Perry 'taken aback' by Paul's comments on Iran
December 16th, 2011
05:07 PM ET
11 years ago

Perry 'taken aback' by Paul's comments on Iran

(CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry expressed dismay on Friday over rival Ron Paul's call at Thursday night's debate to ease sanctions on Iran.

"I was really taken aback by the power of [Paul's] statement from the standpoint of allowing the Mullahs and a madman to come into possession of a nuclear bomb and that we should not care about that," Perry said on CNN'S "John King, USA."

Using the term "madman," Perry was referring to 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."

The comment has fueled the primary argument for those who want to dismantle Iran's nuclear development.

At Thursday's debate, Paul stirred controversy on stage when he said U.S. sanctions against Iran were an "act of war" and praised President Barack Obama for "backing off on the sanctions," saying "it's going to be an economic calamity if you take all the oil out of Europe."

Instead, Paul, a strict non-interventionist, urged the government to use diplomats to resolve the situation.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann quickly pounced on Paul's statements, engaging in a tense exchange with the Texas congressman.

"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."

Citing the report, Bachmann argued Iran was just months away from developing a nuclear weapon, a claim that Paul strongly disputed. The Texas congressman said Bachmann was "dramatizing" the report and argued the agency had no evidence of any "enrichment" of bombs.

"You cannot solve these problems with war," Paul said. "You can solve the problems if we follow our constitution and go to war only when we declare the war, win them and get them over with instead of this endless fighting and this endless attitude that we have enemy all around the world."

On Friday, Perry echoed Bachmann's line of attack against Paul.

"There should be no space between the United States and Israel, and I was just really taken aback by Dr. Paul's almost nonchalant statement," Perry told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

He added that he gets his information from "some pretty wise and plugged-in people," including former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, who he said is "greatly concerned about Iran."

Watch the full interview at 6 p.m. ET on CNN's "John King, USA."

Also see:

Gingrich 'editing' his words as campaign acknowledges concern

Bachmann camp: Gingrich morphs positions based on 'who's paying'

Perry moving staff to Iowa

Filed under: Iran • Rick Perry • Ron Paul • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. ck1721

    Concern for Iran, and preparing to go to war over "serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program." are two different positions. I think that people hear Ron Paul speak, and they just turn their brains off because they truly don't want to listen to the truth. He warned against the situation in Iraq over the same concerns, and look where we ended up. Ron Paul is the only one with credibility as to this issue.

    December 16, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    Probably the first time Parry ever encountered a Republican that didn't blindly agree with and follow the fox media talking points?

    December 16, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. it is sad

    Republicans still believe that war or the threat thereof makes them more appealing. We know they are warmongers, who will go to war as christians to convert the masses of muslim followers. It just really hacks them off that Obama has pulled the troops out.... with hardly any conversions!!!!

    December 16, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. XYZ

    It looks doubtful that the GOP will adopt Paul's policy of diplomacy over war. America, prepare your young men and women for the next Iraq (assuming China will keep lending us the money)...

    December 16, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Donna

    Oh, please not another George W-lets get rid of Mr. Folksy Perry forever. He doesn't have a clue about most things if its in depth and isn't a sound bite. And the reference to Tebow, what a joke. All of a sudden doing better than the 1st few debates to win the sympathy vote doesn't cut it either!!

    December 16, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. Kaphen DePriest

    Rick Perry is taken aback because of a religious guy running Iran, but he had no problem with a religious guy calling Mitt Romney's faith a cult.

    We need to remember all these guys who want to use the power of the Federal government to advance their religion, do so at the expense of your own religion.

    Once they beat Islam, then they will come after the Jews and then the Catholics.

    December 16, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. cinxh

    Really – 10 years in Iraq and what do we have to show for it? Do we really have to spend a trillion with a T to get rid of a despot crackpot? There are too many crazies (including ones with the bomb like N. Korea) for us to go to war with all of them. Dr. Paul has the right idea – it's a complete mystery why the rest of the field offers nothing more than knee jerk outrage and saber rattling.

    December 16, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. jfunk138

    "He added that he gets his information from "some pretty wise and plugged-in people,"" The same wise people that get us wrapped up in these endless wars? They don't sound so wise to me. And they certainly aren't plugged in to reality. My ears are tired of hearing these "rumors from people in the know" from the "anything for security" crowd. It's getting really tired people. The "cold war" on terror has gone on long enough.

    December 16, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Vet4RonPaul

    Ron Paul is pro-freedom, pro-peace and anti-bailout. He is the only candidate with that profile and the only one that walks his talk. You know this. Unjust wars are immoral; plan and simple. I'm a military veteran and I'm all-in for Ron Paul because he is moral, intelligent and a true American. Unlike all the others, he will put America's interests before Israel's. btw – to see what the others support, google 'NDAA' and read about the new law to be able to imprison American's without a trial.

    December 16, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  10. Robin

    Perry's a dumb shill. Michele Bachman is even worse. Gingrich is the Pillsbury Doughboy. Need I say more? It's so obvious that Ron Paul is the only one with a brain on the stage. Is the American memory really this short? I mean, really. All that talk of WMDs in Iraq is completely being repeated here in regards to Iran. So tedious. The media bias. The campaign to railroad Paul's chances. It's disgusting This is your last chance, America. Ron Paul 2012. If you don't wake up now, there will be no turning back.

