me with NO HOPE wrote:

    "I am convinced that Republicans are in totally willful denial when they claim that tax cuts are not spending."

    You need to educate yourself on what a tax is and what spending is. It is clear you cannot tell one from the other
    Allow me to educate you on how to read complete paragraphs. No cherry picking, please.

    "I am convinced that Republicans are in totally willful denial when they claim that tax cuts are not spending. Yeah, they are when you do not cut spending to make up for the deficit that they create. Many of the proposed tax cuts create just as much of a deficit as increased spending."

    December 2, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. mike from iowa

    It's not the American people who think Gingrich can come in and clean things up, it's the whacko, crazed, demented GOP right who is strobing through their party candidates just hoping one of them is electable. The GOP is a an extremist party that is bent on eliminating the middle class, aiming to convert the middle-class into peasantry for the benefit of the tiny 1% class of the rich.

    December 2, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. Alex B.

    I had mixed feelings about Newt. Then I saw the Serial Hypocrisy ad.

    To think that I had actually considered that guy!

    And the ad already has half a million views on YouTube ... ouch.

    December 2, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  24. Emperor Norton

    Oh no! Not liberal positions!

    Why do all of these guys act like being further left than Attila the Hun will instantly give them bowel cancer?

    December 2, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. Steve

    Don't worry Ron. After Noot's fifteen minutes are up, you will be the yahoos last option before facing the disaster of having to vote for the one percent supported RINO.

    December 2, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
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