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. Chuck

    I do not despise the intentions of those who fight the actual combat, but I do despise the intentions of those who send soldiers to fight and die overseas, for whatever gains they intend, personal or national. US Presidents without a military background have been historically keen in sending others to do the fighting they themselves have always avoided. I do not support many of Ron Paul's views, but certainly I do believe him right this time.

    January 4, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. John Steel

    You can add Santorum and Romney to the list of Chicken Hawks.

    January 4, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. Salman

    Ron Paul is right that Gingrich's a chicken-hawk, but he was only a flight surgeon. Then again, he's against fighting, and you don't need to be a veteran to know when to not fight.

    January 4, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  4. CBR

    Dr. Paul served in the AF along with hundreds of other medical professionals who were assigned to medical centers in the USA. Many came into the service because they received monetary assistance from the government and they agreed to serve for four years.

    Unfortunately Mr. Gingrich is not the only man in the race who did not serve in the military. Other candidates did not serve and subsequently their children did not serve.

    January 4, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  5. Grand Oil Party

    Paul's foreign policy is the only thing that makes any sense in his platform. Gingrich is a chickenhawk and so is Santorum, Romney, Bachman, Cheney, etc., etc.

    January 4, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  6. Lynne

    GT - at some point people are going to have to let go of the "he or she didn't serve in the war" mentality. Obama is only about 6 months older than I am. We were either tooooooo young as in single digits for vietnam - my father served in that one, and were both way to freaking old for either of the Iraq wars.

    There really are a group of people in the middle that were never of an age to serve when we were at war! Imagine that?!?!?!?!?!

    January 4, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. Blink44

    ThinkAgain, why don't you join the National Guard or do SOMETHING other than try to minimize what another has done, if not in combat, but for the soldiers. DR. PAUL PAID HIS OWN WAY THROUGH COLLEGE(it was more affordable because the federal government wasn't involved), became a doctor, and helped our soldiers in a way that he could, even if that is not good enough for you. Either way, he's done A LOT MORE THAN OBAMA HAS AS FAR AS SERVING HIS COUNTRY. Obama could have joined the service, too, but he didn't. What kind of hero does that make him?? Oh, and as far as helping the poor, blah blah blah, he could really help the poor if he gave them HIS campaign donations instead of attempting to rob others to do it for him.

    January 4, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  8. celisti

    Paul is absolutely right. Those politicians sent young men/women to war to get killed, while they are sitting home to claim they are 'strong' on foreign policies. As long as they themselves or their kids don't go to war, they would support any war at any cost.

    Paul is the only one telling the truth about it.

    January 4, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. mikrik13

    Even if RON PAUL is not a combat veteran he is a veteran who served his country with dignity. You can't take that away from him. But I thought "chicken hawk" meant something very different.

    January 4, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  10. borisjimbo

    Have to agree with Paul on this; the GOP ranks are filled with chickenhawks, especially all those still in Congress who voted for authorizing the Iraq war long after signing Newt's Contract with America which should have term limited them out by now.

    January 4, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  11. Fla Pete

    If you check the Senate and Congressional members only about 30% Repubs and 80% Dems served in active service overseas....Yet the chickenhawk Repubs love to start wars,Romney is a perfect example,he never served,nor non of his sons,how nice,,take the high road when the country is in need...Then you play the patriotic stunt,saying how much you love this country,you're all yellow belly bas.....such hypocrites,you Repubs are,you make the middleclass sick..Don't hide behind our great stars and stripes when you sell out to foreign countries,our jobs,you're sickening...

    January 4, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  12. Larry L

    @Todd C

    "Who would you trust more on National Security, a guy who avoided going to Vietnam by getting a PhD in Modern European History or an obstetrician who avoided going to Vietnam by joining the Air Force and serving in San Antonio?"
    I'll trust the guy who has become the terrorist's worst nightmare, ended the Iraq War with as much dignity as possible, used intelligence gathering capabiliies and technology to replace manpower, and allowed NATO to do it's job in Libya rather than losing American lives. I'll trust President Obama.

