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Ron Paul launches eight-state ad blitz

January 7, 2008 |  1:44 am

Get ready, California. Here comes Ron Paul! Literally.

After thousands of radio and TV ads bombarded the early-voting states for months, Californians' ears are about to be exposed to the biographical story of Paul, who's gained growing attention in recent weeks for his amazing fundraising success; Paul's fervent followers raised nearly $20 million in the fourth quarter alone, including a new online one-day donation record in excess of $6 million. With those funds, the 72-year-old, 10-term Texas Congressman with the libertarian ideals is launching an eight-state ad campaign on radio stations in California, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, North Dakota, Louisiana, Maine and Florida this week.

The ad is biographical, detailing his background and hinting at his longtime opposition to increased government spending. Here is the ad text:

"Who is Ron Paul, the Republican candidate for president?  Ron Paul served his country as a flight surgeon after the Cuban missile crisis. As a young doctor, Ron Paul worked nights in the emergency room of an inner-city hospital, taking care of everyone, whether they could pay or not. As an ob/gyn, Ron Paul delivered over 4,000 babies. Dr. Ron Paul knows our healthcare system needs real change,   where patients and doctors are in charge, not big corporations or government bureaucrats.

"As a congressman for almost 2 decades, Ron Paul knows our Constitution is there to protect our freedom and limited government. He has never voted for a tax increase or an unbalanced budget. His record clearly shows he will cut taxes and stop runaway spending. People who know him call him the taxpayer's best friend."

Paul, who finished fifth in Iowa with 10% but well ahead of Rudy Giuliani's 4% and could beat the ex-mayor again in New Hampshire, did not have a particularly good weekend. Despite campaigning there, Paul won none of the GOP delegates chosen in Wyoming's caucuses (Romney won there) and he was excluded from Sunday's Fox News debate.

Paul is counting on a strong showing in New Hampshire on Tuesday, where he's been advertising and mobilizing volunteers for weeks, to propel him to an even higher profile heading on to South Carolina and Michigan. His vocal followers have formed more than 1,200 meet-up groups across the country and appear to be an eclectic, determined collection of disaffected Democrats, Republicans and libertarians, including numerous previously uninvolved in active politics who like Paul's idea of smaller government and bringing most American troops home.

“We are the people who care about the country and the Constitution,” Paul said the other day. “I don’t think we’re going to let it die.”

And tonight, Paul himself will be in California. It seems his exclusion from Sunday's Fox News GOP debate resulted in an invite for his second appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"  on NBC. Hey, it worked for Mike Huckabee last week, who chatted with Jay on the eve of the Iowa caucus and then won.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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