Suddenly, Ron Paul is a contender

Pumped up by a record day of online fundraising, Republican presidential contender Ron Paul said Wednesday he hopes to do well in a New Hampshire campaign in which he’s emerging as a potential spoiler — or more.

In an Associated Press interview, he said people startled by the $4.3 million take from his volunteer-led fundraising blitz Monday might be surprised on Election Day as well.

“They said if the candidate doesn’t call and pander to special interests you can’t raise enough money. But here, we found out the campaign is very spontaneous and volunteers are coming,” he said.

“So, I would say a campaign like ours would surprise others.”

More important than money is his message, Paul said before starting a full day of campaigning in the first-primary state, with promises of more to come.

“I will be here a lot more but I think there’s something in the air that says people are starved for a different message, and I have that message,” he said.

Paul, a Texas congressman considered an extreme long-shot for the presidency, has stood out at Republican debates as the strongest advocate for a quick U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. But he said much of his support comes from people frightened about the economy — jobs, health care and the prospect of $100-a-barrel oil.

“We have to stop spending the money excessively. We have to stop printing the money,” said Paul, who favors returning to the gold standard to shore up the dollar.

After the interview, Paul spoke to about 150 students at Nashua South High School and won applause for his remarks on Iraq. He said if he’s elected, U.S. troops wouldn’t come home in a day but could be withdrawn in two to three months.

In Wednesday’s interview, he also dismissed Pakistan’s embattled president as “nothing more than a puppet government for the United States.”

Though he reiterated his call for ending foreign aid and using the money at home, he did not say whether he favors immediately ending aid to Pakistan.

The campaign’s Internet prowess has drawn comparisons to Democrat Howard Dean, the Democratic front-runner in 2004 until Iowa and New Hampshire. Dean also strongly opposed the war.

Paul said the U.S. failure in Iraq is much clearer now, and his message is much broader than Dean’s.

“He didn’t have a non-intervention foreign policy. I talk about policy overall,” he said.

Even before Monday, Paul had crept up to fourth in state GOP polling, with 7 percent in a survey last month by SRBI Research for Saint Anselm College. That put him behind Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain and essentially tied with Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson.

People are suddenly paying attention.

“I could see if Ron Paul gets 10 percent he could finish in fourth place,” said Andrew Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. If Romney, Giuliani or McCain slip up, Paul could do even better, Smith said.

Smith said Paul’s anti-establishment image, similar to underdog winner Pat Buchanan’s in 1996, appeals to voters unhappy with what the mainstream candidates are offering.

But Dante Scala, a University of New Hampshire political scientist, said Paul needs to expand his base beyond the young, the libertarian and the disaffected.

“There is a ceiling on his coalition of voters,” said Scala. “He’s going to have to break through that ceiling and, at least in New Hampshire, reach out to more moderate Republicans.”

Paul agreed.

“I think that’s where our greatest strength is, is the fact that the unhappy Republicans and independents have turned against the Republicans because the Republicans claimed they were conservatives and they weren’t. They spent too much. The debt exploded and the war has been poorly run. We shouldn’t have been in it,” he said.

Paul reiterated his faith in the grass-roots effort propelling his campaign forward later in the day at a pizza shop in Concord where reporters outnumbered staff and patrons.

“I think people are very unhappy” with other candidates’ messages, he said. “They hear something different from me. … What I talk about is believable.”

Smith said the depth of that discontent, and Paul’s ability to tap it, remain to be seen. Without winning, Paul simply fulfills the role of an ideological candidate pushing his position, Smith said.

“And then they fade,” he said. “Voters want to see someone who can win in November. The nominating process is all about picking a winner.”


On the Net:


  1. CheckerboardStrangler

    I think the evangelicals and fundies should be free to go wipe out Islam, just not with any funding from the taxpayers. If they want to finance their own trip to the Middle East, finance their own weapons purchases and train themselves I have no power to stop them.
    I DO however, have the power to “just say no” when it comes to funding them.

    Let them fight their war the way the Islamic radicals fight it, self-funded and self-taught.

    The thought of Erik Prince, Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani and Pat Robertson all dressed up in fatigues with an AK-47 and a Bible strapped to the waists is very appealing.

    And…one more condition, they must renounce their American citizenship before they leave.
    After all, since they’re fighting a holy war and not a United States war it must be clear that they do not fight in our name.

  2. Sandra Price

    Checkerboard. You are so “on the money.” I miss your posts on RR. I’m out and can’t even read in…..I was bad! I deserved it!

  3. Oyate

    Nob big oil, no PAC money, no big corporate donors.

    On Nov 5th we raised $4.2 million. $4 came from online donations paid with credit cards. These are not pledges this is real money in real time.

