(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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Ron Paul please GET OFF THE STAGE, 80% of the time people agree with you, and the other 20% we realize that you are nuttier than a Fruit Cake. Please stop, you do noit enhance the debates, you continue to deterioate the Republician Party. I picture you more as a Spoiler thand not a Supporter. Bottom Line, WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOUR CRAZY RETORIC
I am a conservative and I am renouncing my association with the Republican Party. They are no longer conservatives, just those out for themselves – just like Democrats.
"The people of Iran see us as a threat, because we are on both sides of their country."
This is such a ridiculous and toxic statement PatrickT. Your ONLY borders are with Canada and Mexico. As I undertsand it, you no longer have any American patriots, influence or support in Iraq to the west and the the limited support you do have from Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east is rapidly waning. Ergo...you don't have a place in the Middle East and your ignorance of Middle East geopolitics only inspires continued global hatred towards your country.
Did she really say we'd be "knaves"? I wonder how many days (or hours) before this debate someone explained to her what a "caliphate" was.
Of course Bachmann hates Muslims! She hates everyone! Her entire political career is founded on monger hate and exploiting prejudice! She's like Hitler in heels!
Most of the right wing crazies hate the Muslims, but will never admit to it.
Although I am not a fan of Ron Paul, he is right on many issues. Take care of America and stop messing with these guys all over the world.
Bruce Bryant – Although I agree with you on how crazy Ron Paul is, I hope you're not endorsing an idiot like Bachmann...
Paul wants to use diplomats to resolve problems? Bullshlt, diplomats are nothing but unelected politicians!
As someone majoring in Islamic studies, I would like to point out to Michelle Bachmann that the Iranians are part of the Shi'ite sect, who believes that the leadership of Islam should belong to the Prophet Muhammad's bloodline through Ali and Muhammad's daughter Fatima, and should never have been handed to the illegitimate Ummayad family and their successors the Abbasids, Seljuks, and the Ottomans.
So they really cannot even stand the idea of a Caliphate because it is, of course, totally a Sunni thing. True, the Iranian model hopes to put absolute power into the hands of clerics, but this has only been the case since 1979, and before that clerics only had a strictly religious role traditionally.
However I think Bachmann is too ignorant and paranoid about Islam to really make the distinction. You go Ron Paul.
Ron Paul is a Moron. If you have no reason to hate peaceful Muslims then don't. But one thing to remember is that their faith dictates that their religious belief is to murder all infidels. if you don't believe that then you are a misguided soul.
Ron Paul is loved for his heroism and truth-telling. Having a statesman such as him at the helm would increase American prestige in the world many-fold.
Right now I don't think most people in America and Europe are real thrilled with the religions of the Middle East, Africa, India, etc.
Ron Paul is not afraid of not being elected if he says the truth. If we want to get our of our downturn, truth is our only savior, sorry right wingers
Bachmann hates everyone who doesn't believe in her narrow vision of what this country should be. I believe she is truly evil, and find it frightening that she has any support in this country at all. She is a racist, who endorsed slavery for young black children, and a bigot who hates and demeans gay people. She is a pathalogical liar, earning more pants on fire awards from Politifacts than any other politician. If you support this woman, who is a racist and a bigot, you are a racist and a bigot. Any decent American would look away in horror at the things this woman says.
RepublicanHater1, Paul already tried creating his own movement, but they hijacked it. Guess what it was?
How can one hate those adorable little muslims. Oh that's right, they kill everyone who doesn't believe exactly as they do. They even kill each other and themselves.
Well, maybe it's bigoted hate, maybe she's just bat$#!t crazy, but maybe it's really a combination of both and Ron Paul is right as usual.
Frankly, when sanity is called insane, the world is insane. I'll take the sanity. RP2012.
Congress is intent on ruining this country and is well on the way to doing so. If Paul got elected the the ruination would be signed, sealed and delivered in light speed time. Not that I would want Bachmann to win but it is a plus for her that she distrusts muslims. I don't know how anyone cannot be on that page.
As much as I love this soap opera (All My Unelectable Candidates), Obama is going to win. Contrary to right-wing smugness, we don't all want Obama out of the White House. He's hit some major home runs in three years - just because you don't like them doesn't diminish them. Obama could wave a magic wand and create world peace, provide high-paying jobs for every adult AND teenager, cure obesity, and find every shelter dog a loving home, and you'd still have right-wing wingnuts screeching about something. Probably horrible El Salvadoreans stealing cotton-picking jobs from combiners (or whatever, I'm not a cotton farmer). Or Obama is going to take away your cat. Or Obama is Canadian.
The biggest threat to national security is Michele Bachmann
We confide in our strength without boasting about it;We respect that of others,without fearing it
Thomas Jefferson 1793
Give up Paul-bots. Dr Quack is not getting elected. Go back to your bunkers.
As if we didn't have enough reasons to send Paul back to the home. He's about as qualified to be president as Dennis Kucinich, whom Paul also wants to serve in his cabinet. He's gone completely coco puffs!
I'd believe it. Didn't Bachmann go on a kibbutz in Israel as a teenager?
Bachmann hates Muslims and anyone who doesn't believe what she does. Paul hates the old, the ill, the poor, and the working class.....basically the whole lot of the GOP are Greedy Old People who hate anyone who isn't rich and Pharisees like themselves.
Those GOP fake christians hate everyone - the poor, the needy, children, black, white, all EXCEPT corporate cash.
I hate the haters - ha ha ha ha ha