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Wolf Blitzer On Newt Gingrich Debate Tension: I Didn't Back Down (VIDEO)

01/26/2012 10:41 pm ET | Updated Jan 27, 2012

Following the CNN Republican primary debate on Thursday night, moderator Wolf Blitzer discussed how he stood his ground when challenged by GOP candidate Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich had a fiery response in store for Blitzer after the moderator asked the candidate if he was "satisfied...with the level of transparency as far as [Mitt Romney's] personal finances?" Blitzer was referring to Romney's recent release of his tax records.

Gingrich called Blitzer's question "nonsense," which caused the audience to erupt with applause. He then proposed that the four of the candidates "agree for the rest of the evening to only talk about issues that relate to governing America."

Blitzer fired back at Gingrich. He continued to press the candidate on answering the question until he responded. "If you make a serious accusation against Governor Romney like that, you need to explain that," Blitzer told Gingrich.

Following the debate, Blitzer discussed the heated exchange with Anderson Cooper, who was moderating the network's post-debate analysis.

Cooper described the exchange as "really interesting" and said that it seemed to contribute "to the idea that...Newt Gingrich was somewhat flat tonight." Blitzer said that Gingrich was the one that had "raised the issue" and made what he called "very serious allegations against Mitt Romney."

Blitzer later acknowledged, "He didn't want to talk about that, and then when I finally pressed him on it and didn't back down, he responded."

Watch the video of the testy exchange between Blitzer and Gingrich below:

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