(CNN) – A day after a GOP presidential debate, White House hopeful Ron Paul upbraided rival candidate Michele Bachmann for disliking Muslims.
"She hates Muslims," Paul said on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Friday. "She wants to go get 'em."
Paul failed to elaborate further. His remarks follow his heated exchange with Bachmann during Thursday night's debate when the two argued about Iran's nuclear development program.
Paul strongly disputed Bachmann's claim that Iran was "within just months" of developing a nuclear bomb and blasted U.S. sanctions against Iran as an "act of war."
A staunch non-interventionist, Paul urged the government to use diplomats to resolve the situation.
Bachmann, in response, ripped into Paul's position, describing it as one that seriously underestimates Iran's intentions.
"I think I have never heard a more dangerous answer for American security than the one that we just heard from Ron Paul," Bachmann said, receiving wide applause.
The International Atomic Energy Agency released a 14-page report on Nov. 8 concluding there were "credible" and "serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program."
Both candidates continued to argue about the issue, creating one of the most intense moments of the night.
Bachmann pointed to the Iranian constitution, saying the Islamic republic's "mission is to extend jihad across the world and eventually to set up a worldwide caliphate."
She added: "We would be fools and knaves to ignore their purpose and their plan."
Paul quickly fired back, saying he, too, didn't want to see Iran with a nuclear weapon. But he said that Bachmann was portraying a skewed view of the Muslim world.
"To declare war on 1.2 billion Muslims and say all Muslims are the same, this is dangerous talk," Paul said. "Yeah, there are some radicals, but they don't come here to kill us because we're free and prosperous."
Responding to Paul's answer on "The Tonight Show," Bachmann on Saturday said his statement was "outrageous."
"Of course I don't hate Muslims. That's an absolutely outrageous statement. What I love are Americans and the American people," she said at a campaign stop in Iowa.
She went on to claim that the "true hatred" was coming from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who in 2005 quoted a remark from Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, that Israel "must be wiped out from the map of the world."
"As Commander-in-Chief I will stand for the safety and security of the American people. I think, quite frankly, with all due respect to my colleague, that Ron Paul would make a very dangerous president because he doesn't understand this threat," she said.
Paul's answer about Bachmann on Leno's show Friday night came amid a lightning round of questions from the TV host, who asked Paul to comment on each of his presidential rivals.
The Texas congressman gave a similar answer when Leno mentioned former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a strong social conservative who frequently takes a strong conservative stance on gay rights.
Paul said Santorum doesn't like "gay people and Muslims."
And as for the current front-runners, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Paul gained laughs when he said the two candidates should go back to their old jobs.
– CNN's Chris Welch contributed to this report.
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Every one of the republican candidates except Ron Paul are racists.
Of course Michelle Bachmann hates Muslims. We all know she is just a right wing racist bigot.
Bachmann, really! You want to defend America and Americans? Ah....Israel is not America. Also, Iran is Shiiite Muslim which doesn't believe in caliphate you idiot....I am voting for Ron
Ron Paul is the only non-warmonger on the stage. The others are salivating to dominate and bomb Iran. I wonder how much defense contractor money is fueling the other candidates war chest? Dr. Paul's money comes from the little people, like me, who are fed up with being ripped off by both parties for decades.
Glad I saw the clip in context, where Ron Paul was attempting comedy. It didn't really work, but neither was it a pronouncement with serious intent. Silly story.
Bachmann does not love all Americans. She wants to convert all of us to her form of Christianity. She wants to change gays into something they are not. She would not be the president of all the people. And that is what scares me. Paul is right about some things but I have a big problem with his ideas on health care. Friends, family and charity?? Right now I am getting most of my health care at the local grocery store. But what happens if what I get isn't treated with a simple antibiotic? We can't just drop out of the world, we are part of it, like it or not, but I agree lets try diplomacy before we send in the big guns. Unfortunately if any of these extremist start tossing around nuclear weapons we are all going to suffer.
She not only doesn't like Muslims; she doesn't like Gays, Lesbians, Jews, Hispanics, Chinese, Hindi's, Buddhist, you name them, she's against them. She's the Grand Wizard of the Republican Party. It's like she lives in a pre 1960's world called Aryan Land of restricted neighborhoods, country clubs and segregated schools. This comes as a surprise to anyone?
