Ron Paul says the mainstream is 'swimming' to him
Ron Paul, the conservative Texas congressman running for president faced an uphill battle four years ago when he campaigned. Many, even those in his own party, thought his Libertarian-based views about abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan and ending the war on drugs, for example, were too radical.
Today, Paul believes that the average American agrees with his beliefs more than they think. "The country is more with me now,” Paul told the National Review recently in reference to his consistent stance against U.S. military involvement in the Middle East. That position is rarely agreed to publicly by the GOP, but "tea party" enthusiasts eat it up. Paul says they aren't the only ones.
"The mainstream is swimming this way," the congressman said. "Sixty to 70% of people, maybe even more, are saying after 10 years at war, maybe it is time to try something new."
Paul humbly states that although he expected the change in public opinion, he thought it would be due to the fact that its so expensive to wage two wars with little return.
"I always predicated that our foreign policy is going to change, that we will come home, not because I gave a great speech, but because we are broke," he said.
"This is a powerful political issue," Paul, father of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), told the National Review. "It looks like I care more about people here at home than I do about throwing money down these rat holes around the world, where they tend to give us more trouble than we deserve."
Being mainstream is something Paul seems to be pushing this time around. In late May, he told a crowd in Iowa that his beliefs are logical and generally accepted, thus mainstream.
"Why shouldn't it be mainstream to have balanced budgets and sound money and limited government, personal liberty, keep the federal government out of the business of the state government here in Iowa?" Paul asked the Mason City crowd. "That, to me, seems to be mainstream."
The congressman's name came up a few times in some of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's 24,000-plus emails released Friday. At least two people emailed the hockey mom in 2007 to plant a seed about a possible a Paul-Palin 2008 ticket.
“I thought you might be interested to know that your name surfaced in a discussion of possible vice presidential picks for Ron Paul should he prevail in the primaries,” wrote Jim McClarin of Nashua, N.H., on Dec. 20, 2007.
That same day, an Alaska-based Paul supporter, David Doyle, chimed in, suggesting Palin endorse Paul in hopes of being his VP.
“I think Sarah would be a perfect match for Dr. Paul!” he wrote.
Photo: Republican presidential hopeful, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) greets Aaron Goodro and his son Ian during a campaign stop in Portsmouth, N.H., Friday. Credit: Jim Cole / Associated Press