10/07/2010 04:42 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

David Plouffe On Newt Gingrich: 'Sad' To See Him Saying These 'Crazy' Things

Obama presidential campaign manager David Plouffe sharply criticized Newt Gingrich on Thursday, saying the former House Speaker is in a "sad" state from the public position he used to hold.

"It's sad to see because buried deep beneath him somewhere must be still a serious person," said Plouffe. "But it's hard to find him these days."

Plouffe made his comments to a small group of reporters after an elections briefing at the Democratic National Committee. He was responding to a question about Gingrich's new strategy memo instructing Republican candidates to portray the GOP as the party of "paychecks" and Democrats as the party of "food stamps."

Plouffe pointed to the takeover of the Republican Party by people like "Christine O'Donnell and Sarah Palin voters" as a reason for Gingrich's turn. "[T]hat's why he's saying those crazy things he said," added Plouffe.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) also dismissed Gingrich in an interview with The Huffington Post on Tuesday, saying that he is now "irrelevant." "God bless them for being true to who they are," she said. "They just can't resist the urge to stomp on poor people. They drove the country into a terrible ditch. The President and the Congress are trying to pull us out. The economists tell us that if we hadn't acted the way -- in the federal initiatives from the Congress and others, that we would have 8.5 million more people unemployed. That unemployment would be 14.5 percent, the deficit would be huge -- even huger than it is."

Plouffe has made similar comments about Gingrich in the past. In September, when Gingrich made headlines for saying that President Obama may have a "Kenyan, anti-colonial" worldview, Plouffe remarked, "Two words come to mind for me: 'sad' and 'reprehensible'...it makes me think he probably is running for president because he's trying to cater to that extreme element...but it's reprehensible."


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