In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer Tuesday afternoon, Newt Gingrich unloaded on Ron Paul's extreme foreign policy views and the conspiracy theories, racism, and anti-Semitism in Paul's newsletter. Asked if he could vote for Paul if he were the GOP nominee, Gingrich initially says, "No." But when Blitzer frames the question as a choice between Obama and Paul, Gingrich replies, "I think you'd have a very hard choice at that point."
Mediaite has the video:
Here's the transcript:
BLITZER: Serial hypocrisy? That's what Ron Paul is accusing you of. And you're telling me -- and I've covered you and have known you for a long time. Somebody says you're involved in serial hypocrisy and you're not going to fight back?
GINGRICH: Well, first of all, as people get to know more about Ron Paul, who disowns 1- years of his own newsletter, says he didn't really realize what was in it, had no idea what he was making money on, had no idea that it was racist, anti-Semitic, called for the destruction of Israel, talked about a race war, all this is a sudden shock to Ron Paul?
There will come a morning people won't take him as a serious person. This is -- this is a man who happened to have had a good cause, auditing the Federal Reserve, cleaning up the Federal Reserve. And I think as a -- as a protest, he's a very reasonable candidate.
As a potential president, a person who thinks the United States was responsible for 9/11, a person who believes -- who wrote in his newsletter that the World Trade Center bombing in '93 might have been a CIA plot, a person who believes it doesn't matter if the Iranians own a nuclear weapon, I'd rather just say you look at Ron Paul's total record of systemic avoidance of reality, and you look at his newsletters, and then you look at his ads. His ads are about as accurate as his newsletter.
BLITZER: Now, if he were to get the Republican nomination --
GINGRICH: He won't.
BLITZER: -- let's say he were. Could you vote for him?
BLITZER: What would you do?
GINGRICH: I don't see how --
BLITZER: Would you vote for President Obama?
GINGRICH: Somebody just up and says I don't care if Israel's destroyed? I don't care if there's -- I don't care if the Iranians get a nuclear weapon?
BLITZER: I'm not so sure he says Israel destroyed. But what he does say, he doesn't think Iran represents a threat to Israel even if it had a nuclear bomb.
GINGRICH: What he says is that's a risk he's willing to take. And he just had one of his former staff say flatly that he doesn't -- that he said over and over again Israel was a mistake. I mean, I think it's very difficult to see how you would engage in dealing with Ron Paul as a nominee.
BLITZER: All right. So let's just (inaudible).
GINGRICH: Given the newsletters, which he has not yet disowned --
BLITZER: You could not vote for Ron Paul --
GINGRICH: 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.
BLITZER: What would you do if the choice were Ron Paul or Barack Obama?
GINGRICH: I think you'd have a very hard choice at that point.
BLITZER: But would you --
GINGRICH: Barack --
BLITZER: What would you do?
GINGRICH: I don't know, but I think Barack Obama is very destructive to the future of the United States. I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American.
Now, that's going to be very controversial, but I just suggest to people, before you decide that I'm wrong, read the newsletters. Look at what he said and ask yourself -- this is a very serious question for the United States. It's a very serious question --
BLITZER: So, you don't accept this explanation that he never read that, he never wrote --
GINGRICH: He spent 10 years --
BLITZER: -- only years later did he look at it.
GINGRICH: So he spent 10 years earning a -- he's attacking me for serial hypocrisy and he spent 10 years earning money out of a newsletter that had his name, that he didn't notice. Now all I'm saying is I think he's got to come up with some very straight, very straight answers to get somebody to take him seriously.
Would I be willing to listen to him? Sure. Are there circumstances you'd have to weigh heavily? Yes. I think the choice of Ron Paul or Barack Obama would be a very bad choice for America.
BLITZER: Would you run as a third --
GINGRICH: I think -- I think --
BLITZER: Would you run as a third-party candidate?
GINGRICH: No, I'm not -- I'm not -- it's not going to happen. He's not going to get the Republican nomination.
BLITZER: What if he did? What if he did?
GINGRICH: He's not going to.
BLITZER: He might win here in Iowa.
GINGRICH: He's not going to get the nomination. It won't happen. The people in the United States are not going to accept somebody who thinks it's irrelevant if Iran gets a nuclear weapon.
And I think that is a national security threat to the United States of the first order, and I'm very willing to draw the line and say to everybody in this country, if you think it doesn't matter for the Iranians to have a nuclear weapon, then Ron Paul's a reasonable candidate. But if you think the Iranians might use it on an American city, then you had better find a different candidate than Ron Paul.