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. Big B

    Ron Paul's position on foreign intervention or lack of foreing intervention and spending are exactly what we need in these times of crisis.

    December 16, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. dan

    None of them have learned anything, now have they, from the last nine years of "war" in Iraq. Truth spoken to would-be power always shows just how dumb the politicos can be. Bravo for Rep. Paul.

    December 16, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. Ron Paul 2012

    CNN–are you paying attention? America gets Paul, even if you don't. Stop trying to put up these straw-man arguments to dissuade Americans from voting for Paul. You guys make me sick.

    December 16, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  4. Michael

    Paul also received wide applause during the exchange with Bachmann.

    December 16, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  5. devinesara

    Shut down the chickenhawks:
    Ron Paul Tea Party Moneybomb today (12-16). Donate.

    December 16, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. bawana

    you know when you can tell you are getting close to aggie land ?,,,that's easy,,it when the sheep back up to the fence,,,,really baaaaaaaaaaaaaaddd

    December 16, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  7. Tough USA

    Where is the reputable link for the report she told us that had info on Irainian nukes. She still yhinks we have an embassy in Iran LOL

    December 16, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  8. Concerned SNCO

    The republicans have lost there minds. I have been serving this great military for 17 years and will continue to defend this great country as long as i can. They are willing to use soilders, sailors, marines and airmen for thier own sick agenda. Not only are they using the troops for government contracts, but they are surpressing minorities and the poor people's right to vote in several states. America please wake up! Say no to the GOP!

    December 16, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  9. JP

    Not what we should do about Iran, but Ron Paul is the only candidate the understands kissing Israels ass is not in our best interest.

    December 16, 2011 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  10. Damian

    The president has said the exact opposite that they are not building a bomb and that they don't want to bomb anyone!!

    December 16, 2011 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  11. damian

    this article is dead wrong, amidinajedad said that not only are they not building wmds but that they dont want a war with anyone! cnn is a sorry excuse for jurnalist when they try to make up lies to support these puppet gop candidates!!

    December 16, 2011 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Perry would love to drop the first bomb !

    For those that want to end the world as we know it , vote Perry !

    December 16, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  13. microburst

    media is wrong about RON PAUL ... last nights debate didnt hurt him , it helped him . in fact i think last nights debate has just made RON PAUL even stronger and i think fox has some real idiots working for them...... to name a few bret baier , hannity. these guys are always looking to expose paul and to what expense? let history show that if RON PAUL wins this , those morons will always be known as the negative parts of history. fight harder media because you are not hurting your helping , and your destroying anything positive about yourselfs when our children look back at history and see you for what you are.

    RON PAUL 2012

    December 16, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  14. Tim

    Consider our current foreign policy in the context of your local neighborhood: You would get to: set up cameras to keep tabs your neighbors, siphon your neighbors gasoline, run your waterhose through the neighbors house so you can wash your can in their neighbor's driveway, intercept your neighbor's paychecks when they don't agree with you, listen to their phone calls, let your kids exercise in your neighbors pool, and then you would expect to be well-liked!

    December 16, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  15. Tim

    Also, didn't we hear about WMDs in Iraq as well? Wasn't that info from the UN, Italy, Russia?

    December 16, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  16. WDIM

    Who cares about Iran who cares about Israel. I say lets worry about our own people and our own country for once! No more world police! Ron Paul 2012!
    Isreal has the bomb. Iran will have the bomb its Mutually Assured Destruction. We would probably be better off if they were both wiped off the face of the earth! The US and the people of the US have no business in the middle east! End dependancy on foreign oil! End the Endless Wars!

    December 16, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  17. ExLonghorn

    Wow...really proud of the posters here. Way to not swallow the media line or pander to the party line. I hope that Paul will run as an independent if he doesn't get the Republican nomination. It cracks me up that anyone who doesn't espouse all the hard line Republican views is somehow evil or clueless. Paul's approach is backed by the facts we've observed. The U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, China Pakistan, India, and North Korea all have nuclear weapons, and several are engaged in active shooting conflicts, yet nobody is using nukes as anything other than a deterrent. Even Kim Il-Sung...the nuttiest of the bunch...knows that nukes are best unused. Iran wants nukes to deter Israel and the U.S. from attacks, and not to attack the U.S. Viewed that way, they're making perfect sense, and Paul gets it.

    December 16, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Perry still dumb? what a surprise. Please get him outa here! Elect him Emperor of Arnold Kwajalein and get him out of Texas.

    December 16, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  19. Felipe

    Perry still dumb? what a surprise. Please get him outa here! Elect him Emperor of Arnold Kwajalein and get him out of Texas.

    December 16, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  20. And so it goes

    I'm not in favor of bombing anyone. But seeing Iran get the bomb just says trouble. They'll sell suitcase nukes to terrorist groups they support and those will go to Israel as well as here. There's just no reason to believe they'd get nukes to just sit of them. They wouldn't use them directly against us – it would be obvious where to send our bombs. They'd be very underhanded about it and we wouldn't know for sure how whatever group got the nuke. And that's why we have to stop them before this gets out of hand. Not by bombing the crap out of them, but not by merely talking to them either. That's just a waste of time.

    December 16, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  21. FIELD1stSGT

    Ron Paul like George Soros' Obama are wishing for a one world government. Israel, U.S., England and any other country backing Israel does not fit into their plans. Ron Paul is being take for the dumb-bo he is.

    December 16, 2011 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  22. Stephen in VA

    For once, I happen to totally agree with Ron Paul. How about we NOT go getting into another war right now, especially against the once-mighty Persian empire?

    December 16, 2011 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  23. Dee

    We don't have to worry too much about Iran Israel will take them out with all the Nuclear Power they have. That is one of the reasons they are our strong allies.

    Republicans just want to go to war and noone is talking about how to get people back to work. The plight of the 99% will be front and center in this election. Newt has hurt himself with the OccupyWall Street people.

    December 16, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  24. Jason

    This country is a few hippies away from making its best decision in a lifetime. They were right. Peace, love, and prosperity are inspiring. To think of these things as unreasonable possibilities is mindless slave crap. Revolutions and times of enlightenment are what make these fairytale things possible.

    December 16, 2011 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  25. KB

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

    December 16, 2011 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
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