Paul & Gingrich Spar Over “Chicken Hawk” Charge

Ron Paul again called Newt Gingrich a “chicken hawk” in Saturday night’s GOP debate, noting Newt’s avoiding service in the Vietnam War and his simultaneous willingness to send young Americans today into war.

“I think people who don’t serve when they could and they get three or four or even five deferments aren’t — they — they have no right to send our kids off to war, and — and not be even against the wars that we have,” Paul said. “I’m trying to stop the wars, but at least, you know, I went when they called me up.”

Gingrich was angered by the comment, calling it a slur, and attacked Paul for having “a long history of saying things that are inaccurate and false.” Apparently, the antiwar message embedded within Paul’s point were lost on him.

“The fact is, I never asked for deferment. I was married with a child. It was never a question. My father was, in fact, serving in Vietnam in the Mekong Delta at the time he’s referring to,” Gingrich said.  “I think I have a pretty good idea of what it’s like as a family to worry about your father getting killed. And I personally resent the kind of comments and aspersions he routinely makes without accurate information and then just slurs people with.”

Gingrich claimed that because of his educational and familial circumstances, he wasn’t eligible for the draft. But Paul ended the spat with a final retort: “When I was drafted, I was married and had two kids and I went.”

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.