Battleland

General Newt

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Department of Defense

House Speaker Newt Gingrich inspecting troops at South Korea's Osan Air Base in 1997

Former – and missed! — colleague Karen Tumulty takes a look at GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s military bonafides in Tuesday’s Washington Post. Just not sure getting Doug Feith — the No. 3 official at the Pentagon when post-war planning for the Iraq invasion went MIA — to say his Pentagon colleagues “took him seriously” is going to do much for Gingrich’s reputation in certain military circles.

Notes Karen:

There is no evidence that Gingrich ever felt the personal inclination to serve in the military. “He’s probably as aggressive with the military as anybody,” Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), one of Gingrich’s Republican opponents, said on Fox News recently. “He supports all the wars in the Middle East a thousand times more than I would. But you know in the 1960s, when I was drafted in the military, he got several deferments. He chose not to go. Now he’ll send our kids to war.”

Gingrich’s adoptive father Bob Gingrich, a retired Army officer, told PBS’s “Frontline” during the mid-1990s that he had never regarded his son as military material. “He is very nearsighted. You probably know that he can barely see across the street without his contacts. He has two of the flattest feet that there ever was,” his father recalled.

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