New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says that Newt Gingrich is just the latest of the "fools and clowns" in the Republican presidential race to become a frontrunner.
"I have a structural hypothesis here," Krugman told ABC's Christiane Amanpour Sunday. "You have a Republican ideology, which Mitt Romney obviously doesn't believe in. He just oozes insincerity, that's just so obvious. But all of the others are fools and clowns. And there is a question here, my hypothesis is that maybe this is an ideology that only fools and clowns can believe in. And that's the Republican problem."
Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan spoke up in Gingrich's defense.
"We need a little on the pro-Newt side balance," she remarked. "The base of the Republican Party knows that the establishment of the Republican Party doesn't like Newt. That's a big plus."
"It was his time," Krugman explained. "The Republican base does not want Romney and they keep on looking for an alternative. And Newt, although -- somebody said, 'He's a stupid man's idea of what a smart person sounds like.' But he is more plausible than the other guys they've been pushing up."