"Rand Paul has been the most consistently principled person talking about issues," former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich says at the beginning of a teaser video for Rand Paul's widely expected presidential announcement speech on Tuesday.
But in 2011, Rand Paul relentlessly attacked Gingrich as the opposite of principled, calling the former 2012 Republican candidate for president a flip-flopper and political opportunist who wasn't even a conservative.
"Gingrich is not from the tea party. He is not even a conservative," Paul wrote in a Des Moines Register op-ed in 2011. "He is part of the Washington establishment I was sent to fight. He has been wrong on many of the major issues of the day, and he has taken money from those who helped cause the housing crisis and create millions of foreclosures."
"I don't see how he can be a conservative or appeal to Tea Party voters," Paul said in 2011 interview on CNN expanding on his op-ed.
"He's been on both sides of all of these issues," Paul added, saying it would be hard for Gingrich to attack President Obama on many issues if he was the eventual nominee.
Paul once made fun of Gingrich for taking out various positions on the 2011 intervention in Libya. The punchline of a joke: "He may have more war positions than he has wives," said Paul.
A Paul aide did not return a request for comment.