    There were 38,869 donations from 36672 individuals in this period. 17396 these were new donors, persons who had never donated before. The average donation was $103 dollars. These are average American people.

    But allow me to ask, why in the world would big oil donate to the Paul campaign? Have you taken one minute to examine his positions? He’s for ending corporate welfare and retracting our global military quest to steal oil from producing nations.

    Outright lies and insinuations seem to be the order of the day for Paul detractors.

  4. Stratocaster

    I don’t know this guy, but after having lived in Texas for more than thirty years, I don’t trust anyone from this state.

  5. yarply

    Innuendos and sly insinuations are not worthy of being debated. If you have information showing oil money then reveal it. I guess in all truth everyone has some ties to the oil companies,, seeing we all buy their oil, gas and petroleum based products.

  6. yarply

    Saying you don’t trust anyone from that state is (to me) a little too close to saying, I don’t trust anyone of that race, and seeing YOU live there also????

    I’ll have to think on your statement. I live in Texas and I don’t trust anyone from Texas…

  7. Sandra Price

    Strato. He has been a Congressman from Texas for 10 terms, (20 years). He has an extraordinary voting record. He is very fiscally conservative.

  8. Ardie

    I also think the IX Amendment gives a woman the implicit right to govern her body which includes her reproductive organs, including the fetus. As the saying went in ancient Rome, as long as the fruit was still attached to the tree, it belonged to the tree.

    1821 was the year of America’s first statutory abortion regulation. After that, in 1856 there was a drive to outlaw legal abortion. Also, keep in mind that women didn’t have the right to vote; they were little more than chattel.

    By 1890, as an important element of the new eugenics movement, to ensure that white women would have enough babies since the white birth rate was on the decline, abortion was regulated by statutes created by the AMA.

  9. Paolo

    I believe Ron Paul once called for a federal law defining life as beginning at conception. If this is true, I think this would be an example of inconsistency; there is no enumerated power in the Constitution saying Congress can legislate in this area. On the other hand, this was years ago, and he has since consistently said he would leave abortion to the states, which is the Constitutional position.

    For those of you who have noted Ron Paul will be given the “Dean” treatment–I agree. This is inevitable. Anyone can make anyone else seem really stupid by repeating, over and over, a garbled sentence, or an inappropriate yell, or a confused answer. We all do it, folks. We’re human. I guarantee this will happen to Paul, one way or the other.

    Can the American people, drenched in years of image maker politics, see through it? I don’t know, honestly.

  10. yarply

    Life has to start,, Somewhere.

    With Ron being a doctor I would be surprised if he at one time or another did not maybe try to get a federal law of that kind passed. As a definition of when life occurs. I would say it is hard for anyone who has delivered as many babies as he reportedly has or for anyone who has had a baby and fallen in love with the the newborn to think of life as not starting at conception. If it doesn’t start then, when would it “start”?

    If you look through a microscope and see the ‘movement’ of the male “seed” you would have to say it has life. If you looked through the microscope and saw the unfertilized egg of a woman you may question if there is life or not, but would be hard pressed to deny the potential for life.
    Once mixed and thus both joining together becoming one and undeniable movement (growth) occurs it would seem to me that the joined cycles of the potential (egg) and the living spark (seed), that life of the egg as a whole has begun. If someone believes life has not begun at that point (conception) then why worry, for if it has no life it can not grow.

    No need to kill that which has no life….

  11. Stratocaster

    I have never heard of Ron Paul. What part of Texas is he from? Is he a Baptist? I’m just trying to figure out where this guy is coming from.

  12. Stratocaster

    Never mind. This guy doesn’t fit into the usual power structures. I need to do some reseach to figure out how he reached cult status. I will reserve my opinions until then.

  13. Sandra Price

    Strato, Paul has represented the 14th District of Texas for 20 years. That district in in the southeast corner of Texas on the Gulf. He has tried to stop so many expensive tax-payers bills that he is often known as “Dr. No.”

    He is an Epicopalian with a wife and five grown children. He is a Physician, born in 1935 in Pittsburgh and got his medical degree at Duke University.

    I don’t know much more to tell you except he was a candidate in 1988 for President as a Libertarian. He is, in my opinion the best of the GOP which means much less than it used to.

  14. Sandra Price

    This is the weekend to show him our support. Even CSPAN this morning has more callers for Paul than I can ever remember in the past.

    Visit the site and make a donation and we will get the publicity we need.

    Watch his commercials….they are great!

  15. Sandra Price

    Ron Paul is looking better everyday. I think the big issue here is two-fold; do we want the federal government to lead America into a full-blown religious war against Islam? This is the desire of the Evangelical Christians who are all over the other candidates to destroy Islam. The second issue is the list of prohibitions that Christians seem to believe we must put into the Constitution as Amendments to protect us from ourselves.

