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. carly

    I wonder where these good right wingers supporting Paul were when chickenhawks like Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld, etc. took us into a war based on lies.

    January 4, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. PaulC

    Gingrich is not the only chickenhawk. How many political hacks eagerly beat the drumb and vote for war but stay as far from the battle and "serve their country in other means"?

    January 4, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    After we all made a big to-do over Obama using Lincoln's Bible for his oath of office, it makes me wonder: woudl Rondroid swear in using the Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged? Hmmmmmm....fruitcake...

    January 4, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. This Ol' Vet

    Right on. Chickenhawks like Newt, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and the like, make them shut up.
    As for Ron Paul, flight surgeon in the airforce does count, don't you think? If you know the army you know you can't really pick your assignment.
    But that's beside the point too: Ronald Reagan never really served other than in making propaganda movies. John McCain didn't really command much in the airforce: he was a pilot, shot down, POW, then a few years deskjob.
    The point is: how "hawkish" is a politician / president to send out our soldiers? Often, the biggest "service avoider" is the most hawkish. And that's when it stinks.

    January 4, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. valleyforge

    @woodrow: "You don't have to carry a gun to serve the country. Gingrich has served the country most his life."

    If Gingrich had been a Democrat you would call him a career politician instead of someone who served his country. He spent 20+ years in Congress. Show me any current member of Congress who has served for more than 20 years and I will show you a self-indulgent, power-jealous, influence-peddling, vain, hypocritical career politician. Congress is a citizen body and should be populated with people who serve a few years and go back to normal life, not people who can't hold down jobs in the real world outside of lobbying and law firms.

    January 4, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. old bear


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

    Obama a dodo

    January 4, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |

    All of you keep chanting about how awful a nuclear Iran would be-when is the last time Iran went to war with another sovereign people?-whens the last time the US did?-that's what I thought!! now go back to bed and let us take care of all have had your chance and failed miserably.

    January 4, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. GonzoinHouston

    Ron Paul went into the Air Force because the AF paid for him to go to med school. I have two friends who did the same thing. It's a long-standing, and very effective, way of getting trained physicians at jr. officer pay.

    Not that I support him, but Rumsfeld was a Navy aviator in the time between Korea and Viet Nam.

    W was in a sanctuary unit. Every state had at least one unit that had no chance of deploying to Viet Nam, and the sons of the rich, powerful, and well-connected always managed to get into them. It was one of the dirty little secrets of the war. W's squadron-mates included the son of another congressman, the son of a senator, and 6 players for the Dallas Cowboys.

    January 4, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Dirkle

    bush, cheney, newt, rumsfeld, wolfowitz etc ... ALL CHICKENHAWKS.

    Go stand a post, cowards. Our children soldiers' blood is on your hands!

    January 4, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. Larry L

    Ron Paul believes we can defend America with "four submarines". He has no problem with a nuclear-armed Iran. He wants to dismantle Social Security and Medicare. He is an anarchist. His appeal is mostly with the 17-29 year old crowd – those with too little real experience to understand how overly simplistic ideas are nothing more than sound bites.

    January 4, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Sue

    I must say that the republican candidates remind me of a bunch of name-calling school children! There's not a mature adult among them. I've had it with republicans! It will be a cold day in hell if I ever vote for a republican again!

    January 4, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. Lou

    1 million students cost $6,000 per grade x 12 grades = $72 Billions investment

    1 million graduates make $40,000 per year x 30 years = $1,200 Billions on American wealth

    At 20% taxes = $240 Billions back to USA Treasury

    January 4, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. Pat in IL

    He's right, but name calling demeans the speaker. Romney is getting into the name calling game now, too, and I had thought of him as the most intelligent and professional of the group. Sad.

    January 4, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. Alex

    Ron Paul is right as always!

    January 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Dick Hertz

    This Veteran's vote goes to Ron Paul. He'd better be a hardass when it come's to illegal immigration. Or else he won't see it again. No amnesty. No way. America to bennefit Americans. That's what we need.

    January 4, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Gezellig

    Dr. Paul, the power of a politician to vote to send the military to war comes from the people who elect them to office. Prior military service is not a prerequisite for the job, unless the voters decide it is. Why are you, of all people, criticizing a politician for exercising the powers given to him by the American voters who elected him? Are you saying the American voters should not be allowed to determine for themselves who is qualified to hold the offices they vote for?

    January 4, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Livefree88

    I believe Ron Paul is the only on who can actually beat Obama. There are a lot of disenchanted folks who voted Obama in '08 based on the promise to end the wars quickly. Well 3 years and war expansion into new countries is a promise broken. These voters know Ron Paul will deliver on his promises.

    January 4, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. Rufus

    To Marie MD:

    You don't know what a chickenhawk is, do you.

    January 4, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. Wendy

    Does he REALLY mean that Gingrich is a gay pedophile????? Last I looked, that's what "chickenhawk" meant.

    January 4, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. Sashland

    Question for Ron Paul: If a person has not served in the Military are they unqualified to be President?

    like FDR?

    Some people do not qualify physically for armed service, like Newt, so, are we only to have a Military President, or is Ron Paul just manipulating emotion to create confusion?

    Or was that 'the other Ron Paul' who said "chickenhawk"?

    January 4, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. Stacey

    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...

    Thanks, but I'll take Obama. Ron Paul is nuts!

    January 4, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. Charles

    Paul's ideas may seem radical because we have lived a certain way so long. Maybe it's time for a radical change.

    January 4, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. Steven Bannister

    Every single GOP candidate running (as well as Obama) collects MILLIONS of dollars in campaign contributions from the Israeli Lobby – except for Ron Paul. And every single GOP candidate (as well as Obama) is saber-rattling against Iran – except for Ron Paul.

    That should tell you something.

    January 4, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. NoTags

    I'm not a "Paulite" but Paul is correct, Gingrich, Romney and Santorum are all chickenhawks. They are all about equal to the Grand Poobah of chickenhawks, Dick (5 deferments) Cheney.

    January 4, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. Matt

    I don't agree with this guy's platform, but Dr. Paul is dead on here. There is nothing worse than sending people off to war without frivolously without having served. I hope Dr. Paul is successful in branding neocons like this as anti-Troop. Because that's what they are.

    You want to support our servicepeople? Keep them here unless it's absolutely neccessary to send them into action.

    January 4, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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