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Ron Paul gets some revenge

An easily overlooked aspect of the Iowa caucuses -- Ron Paul not only besting Rudy Giuliani, but doing so by more than 2-to-1 -- sparked a trip down memory lane for us.

It was mid-May, and the former mayor of New York was riding high following one of the early debates among the Republican presidential candidates. The primo sound bite had been a snap to identify: Giuliani's outraged, impassioned reply to Paul's assertion that U.S. foreign policy, especially the periodic bombing of Iraq in the aftermath of 1991's Gulf War, was to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks.

Giuliani, not waiting to be called upon, seized the moment by terming Paul's comment "an extraordinary statement" and urging the Texas congressman to retract it (which Paul did not).

To give Paul his due, even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 -- when the emotional response to the assault was at its rawest -- serious scholars had begun hashing over the role played by American policy in the Mideast, particularly long-standing support for Israel, in fueling Islamic extremism and hatred for the U.S. But in the format of a candidate debate -- where rhetorical zingers count far more than lengthy discourse -- Paul's remark amounted to a grooved fast ball down the middle, and the consensus at the time was that Giuliani parked it.

As MSNBC's online political note put it at the time, Giuliani may want to "hire out Paul for the campaign trail -- he could be the Washington Generals to Rudy's Globetrotters" (i.e., the patsy willing to get beaten in every game).

That was then, this is now. In Iowa, Paul, 10%; Giuliani, 4%.

-- Don Frederick

Comments () | Archives (94)

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Look at the source data as of 10:01 pm PST. Ron Paul may be 5th but 253 votes separate 3rd, 4th and 5th

1. Mike Huckabee 5,635
2. Mitt Romney 3,163
3. John McCain 1,853
4. Fred Thompson 1,842
5. Ron Paul 1,600
6. Rudy Giuliani 418
7. Duncan Hunter 44
8. Alan Keyes 20

We currently have 1749 Counties/Precincts in our system, with
54.49% of precincts reporting in.
The total number of votes cast thus far: 14,575

Here's a few things people are overlooking. Dr. Paul didn't put a lot of money into Iowa. Evangelicals vote for evangelicals without looking at the message or policy. New Hampshire and Wyoming will be a different story. He picked up 2 delegates tonight without a whole lot of effort. The third place finishers only picked up one more than him. Not bad for a "fringe" candidate that doesn't stand a chance!

Right on Don Frederick. This article is a nice, grooved fast ball down the middle. A+++++++

actually, Giuliani is 3.46% (which is usually rounded down to 3% since it's less than half the way to four)


Ron Paul's supporters have always known that Iowa was a tough state. The same straw polls that have shown Ron Paul winning most states also showed 5th place in Iowa. So this is an awesome victory today!!! 10% AND beating Giuliani. And lets not buy this "Giuliani wasn't even trying" stuff. He didn't try because he knew it was a tough state for him, just like Ron Paul. At least we tried and got 10%!! Go Ron Paul!

No meaningful conclusions can be drawn by comparing Ron Paul's showing negatively to Huckabee, for whom Iowa is merely a fluke, nor positively to Giuliani who wasn't campaigning in Iowa.

The important thing is that in the last several weeks he has shot up FIVEFOLD from 2 to 10 percent. And even MORE significant is that tonight Mitt Romney, even with all his name recognition and free media hype, only received somewhat more than double the number of votes Paul did, instead of twelve times as many, as would have been the case had the contest been held when Paul was still at 2 per cent.

This election season is often compared to a horse race, and I see a certain dark horse closing pretty damn fast on the front runners!

Cant wait to see how Dr Paul does in New Hampshire. Think he'll gain a couple positions there. Great to see Julie Annie get put in his place tonight. He has no business being president.

Go Ron Go!

Hey Rudy, SCOREBOARD sucker.

Please don't implant a chip in me if you somehow do win though...

Thanks for the blog post.

Wow, I'm really surprised to see someone in the media actually giving Dr. Paul some credit. From an estimated four percent to ten percent in a week is quite a huge jump.

Most of the mainstream media around the world seem to be mentioning Guiliani (4% of the vote) and neglecting to mention Dr. Paul (10%)

Nice job in the objectivity department, LA Times!

I am glad Mr. Frederick fielded this one. Otherwise the headline might be, "Ron Paul loses miserably, Giuliani shrugs" If this isn't the end, it's the begining of a very large change in American politics, that might last decades.

