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. ralph hornsby

    Can you blame the guy? The way the media has trashed him? If this man goes all the way, lots of folks are going to be denied interviews and he will probably talk to a choice few only.

    December 28, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. BlackDynamite

    The Paul Machine gets stronger. So does the desperation of his opponents.

    Paul is smart to avoid the mud-slinging. Don't want to get caught in a GOP mudslide with those already caught in the muck......

    December 28, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. woodpile

    How does Newt qualify to be the conscience for "every decent American"? I just want to know when and where did he make his first move on Calista!

    December 28, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Taft

    Well, we've all already seen how "the establishment" solution for foreign affairs & military has worked out... We are in more danger than ever in our history, and we have less freedom than ever in our history.... Hmmm... Doing it Ron Pauls way seems like a pretty good idea to me (a decent American) that Newt and the others seem very out of touch with.

    December 28, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. WhereIsPalin

    Dr Quack and his cult of Paul-bots are destined to fail. The man is clueless.

    December 28, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. Jackie

    He will never get the nomination. He's too honest. That doesn't fly with Tea/Republicans.

    December 28, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. MTATL67

    I bet he had not comment on condoning the arbitrary killing of Americans

    December 28, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. SafeJourney

    Bye Bye Ron

    December 28, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. REG in AZ

    Paul advocates "small government", libertarian values and literally neglect of responsibilities ... which would definitely cut the deficit but really only while causing tremendous problems all across the board. His popularity always rises as the reality of the lack of any value and the poor selection of the other Republican candidates becomes apparent but while he offers contrast, it really would be a disaster to elect him.

    December 28, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  10. mghughett

    Hey CNN... don't worry. Remember Ron Paul doesn't have a chance of winning the nomination. Remember you've been telling us that all year. =P

    December 28, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  11. riverside

    RP is showing his truecolors, refusing to fully explain his racist newsletter to critical remarksfrom his opponents. I've embracedmany Libertarian principles, but RPis truly a wack job. As for any credible alternatives out there, I havent seen any....

    December 28, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  12. Charles Anstey

    The GOP establishment and the White House are very afraid of Ron Paul's popularity and support throughout the country. People who support Dr. Paul are indeed decent informed people; they're not Washington D.C. and Wall Street insiders; which is the case with the other GOP candidates and President Obama. Something is seriously wrong in our country; and it's time for every American to take a stand against the tyranny that is coming our way unless we elect Dr. Paul as POTUS. He is not a flip flopper; he is not a hypocrite. He actually wants to stop the fear mongering war machine ; and the offshore bankers that are ruining this country for all of us. We need to unite and break the status quo.

    December 28, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  13. Troy

    They still want to go to war with iran to "protect" israel. Paul says that this same attitude is what got us into this mess and they call him insane.

    Wow, it seems as if every republican besides paul and huntsman are corrupt and evil as can be.

    December 28, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  14. ed fl

    Paul is probably the first one to know that he doesn't have a chance to become the presidential candidate. He does however have lots of money and at his age he is enjoying the RIDE.

    December 28, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. cigarman

    The more that I listen to all of the Republicans in the CLOWN car, the more I like Ron Paul. Some people say that Ron Paul is nutty, but, if you listen to the rest of the CLOWNS, they are nuttier than Ron Paul. I certainly hope Ron Paul gets the nomination. No one else can beat Obama, just call ME nutty.

    December 28, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  16. cytwo

    When it comes to Gingrich, there is so much wealth of negative material, you do not know where to begin (he adds to his resume in this article with his insulting comment about 'decent' Americans and those then who are not if they vote for RP i.e. a significant percentage of the Iowa electorate – not decent).
    In Ron Paul's case its the opposite .. dearth of any negative material (why Gingrich wishes so much to run 'positive' obviously).

    December 28, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. Boisepoet

    SO would Michelle and Mitt do about Iran?
    Plunge us into war with them?
    Why haven't we gone to war with China, or Pakistan or India or Israel when they developed nuclear weapons?
    Dangerous or disingenious idiots...hope we don't have to find out which.

    December 28, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  18. Chuck

    Somedody said I would rather be right than be President.

    December 28, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  19. Jilli

    Ron Paul would be a disaster, as would all of the other jokers in the republican clown car.

    Why on earth would we want to give up 50 years of social progress to live ron pauls ideology? This country needs to PROgress not regress to stay competitive and successful. An old man with archaic ideas. NO thanks.

    Same with Gingrich, the "big thinker" in the gop – he was such a rousing success the last time he as ridden out on a rail. Multiple choice mitt – the consumate silver spooner – doesn't have a clue what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck. He's a perpetual presidential candidate that's willing to say anything to get the nomination. He's obviously got no true principles or convictions. Santorum – no thanks, this is a republic, not a theocracy. And then there's rick perry who wants us to buy oil from canada so we don't have to count on foreign countries any longer. How does that man even dress himself every morning?

    If the fate of our nation wasn't at stake, I might find this circus amusing, but the total lack of seriousness they display is just absolutely pathetic.

    December 28, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  20. Trudy

    Newt's right if you think like him... Corporations are citizens & to Newt and his ilk, those are the 'only' citizen that matters and who they consider "decent". Ron Paul is against corporatehood and pretty much is Occupy Wall street favorite runner against their 'orchestrated enemy'.

    December 28, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. Joe Public

    They are SCARED.... 1) Ignore 2) Ridicule 3) Attack 4) Accept .... we are nearing step 4....

    December 28, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  22. Abegathia

    Why should ron give homage to the tool

    December 28, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    Does this guy look old or what? I changed my mind about him not lasting six months if he ever became president, which he has no chance of whatsoever. I don't think he would make it six months if he was nominated the clown for the teapublikans.
    He should go back to his practice delivering babies. Better yet, retire!

    December 28, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  24. Satberry

    He is too old to be president and Ron Paul belongs to grover norquist.

    December 28, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  25. sidneyhop

    Blah blah blah, with a whole lot of blah blah blah followed by more blah blah blah, and finally to sum it up. Blah blah blah.

    Ron Paul 2012

    December 28, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
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