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. GOP = Greed Over People

    The only thing out of Paul's mouth that I can agree with.

    January 4, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Roger

    That's an interesting use of the term. It used to be that a "chickenhawk" referred to a pedophile who sppecialized in young boys.

    January 4, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. Shel

    Seriously, if you're not voting for Ron Paul you're asking for MORE OF THE SAME, democrat or republican. We've all seen the "change" Obama brought. Just another establishment stooge.

    January 4, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I can see where Paul calls Gingrich a chickenhawk. I would say the same think of George W. Bush. I don't think he served enough or well enough to really understand sending people to war. Gingrich understands the idea of war but not the results. I don't know if Paul can really understand the need for war either. Sometimes we need to go out there and protect those that can't do it for themselves. Paul is too much of an isolationist to really understand. He wants to be comfortable in his own little world.

    January 4, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    He could say the same thing about Rick Santorum, who never served in the military but is basically promising a war with Iran if he is elected.

    January 4, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. nominate some maniac

    Romney is bush part 2, Gingrich will smile in your face and laugh at you behind your back, have we not learned that only good trees bear good fruit... Ron Paul is the only one who dares to address the obvious while every other politician plays the fence, what's wrong with IOWA... Can they see through the facade cmon people wake up... RON PAUL if not its OBAMA again, and by the way if anybody thinks that obama is doing bad try passing bills through a bunch of republicans who hate everybody who dosent cut them a check... We need a change, we need the peoples voice, dump lobbyists, rebuild infrastucture, let's back the dollar again with something besides faith and credit... But I am a innocent by standard just dreamin right ?

    January 4, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Deep in the heart of TX

    The GOP primary is now starting to be entertaining!

    January 4, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. hypatia

    Newt want nukes, Perry wants to secede, Santorum plays with corpses.....nice circus!

    January 4, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Don

    Not sure what Ch1ckenhawk really means, but you can bet Gingrich is just in this for the money. He knows he cannot get nominated...he never intended to lead the nation, but he DOES intend to maximize campaign contributions as long as he can... so he can take the money and run when he inevitably drops out. Worked for Cain.

    January 4, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Tom

    I admire anyone for whatever reason that serves in the military. I was in the air force as an administrator. That is the job they gave me. If one has not served at all from made up deferrments, then they have no credit with me.

    January 4, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. anagram_kid

    IMHO, all of this is just a set up for Rand Paul to run for POTUS in 2016. Not that is matters; both have no chance. Libertarianism looks good on paper, but will never work with a population size that allows any anonymity.

    Obama 2012 – Because being rational matters

    January 4, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. DaveI

    Well if the Paulestinians couldn't get their old man to the top in IOWA...They stand no chance anywhere else...
    Face it Tweetie Birds...Your race is over.......

    January 4, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Harrison

    Gingrich a chickenhawk, Paul a turkey, Bachmann a clownfish, Romney a vulture,

    January 4, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    @Tom my point is that unless paul actually served right smack in the middle of a battlefield during the Civil War, excuse me, Vietnam War, he can't throw stones at newterman for not serving.

    January 4, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Thai

    I'll take a surgeon in the AF stateside over a dodger nowhere-side.

    January 4, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. Big B

    Hey Newt! Before you get all fussy and throw a tantrum remember you just said that if its stating facts its not negative campaigning.

    January 4, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Shawn

    I think Ron Paul is right on with this one. That's exactly what is wrong with Republicans, they're all "CHICKEN HAWKS." They are quick (especially Santorum) to bang the battle drums, yet when it was their time to serve, they were afraid and ran.

    January 4, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Jack Be Humble

    I really like how President Obama handled the Libya 'war'. Criticism from the Left, accusations from the Right, still... not a single serviceperson killed/wounded, and a gain in international cooperation and prestige.

    January 4, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Shawn

    Those who often promote war are never seen or heard of on the front (me).

    January 4, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. Fed Up

    Bush, Cheney, Rove, Gingrich, they always get deferments while sending someone's else's kids to war. They just start them, they don't fight them. Ron Paul was a surgeon in Vietnam in 1964 and 65. He saw first hand the effects of a useless war. Santorum has already said he would bomb Iran. Do we really want another war? This is one time people need to think with their heads, and not listen to these stupid politicans.

    January 4, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. Hypocrisy Hunter

    Dude, Obama didn't "put" our troops in harm's way. Boy George did. He started the Iraq war by lying to avenge Daddy's failures. Obama ended it. He's also killed Osam bin Laden, which is the first step toward ending THAT war. Son of a Bush sat around reading My Pet Goat.

    January 4, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Little Tin God

    Is this like the kettle calling the pot black? Doesn't Paul want to stick his head in the ground and pretend that the world isn't out to kill us?

    January 4, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. Frank

    That Ron Paul has others send 140-character tweets for him tells me all I need to know about the guy.

    January 4, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. R

    To those who say Ron Paul is crazy, you do realize that his policies are the policies of the Republican party?
    The present republican party is not the real party, its a NeoCon hijacking at work.

    January 4, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  25. Fair is Fair

    @ MarieMD –

    Being a 1/3 term freshman senator and community organizer certainly doesn't cut it either. Just sayin...

    January 4, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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