Gingrich: Paul plays by different set of rules
January 2nd, 2012
10:02 PM ET
8 years ago

Gingrich: Paul plays by different set of rules

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CNN) – White House hopeful Newt Gingrich had stinging criticism Monday for presidential candidate Ron Paul, who is holding onto second place on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.

The former House speaker has been the target of negative advertisements from Paul and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. But in an interview with the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Gingrich all but dismissed the Texas congressman's attacks, saying he doesn't think Paul is electable.

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"Ron Paul represents a very ideological movement that, you know, thinks an Iranian nuclear weapon doesn't matter and legalizing drugs is fine. I mean I think he plays by a totally different set of rules than anybody else," Gingrich said.

Gingrich didn't back down from his comments after the Cedar Rapids Gazette followed-up with this question: "Did you just dismiss Ron Paul as a serious candidate?"

"I don't think the Republican Party is going to nominate – or the country's going to elect – a president who believes that an Iranian nuclear weapon's irrelevant, or a president who believes that Israel's survival doesn't matter, or a president who's for legalizing drugs. Forgetting all the stuff that was written in the newsletters that he claims he didn't know about," Gingrich said.

"I do think he's a serious protest candidate and I think as long as he's a protest candidate on things like the Federal Reserve, he actually serves a useful purpose in building an issue that really matters," Gingrich said. "But I think if you really stop and say to yourself, can you imagine him as president given his beliefs and his system, I think the answer is no. You couldn't imagine the American people doing that."

In the editorial board interview, Gingrich said he holds Paul and Romney to different standards.

"Mitt Romney is a serious person and as a serious person he has some responsibility to set a decent standard, and he couldn't show the ads he's running to his grandchildren with any sense of pride," said Gingrich, referring to the negative ads targeting Gingrich and produced by Restore Our Future super PAC, which operates independently from the Romney campaign but is run by former staff members.

In a CNN interview that will air Monday on "Piers Morgan Tonight," Gingrich pressed Romney to repudiate the super PAC ads.

"My only request of Mitt is that he be honest with the country. This attack ad, which is already running in Florida, already running in South Carolina, already running in New Hampshire," Gingrich said to Morgan. "If he can't level with the American people about these ads, why should we expect him to level about anything if he's president?"

– Follow Shawna Shepherd on Twitter: @ShepherdCNN.

Also see:

Gingrich mulls strategy shift after Iowa

Leading Perry backers head to Iowa for final push

Bachmann: Polls not a good measure of support

Romney goes on offense

Filed under: Iowa • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Ron Paul
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Jay

    Gingrich is a liar, and soon to be a loser.

    January 2, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  2. politics as usual

    I don't think Newt is electable either.

    January 2, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. Kaphen DePriest

    Wahhhh... I'm Newt Gingrich and I want to be president and it's not fair that Ron paul is kicking my behind. I was supposed to be the nominee, not Ron Paul.

    Me, me, me... I deserve it. What is wrong with you Americans? Don't you know that I'm am the best man for the job. You must all be idiots.

    January 2, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  4. Bob Constantine

    A Newt is a slimy salamander type creature....crawl back under your rock please.

    January 2, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  5. Noot Noot

    Newt looks like a polished turd.

    January 2, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  6. GOP = Greed Over People

    "Mitt Romney is a serious person and as a serious person he has some responsibility to set a decent standard, and he couldn't show the ads he's running to his grandchildren with any sense of pride,"

    Just because Romney is running ads to remind people of your PAST actions and they are true, Romney can hold his high and point out that he prevented a serial adulterer that had to pay 300K for an ethics violation out of the highest office in the land.

    It will be especially important if he has granddaughters that may want to be Congressional staffers one day...

    January 2, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  7. Bill

    Newt Gingrich's insult of Israel is outrageous. Israel does not need nor has it ever needed military support from the USA to survive ... it has always taken care of its own business. Just ask egypt, syria and lebanon.

    January 2, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  8. David

    "I don't think the Republican Party is going to nominate...a president who believes that Israel's survival doesn't matter, or a president who's for legalizing drugs."

