Newt Gingrich 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Less than two weeks before the first official Republican poll of the
presidential primary season, right-wing front-runner Newt Gingrich slammed Iowa
candidate-to-beat Ron Paul Thursday for abandoning Israel to Iran’s
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Paul, said Gingrich, “dismisses the danger of an Iranian nuclear
weapon and seems to be indifferent to the idea that Israel could be wiped
Speaking on a conservative radio talk show Thursday morning,
Gingrich accused Paul of being “a guy who basically says, if the United States
were only nice, it wouldn’t have had 9/11. He doesn’t want to blame the bad
“I think the key to his volunteer base is people who want to
legalize drugs,” said the former speaker of the House, and recent Republican
During foreign-policy discussions, Paul has said that he
would not attack or impose sanctions on Iran to curb its nuclear aspirations,
but that he would allow Israel to fend for itself.
“When they want to
have peace treaties, we tell them what they can do because we buy their
allegiance and they sacrifice their sovereignty to us. And then they decide they
want to bomb something, that’s their business, but they should, you know, suffer
the consequences,” Paul said during a debate among Republican candidates in
Paul, an avowed American civil libertarian and isolationist
from Texas, emerged this week as the front-runner in the January 3 Iowa caucus,
polling at over 20 percent, in a field of seven main candidates.
the only leading GOP candidate who was not invited to the Republican Jewish
Coalition’s candidates’ forum earlier this month, a decision that the Paul camp
said that they only learned about through the media.
Paul has stressed
that in advocating cutting financial support for Israel, he is supporting
Zionism’s founding values of independence. He has also argued that Arab states
receive seven times the amount of aid as Israel, and that that aid too would be
cut. Paul’s supporters also cite the congressman’s defense of Israel’s 1981
bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak.
But Democrats, including
the National Jewish Democratic Council’s President David A. Harris, have
tied Paul’s position on funding to other policies that they claim are
anti-Israel, including what Harris described as “trying to empathize with Iran’s
pursuit of nuclear weapons.”