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Gingrich says Santorum 'completely misunderstands' modern warfare

Evan Vucci / AP

Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich shakes hands during a campaign stop Tuesday at the Tulare World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif.

 

TULARE, CA – Newt Gingrich criticized Republican rival Rick Santorum on Tuesday afternoon for his “complete misunderstanding of modern warfare” over the former Pennsylvania senator’s remarks on women in combat.

Santorum on Thursday said he had “concerns about women in frontline combat.”

“I think that could be a very compromising situation … where people naturally, you know, may do things that may not be in the interests of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved,” Santorum told CNN’s John King.


Gingrich fired back at Santorum, calling his credentials to be commander in chief into question during a press availability at the Tulare World Ag expo during his four-day swing in California.

“We should be very proud of the men and women who put on the American uniform and risk their lives in order to protect this country,” Gingrich told reporters. “I just think that Rick completely misunderstands the nature of modern warfare by his comments.”

The former House speaker, who during many campaign speeches refers to himself as a former “Army brat,” said he believes no matter where you are wearing the U.S. military uniform, you are in combat – something Santorum should understand.

 “Whatever your technical assignment, whether you’re a truck driver or you’re working with logistics, or you’re a military person, you’re in combat.  And I think that we have to understand that from day one,” Gingrich said.