Paul: Gingrich a 'chickenhawk'
January 4th, 2012
09:54 AM ET
11 years ago

Paul: Gingrich a 'chickenhawk'

(CNN) - Rep. Ron Paul said Wednesday that rival Newt Gingrich was a "chickenhawk" for voting to send American troops into war while never having served in the military himself.

Paul was responding to a question from CNN's Soledad O'Brien on the program "Starting Point" about Gingrich's assertion that the Texas congressman would be a "dangerous" candidate.

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"You know, when Newt Gingrich was called to serve us in the 1960s during the Vietnam era, guess what he thought about danger? He chickened out on that and got deferments and didn't even go," Paul said. "Right now he sends the young kids over there and the young people come back and the ones in the military right now, they overwhelmingly support my campaign."

Paul pointed to the number of veterans who are supporting his bid for the GOP nomination, citing their endorsement for his platform of limited American involvement overseas

"We get twice as much support from the active military personnel than all the other candidates put together," Paul said. "So Newt Gingrich has no business talking about danger because he is putting other people in danger. Some people call that kind of a program a 'chickenhawk' and I think he falls into that category."

Paul has previously criticized the former House speaker for deferments he received during the Vietman era. Paul himself served as a surgeon in the U.S. Air Force after attending medical school.

Paul also said Wednesday he had no idea who posted a snarky message about rival candidate Jon Huntsman on his official Twitter page.

The post, which appeared late Tuesday as results were being complied in the Iowa caucuses, read: "@JonHuntsman, we found your one Iowa voter, he's in Linn precinct 5 you might want to call him and say thanks."

"I didn't quite understand even what you just read, but, obviously, I didn't send it," Paul said. "So, I don't even understand. I'm sorry, I didn't catch the whole message there about Jon Huntsman. I haven't talked about Jon Huntsman in a long time. I don't know what's going on there."

The message was sent from the account @RonPaul, which is the candidates official feed. Paul admitted Wednesday that he "has some help tweeting."

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Ron Paul
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Surgeon in the AF, probably state side, doesn't cut it either old man!

    January 4, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. gt

    your right ..newt , obama and most of the others have never served in combat ..its easy to let some one else fight and why are we still in afganistan .. get our troops home now,,,,

    January 4, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Rienone

    Nominate Ron Paul and get the youth and independent votes and win! Alienate Ron Paul and his supporters and LOSE... your choice... Obama or Ron Paul...

    January 4, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. The Dude in Colorado

    As I've said before – Ron Paul is like the crazy old uncle who is sometimes right.

    I support Obama but I've always felt better having a POTUS who served in the military, who put themselves in harm's way for our nation. Such experience might not make them more compassionate, it might not make them even think twice about sending in the troops, but at least you couldn't call them hypocrites! What Rumsfeld, Cheney & Rove did to Kerry in 2004 was disgraceful, even if – IF – Kerry choked under fire, at least he went out to serve his country inspite of what "other priorities" he might have had the time.

    Obama 2012

    January 4, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Tired of War

    At some point, Gingrich will relize that it IS our foreign policy that IS dangerous. Why would any person on this planent want another countries military telling them what to do??? We wouldn't accept it here, so why do we think Iran, Iraq and all the other countries would accept it. Non-intervention is what this country was founded on and that lasted until someone realized that war is PROFITABLE. Billions in income and millions of jobs are created by invading other countries. It is TIME to put an end to the war profit machine. Elect Ron Paul!

    January 4, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. older than dirt

    Rep. Ron Paul said Wednesday that rival Newt Gingrich was a "chickenhawk" for voting to send American troops into war while never having served in the military himself.

    True Gingrich has always been for sending the youth of our country to war. Making war is easy from the rear. The next time we send our troops to war. Let the leaders of both the Republican party and the Democratic Party lead our into battle. I willing to bet that peace would break out very quickly.

    January 4, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. diridi

    Is Israel playing drama as usual in GOP race????? Then I pity in 21st century.

    January 4, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. V in Chicago

    @ Reinone – Obama! That was easy. Between these two, I choose the one who doesn't want to take us back to the 1800's. . . Paul has "some" good ideas, the problems is most of his ideas are scary crazy and he does not belong in the White House. I don't even know why he is in Congress, but I guess the folks in Texas will have to answer that one. That being said, if I had to choose between Paul and Gingrich – I would choose Paul. Even with all his craziness, he would do less damage to the country than Gingrich. Glad to see the folks in Iowa saw through him.

    January 4, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Come on Ron, you know it is Mittens who is the real chickenhawk.

