Published: Dec 30, 2011 5:05 PM EST

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is casting rival Ron Paul as a fringe candidate and says he's working hard to make sure the Texas congressman doesn't become the GOP nominee.
Romney said Paul doesn't represent, in his words, "the mainstream."
The former Massachusetts governor made the comments in interviews with Fox News Channel and NBC News after appearing alongside New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a campaign event in Iowa on Friday. Christie is a Republican backed by the conservative and tea party wings of the GOP.
Recent polls have placed Romney and Paul at the head of the GOP pack.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)