Paul declines to respond to rivals' sharp criticism
December 28th, 2011
06:39 PM ET
10 years ago

Paul declines to respond to rivals' sharp criticism

West Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Despite a steady flow of harsh swipes against him, Ron Paul declined to respond on Wednesday to those comments from his fellow Republican presidential rivals.

"Would you like to respond to Newt Gingrich's attacks," a reporter pressed Paul after an appearance at the GuideOne Insurance headquarters in West Des Moines. Other reporters, surrounding Paul, also pressed the Texas congressman about criticisms from rivals.

Paul did not respond.

It was the candidate's second of three campaign appearances in Iowa – his first day back on the campaign trail from a short Christmas break. An earlier meet-and-greet was held at the Iowa Speedway racetrack and motorsports playground in Newton.

In both speeches, Paul stuck to familiar themes from his campaign: a libertarian message that includes ending the Federal Reserve, keeping the U.S. out of war, dismantling the Department of Education and dramatically lowering spending. The candidate has suggested cutting $1 trillion in the first year of a Paul administration.

Meanwhile, Paul's rivals have been talking.

At a campaign stop in Creston, Iowa on Wednesday, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said, "Ron Paul would be dangerous as a president of the United States."

"He would have us ignore all of the warning signs of another brutal dictator who wants to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth and who wants to use a nuclear weapon against the United States," Bachmann added, referring to Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The congresswoman and Paul argued over Iran's nuclear development in a recent debate. Bachmann said that a report - by the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency - said Iran was "within just months of being able to obtain" a nuclear weapon.

"There is no U.N. report that said that," Paul shot back. "It's totally wrong what you just said. That is not true. They produced the information that led you to believe that, but they have no evidence."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney – also campaigning in Iowa on Wednesday - also clipped at Paul over Iran.

"One of the people running for president thinks it's OK for Iran to have a nuclear weapon," Romney told an audience in Muscatine. "I don't."

And on Tuesday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer he would not vote for Paul if the Texas congressman secured the GOP nomination.

"I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American," Gingrich said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

The Paul campaign is not entirely silent in responding to its critics.

A new television ad airing in Iowa flashes the words "serial hypocrisy" with Gingrich's picture and "flip flopper" with Romney's picture.

–CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Ron Paul
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Woman In California

    Ron Paul IS dangerous and thank God after the 2012 elections we won't have to hear from this foolish, angry little man any more.

    December 28, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  2. LegalizeUSA

    The is only one choice, Ron Paul 2012. Like it or not war profiteering, and devaluing the dollar has gone on long enough. Along with congress insider trading, making laws which are in violation of the constitution, illegal wars, pretty much terrorism, murdering americans without due process, as I said Ron Paul is the only choice.

    December 28, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
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