    I believe most Americans know right from wrong without being blasted by Christian leaders to force a ban on abortions, same sex marriages, stem cell research and the end of life choices.

    These are issues to be decided in our family homes and churches but not in our corrupt federal courts or even the Supreme Court.

    As long as Ron Paul is willing to stop a religious war with Islam and allow the American people to make their own social and personal choices, he will get my vote. Only Fred Thompson is the other Republican to deny actions of this group of Amendments. But Thompson is pro-war with Islam and that scares me as an American.

    Why are Republicans so afraid to make their own choices on so many of our necessary decisions?

  16. Paolo

    As a libertarian for many years, I long ago stopped putting faith in electoral politics. But if we’re lucky, Ron Paul could have an effect.

    The thing that makes him refreshing is his willingness to say what he thinks, rather than what he thinks others want to hear.

    In the age of “Image is Everything” politics, he’s refreshing precisely for his lack of political grooming.

    You may disagree with some of his consistent, Constitutional stands, but at least he has core principles and integrity. Among the other candidates, a big deal is made about whether or not you held your hand over your heart during the (fascist) “Pledge of Allegiance.”

  17. dbumRob

    Hey Sandra,

    Pat Robertson declares that Islam is NOT a religion. Isn’t that convenient? I was poking around the net last night relative to the Robertson endorsement of Rudy, and recalled that Robertson and Falwell blamed 9.11 on gays, feminists, ACLU, PFAW, pagans, abortionists, and who knows who else, except the “Islamofascists.” However, Robertson flip flopped when he stated that Rudy would be best at protecting us from the blood lust of Islamic terrorists.

    Which in normal ears, sounds like a religious group. But wait! According to Grandpa Chuckles, Islam isn’t a religion, it’s a political movement.

    How ironic: the kettle calling the pot black.

    Imagine that sort of twisted thinking aligned with serial adulterer Rudy, whose ability to judge character (think Placa and Kerik here) is very open to question.

    Just thought I’d let you know the skinny on Robertson’s contradiction of every dictionary on the planet except his.

  18. dbumRob

    As to Ron Paul, they might do to him what the Dem leaders allowed to happen to Dean in Iowa. I understand that red blogs are already controlling the discussion about him in an effort to steer it towards the major candidates.

    That’s hearsay that hasn’t been disproved.

  19. Sandra Price

    Yes, I too have been aware of the Republicans working day and night to keep Paul out of their discussions. Conservatives hate him.

    I know the history of Pat Robertson who in my estimation is the biggest hypocrite of them all. He wants America to lead the world in a crusade against Islam that will lead us into the last days of freedom and into Armageddon for the faithful Christians. They are even putting out children’s books scaring the kids with hell and damnation and I think that must be worse than anything Hitler ever did.

    We may, in fact, be led into this all out war with Islam and we are out numbered with possibly no help from any other nation thanks to Bush’s arrogance.

    Many people here in the Southwest are buying up land in Mexico for a possible get away.

  20. Pablo

    Ron Paul = Abortion Ban.

    Is that what we want?!?
    He is the Republican candidate who will work to end this war, but it will be a tough battle when most repugnicans love the war and the huge debt we’re racking up, and a good third (of which hillary is a part) of the democrats are completely sold out to the industrial-military complex.

    I like Ron’s foreign policy approach: mind our own business and quit occupying the world. That is in sharp contrast to warmonging hillary; however, unlike Ron Paul, who wants abortion outlawed, I believe (unless she flipflops (ie. some corporations offer her big bucks)) she will work to keep women’s reproductive rights in tact. Unfortunately, the only truly good candidates, Kucinich and Gravel, are being ignored by the mainstream press and most of the naive, ignorant Unitedstatesian public. If Ron Paul is successful, it will probably come down to a race between him and hillary ‘attack Iran’ Clinton. Tough choice: More and more war (and the ensuing debt) and foreign interventionbut legal abortion, (hillary) or no war and foreign policy on the right track but with oppression of women (Paul). Hmmmm…Sounds pretty scarey to me.

    If people would only open their eyes and see that there are two EXCELLENT candidates out there, Kucinich and Gravel!

  21. almandine

    Isn’t it time…………..

    to move past the abortion litmus test? Aren’t there sooooo many more things that actually need dealing with? Have you noticed the value of the dollar lately? Have you noticed that we’ve become a nation of warmongers? Have you noticed that the corporatists and their politicians in power are working to dismantle our individual freedoms? Get a grip! Move on! Become part of the solution instead of remaining a mealymouth for reproductive rights. IN FACT, Ron Paul has stated clearly that his own personal opinion on abortion will have no effect on abortion rights… because first, that’s a states rights issue, and second, those rights, too, are individual freedoms to be respected. Geez.