Well-made point and you're right about Paul's significant victory over Giuliani being easily overlooked. But not by us Paul supporters. I take note and am encouraged. Nearly every day I run into someone who has not yet heard of Ron Paul or doesn't know much about him. In less than 15 minutes of summing up his positions, most people become very interested in him, go on to check him out more thoroughly and become Ron Paul supporters themselves. The caucus showed that Ron Paul indeed has more support than the traditional polls show, and I expect this support to continue to grow.

10% is just the beginning for the Champion of the Constitution! Once the dirt starts flying on the Huckster, Mitt, and McCain, and some of them can't finance their campaigns any longer, the tides will turn and liberty will prevail. New Hampshire is fertile territory for Ron Paul.

If he got the ink that Huck got, he might have really made some noise. I wonder how many people in Iowa knew about the San Francisco Republican Alliance straw poll that was canceled at the last second to keep Paul from winning?

Very few, I'll bet. With the media basically ignoring him whenever they can, while constantly talking about his rivals, 10 percent isn't bad at all, especially in a non-libertarian state like Iowa. Also, he was the only candidate other than Huckabee and Romney to actually carry a county - Jefferson County.

I write this with extreme caution, as my hatred of the LA Times for crimes upon those that will go *Unnamed* --
Batter up.
Who's knockin' at yer door?


Hi. I have to say that I watched the debate that you mention and I wonder often how it is that we all see things so differently. You see, I come from the midwest and maybe that makes my view point a little different, but at the time I was just so pleased to hear Ron Paul say what I considered pretty obvious. He did put a name to it for me ... blow back, but up until then I pretty much had the same idea. Mr. G is pretty much a blow hard. I was thrilled to see him put into his place that night, and that was my take on the situation.

I am also very happy to See that Ron Paul has thwarted him once again.

I think all candidates deserve respect. Hope this earns the Good Doctor his fair share.

10% in Iowa for Ron Paul was a victory. Let's not forget that this is the state that saw Mr. Clinton getting 3% of the vote in the caucuses the year he WON and that the year George HW Bush won he got spanked by Bob Dole and Pat Robertson! Iowa is a notoriously "vote your religion not the issues" state, and Paul doesn't wear his religion on his sleeve. Huckajesus was going to be the obvious winner, Romney next because at least he seems religious even if its not the right religion, Thompson next because all the old religious types like his TV show, and McCain next because they can at least recognize him. My prediction? Paul places 2nd in New Hampshire...

I just wanted to say that I have not been hearing a lot about the GOP Wyoming caucus coming up on Jan 5th. But reading about it online, it seems as though there are a lot of Dr. Paul supporters out there. I hope that our campaign can pay a bit of attention to Wyoming as well. I was a bit sad with the results but I know we can do better.

Mike Huckabee said "the way to end the (Iraq) war is to win it". Huckabee has made this statement quite a few times. COULD SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME what Huckabee plans to 'win' in Iraq. Why hasn't a journalist questioned him on this? Americans would figure out Huckabee (unlike Ron Paul) has NO foreign policy.

A true Christian wouldn't be so hypocritical & deceptive as Mike Huckabee has been. A true Christian wouldn't use religious symbols for personal gain like MIke Huckabee has done. And true Christians shouldn't be supporting such a dishonorable man like Mike Huckabee.

It's truly amazing what you can get away with in American politics when you wrap yourself with the American flag and you hold up a cross. Maybe these Evangelicals should take their head out of the bible and actually ask a few questions and do a bit of research on the candidate before they vote. Haven't they learned anything from this horrible nightmare called Bush.

The only presidential candidate who talks about peace is Ron Paul. Not only does he sound like a true Christian, but he the only one who acts like one too! "Ye shall know them by the fruits of their labor"

Make that 29 to 1.

As in the Score among INDEPENDENTS = Ron 29 / Rudy 1

Rudy "Mr. Electable" nearly gets skunked and Ron Paul, the real Big Tent Republican, takes the day among the Independents who are the KEY to winning any general election. If you want to TRUTHFULLY talk about electability, the discussion starts and ends with Ron Paul in the Republican Party.

According to Exit Polls, Paul won Independents by a commanding margin:

Paul - 29%
JM - 23%
MR - 19%
MH - 17%
FT - 8%
RG - 1%
HT - 0%

Bravo Ron Paul. We have one of the first true "Statesmen" running for president against bought and sold politicians. Go Ron Paul 2008.