    January 4, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. sonny chapman

    Touche' Ron Paul. You can add George W.,Dick Cheney & Don Rumsfeld to that list of vehement Ant-Communists who some how missed out on the fight of their time in Vietnam. Oh, and you might get them to apologize to John Kerry & Max Cleland for slandering their good names. Nah, that would be asking too much from the spoiled brats.

    January 4, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. Tom

    @Marie MD

    I'm not sure what the point of your comment is. That being an AF surgeon doesn't qualify him to send people to war? He's the only candidate saying that we shouldn't invade Iran. So he isn't qualified to take a position he isn't taking?

    January 4, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. dawnfair

    "Surgeon in the AF, probably state side, doesn't cut it either old man!"
    Seriously? I think an injured soldier would be profoundly grateful.
    How disrespectful. So I guess you don't want Doctors to serve in the military and save lives?
    What kind of logic is that? Of course Doctors are heroes and especially ANY Doctor who would not defer to make money in the civilian world when his country NEEDED him.

    January 4, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    You guys might be missing the real point there. Near the bottom of the article Paul claims that someone, once again, sent out info under Ron Paul's name without his knowledge.

    The big problem there is a repeated history of not being able to control the people who represent you. Ron Paul has claimed that folks have ghost written books, articles, e-mails and now tweets under his name andfrom his sites. He either has a completely out of control staff or he is responsible for the writings and is using lies to deny them.

    Neither of those things make him remotely qualified to be President.

    January 4, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  14. Steve

    So close for Paul. Problem though is that when Grinch and Perry drop out, those votes are more than likely going to the other big government candidate, Romney. When Bachmann drops out her votes will split between Paul and Santorum with more probably going to Santorum.. Paul keeps saying no to 3rd party but he is ripe. He owned the independent leaning republican vote last night, I think he got 50% of that vote. He might only get 20% of GOP voters but he may grab a substantial portion of the independent and even pull a number of dems from Obama now that Obama is running a GWBIII style administration.

    January 4, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. Tim

    "Surgeon in the AF, probably state side, doesn't cut it either old man!"

    The difference, Marie, is Ron doesn't want to send you or your kids off to war in a hurry. If you are in a hurry, you can always enlist.

    January 4, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Ron Paul's foreign policy approach IS dangerous. As the world's only super power we can't allow events to control us. We must try to shape events to some degree to maintain stability around the world. Without a stabilizing presence, usually in the form of our military, there are a lot of places that would be much worse off, or in danger. How safe will we be in a world with a bunch of small wars going on? Ron Paul strikes me as a turn of the century isolationist. This simply will NOT work in the world anymore and IS dangerous. You need look no further than Iran to know this.

    January 4, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Chad in Kentucky

    @ Marie MD, actually he served overseas as well. To my knowledge he is the only candidate to have been to the Afghan-Pakistani border area, and he did so while traveling in the military before he started his private practices.

    January 4, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Independent Voters

    Do you want your president calling people chickenhawk. Ron Paul seem like a evil old man.
    President Obama will win by landslide these republicans are nothing but clowns.

    January 4, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. Joe

    @Marie, Ron Paul was flight surgeon in Vietnam. Please check facts before commenting. No one who has ever seen combat has not come back with the utmost respect for millitary medics and surgeons.

    January 4, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. Al-NY,NY

    The philanderer is done. Paul should be concentrating on the man w/ 5 sons who have never served in any capacity

    January 4, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. sjosephm

    @Marie MD
    Paul served as a flight surgeon for 5 years here and there, and also stayed on in the Air Force National Guard for 3 more years. Cut's it just fine, especially compared to a Chickenhawk.

    January 4, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. outwithbothparties

    here is a good question to ask these politicans that are so quick to go to war:

    If these wars are so necessary would you encourage your own son or daughter to join up and go to war over seas?

    January 4, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. LR Bryan

    Ask combat troops how important military surgeons are?
    Not everyone who serves is on the frontline. To many brave men and women have been lost executing a misguided foreign policy

    January 4, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. RP supporter

    I wonder if Obama is propping up these GOP contenders to dilute the vote away from Ron Paul?

    January 4, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Jaime

    Bush vs Kerry was a joke and nothing but a public show...they both are members of Skull & Bones the Yale secret society, they argue and slander each other in public and secretly get to together and laugh about it and probably joke that America is too stupid to see what is going on. Look it up, you really think a secret society that has produced scores of presidents and high ranking goverment officials "fight" fight each other in private? They both had the same goal: power and the best way to to that is split themselves up into the two makes it a WIN-WIN for them and a LOSE_LOSE for the American people

    January 4, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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