  22. CheckerboardStrangler

    Ron Paul would return abortion decisions to the state level. Result: Some states would indeed outlaw it, some would not.
    It’s your choice to live in a state with policies that you do not agree with.
    Some people have the power to affect their choices and some do not.
    This thing called “equality” is more about equal access under the law than it is about “everybody being equal”, because, even if we all ARE equal, our laws are NOT equal, and neither are the states we live in.

  23. adoracle

    Re: “Ron Paul = abortion ban”
    this is not true. It is true that Ron Paul does personally not believe in abortion, but then delivering 4000 precious newborn babies will do that to a guy. The thing that really bothers him the most though, is that it is now legal to abort a baby right up to a couple of minutes prior to what would have otherwise been a birth; this, instead of mandating that the child be saved if viable. I agree with him on that. Further, as a doctor he can be sued if he harms a fetus, mothers can be prosecuted for endangering a fetus. Scott Peterson was convicted of two murders, one unborn upon death. A grown woman can abort right up to the point of birth no problem, but if a terrified teen delivers a baby during lunch at school, panics and throws it in the trash 10 seconds AFTER birth, well she goes right to jail, do not pass go…so which is it? Baby one was just as viable when the woman in the first example legally killed her fetus as the second baby was when the girl in the second example illegally killed hers.

    Having explained all that, I would add that Congressman Dr. Paul wishes to overturn Roe vs Wade for the sole purpose of taking the legislation of abortion out of the hands of the feds and putting it back into the hands of the individual states. Under such conditions, I cannot imagine that all 50 states would ban abortion.

    One thing you can count on with that man, if he votes on a bill, its in favor of the costitution, a lower tax burden on the citizenry, and it does not increase the power or control of the federal government at all, in any way. If he votes something down, there is something attached to the bill he is voting against that is either unconstitutional, increasing the hold/power/size/control of the federal government, or is raising the tax burden on the American people…or any combination thereof, every time. See, he actually READS the bills…all of them. Even when you think you disagree with him, if you look further, you will see why he did what he did or said what he said and you will agree with him, even if grudgingly…because he is right.

  24. Steve Horn

    The evangelical Christians don’t want to destroy Islam, they want to bring about the Biblical “end times” – or the end of the world – so they can sit by Gods feet or touch his robes or something. That’s why they’re trying to convert as many Jews as they can – to increase their numbers in preparation for the battle as defined in Revelations – the last chapter of the Bible.

    “They said if the candidate doesn’t call and pander to special interests you can’t raise enough money. But here, we found out the campaign is very spontaneous and volunteers are coming,”

    Bingo – there are a lot of people in this nation of ours who are tired of special interests running the country – are tired of big corporate donors getting preference when it comes to legislation – who despise the flight of tech and manufacturing jobs from the shores of this nation to “developing” countries which every day drive us nearer to being a third world nation. Who hate the fact that our currency is dropping in value every damn day.

    Perhaps a contrarian is just what we need – someone who looks at the excesses of power and greed that have governed this nation for the past 40 years or so and who wants to take America back for the Americans – Jack and Jill six pack – you know – the ever shrinking middle class that pays all the damn bills.



  25. Sandra Price

    Steve you have it absolutely right!

    Ron Paul has stated many times that he will not support a Constitutional Amendment to ban abortions, same sex marriages or end of life choices. He claims the 10th Amendment gives the authority to these threats to be sent to the States. He himself is pro-life but he recognizes the authority is with the states not the federal government.

    I would have preferred to hear him say these are personal and private decisions but he did not.

    Fred Thompson has made the same statements about our personal choices but he is gung ho to wipe Islam off the face of the earth. American does not have the authority, the money, the will of the people and certainly not the man power to fight such an enormous world war.

    We are going to have to learn to live with and respect other religions on this planet starting with the religions or lack thereof here in America.

    The arrogance within the Christians must be told to sit down and shut up. If they want to end up in Paradise then put a gun in their mouths and be done with it.

  26. jarrodlombardo

    I’m strongly pro-choice, but I agree with Paul’s view as regards abortion law: It’s far out of the purview of the federal government to ban or uphold the availability of abortion because it is clearly a state and/or individual right according to the 9th and 10th amendments. If Paul were to win the presidency, he might try to get the legislature to pass a law making it clear that the abortion issue must be dealt with on a state or local level, but any law like that might be hard to pass with the likely Democratic Senate that will be in place at the time.