As the latest political winds have blown to the favor of Republican Presidential Candidate Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the previous flavor-of-the-month Newt Gingrich has joined howls for Rep. Paul to further explain his connection to controversial anti-gay, racist newsletters.
“I think that Congressman Paul has to explain his own situation and how he could have had a decade of newsletters that had his name on it that he apparently wasn’t aware of,” Gingrich said on Friday of the Texas congressman's association to controversial newsletters which Paul has denied knowing had incendiary language, and has since disavowed.
"I think that somebody should say to him 'OK, how much money did you make from the newsletters?'" said Gingrich. "These things are really nasty, and he didn't know about it? Wasn't aware of it? But he's sufficiently ready to be president? It strikes me it raises some fundamental questions about him."
ABC News reports that the tension between Gingrich and Paul goes back to 1995, when then-House Speaker Gingrich worked unsuccessfully to deny Paul a Texas House seat in a bitter primary battle that pitted Paul against a Gingrich-backed, Democrat-turned-Republican opponent.
In addition to calling on Paul to explain the newsletters, Gingrich attacked the Texas congressman's foreign policy positions at an event Friday.
“The only person I know who is for a weaker military than Barack Obama is Ron Paul,” The New York Times reports Gingrich said during a town hall-style meeting in Columbia, South Carolina.
“His positions are fundamentally wrong on national security,” he added. “I do not agree with him that America is at fault for 9/11, I do not agree with him that we can ignore an Iranian nuclear weapon and I do not agree with him that it’s O.K. if Israel disappears.”
Top Paul campaign official Jesse Benton has already responded to Gingrich's latest remarks, writing to The Times:
“'Today was a bad day for Newt Gingrich,' Mr. Benton said in an e-mail. 'First, he failed to get on the ballot in Virginia. Then, he jumped the shark trying to slander Dr. Paul.'
Mr. Benton added: 'Dr. Paul supports the strongest national defense and most pro-American foreign policy of any candidate, and is a great friend to Israel. Newt needs to explain to voters why they should even consider supporting him when he can’t even get in the ballot in the 12th biggest state in the country, supported TARP and individual health care mandates and took millions advocating for Freddie Mac.”
Ron Paul's connection to the newsletter has taken up a large portion of media coverage related to the congressman over the last week, along with his continued rise in Iowa polls.