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Gingrich: 'I never asked for a deferment' during Vietnam

Last modified: 1/4/2012 12:00:00 AM
Newt Gingrich attacked both the messenger and the message yesterday after Ron Paul called him a "chickenhawk," or someone who puts other people in danger while assuming none himself.

"You know, when Newt Gingrich was called to service in the 1960s, during the Vietnam era, guess what he thought about the danger? He chickened out on that, he got deferments and didn't even go," Paul said on CNN yesterday morning, according to Politico.

Yesterday, Gingrich said he never applied for a single deferment.

"I had two children during that period, I never asked for a deferment because during the period I was a father, and it was automatic," Gingrich said.

Paul also said he is popular with the men and women in uniform because of his anti-war stance.

"We get twice as much support from active military personnel than all the other candidates put together," said Paul, who is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

"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 said.

Gingrich said Paul has a "disastrously misinformed" view of foreign policy and throws out foundationless accusations.

"What he just said has about the same amount of accuracy as the newsletters he says he never wrote," Gingrich said, referring to newsletters published decades ago. According to those newsletters, as reviewed by The New Republic, black muggers are "unbelievably fleet-footed," Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is "Hate Whitey Day" and AIDS patients "enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick," among other things.

Paul has disavowed the newsletters and says he doesn't know who wrote them, a position Gingrich said reflects poorly on Paul.

"This is a man who says wild and outrageous things with no facts and then later denies having said them or wonders who wrote them, because it couldn't have been him even, if it was under his name," Gingrich said. "My dad, by the way, served in Vietnam, as he did in World War II and Korea, and my family had a very close relationship with ones going over there."


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