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Ron Paul Attacks Newt Gingrich Over Military Deferments

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(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) attacked Newt Gingrich over getting draft deferments while advocating a hawkish foreign policy Thursday in an appearance on Fox News.

"There was one other issue that I personally found annoying is that he's probably as aggressive with the military as anybody, he supports all the wars in the Middle East a thousand times more than I would," Paul said. "But you know, in the 1960s when I was drafted and in the military he got several deferments, he chose not to go, now he will send our kids to war. But at that time he said that one person wouldn’t make a difference, he didn't know how he could make a difference. So I see that as important information, people should know that, and it reflects on him."

"Given everything I believe in, a large part of me thinks I should of gone over," said Gingrich in 1985 to Jane Mayer, then at the Wall Street Journal. "Part of the question I had to ask myself was what difference I would have made." He said that "Vietnam was the right war at the right time" but that Congress and the media lost the war. Gingrich received draft deferments for being a graduate student at Tulane University and having children, though his nearsightedness and flat feet may have kept him out anyway.

Paul served as a flight surgeon in the Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and in the U.S. Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968. He released an ad in September touting his service. Paul said in July that he had received more campaign contributions from members of the military than the other GOP candidates and President Barack Obama, a statement PolitiFact rated as true.

Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are virtually tied in Iowa ahead of the Jan. 3 caucuses according to a poll released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling.

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