View Full Version : Elections Once a fringe candidate, Paul shaping 2012 race

08-15-2011, 08:48 AM
Philip Elliot

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Ron Paul, once seen as a fringe candidate and a nuisance to the establishment, is shaping the 2012 Republican primary by giving voice to the party's libertarian wing and reflecting frustration with the United States' international entanglements.

The Texas congressman placed second in a key early test vote Saturday in Ames, coming within 152 votes of winning the first significant balloting of the Republican nominating contest. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota won the nonbinding Iowa straw poll, but Paul's organizational strength and a retooled focus on social issues set him up to be a serious player in the campaign.

"I believe in a very limited role for government. But the prime reason that government exists in a free society is to protect liberty, but also to protect life. And I mean all life," he told a raucous crowd on Saturday.

"You cannot have relative value for life and deal with that. We cannot play God and make those decisions. All life is precious," he said, opening his remarks with an anti-abortion appeal to the social conservatives who have great sway here in Iowa's leadoff caucuses.

Later Saturday, Paul won 4,671 votes, or roughly 28 percent of the votes from party activists who flocked to a college campus for the daylong political carnival

Paul's narrow second-place finish pushed former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty down to third, leading Pawlenty on Sunday to abandon his effort to challenge President Barack Obama next November.

Four years ago, Paul sought the GOP nomination while talking about economic policy, liberty and the Federal Reserve. Since then, the tea party has risen and seized on those issues, and some regard Paul as one of the movement's godfathers.

"The country's bankrupt, and nobody wanted to admit it. And when you're bankrupt, you can't keep spending," Paul said Thursday during a Fox News Channel debate.

He may lack the broad appeal that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or Texas Gov. Rick Perry are claiming, but Paul's finish Saturday indicated he could compete.

Paul typically does well in such straw polls, which rely on supporters' intensity and organization. His base helped him win straw polls at June's Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans and February's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, and his followers organize online to ensure strong finishes at any contest they can find.

It is part of their effort to get rid of the notion that Paul is a fringe candidate.

Paul's 2008 campaign came up far short of better organized rivals. This time, his advisers are putting together a more serious effort that taps into voters' frustrations with Washington and the fears about the economy.

His aides are working within the system instead of against it. For instance, Paul's base camp for the Iowa straw poll was at the same location Romney used in 2007. Romney won that straw poll after investing heavily from his deep pockets for the prime real estate.

Paul's campaign notes that it won more votes this year than Romney won four years ago during his first bid for the GOP nomination. This year, Romney didn't actively campaign during the straw poll; instead, he is looking at a campaign launch in New Hampshire, which hosts the first primary after Iowa's leadoff caucuses.

Still, Paul finds himself outside the bounds of traditional Republicans. His opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan defines him as a dove. His skepticism toward the Federal Reserve has spooked Wall Street. And his libertarian views on gay rights draw the ire of social conservatives.

He also tweaks Republicans on foreign policy, arguing it isn't the United States' role to police Iran's nuclear program or to enforce an embargo with Cuba.

"Iran is not Iceland, Ron," former Sen. Rick Santorum told Paul during Thursday's debate.

Paul also proves a reliable foil for Democrats.

"In previous presidential campaigns, we might have chalked extreme fringe-type candidates like Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul as an anomaly, (and) the Ames straw poll didn't mean as much," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

"But we're looking at the core of the Republican Party now. The heart of the Republican Party is the extreme right wing," she told CNN.

Paul, a 75-year-old doctor by training, is not backing down.

"These straw poll results, our growing poll numbers and our strong fundraising show that our message is resonating with Iowans and Americans everywhere," campaign chairman Jesse Benton said. "Our message was the same in 2007 as it is now in 2011, but this time we have quadrupled our support. That means our message is spreading, our support is surging and people are taking notice."


08-16-2011, 11:08 PM
CNN Issues An Apology For Mentioning Ron Paul In Media Coverage


CNN Issues An Apology

The Daily Paul
August, 16 2011

CNN Center
Atlanta Georgia

We here at the CNN would like to apologize to many of our viewers. We are profoundly sorry for including Ron Paul’s name in our coverage of the Iowa Ames straw poll. Our headline “Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll narrowly besting Ron Paul” stirred very negative emotions caused painful headaches and extreme discomfort among many Americans.

Here is for example an email from our viewer working for the weapons making arm of Lockheed Martin:

“Dear CNN I could not sleep last night after seeing the positive coverage that you gave to Ron Paul. If he ever becomes president I am certain to lose not just my job but my wife as well. I can’t see myself working at McDonald’s supporting my family”

Another email:

“I am a contractor working in Afghanistan making 300K a year and if this guy this doctor Ron Paul becomes president my dream life will be over.

I plead with you to avoid covering his campaign and if you really have to mention his name please add negative things like “he has no chance to win” and “bottom of the pack” also if you have to show him photoshop the crowds out so that people can only see one or two supporters around him that would really help”

Another letter:

“I am a banker here on Wall Street and I am terrified with this Ron Paul I will no longer be able to obtain bailout money my family depends on.

We are here as bread and butter makers of America we need to be supported.
Ron Paul as president will put us on the street among the New York homeless population — please stop covering Ron Paul enough is enough!”

We at the CNN take seriously the wishes of our viewers.

Starting today anyone working here who attempts to give Ron Paul positive coverage will receive a pink slip on the spot.

We hope our actions not just words will prove to our viewers how deeply we dedicate ourselves to the fair non-biased coverage of political process in our country.


08-16-2011, 11:41 PM
These media pundits will stoop to new lows to defend the system in charge. The comments CNN used, show how descipable and under-handed most of the media is. This is another confirmation that Ron Paul really does have a chance of winning and so they'll stop at nothing to discredit him.
RP is obviously a true constitutionalist and the status quo, main-stream Congress are running scared. The hard left and hard right are freaking that we might actually take our country back from the stranglehold these warmongers have placed us in.

08-17-2011, 11:51 AM

Bet you had almost every Paulite excited there.