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. LegendRx

    Ron Paul, back up Mr. bewildered, "the american people" (?) Surely you don't mean, The American People, but the desperate republican american people, as it were, As you know, they are the misguided republican sheep who seem to be oblivious to reality, while they are blindly lead to the slaughterhouse to be turned into food for the rich. The republican party core problem is the distend and self destructive hate they have for President Obama that they would follow Newt Barrabas over Romney the leech or Ron Paul the visitor from another planet. This stuff is funny!

    December 2, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. Kris Craig

    "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.'"

    Actually, the American people are NOT seriously considering him. The Republican primary voters, who rarely reflect the feelings of the American public at large, are.

    It's not bewildering at all. Ron Paul needs to realize that a lack of logical reasoning and common sense is nothing new in the Republican electorate. If he's really that troubled by it, he should become an independent. Otherwise, he's just a hypocrite who hates the party he's in but sticks with them because it's the only way to win elections.

    December 2, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Gingrich rise bewildering?

    Welcome to the unfathomably and malignantly stupid [R] party.

    December 2, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. Tom Dybowski

    Ron Paul vs. Big Brother 2012
    I made my choice.

    December 2, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. Scott E Downer

    Ron Paul no baggage ! we are to pick a President that has no baggage and What this country stands for Liberty and humanity.this election will be for the world not just America ! lets pledge to the flag and put Ron Paul for commander and chief ! the only Person with the middle class need !

    December 2, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. Tough USA


    A. Mitt the flip and sellout
    B.Newt ++++ Adultry+++Lying+++Cheating ++++Stealing+++
    C.- -- Cut the fed and spending, bring the troops home,protect our boarders, stop sending billions overseas, End Romneycare/Obamacare.

    I WILL VOTE FOR C. - -- . Because I am an American and tired of political cowards.
    that are morally defecient, have change their views, backed bad policies and show no change for the Grand Old Party.

    December 2, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  7. Tough USA

    Ron Paul 2012 !!!!!

    December 2, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. willie floyd

    Gingrich hmself is "bewildering"!!

    December 2, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  9. Bubba

    Scraping the bottom of the barrel comes to mind with this one. Man is so slimy. Got an unsolicited automated call from his campaign the other night and felt like I needed a shower afterward. They are ALL alike, even the dems.

    December 2, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. steven harnack

    Hey, it bewilders me too Ron. And he's not just a counterfeit conservative, he's a counterfeit everything. His only goal is power and he will do anything to get it. In my opinion he is a dangerous sociopath.

    December 2, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  11. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Gingrich is a chameleon. He will be whatever it takes to promote Newt Gingrich. He is not only a countereit conservative, he is a counterfeit of moral fiber.

    December 2, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. swolfson929

    It is to me also, Paul.

    December 2, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. Sandro

    What else is new?
    Is expected from any given candidate to receive dirt from every opponent, specially if such candidate is flying in the polls.
    You haven't seen nothing yet, wait 'till the DemocRat party start unleashing dirt on the next Republican candidate. Why? because Obummer don't have nothing to show. Are you better off today than four year ago?? Obummer stand to be obliterted next November even by having Bill Clinton's wife running as Vice-President.

    December 2, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  14. Joe

    If Ron Paul can get more straight-up, no nonsense, true journalism interviews like this with Wolf Blitzer, Ron has a shot at the nomination

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."


    December 2, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  15. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Sorry, Ron, but you have only been a sideshow in this circus called the Republican Presidential Nomination, along with Rick Santorum and John Huntsman. As the Far Right base doesn't trust Romney, and they have so far been disappointed by Bachmann, Perry and Cain, in that order, then Newt is the latest Not-Romney-of-the-Month to whet their fantasies of a winning candidate.

    Unfortunately, what plays well in Des Moines will not play well in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York or Boston. We prefer our Republicans to be moderate and thoughtful, not foaming at the mouth with dire prophecies of the fall of Western Civilization if Barak Obama is reelected.

    December 2, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  16. Joe Shmoe

    Gingrich has framed himself as a flip flopper by flip flopping so much. He’s a big government RINO all the way.

    December 2, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  17. Mike Dar

    By John E. Yang
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, January 22 1997; Page A01

    The House voted overwhelmingly yesterday to reprimand House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and order him to pay an unprecedented $300,000 penalty, the first time in the House's 208-year history it has disciplined a speaker for ethical wrongdoing.

    The ethics case and its resolution leave Gingrich with little leeway for future personal controversies, House Republicans said. Exactly one month before yesterday's vote, Gingrich admitted that he brought discredit to the House and broke its rules by failing to ensure that financing for two projects would not violate federal tax law and by giving the House ethics committee false information. Enough Said!!

    December 2, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  18. BeverlyNC

    It sure is since Gingrich is stuck in the past and doesn't have a single idea relevant to the issues of today. He is just another typical lying hypocrite whose ego is far larger than his intelligence. He failed horribly as Speaker and was charged with 86 ethics charges. Is it a Republican traiit to be corrupt, be an adulterer, and change your "values" based on your audience. Republicans have no leaders just liars and destroyers of the People.

    December 2, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  19. gao xia en.

    Newt has so much baggage that when he walks down the street, people come up to him and ash, "Are you moving?"

    December 2, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    Ron Paul needs to look at the current mindset of his own party, including that of his son, and the answer is right there. The current GOP has moved so far to the right that a lot of their choices make little to no sense at all. They are so focused on trying to get Obama out of office and get total power that they seem to care less about the rest of America. At one time a person with the baggage of Newt would not even sniff the nomination to be POTUS, but just look at the other bandwagons the GOP faithful have jumped on. You put Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and now Herman Cain on a team and you wouldn't have the total IQ of a bunch of 6 graders. Yet at one time they ALL were leading for the nomination. If you have ANY formal education or advance degree they look down on you and call you "uppity". If Obama had the baggage that Newt has the far right would attack 24/7 even more than they do now. It's YOUR party Mr. Paul..and hopefully they will be OUT of power after 2012 in the House.

    December 2, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  21. gao xia en.

    Newt has so much baggage that when he walks down the street, people come up to him and ask, "Are you moving?"

    December 2, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  22. logic in LA

    Ron Paul- the GOP voter is bewildering. How are most of these people even registering support?

    December 2, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  23. 1ns1te

    No surprise here. This is what the Republicans want. The only person who has any credibility is Huntsman. And where is he in the polls?

    December 2, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  24. juliet

    paul is right wish perry-paul ticket two honest man pery-too honesta nd principled man i dont udnertsand why american peole choose the wealthy candidate gingrich and romeny- wealthy candiate pro rich omg omg middle class and poor behind or nothing. choose perry now before its too late.

    December 2, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  25. Alex

    Ron Paul is right on the money here. Newt Gingrich is a serial hypocrite and a liar. I could never trust someone like Newt Gingrich as president of the United States or even for a local town, no way!

    December 2, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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