Oh sure, he’ll limp on for a few more days, maybe even weeks, but for all intents and purposes, Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign ended with this exchange during Saturday night’s debate when Ron Paul went after Gingrich hard for receiving deferments from military service during the Vietnam War, drawing one of the angriest responses from Gingrich at any debate or moment in the campaign so far:

“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,” Paul said. “I’m trying to stop the wars, but at least, you know, I went when they called me up.”

“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,” he said.

Gingrich responded: “Dr. Paul has a long history of saying things that are inaccurate and false. 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.”

“I think I have a pretty good idea of what it’s like as a family to worry about your father getting killed,” Gingrich added. “And I personally resent the kind of comments and aspersions he routinely makes without accurate information and then just slurs people with.”

But Paul persisted: “I need one quick follow-up. When I was drafted, I was married and had two kids, and I went.”


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