Gingrich: Santorum 'misunderstands' modern warfare
February 15th, 2012
01:52 AM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich: Santorum 'misunderstands' modern warfare

Tulare, California (CNN) – Newt Gingrich questioned his closest GOP rival's competence as commander-in-chief, claiming Tuesday that Rick Santorum does not understand modern warfare.

Gingrich was asked by a reporter to comment on Santorum, who last week expressed concerns about women serving in military combat roles, telling CNN last week that could lead to a “compromising situation where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved.”

Although Santorum later said he was referring to both male and female emotions, Gingrich added to chorus of criticism during a campaign stop in California’s Central Valley Tuesday.

“The fact is, if you're serving in uniform in Iraq or Afghanistan, or any place in modern warfare, you are in combat. Whatever your technical assignment, whether you’re a truck driver or you’re working with logistics or a military police person, you’re in combat,” Gingrich said after touring the World Ag Expo. “And I think that Rick completely misunderstands the nature of modern warfare by his comments.”

Gingrich is lagging behind the former Pennsylvania senator after a slate of victories have Santorum well-positioned to become the conservative alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

The former House speaker, who is on a three-day fund-raising swing in California, has said he is committed to staying in the race, despite skeptics who are counting him out.

"Well they did twice before, and both times I came back ahead in the polls," Gingrich said Tuesday.


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Jackie Yates

    Don't believe Santorum is adequate for leading the greatest country in the free world. He has no experience. Kind of a republican Obama.

    February 15, 2012 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  2. logicnLA

    Santorum's view is not only antiquated but incorrect. Women serve in our police departments with men and are asked to do the same type of lifting and experiencing the same type of conflict and death.
    Santorum – the 19th century called and wants it's vision of the world back. Oh and Rick- the planets round!

    February 15, 2012 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  3. Thomas

    Speaker Newt Gingrich has unveiled his Faith Leaders Dream Team — rallying several fearless Christians including Don Wildmon, Tim and Beverly LaHaye, George Barna, JC Watts, Chuck Norris, Mat Staver and others as he takes on the the radical secularism of the Obama Administration.
    The Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition is Newt Gingrich's official advisory coalition on issues pertaining to life, marriage, and religious liberty.

    February 15, 2012 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  4. Liska

    Santorum is a cretin who continues to show his inability to understand anything~ his beliefs on contraceptives and on women in the military are deplorable. I, as a vet, (combat engineers) would have to act on the oath I took when I signed up if he were to get any closer to the White House. He is traitorous and lives in the 13 th century with his mentality. Just what the US and the world needs at this time. Obama all the way !!! Keep up the good, hard work, Sir.

    February 15, 2012 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  5. don in albuquerque

    You do not have to understand Modern Warfare when you are the second coming.

    February 15, 2012 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  6. steve

    True, but Gingrich doesn't understand the work DIET

    February 15, 2012 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  7. American

    Of course none of these guys ever served in the military....

    February 15, 2012 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  8. donna

    Dear Mr. Gingrich:

    Expressing enthusiasm for "Covert operations" in order to justify bringing other nations into USA's way of thinking would lead to a “compromising situation where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the (USA) because of other types of emotions that are involved."

    February 15, 2012 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  9. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Why these 2 buffoons were allowed to be born defies all human comprehension.

    February 15, 2012 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  10. Josh

    I am so tired of Gingrich and Santorum claiming to be the "conservative" alternative to Romney. They have no idea about conservatism and in fact give it a bad name. Conservatism is supposed to be about limiting the federal government, being fiscally conservative, and being cautious before engaging our men and women in war. They fail on pretty much every criteria. Santorum wanting to dictate his morality through law is no conservative, it is a theocracy. The only real conservative up there is Ron Paul.

    February 15, 2012 04:56 am at 4:56 am |
  11. Aaron

    No doubt that Newt understands modern warfare. It centers on starting a war based on lies, then the govt officials and their croonies getting rich off of it. With his lack of morals, he should be very good at it.

    February 15, 2012 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  12. DixonIV

    You can't be a republican candidate if you don't know how to start a war. As usual we have two republicans who have never served in the military. Santorum thinks that elected office is like serving in the military. Hey Rick, I can tell you being elected is nothing like serving in the military. Gingrich who took deferements to avoid Vietnam, but he knows all about fighting a modern war? The only thing these two know is how to start a war through their narrow minded view of the world.

    February 15, 2012 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  13. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    What's new? GOBP wingnuts beat the drum to start wars(Iran) but seldom volunteer to fight in them. They NEVER pay for them,just raise the deficit.

    February 15, 2012 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  14. Blindersoff

    True that . . . Santorum and a lot of the conservative right, live in a separate world then most Americans. They believe in yesterday, a time that never happened or existed. All eyes are wide open and no longer will we subject our selves to the mismanagement of the conservative right and their hypocrisy . . . Period.

    February 15, 2012 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  15. Marie MD

    I finally agree with newterman except that none of the teapublikan candidates understand ANYTHING about the economy, social issues, international issues and the list goes on and on.
    Trying to take the country back to the middle ages is not going to get you votes except from the right wing zealots who don't anyone telling them how to pray while at the same time taking away all the civil and moral liberties from others.
    christianity, their bible thumping craziness, is NOT the only religion. People have a say now and attacking 60% of the population is not the way.

    February 15, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  16. DaveSEMass

    You've got that right, Newtron Bomb. For saying that, Sixteenth Century Santorum will come after you with his musket!

    February 15, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  17. king

    Newt is right, santorum scares the mess out of me. His renasains ideologies only serves to take America back. You have to have a modernized vision for America, to compete with up and coming countries. I just don't see this in the tea party backed candidate.

    February 15, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  18. Dave

    It sure is enlightenting to listen to a chickenhawk like Gingrich talk about warfare. Just stick to the things you know – lying, cheating, and being an arrogant jerk.

    February 15, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  19. Jack V

    Newt understood it enough to know he wanted no part of it in the 1960's.

    February 15, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Gingirch is partially correct. When someone is in a zone of conflict like Iraq or Afghanistan, then you are going to be in harms way no matter the job that was assigned. As for Santorum's idea that women are physically different, that is true because they have different reproductive organs. There may be other differences, but those mental and physical ones are focused or improved while in training.

    February 15, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Newt may the closest candidate to Sen. MaCarthy, but the rest of the clown show is not far behind.

    February 15, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  22. GI Joe.

    Santorum doesn't understand the word "modern".

    He's stuck in the dark ages and wants the entire country to follow him there.

    NO THANKS

    February 15, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |