January 9, 2012. Concord, NH. With two nationally televised Republican Presidential debates in 12 hours, it’s probably safe to assume most Americans missed one, or more likely, both. The two debates, one on ABC Saturday night and the other on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday morning, were the only two debates scheduled prior to Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.
Vets and active duty soldiers support Ron Paul more than the other Presidential candidates combined. Image courtesy of PatrickFallonPhoto.com
In case our readers missed it, something rare happened. The typically calm, cool Congressman Ron Paul got noticeably angry when the subject came around to one of the Rep Paul’s most passionate subjects – protecting America’s fighting men and women.
The scene was the Saturday night ABC News debate. Moderators Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos had set an ambush for Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Over the past week, former Speaker Gingrich and Rep. Paul had traded barbs over each other’s foreign policy positions. During one media interview, Ron Paul reminded viewers that the pro-war Newt Gingrich, continuously campaigning for a war against Iran, never served in the military himself and instead, received multiple deferments instead of serving in war-time Vietnam.
Ron Paul on the other hand, as he pointed out, is the only anti-war candidate in the Republican field and with the exception of Texas Governor Rick Perry, the only one of the group that served in the military. During the past interview, Ron Paul referred to Newt Gingrich as a “Chicken-hawk” – a politician who’s too chicken to go to war himself, but brave enough to send everyone else’s children off to fight and die.
Hoping to create conflict on national TV, the ABC News debate moderators asked Congressman Paul if he’d be willing to repeat those words to the former Speaker’s face. Congressman Paul, showing a slight discomfort with being pushed into an unnecessary confrontation with his fellow Republicans, stood his ground and said, “Yes”. He then went on to give one of the most passionate remarks this author’s ever seen Dr. Paul make. But good luck finding it.
When Whiteout Press went to find that clip, one news article after another had either disabled, blacked-out, or reversed the exchange. Debate co-sponsor Yahoo News for example, ran the headline ‘Newt and Paul spar over military’, but only showed Newt Gingrich’s half of the video. The article consisted of two sentences with the second telling readers that voters don’t care about military service anyway. Specifically Yahoo News writes, “We asked Yahoo! readers if military service was crucial experience for the job of commander in chief: a slim majority (52.76 percent) said that it was not important.”
When Ron Paul began his defense of his earlier comments, he took the opportunity as the only pro-peace Republican candidate in the field to stick it to all his fellow candidates on behalf of our nation’s active duty soldiers, wounded warriors and veteran military personnel everywhere.
Ron Paul’s comment at the Saturday evening New Hampshire Presidential debate:
“I think people who don’t serve when they could and they get three or four or even five deferments, they have no right to send our kids off to war and not be even against the wars we have. I’m trying to stop the wars. But at least I went when they called me up. But, you know, the veterans problem is a big one. We have hundreds of thousands coming back from these wars that were undeclared. They were unnecessary. They haven’t been won. They’re unwinnable. And we have hundreds of thousands looking for care. And we have an epidemic of suicide coming back. And so many have, if you add up all the contractors in all the wars going on, in Afghanistan and in Iraq, we’ve lost eighty-five hundred Americans. And severe injuries, over forty thousand. And these are undeclared wars. So, Rick keeps saying, ‘you don’t want this libertarian stuff’. But what I’m talking about, I don’t bring up the word, you do. But I talk about the Constitution. The Constitution has rules. And I don’t like it when we send our kids off to fight these wars, and when those individuals didn’t go themselves, and then come up and when they’re asked they say, ‘Oh, I don’t think I could have, one person could have made a difference’. I have a pet peeve that annoys me to a great deal, because when I see these young men coming back, my heart weeps for them.”
Ron Paul's comments at the ABC News New Hampshire debate.
It wasn’t so much Congressman Paul’s words. Anyone who’s followed his political career knows he says things like this often. Instead, it was the emotion, outrage, anger and resentment coming through that an entire nation of Americans has felt for a long time. Remember, this country hasn’t had an honorable service member in the White House since George HW Bush was elected in 1988. Both the Democratic President Clinton and the Republican President Bush Jr. were the beneficiaries of special arrangements to keep them out of the Vietnam War.
The appreciation’s mutual
If there’s one overwhelming fact that the GOP establishment and the national media can’t take away from Congressman Paul no matter how much they cover it up, it’s that your sons and daughters in uniform love Ron Paul more than all the other Presidential candidates combined. It’s true today, just as it was true when Rep. Paul ran for President four years ago. One little known fact from the 2008 Presidential primary is that Ron Paul received more campaign contributions from military personnel than Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and war hero John McCain combined.
American veterans and active duty soldiers appear to be showing their appreciation to Congressman Paul again this 2012 primary season. The New York Times remarked two weeks ago, “This year, Paul has 10 times the individual donations — totaling $113,739 — from the military as does Mitt Romney. And he has a hundred times more than Newt Gingrich, who sat out the Vietnam War with college deferments and now promises he would strike foes at the slightest provocation.”
Associated Press had a different set of numbers, but the trend is the same. AP reported two days ago, “Paul received at least $95,567 from military donors between January and September of last year, the most recent data available, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. That's nearly seven times what Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who edged out Paul in Iowa, collected from military donors combined.”
For more information on Ron Paul’s platform regarding military personnel and veterans, visit the candidate’s website at RonPaul2012.com.
For more information on veterans and their plight, read the Whiteout Press article, ’16 US Veterans Commit Suicide Every Day’.