Paul: Gingrich a 'chickenhawk'
January 4th, 2012
09:54 AM ET
2 years ago

Paul: Gingrich a 'chickenhawk'

(CNN) – Rep. Ron Paul said Wednesday that rival Newt Gingrich was a "chickenhawk" for voting to send American troops into war while never having served in the military himself.

Paul was responding to a question from CNN's Soledad O'Brien on the program "Starting Point" about Gingrich's assertion that the Texas congressman would be a "dangerous" candidate.

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"You know, when Newt Gingrich was called to serve us in the 1960s during the Vietnam era, guess what he thought about danger? He chickened out on that and got deferments and didn't even go," Paul said. "Right now he sends the young kids over there and the young people come back and the ones in the military right now, they overwhelmingly support my campaign."

Paul pointed to the number of veterans who are supporting his bid for the GOP nomination, citing their endorsement for his platform of limited American involvement overseas

"We get twice as much support from the active military personnel than all the other candidates put together," Paul said. "So Newt Gingrich has no business talking about danger because he is putting other people in danger. Some people call that kind of a program a 'chickenhawk' and I think he falls into that category."

Paul has previously criticized the former House speaker for deferments he received during the Vietman era. Paul himself served as a surgeon in the U.S. Air Force after attending medical school.

Paul also said Wednesday he had no idea who posted a snarky message about rival candidate Jon Huntsman on his official Twitter page.

The post, which appeared late Tuesday as results were being complied in the Iowa caucuses, read: "@JonHuntsman, we found your one Iowa voter, he's in Linn precinct 5 you might want to call him and say thanks."

"I didn't quite understand even what you just read, but, obviously, I didn't send it," Paul said. "So, I don't even understand. I'm sorry, I didn't catch the whole message there about Jon Huntsman. I haven't talked about Jon Huntsman in a long time. I don't know what's going on there."

The message was sent from the account @RonPaul, which is the candidates official feed. Paul admitted Wednesday that he "has some help tweeting."


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Ron Paul
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    @Ohio man in response to Fair is Fair:

    ... and why is its such a problem to have a Prez that will spend money on The American people instead of wasting Tax dollars on War.. you didnt have a problem going from 0 – 10.5 trillion for war , but now its a problem to go from 10-14 on the American people .. you crack me up ..

    Very well put! Too bad a person has to have a functioning brain, be accountable for their own actions and care more about our country than the Repub profiteers to understand what you mean!

    Happy New Year to you, too!

    January 4, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. james - St. Paul, MN

    Truer words were never spoken. Newt is a chickenhawk among chickenhawks, surpassed only by the wunderkinds in the Cheney family.

    January 4, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  3. Sattymike

    @ Think Again

    Seriously? You think Ron was calculating whether he'd be likely to be put in any danger before he decided to enter the military? He was a flight surgeon. It's safe to say that he signed up to go where the country needed him, which turned out to be overseas so he could use his skills as a doctor to save lives. But hey, he didn't re-up so let's discount his service...

    January 4, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. drstanley

    I'm a New Hampshire Voter and I'm standing with Ron Paul who really is the only ray of hope since Ronnie. He tells it like it is always. Anyone else is a continuation of Dubya and Obama and will stick it to Regular People for another four years. And I can't take another four years of these thieves. Ron Paul I'm standing with You.

    January 4, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Hap

    So MarieMD decides who's service is worthy and who's is not. Comparing a veteran, any veteran to a person who took a deferment shows pure stupidity and a lack of appreciation for the sacrifices all service members make, I sure hope MD stands for Maryland.

    January 4, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Frudd

    Newt is twice the man Ron Paul will EVER be. Just look at his waist line! Hah!

    January 4, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  7. Rational

    I feel as though we are looking at our next great leader. And we are on the cusp of missing out on him.

    Iran, are you serious?!?!? It is essentially a third world country. What would be their motivation to use a nuke on us if they got one in ... oh lets say 50 years: the fact that we were harassing them for decades as the self appointed police of the world. And if we have screwed our selves by not fixing the economy by then, and have overextended ourselves all accross the world, there will not be a whole lot of defense that we can play. Think about it: how have all great nations fallen? The over-extend themselves and then crumble. Think Roman Empire here.

    We have a chance to pull a U- turn here or we can just continue blindly fllowing the world powers before us right over the edge. WAKE UP PEOPLE

    January 4, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  8. Russ in Md

    The comments on this board are disgusting. First off all the Bush's have served in the military in some capacity. Second Gingrich taught in the war college, and third if Paul was a flight surgeon as reported by some of you his only job was to make sure aircrew were fit to flight and to fly with critical patiants when they needed a medivac. I know this because I am a 20 year vet and was an aircrewmen with over 5000 hours in a patrol aircraft. I flew with flight surgeons on those medivacs. And by the way, doctors get special incentive pay when they are on active duty to compensate for their private practices. If serving in the military is a requirement to be POTUS then Obama is automatically disqualified. The most action he has seen is the Chicago politic he worked while serving as a community organizer.