    December 16, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Perry 'taken aback' by Paul's comments on Iran◄

    "Taken Aback?" Taken Aback from where? From that moment in time when YOU and every other parrot on the stage that wants to BOMB Iran because of a DRONE???? Really??? Pahleeeeezzzzeee!!!

    Obama 2012

    December 16, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. Brian

    Oy, Can't you "journalists" get your FACTS straight. Ahmadinejad NEVER said that Israel must "must be wiped out from the map of the world." Even Politifct corrected that repeated lie...

    What he DID say, was a repeat and a quote from Khomeini which was: ""The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time." He is talking about one day th GOVERNMENT of ISrael will vanish because of its treatment of the palestiniens.

    December 16, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  13. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Hasn't Obama stated that Iran cannot be allowed to get a nuke? Well, just what is he and his administration doing about it? Are they expecting the UN to do anything? Even the IAEA said Iran was pursuing weaponization. I guess those sanctions aren't working.

    But I guess we'll all just have to wait until they test fire one, hopefully not over Israel or New York City, to be sure. I'm sure all those very sane mullahs are nothing to worry about. I'm sure Obama ha sit on his schedule to invite them all to dinner at the Whitehouse and reason with them, you know, work that Obama Jeddi mind trick and get them to come over from the dark side.

    But I'm sure once a bomb does go off, the loons in here will be blaming it on Bush, Reagan, Nixon, Eisenhower, Hoover and Lincoln. Like death and taxes, this is the thrid sure thing in life.

    December 16, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  14. jarhead

    Big mistake getting info. from J. Bolten. Bolten never did get confirmed for U.N. position did he?

    December 16, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  15. Greg

    I was taken aback when Rick Perry managed to get through an entire debate without having an aneurysm. Be taken aback all you want Rick Perry, if we need advice on spray tans or hair products we'll call you. The grown ups have serious things to figure out, unfortunately there are only two grown ups in the conversation, and their being drowned out by the cackling children.

    December 16, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. mk1

    I currently have a son who is serving on active duty and I will be totally honest, all of these candidates except for Paul scare the living you know what out of me if they were ever to be elected President. They will certainly get the US into a war and be happy about it, all you have to do is listen to their rhetoric. I have never seen a group of supposedly intelligent people so eager to use the US military for their political advantage. These people are not patriots, they are treasonous idiots who would gladly have others serve and die just so they can gain a few political points and sound tough. May God help us all.

    December 16, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  17. No to Perry

    Perry is STUPID. Need to learn about history instead of staying under a coconut in Texas.

    December 16, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  18. @OmegaRaiel

    Ron Paul was the smartest on that stage, but Obama 2012.

    Ron Paul would let our economy crumble.

    December 16, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  19. Sammy

    Yeh, do like W. Scare folks with non-existent WMDs, then invade and conquer. For oil. Perry would invade and conquer Mexico if given the chance. Though he's so dense he'd probably send the troops north in OK instead and wouldn't even notice the difference.

    December 16, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  20. brian in denver

    I think Perry would be "taken aback" by Curly's comments about Moe.

    December 16, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. Biff

    Perry and Bachmann seem all but certain that Iran is getting or has nuclear weapons. "Serious Concerns" are what got us into Iraq for WMDs, how that turn out? What people need to understand is that other countries do not and probably will never like America for their own reasons. If we invade Iran, then we not only justify their assertion that we a wildly aggressive country but fuel other potential extremists into conflict with us. Some are so caught up in their own belief, what if we don't find any nukes?

    I understand we are an ally to Isreal, but that doesn't mean we have to constantly sniff their rear mindlessly. Iran's govt may be a bunch of jerks, but that doesn't mean we should assume the worst. Obama needs to do more in the middle east to stick up for us, especially lately.

    December 16, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  22. once upon a horse

    Here in Texas we have sent some really not so bright people to DC thinking along the lines of Tom Delay, Louie Gommert, and now Rick Perry for at least the short term of it. Ron Paul though some might debate it is NOT one of the dumb ones. I think even Rick is surprised that we do have some in politics here that can think on their own without input from FoxNews and Glenn Beck et al.

    December 16, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. Mike

    Not until I started doing my own research did I learn who Ron Paul really is. A doctor, patriot, married for over 50 years, a true american hero. I voted for Obama in 2008. I am registered republican this time voting for Dr. Paul.

    December 16, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  24. Mike in CA

    Agreed, no more wars over "might be's" or "close to's" or "could be's". I remember when America was the land of the free and the home of the brave. Now we're the land of the indefinitely detained who are so afraid we'll bomb you first.

    December 16, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  25. BCE

    I don't consider myself to be a Republican but I like Ron Paul because first of all he is a credible candidate (not a flip-flopper) and he knows what he is talking about. The U.S. needs to stop intervening all over the world and focus on the issues that we have in our own country. We are spread out all over the world, but we are spread out too thinly. GO RON PAUL!!

    December 16, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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