Video follows below.
Speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday, GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich said he wouldn't vote for Ron Paul if the libertarian-leaning candidate won the 2012 GOP nomination. The former House Speaker clarified, however, that he does not believe it likely that Paul would secure the nomination in the first place.
Gingrich's critiques of Paul included the Texas congressman's stance on Israel, Iran, and the September 11 attacks.
"I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American," Gingrich said on "The Situation Room."
"He's got to come up with some very straight answers to get somebody to take him seriously. Would I be willing to listen to him? Sure. I think the choice of Ron Paul or Barack Obama would be a very bad choice for America."
When asked if he would be able to vote for Paul if the congressman secured the Republican nomination, Gingrich said unequivocally "No."
"I think it's very difficult to see how you would engage in dealing with Ron Paul as a nominee," Gingrich said. "Given the newsletters, which he has not yet disowned. He would have to go a long way to explain himself and I think it would be very difficult to see today, Ron Paul as the Republican nominee."
Paul's role in writing newsletters with racist remarks came under increased scrutiny last week as polls showed the Texas rising in popularity among Iowa voters. The most recent, from the American Research Group, shows Paul, Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in a dead heat for first place. Paul has indicated he did not write all of the content in his newsletters and had not read some of it before publication.
In responding to negative ads Paul's campaign has released slamming Gingrich's record as a conservative, the former House speaker said the spots were inaccurate.
"You look at Ron Paul's record of systemic avoidance of reality, his ads are about as accurate as his newsletter," Gingrich said. [...]
"He's not going to get the nomination. It won't happen," Gingrich said. "The people in the United States are not going to accept somebody who thinks it's irrelevant if Iran gets a nuclear weapon."
Meanwhile, Paul's campaign called the GOP frontrunner's comments "childish."
Paul Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton stated:
"Frustration from his floundering campaign has Newt Gingrich showing who he really is: a divisive, big-government liberal. Newt has a long record of standing against conservatives dating back to his support for liberal Nelson Rockefeller over Barry Goldwater, so this sort of childish outburst is nothing new."
Watch the provocative interview below:
Meanwhile, in a follow-up panel discussion, CNN's Blitzer heaped praise on Gingrich, saying "it took guts" for the Contract with America author to criticize Paul as strongly as he did.
There was a lot to unpack in Wolf Blitzer‘s interview with GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich, but one thing that stood out was a panel discussion that Blitzer conducted following a clip of Gingrich’s attack on Rep. Ron Paul over his newsletters, among other things. The ostensibly objective Blitzer said he thought “it took guts” for Gingrich to come out against Paul so strongly, David Frum accused Paul of racism, and panelist Jonathan Prince said Paul was “racist by design.”
Watch Blitzer and the rest of the panel weigh in on Paul's history and Gingrich's remarks below, courtesy of Mediaite:
This post has been updated.