I like Ron Paul and many of his ideas, but he has no chance of becoming president. It's a protest vote from the libertarian part of the Republican party, just like Huckabee is a protest vote from the Christian segment of the party.

It seems like the Republicans are tearing the party apart between Christian conservatives, fiscal hawks, defense hawks, and libertarians. This coalition worked for a long time under Reagan, but it's falling apart at the seams now.

I can't help but be a little disappointed. But interestingly enough things could change even in Iowa by the time the delegates are actually selected. Not that I'm counting on this.

I do expect much better in NH. Huckabee is a scary man. He's so slick. But I don't think he can sustain his campaign. He has no cash.

I think that Ron Paul's campaign needs to analyze the results, look at the counties where they did well and compare that to the efforts of their volunteers and staffers.

For instance, did the hand-written letters have an impact? The Phone banks? The canvassing? The radio ads? Pick the things that produced results and carry those through to the next states. There are still 49 to go. Dr. Paul is right, it isn't the end, it's the beginning.

Not only did RP beat Giuliani by almost 3-to-1 (with 96% of precincts reporting), we beat him in every county except Cass County. We came in second in a few counties, and WON Jefferson. Woohoo! Go, Ron Paul!

County-level results:

My summation-
The NeoCons have taken over the party, using the Apocalypse as a tool to dig oil. Like the land of milk and honey they rapeth uipon the ultimate bearings of the tender of the wheat in the lands of the desolate.
They steal they lie they cheat, they try to win.
The NEO-LIBERALS, conversely, have suceeded in TAKING from the hand outstretched. The NeoCIones STEAL, the NeoLibs hold up the hand of the theif.
THIS will be their downfall.
if we see it for what it is= if we look around and see the bullets flying about our heads, we can DUCK.
If only Dick would have said those words...
things would have been different.

More like 3:1 for Ron Paul, with Rudy barely over 3%.

Huckster's win and Ron Paul's double-digit showing should serve as a huge rebuke to the TV networks that doled out air time in their debates based on meaningless early poll standings. There was no justification for it, and yet no one seems to be calling them on it.

I'm not worried about the early (relatively) low percentage of Ron Paul, because I know he will likely win, because Americans are tired with illegal immigration and want to fox this mess and self-deport illegals!

Giuliani probably still thinks he won that exchange. In fact, it was the exact point where his campaign began to fade.

Ron Paul standing up to the the war and fear-mongering Giuliani in that debate has since become one of the elements in hundreds of youtube videos. Intelligent people from all parties have seen in Rudy's rebuttal from that night his shocking ignorance in foreign policy. In fact, the more Rudy talks and gets exposure, the worse his poll numbers become. Maybe it is because voters are realizing he has very little experience outside of being the Mayor of New York? Or maybe it is all the videos of him prancing around in a dress. So very Presidential.

Rudy's plan of campaigning in the big states will look more and more foolish in the next few weeks. He will have a harder and harder time explaining all the major defeats. By the time Super Tuesday comes around, there will be nothing left of Rudy.

When MSNBC viewers voted on who they thought won that debate, they voted overwhelmingly for Ron Paul, not Giuliani. That the pundits have completely ignored this point irks me to no end. Giuliani's "rhetorical zinger" was devoid of intellectual content, and I think that the viewers realized this. The pundits have so little faith in American voters.

I think that Ron Paul is preparing a long campaign: he has strong ideas and now he has even a lot of money. And I am sure that after this good score in Iowa, New Hampshire will give him other satisfactions. Libertarian America needs it, and all the lovers of freedom in the world are waiting for it.

The media black-out on Ron Pal's message of Freedom & Liberty has taken a toll but Iowa proves that the momentum is building and that the People will be heard. Just as Giuliani was not the gift of 2008, as the media had touted him, so too will the media be wrong about Ron Paul. He will be the next president.

At 58 years of age I finally found a candidate that believes as I do. He has wholeheartedly supported the Constitution throughout his career. It is not some quaint, out of date document. From Democrat to Independent and now a registered Republican, I find I never knew what the Republican Party was meant to be until now. The reason is that the party has drifted away from its own roots. Don’t believe me! Read the Republican Party Platform of 1856:

Ron Paul’s messages are so common sense and all you need to do is follow the Constitution. His messages tell of known wrongs and what the Constitution says we should do about it. Many of these were written about in 1971 in a book called, “None Dare Call It Conspiracy”. Try:

Anyone that has not watched Ron Paul videos or looked at his voting record are doing their grandchildren a very great disservice. Ron Paul is America’s future.