    January 4, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. AhhPures

    Upon being told that Ron Paul called him a "chicken hawk", Newt is said to have replied, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." You gotta love the wisdom of this guy.....Ron Paul i mean.

    January 4, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  10. Zack

    Keep speaking the truth Ron! You've won over this ex-Obama supporter and I know of many more like me.

    January 4, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. Todd C

    @Sattymike, defunding and eventually closing the EPA is a recipe for literally hundreds of thousands of people to get sick and die from unregulated atmospheric emissions that cannot be definitively linked to a particular defendant in a court of law. I also would not like to see our National Parks sold off. He's also a Creationist who believes global warming is a hoax; that equals anti-science to me, and I don't even want to know what would happen to the NSF, CDC, and other similar orgs under his presidency. How's that for detail?

    January 4, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. tannim

    @ThinkAgain: Nobody is saying he's a combat hero, just that he served. He 's the only GOP candidate who has served in the military (not counting C-130 pilot Perry, who is out on Friday). That gives him the perspective that the other YELLOW-BACKED COWARDS have. How ironic that the one who served (again, not counting Perry) is the only one not calling for war...

    January 4, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  13. tannim

    "Sorry but Ron Paul has some strange ideas that just wont fly in today's real world. I believe he speaks to extraterrestrials."

    Yep, they would be the moderators and other candidates at every debate...

    January 4, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. Steve Corbin

    The point is he served during a war. Not where he served. Because in the military you go where you are told. Now Mitt had to suffer the rigors of a small flat in France without a refrigerator in it at the same time. Oh MY! I'm all for a new law requiring military service for all 18 year olds. There sure would be fewer chickenhawks wantng war. Any of Rick's boys serve?

    January 4, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  15. get it right Marie!

    Marie MD

    Surgeon in the AF, probably state side, doesn't cut it either old man!

    January 4, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am ?????

    How about 6 years of service to our military. Did you serve Marie? That's what I thought.

    January 4, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  16. shoegazer

    "Chickenhawk"?? Well,I guess that's better than a"loud mouthed schnook". (you have to be a fan of foghorn leghorn to get that one).

    January 4, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. whoa!

    simple.. make a law that says: "any congressman or president that votes to send us to war their children and other family members must be conscripted and serve on the front lines in that war as well". See how quickly wars come to an end and the military/industrial complex crumble....

    January 4, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  18. Hoosier

    Romney and Boehner are just like Gingrich: draft dodging cowards!

    January 4, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  19. Canadian Jim

    I'm not a Ron Paul supporter, but I am a veteran supporter. As a doctor, Ron Paul did not have to enlist, as a soldier, regardless his area of expertise he would have gone wherever he was sent. We all knew that when we signed up. That you serve is your choice, where you serve, is your commander's. You also do not need to make the military your life. He did a tour of duty which is more than most Americans, you don't have to vote for him – but don't impune his military service. Same goes for anyone who served, Democrat or Republican.

    January 4, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  20. dabble53

    Sad...I wonder if RP knows what chickenhawk really means. Not that I would be all that surprised to learn NG really was a chickenhawk. You know...those who cry the loudest and all.

    January 4, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  21. jack

    "Surgeon in the AF, probably state side, doesn't cut it either old man!"
    So my only question (followed by my opinion) is this: What gives ANYONE which has not served in the military, the RIGHT to say ANYTHING about someone that served?

    HO, if you haven't been there, seen it, done it, shut up and go join your treasonous big government- obama loving crowd with the rest of the folks that never bothered signing a blank check to the people of the united States payable up to and including life itself.

    January 4, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  22. Matthew

    Marie MD,

    You are obviously someone who never had the guts to serve. You have couldn't match what Ron Paul did if your life depended on it. You have no idea what you are talking about and your lack of intelligence is very obvious. Now, go to the mailbox and see if Obama's welfare check arrived. Please make sure none of your 10 kids plays with your crack pipe in the meantime.

    January 4, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  23. Rob1961

    Add to the list of those who avoided service–Dick Cheney, "W", who avoided it when the possibility of actually serving in the war, rather than Texas, and many other who have no trouble sending other peoples' sons and daughters, but conveniently get their own "excused".

    January 4, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. Steve

    This guy never had a chance anyway.

    January 4, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  25. Jason

    Ron Paul served where the Air Force felt he was best used. A doctor joins the military and you are going to criticize him for it? You do realize that military doctors can be deployed to hostile situation correct? Check your head if you have a problem with a doctor enlisting.

    January 4, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
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