Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Thursday took a few rhetorical shots at his rival Ron Paul and his unorthodox libertarian message, according to CBS News.

"This is a guy who basically says, if the United States were only nice, it wouldn't have had 9/11," he told conservative commentator John McCaslin during a radio interview.

"He doesn't want to blame the bad guys... He dismisses the danger of Iranian nuclear weapon and seems to be indifferent to the idea that Israel could be wiped out. And as I said, I think the key to his volunteer base is people who want to legalize drugs."

Thanks in part to his well-organized, well-funded campaign, Paul has surged ahead in Iowa, with Mitt Romney now in second place and Gingrich falling to third, according to a recent poll released by Public Policy Polling.

Paul has blasted Gingrich with online advertisements over the past two months, accusing him of "serial hypocrisy" and using his position as House Speaker to enrich himself with lobbyist money.