Visit: and see what the revolution is about.

The entrance polls show that IA GOP voters were 70% heavily pro-bush evangelicals. If we can get 10% of that voter base, we are much much higher already nationally that polls currently suggest. Also notice that we took 29% of independents, and a whopping 54% of the ANGRY anti-bush crowed, which wasn't that big in IA, but will be in other states.

Rupert Murdochs Newscorp certainly have made it their sole purpose to exclude Dr Paul from any decent news, and in a way a purposeful blacklisting of his campaign. The NEOCons are surely worried that the people may discover Liberty remains with one candidate, bringing the troops home imediately, getting rid of the FED and actually telling the truth whilst knowing SOMETHING about history and foreign policy only side with Dr Paul. Only Dr Paul has shown he can be trusted and to still see numbers of people vote because, "shes a woman" or "hes black" or hes the 911 guy is rediculous, where people STILL forget the issues at hand. Have not they learnt after Bush, and other Presidents that have led the US into wars with dubious reasons.
The time is at hand, and the lives of millions depend on your votes. The last thing that is needed is another flip flopping, corporate supporting, cash taking, lying warmonger in power again.
Please spread the word, because the media wont, they protect their profits too.

Whoopy-doopy... Ron Paul beat the Guy that Didn't Show Up?

Looks like Iowan's threw Rudy off the ferry and let Ron Paul stay on. Ruuuuuuudy - where are you?

Looks like Iowan's threw Rudy off the ferry and let Ron Paul stay on. Ruuuuuuudy - where are you?

Ron Paul lost big time because he failed to discuss the issues that would have gotten 75% of Republican males to back him regardless of their support for the WOT.

Ron Paul could have discussed Internet regulation. Heck, he could have told American males "The Dems now agree with the Republicans on banning pornography". At least 75% of war hawks like buying pornography.

I am serious. Being anti-war and stressing that will only get you 10% or 15% tops. But being pro-free speech will get you 40% especially if you force your opponents to say they are NOT in favor of that.

Romney thinks it is "just tough" that new laws allow men to be more easily falsely accused of rape and abuse. Why not have Ron Paul confront him directly on these issues in a debate.

Ron Paul, instead, sets himself up for marginalization (even when it is a 10% or 15% marginalization) when he just talks about the war on terror in debates.

Hahahha @ Guliani
Any who ...I have seen some very intelligent remarks up there like the fact that Bush and Clinton got low scores and still became president...
The fact that Huckabee was escorted to the throne by evangelicals...I bet Pat Robertson feels silly endorsing Rudolf now! I hope that wasn't the holy spirit's decision Pat!
Any who again...Yeah really Ron Paul didn't put allot of effort in, but the seeds of lovers of freedom after years of being choked by the weeds of tyranny are starting to blossom again...

It will be good to see a new beginning to the constitution.
I mean I was a die hard democrat hate republicans kind of guy, until it dawned me hey it's true, Why do we send millions and billions for Aids research to other nations... Some people may think oh it's heartless not to endorse such a plan...
Actually people like Ron Paul are not saying you cannot do it as such he's just saying it's unfair to use tax dollars to do that there are many people opposed to it so their rights are respected too...
Hmmmm and the views about abortion gay marriages state issues, it will be different in different states really reflects the demographics of America...again
I also see the spirit of Christ working in Ron Paul allot more than with those other guys peace and a very good new year indeed!.

Don thank you for this write up. WOW! Double digits for Ron Paul. I am sure the old media is beside themselves now, especially after saying he was a longshot for so long and would never get double digits. Foxnews/ABC has no reason or excuse to exclude Ron Paul from their New Hampshire debates and Forum scheduled for this weekend. Since Giuliani had such a poor showing in Iowa I believe he is the one that will be excluded. Ron Paul meets the set criteria that Foxnews/ABC made for candidates to be included in their New Hampshire Debates and Forum as printed earlier this week. Ron Paul surpassed Rudy, now that is a true victory. Ron Paul has raised enough in donations (19.5 million-4th qtr) to keep going for the long haul. Now we are off to New Hampshire for a much stronger showing of support. Huckabeen has had his 15 minutes of fame, it's time for the Ron Paul Revolution.

Ron Paul for the long haul!!!


