Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich used a violent metaphor on Tuesday to refer to the nation's first black president.

During a town hall event in Florence, South Carolina, a supporter complimented the former House Speaker for having "fire in the belly."

"We've got to bloody Obama's nose," the man said. "You've mentioned challenging him to seven three-hour debates. He has this armor of media surrounding him. If he doesn't agree to that, how do you plan to aggressively take the gloves off and go after him?

"I don't want to argue with you about the analogy," Gingrich replied. "I don't want to bloody his nose, I want to knock him out."

After reviewing video of the exchange, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux wondered how President Barack Obama would respond.

"Bloody his nose or knock him out," she repeated in shock. "I'd love to ask President Obama what he would do in response. ... Boy, that's some tough language."

Watch this video from CNN's Newsroom, broadcast Jan. 17, 2012.