[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/17/art.gingrich.buchanan.8.17.10.gi.jpg caption =" Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, left, is being criticized by conservative stalwart Pat Buchanan."]
(CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's latest comments regarding the controversial Islamic center near the site of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack are being called "absurd" - from no less a conservative stalwart than Pat Buchanan.
Speaking on MSNBC on Tuesday, the former presidential candidate and conservative commentator said recent comments from Gingrich likening the proposed project to the hanging of a Nazi symbol outside the Holocaust Museum were merely part of the former Speaker's efforts to appear more controversial than Sarah Palin.
"Newt is a political opportunist," Buchanan said. "What Newt is doing is he's trying to get out and be more flamboyant and more charismatic, if you will, and more controversial than Sarah Palin, who is his primary challenger, if he gets into Iowa and New Hampshire. She will take all his oxygen and a lot of his support."