Guiliani wasn't competing in Iowa, so beating him is nice but not too significant.

What is significant is that Paul supporters showed up: 10% of an entire state's republicans. The Iowa caucus is no straw poll (of which Ron Paul has been winning many). It shows Paul's support is fervent but not limited to a small "core" of support. There are easily thousands like that in every state.

Also, Paul had WOMEN show up!... in a ratio of 11:8, men to women. So there are some!

Not to mention that Paul pulled in over 50% of the voters who were "ANGRY" about Bush and 21% of the 18-27 age bracket. This means Paul is clearly the Republican's youth candidate, their disaffected, anti-republican Republican candidate, and generally just a solid, very much in-the-running, candidate.

Lastly, a mere 200-300 votes behind McCain and Thompson. That's pretty impressive. This means Paul can be called a "long-shot" and a "kook" but never outright dismissed as less of a candidate than any of the top 6 Republicans... at least until February 5th.

It was not a bad day in Iowa.

Maybe Iowans have caught on to the fact that Giuliani is a total fascist who will amp up the police state like nothing we've seen since Franklin Roosevelt started throwing Japanese Americans in internment camps (and Giuliani might do even worse things, for all we know). Looking at all of the "top tier" candidates of both parties -- and trying to keep from losing one's lunch in the process -- it is clear that all of them think they are running for dictator. There doesn't seem to be any area of your life they don't want to control, whether it be your wallet, your health, your guns, etc. That is why so many people -- many more than the corporate-controled, propaganda-peddling mainstream news media are willing to tell us -- support Ron Paul. He is a once-in-a-hundred years candidate who believes in something for which every other politician at the national level has nothing but contempt: individual freedom. There are still a few Americans left who, having overcome the brainwashing to which they were subjected in the centers of state worship known as our schools, don't want the government to do anything but leave us alone, and leave the rest of the world alone as well. Dr. Paul is the only candidate since Barry Goldwater -- and Paul far surpasses Goldwater -- who champions these principles. That is precisely why there has been a virtual blackout of him in much of the media. Despite his stance against the big-money interests, particularly the bankers and the military industrial complex, Dr. Paul still managed to raise more money in one day than anyone else has ever done. There is a reason for that and it has a lot more to do with freedom than the internet.


Way to go Jefferson County, Iowa! Ron Paul - winner in Jefferson county! Way to stand up and make a difference. There is hope for America after all.

Ron Paul 2008 - let's make it happen!

I continue to be impressed with the fairness of Top of the Ticket, especially in the light of a rather boisterous display of incivility by some Ron Paul supporters in the early days of coverage.

I don't always agree with the analyses, but the thoughtfulness behind them is always evident. Thanks, Don.

So, let me get this straight. Ron Paul wins Jefferson County, presumably named after Thomas Jefferson, whom Ron Paul is more like than any of the other candidates. Maybe the people in Jefferson County actually understand what their namesake stood for and they voted in kind. Good for them.

Thank you LA Times for giving Ron Paul some very well deserved and objective coverage. It seems most of the players in mainstream media are pretending Ron Paul doesn't exist. The truth cannot be denied forever. Go Ron Paul, Go!

What Don points out here is something I believe many Ron Paul supporters believed would happen.

But it is not so much Dr. Paul's revenge (Dr. Paul is not like that) as it is Rudy Giuliani's self-inflicted come-uppance.

After Rudy's rudeness to Ron Paul in a couple of debates last year two other GOP candidates followed suit (calculatedly so to my mind).

Huckabee confronted Dr. Paul with the essential implication that our government's wars abroad are not to be stopped by the people of our nation, but born by them without question simply because our government started them in our names and our "honor" must be vindicated.

McCain chided Congressman Paul as an isolationist of the variety that gave rise to Hitler.

Giuliani got his come-uppance.

Perhaps McCain and Huckabee are due.

CNN would not even list Ron Paul on the PIE Chart on last nights coverage. They left him and Giuliani off of it. They did not even mention him the entire time I watched. Amazing. Even his hometown paper the Houston Chronicle puts a stinging spin on it.

Rudy's actually at 3%, 4013 votes for Rudy out of 116,119 votes = 3.46% which is rounded DOWN to 3% or 3 1/2% if you want to get "technical." but this is w/ just 96% of precincts reporting. Ron's at a solid 9.99% which is a lot closer to 10% than Rudy is to 4%.


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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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