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. Cindy

    @ Marie MD

    The difference is that Ron Paul is not "hawking" to send kids to needless wars! And yes, the military does have to have doctors.

    January 4, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    @Joe: "@Marie, Ron Paul was flight surgeon in Vietnam. Please check facts before commenting."

    Joe, YOU need to check your facts before posting.

    Per "The Ron Paul I Know" (the website by Carol Paul (Ron's wife):

    When the Cuban Crisis came, Ron answered his country's call and became a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force. We received orders to move to San Antonio, Texas....We spent Ron's tour of duty in San Antonio.

    Ron Paul never saw combat.

    January 4, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. RR

    In a few weeks, Ron Paul will be as relevant to the presidential race as Sarah Palin.

    January 4, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. Mike

    Newt "I'll arrest judges that I don't agree with" LOL and people take him seriously

    Restore the Republic

    January 4, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. AZCS_USN_Retied

    Romney and Boehner are in the same class with Gingrich.

    January 4, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. TJeff1776

    "Surgeon probably stateside" other words, YOU don't know one way or the other........just another faultfinder speaking without any knowledge whatever. BUT don't feel too bad though, the internet is FULL of your kind.

    January 4, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Sid Prejean

    Not a big Ron Paul guy, but "chickenhawk" has been the official fowl bird of the Republican Party for more than a decade.

    January 4, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    @Joe Mama: "As a surgeon, Ron Paul probably saw more of the horrors of war than many soldiers out in the field."

    Do you even know what a flight surgeon does, especially one trained in obstetrics and gynecology?

    Flight surgeons: Flight surgeons are medical doctors (MDs or DOs) who are primarily responsible for the medical evaluation, certification and treatment of aviation personnel (pilots, USN and USMC Naval Flight Officers, USAF navigators/Combat Systems Officers, astronauts, air traffic controllers, UAV operators and other aircrew members).

    OB/GYN: Deliver babies and provide prenatal care and general care for "female parts" (thought I'd make it simple and family friendly :)).

    I really don't think Ron Paul saw the "horrors of war" ....

    January 4, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. James Tiberius Kirk

    "Only with the stipulation of the draft would politicians truly have to thoughtfully consider whether to go to war or not."

    It didnt stop Nixon.

    January 4, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. JS

    ...and Paul is an anit-Semite...

    January 4, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    @AJ: "Vote for personal liberty, end the police state. Vote Ron Paul 2012"

    What freakin' "police state"? Just because you can't do everything you want without consequence, you feel put upon? If living in civil society is so darn hard for you, move to Somalia where the mob rules, or Russia, where your political and/or corporate enemies assassinate you with impunity.

    You Libertarians are such whiny, wimpy, self-centered babies!

    January 4, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Meetra

    Marie MD is just another one of those people who are afraid of educated individuals. He SERVED in a capacity where he was in danger and helped the soldiers who were in battle. Was he safe? no. Was he on vacation? no. Did he want to be there, seeing the horrors of war? Probably not. Listen Marie MD, I am sorry that you devalue those who have served in a capacity different than those who point and shoot, and that you are so desensitized to violence and war that you only value blood and guts, but you have no right or reason to criticize DR. PAUL. A man who has the most integrity and the truest heart of an American. What have you done for America lately? Other than taking all you can and giving nothing back in the true spirit of a dem or neocon lackey?

    January 4, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. James Tiberius Kirk

    Obama Acorn?

    January 4, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. kat

    Plain and simple ! Ron Paul is an idiot, maybe by 2016 he'll be too old to run again. I get sick just seeing his beady eyed smirk. He would totally ruin our country, I would never vote for BHO, but I also would never vote for Paul. In my opinion, they are both nuts.

    January 4, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Chickenhawk"? That's nothing. I've got a string of expletives for Newtered that would make George Carlin blush.

    January 4, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. James Tiberius Kirk

    I give Paul credit for instigating honest discussion, but he'll be a footnote by South Carolina.

    January 4, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Just Saying

    Ron Paul gets this one right for calling Gingrich a ChickenHawk and I have to respect Paul's service in uniform, no matter where he spent that service. But this is one veteran who will never vote for Ron Paul, due to his many irrational policy positions, and for whom the fact of a candidate's service, or lack thereof, is largely irrelevant.

    To this veteran, the only valid question to be asked of a would-be Commander-in-Chief is whether or not that individual understands the real vital national security interests and has the ability to properly prioritize preparedness of the military instrument of power (i.e., hard power), the skill and wordly knowledge required to use the diplomatic instrument of power (i.e., soft power) and the judgment required to use all of the instruments of power (i.e., military, diplomatic, economic, civil authority, etc.) in a coordinated and effective manner (i.e., smart power).

    None of the current crop of Republican candidates has even a glimmer of understanding about these issues and none of them are even remotely qualified to be the President. With the exception of Ron Paul, they are all like George W. Bush – "keep hitting 'em as hard as we can until we get our way!" Ron Paul, on the other hand, would shrink from even a proper and necessary role on the global stage.

    For all his faults and shortcomings, President Obama has a far better grasp of these ideas than any of the GOP wanna-bes. Just Saying...

    January 4, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    What war, what service did obama serve in ?
    I think the FAIR question would be: "What war did he leave the country for in order to NOT serve?". Or " How many deferments did his daddy get him NOT to serve?".
    Passing up the big bucks in Wall Street or renowned law firm in order to SERVE as a community organizer in some broken-down neighborhood in Chicago, capturing Osama when order wouldn't or COULD'NT, getting an international coalition together to take down Ghaddaffi when the world abandoned us in Iraq, bringing our troops home from an evil unnecessasry war....that's all more than good enough for me.

    January 4, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Jonathan

    Tea/Repubs believe that war is good business. Never mind the causalities and PTSD returnees.

    January 4, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. thetruth

    As a Republican I'd vote for Obama any day over Paul...he's one scary little dude....

    January 4, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. reverance

    @Marie MD.. That's a rather callous thing to say. Dr. Paul joined of his own volition and entered the Commissioned ranks. Where he served was fate. Where did you serve?

    Matt Papke

    January 4, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. ja

    now that's saying it nicely,i'll call him whale manure, now that's at the bottom of the ocean

    January 4, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Pardon. That should've read "...when OTHERS couldn't or would'nt".
    Collateral damage of sneaking in these posts while at work (tee hee!).

    January 4, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. James Tiberius Kirk

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

    Funniest thing I've read on the internet. EVER.

    January 4, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. James Tiberius Kirk

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

    Funniest thing I've read on the internet. EVER.

    January 4, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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