    How do they feel about a candidate who knowingly repeats lies about one of his opponents? Paul wants to cut support to Israel, but only because he wants to cut support to ALL countries, including Israel's enemies. Many Israelis, including the Prime Minister, agree with his plan for Israel to be truly independent. Paul is for state control of drug laws, not blanket legalization. Very few states will legalize any drugs, much less drugs in general.

    January 2, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  9. GOP = Greed Over People

    "Romney is a serious person and as a serious person he has some responsibility to set a decent standard".

    And Romney is pointing out your personal foibles, he is showing that YOU NEWT are NOT to man to even be discussing "decent standards" let alone holding yourself up an an example! And do not get me started Calista the Cadaver as a home wrecker, and HER standards

    January 2, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  10. Enken

    Mr. Gingrich, you sir, are irrelevant.

    January 2, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  11. Brandon Beeson- Salem, Ohio

    Of course Dr. Paul plays by a different set of rules than you do Newt. They are called principles, values, morals and last but not least, common sense.

    January 2, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  12. RoadtoSurfdom

    This coming from a guy who has more baggage then American Airlines.

    Gingrich is a complete waste of time. He's got the lowest score of any candidate in the race according to 39% of what Gingrich has said this presidential race has been accurate. When you lie to people nearly 2/3's of the time it's going to have a negative impact on your campaign.

    Not to mention, whether you're e Ron Paul supporter or not, he has the highest score of all the candidates. Newt doesn't like him for the simple reason that Ron is a very honest man who tells the truth!

    January 2, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  13. Dixie

    It's all sort of irrelevant, because Newt is done, and if Paul wins tomorrow night, the world has changed.

    That's the difference between Paul and Newt. Paul is campaigning for something, for a distinct, clear vision of what American can be. Newt is only interested in staying in long enough to get a cabinet appointment or to sell some more books.

    January 2, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  14. Reno

    The anti-Romney carousel keeps spinning, and Newt's starting to realize his time on the tall horsey is over.

    January 2, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Newt , take your marbles and go home !

    January 2, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  16. Mycology

    The same idiots who thought Obama would be totally different and bring "change" because he was black will read "Paul plays by different set of rules" and think "thats the candidate for me!". This article headline will read more like an advertisement / promotion to some people.

    January 2, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  17. Registered Voter


    You mad?

    Ron Paul

    January 2, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  18. mike

    Whoa. Gingrich is becoming unhinged. He's history.

    January 2, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  19. ScottJM

    Did they say Paul can't win? They keep saying that, I don't think it means what they think it means. If more of us vote for him than any of the other candidates he wins, right, isn't that the way it works? They're not trying to influence me not to vote for him are they, why would do that?

    January 2, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  20. Rey

    Newt is such a poser and a cry baby. If you can't stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen.

    January 3, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  21. Jason

    Ron Paul is a fringe candidate whom only appeals to the most simple-minded of the Republican base, which is saying quite a bit.

    January 3, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  22. Larry L

    Funny to hear Newt talk about "rules". I believe the House of Representatives had some problems with the way Newt ignored the rules.

    He is correct about Paul. He's a good protest candidate – like Ralph Nader. He points out problems them offers ridiculous solution totally useless in the real world. His simplistic remedies catch the eye of politically unsophisticated voters and they become convinced he is the only person who has ever provided answers for America's future – an almost god-like personna. Unfortunately, his ideas all prove either dangerous or totally unworkable. He becomes more of an anarchist and isolationist than the potential leader of a powerful nation. Too many speeches as a Libertarian makes him believe his own nonsense.

    January 3, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  23. lol

    Yet Paul has far more of a shot of being in the White House than Newt does; Newt's only shot now is to suck up to Romney and hope he can carry his bags around when he's president.

    January 3, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  24. enuff

    I'm not seeing any of them running on what THEY CAN DO for this country. all I'm hearing is what the other person cannot do or has done.

    January 3, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  25. ThinkAgain

    They are all a bunch of liars. Let's see ... Newtsie has confession; how does Mittens absolve himself of the sin of lying?

    January 3, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
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