    January 4, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  13. TJeff1776

    "Don't make Ron Paul a combat hero"..........sheeeesh what a crazy evaluation. Doctors are valuable people. In combat there are so very few. A doctor has no choice on his assignment....period. I once saw an incoming blow
    a hospital tent apart killing two doctors, three nurses, and eight patients.....not to speak of the wounded. There are NO- repeat NO....100% safe places on a battlefield. The Mash movies are just that....a movie. ONLY those wounded and standing a liveable chance are transported to the extreme rear. Its worth repeating- war zone doctors
    generally speaking(unless in the know)have no choice whatever as WHERE and WHEN they are assigned.

    January 4, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  14. Jim34

    Newt Gingrich ... staying home where it is nice and safe.

    January 4, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  15. guitarharry

    Ron Paul was not in combat because he is a DOCTOR!! The military does not want doctors to fight; they are valuable resources who can save the lives of soldiers. Putting them in combat would cause MORE casualities! It should be noted that NONE of the other leading Republican candidates served in the military: Romney, Santorum, Gingrich. The truth is that military service is a poor predictor of presidential performance: Jimmy Carter was a naval commander–he was an unsuccessful military leader. John Kennedy commanded a PT boat, but bungled the Bay of Pigs and escalated Vietnam. Many of the WORST presidents in history were in military service:: Franklin Pierce, Ulysses Grant, William McKinley, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush... Conversely, Franklin Roosevelt, (arguably the best war president of the last century) never served in the military, and Ronald Reagan 'pretended' to be a soldier in the movies, but never fought in any war, yet he is the GOP's iconic leadership figure. Military service doesn't necessarily make a candidate better-qualified.

    January 4, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  16. Pappy

    Draft ? Don't people realize that the draft doesn't apply to the moneyed among us.?
    Just like Dick"shooter" Cheney and G.W. "shrub" Bush, their rich parents ascertain
    they never see war, or even harsh duty. The draft is for the "liitle" people, just like taxes.

    January 4, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  17. Rightster

    The militant chichenhawks now disparage Dr. Paul's military service. What a bunch of phony hypocrites.

    January 4, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  18. tankboy

    Sorry Dr Paul, you were barely in the military yourself. But please, regale us with your war stories... Probably saw a lot of action as an OB/GYN in the Air Force.

    January 4, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  19. Kevin Dunn

    All of the non-Ron Paul supporters really like that the United States occupies foreign lands. They really like this idea.

    I love WAR!
    I will vote anybody BUT Ron Paul!

    January 4, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  20. RonPaulStinks

    Anyone who says that a politician "sends young people to war" is a fool. We have a volunteer army. Ron Paul is a dope.

    January 4, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  21. Oodoodanoo

    Chickenhawks like Newt are useful inside the Beltway. They help drum up support for Pentagon weapons programs and shield failing ones from being cut. They're rewarded with consulting fees, speaking engagements, cushy think-tank jobs, etc.

    It's no coincidence that chickenhawks are often wealthy beyond what their natural ability would justify.

    January 4, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  22. madmaninthemiddle

    Fascinating discussion lies in between the usual blogesphere name calling. Thank you Ron Paul supporters, for articulating your rationale for supporting him. Helps me better understand why he has support from a wide spectrum of voters. I'm still not convinced that he can beat Obama, but I do respect him for not changing his positions as the political winds shift.

    Agree or not, I think most of the electorate find his positions extreme

    January 4, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  23. anagram_kid

    Here is a quote from one of Dr. Paul's books:
    It's dangerous to craft a separate set of rights for groups like Hispanics, African-Americans, children, employees and the homeless.

    In case you glossed over it, he does not believe CHILDREN deserve different rights. I think evil is perfect word to describe this man.

    January 4, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  24. WhereIsPalin

    It's a good thing that Dr Quack has just a small cult following.

    January 4, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  25. TelltheTruth

    Time for you to go away. Ron Paul is the only one that served. Where he ended up, like a Marine on this post has stated, was fate. Have you served?
    No one is trying to make him out to be a combat hero. Stop mocking his service. More active military donate to Ron Paul's campaign than to any other candidate.

    Ron Paul 2012

    January 4, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
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