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. Brian

    Paul's right on this one, though still dislike his isolationist policies. If the only way you can prevent yourself from going to war is to end all alliances and leave all international organizations than you shouldn't be running the country.

    January 4, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |

    The rubes in Iowa put a smackdown on the Ron Paulbots. Ricki Santorum has the GOBP dirty tricks bullseye on his back now. This will be fun to watch!

    January 4, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Cynic

    Yeah, we have a lot of brave aging boomers who did everything in their power to avoid Vietnam but now have the guts to send others out to die.

    All those who want war should be sent out to the front lines. Otherwise, they are just the cowards we know they are.

    January 4, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. Portland tony

    That's what every pot bellied politician does: Send the young men out to fight and die for a nebulous political philosophy. Since WWII, that has certainly been the case in this country.

    January 4, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. Blink44

    Does it really matter about who said what about another candidate? Don't get fooled into following the bait that the media leaves for you to reach the wrong decision about Ron Paul. And anyone who was in the military, soldier or doctor, should be applauded. He didn't come from a family with millions, so Obama can't use that against him. He's not for the wealthy(which again, is Obama's platform), he is for all Americans.

    To the people who feel that we need to be a super power and hold on to that, how long did you serve in the military? Or are you fighting to have others risk their lives for you? Americans are hated in other countries, and it's not hard to see why. It's a shame we can't split the country in two and those of you who so arrogantly want to continue starting wars can have your own side of America. Hopefully those who have been invaded will know that it is YOUR side of America, and not ours.

    The fact that people are so arrogant here is a result of the fact that we are still an immature country.

    January 4, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    And NO I do not support sending our troops like then shrub did.
    I did not agree with the Iraq war T any time.

    January 4, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. Bessy

    Newt is right on this one. Ron Paul has some pretty scary ideas and this country will be back in the 1800's if he gets elected. As for things out there that " I did not send ", UH, I'm not so sure about that. This man will have this country in anarchy in a very short time if he gets elected.

    January 4, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Edward

    Ron Paul is wrong on this one. Gringrich is a chicken. Jerry Sandusky is a chickenhawk.

    January 4, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Guitar

    For a true shot of Paul's Character and who he represents, do a google search and put in .. "Ron Paul Don Black"
    . Says it all!

    January 4, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. Ed

    My mind is made up and I'm just waiting to cast my vote in November. No doubt about it. Solid as a rock. No wavering. Absolutely postive it will be for anybody but Obama. ANYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 4, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. AJ

    Vote for personal liberty, end the police state. Vote Ron Paul 2012

    January 4, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. michael H

    Not to make little of it but a flight surgeon often clears pilots medically to fly, doesnt mean they are operating on the wounded. They can and do but sometimes the name doesn't really reflect what they do much if not all of the time. That doesnt take away from his service. His point wasnt that Gingrich didnt serve but that he got out of serving and then so lightly sends others into war. Disagree with Paul or not but it is a simple fact that we cannot police the world and doing so, maintaining these posts all over, do not make us any safer and would it be so bad if we weren't so influential all over? My idea of military strength is like Canada. Don't bother anyone and they dont bother you but if they do you have enough strength to wipe them flat, no men on the ground, just get the story into the heads of the world that we drop the big bombs and end it in a week. In other words walk quietly and carry a big stick.

    January 4, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. Jilli

    A crackpot criticizing a chickenhawk. You just can't beat the gop nominees for entertainment.

    January 4, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    I would never vote for any member in the Paul family but I give him a little credit on this. Doctors play a very important role in wars. They SAVE lives. Again, he doesn't get my vote or my respect but at least he did SOMETHING which is more than the pretty boy and the pretty/petty sons of the 8 point victory man did.

    January 4, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  15. Jem

    Its RON PAUL or U.S. Bankruptcy, More Wars and Many More Dead Solders.

    January 4, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    tThe way to stop politicians' from declaring war is to first pass legislation that states that immediately after war is declared the draft must be implemented. Those Pols with children and grandchildren will think a little harder about sending their own into a battle that could kill or injure them.

    January 4, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    I agree with Ron Paul on bringing our troops home. However, his isolationist views are naive. While I think we could reduce the number of overseas personnel and bases, we need to look at the whole geo-political picture, including the fact that Russia and China would probably like to fill any voids we leave.

    We need wisdom in the White House, not some naive ideologue. We have that person in President Obama.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    January 4, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    "Funny how the majority of chickenhawks are in the GOP."

    Truer words were never spoken.

    January 4, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Ronald D. Malloy

    The way to stop the pols from declaring an unnecessary war is to pass legislation that, if war is declared, the draft must be immediately implemented. The pol's might think a little harder when their children and grandchildren are required to serve and may be killed or injured.

    January 4, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. hansdick

    I supported Obama but if Paul had been the republican candidate last election I would have supported him. Ron Paul and John Huntsman are the only two candidates I respect. The rest are panderers, liars, and worse, true believers. Save us.

    January 4, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    @Tomasina: "What war, what service did obama serve in ?"

    President Obama has shown his support for our troops in word and deed, including authorizing the raid that took out Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind 9/11. He campaigned in 2008 saying he'd escalate in Afghanistan, which Bush had put on the back burner; this was necessary and is helping get that country to a point where we can leave.
    Also, President Obama honored the agreement signed by Bush to have our troops gone from Iraq by 12/11.

    President Obama has always shown respect to our troops, and in particular, veterans, including John McCain, whom he thanked for his service many times.

    The GOP sees our military as a way to make money for their corporate cronies; President Obama decidedly do NOT.

    January 4, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. The King

    Hey Ron, ALL THE REPUBLICANS ARE CHICKENHAWKS!!! Its part and parcel of their DNA to send someone elses kids to die for corporate interests under the auspice of "freedom".

    January 4, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. Anfscd

    Hey Slimbo, there is no such thing as peace if the terrorists aren't interested in it.

    January 4, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. mk1

    This entire debate about whether to send troops to war reenforces my long long held position that if we are going to fight a war we MUST reinstate the draft. If any war is worth our country fighting it, the entire country must be vested in that war. Our volunteer military is spectacular(I am a vet and have a son currently serving on active duty) and the best in the world. The idea of sending others into the fight is cowardly at best, treasonous at worst. Only with the stipulation of the draft would politicians truly have to thoughtfully consider whether to go to war or not.

    January 4, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |

    No need to trash Newt – the voters of Iowa did a good job already.

    January 4, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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