I guess Ron Paul embraces the sky scrapper bombing radicals. He is supporting Iran's effort to become a nuclear power. He is a scarry person.
Hateful war mongering bigoted speech gains more applause than the truth. America won't pull out of this hole for decades (if it ever does)
December 30th Ron Paul STATUS BOMB– Update your Facebook/Twitter/etc status with "Ron Paul 2012" and help spread the word before the new year and voting begins!
How long do you have to wait moderation in this "free" dialogue. I guess it depends on the slant of your opinion. Does it line up with the moderators opinion?
Of course Bachmann hates Muslims because they don't worship the one true God. Which is her God, of course.
Ron Paul means what he says, but anger and disgust are not always the same as hate.
Wait... so one of these fools doesn't hate Muslims. Paul's willingness to admit that his party is full of far-right religious baboons makes him look much better in my eyes.
How do we measure a nation that is a threat? 1) Do we use their history of attacking other nations? 2) Do we use their history of using nuclear weapons? Or 3) Do we simple make up false narratives about them?
If we used 1 and 2, then we could not label Iran a threat. They do not have a history as an attacking or of using nuclear weapons against other countries; rather we would have to label contemporaneous attacking nations as far greater threat than Iran. However, when we rely on 3, it is easy within the US to deflect attention from the two most attacking nations on focus on Iran, Venezuela and any other country that neocons wants to invade.
Dr. Paul ideas reflect the view of many Americans and, if he wins the Republican nomination, he is likely to win the presidency. He is the only presidential candidate that recognizes that two principal problems that affected the US economy were Federal Reserve policies and choice wars.
Mrs. Bachmann is so ignorant, if she did a little bit of research she would realize that Iran is not a really islamic country. basic understanding of islam religion one would understand there is no sainthood nor priesthood and absolutely no devine human being. the Farsi religion has all the above. they are just either ashamed or embarrassed of their belief system, so they claim Islam.
There is still time to donate to the Ron Paul money bomb!!
Ron Paul is not a real Conservative. A real Conservative would tell you that you cannot have an abortion, or who you can marry, a real conservative would send troops anywhere in the world to Control freedom. A real conservative would tell you what religion you can believe in. Ron Paul wants the government to stay out of your life thats not good, we need government to tell us what to Eat, what to do, feed us cloth us. We are the children of government and thats how we like it.
Of course, if Bachmann and Santorum hate Muslims, and gays, you could say Paul hates sick people with no money. But I think I'll have to hold my nose and vote Obama again.
Like I told a friend the other day, Obama promised to end the Iraq war (which happened tonight) and DADT, and they both happened. Osama died under his watch, and so he's doing better in fulfilling his campaign promises than most.
The candidates seem to ignore the fact that only one country has ever used nuclear weapons, and they're competing to lead it.
First, I just lost a lot of respect for Mr. Paul. Why is he arguing with Bachman – she has almost no chance to get the nomination, and arging with a pig only results in both parties getting dirty.
As far as Iran is concerend – please look up the Straits of Hormuz. Approximatley 15% of the world's oil passes through there, and Iran can easily choke it off.
I agree with Mr. Paul that the US policy has not helped the situation, and has exasperated it. Iran was drifting towards a more western friendly stance until we invaded Iraq – look at comments made by Khatami about 9/11. It was after the Iraq invasion that the current problems with Iran started (Bush's axis of evil coments did not help).
Ron Paul is the only candidate not buying the new conservatives dangerous lies about the middle east. We just ended a 9 year brutal occupation in Iraq that hardly made anything better for the huge financial and humanitarian cost. Wait, the only country that got something out of it is our "Friend" Israel. Now we want to crush Iran for the same reason.
Rick Santorum has always been a friend of the Iranian people on the side of freedom and democracy. Ron Paul is an idiot and a dangerous threat to our national security and to the plight of freedom for the Iranian people.
I don't understand what's happened to my Republican party the past two years. The tea baggers have destroyed every value that I held dear about my party. They are incompetent irresponsible mercenaries. I never thought I'd vote for Ron Paul, but I am supporting him this time.
Rick Santorum has always been a friend of the Iranian people on the side of freedom and democracy. Ron Paul is an idi ot and a dangerous threat to our national security and to the plight of freedom for the Iranian people.