Paul criticizes Dems and GOP, elevates tea party, Occupy movement
December 23rd, 2011
10:51 AM ET
3 years ago

Paul criticizes Dems and GOP, elevates tea party, Occupy movement

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul rolled out some equal opportunity scorn late Thursday in Iowa, criticizing Democrats and Republicans while elevating the concerns of the tea party and Occupy Wall Street movements.

But before he zinged the two political parties, the Texas congressman began his speech in front of over 300 people in Cedar Rapids with a joke about a matter he takes very seriously.

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"I was told we were having a little trouble with our microphone," Paul said as the mic screeched with mild feedback. "First thing I thought was, 'Ben Bernanke got to us, you know. It was a sabotage. The Fed is after me.'"

"Thank you very much for coming," Paul continued. "We have been very busy these last couple of days. And we've been very encouraged. Has anybody noticed that the polls have changed significantly?"

Polls have recently showed Paul either leading in Iowa or near the top, presenting the prospect that the congressman could win the first in the nation caucuses on Jan. 3.

Part of Paul's appeal: a libertarian message that includes ending the Federal Reserve, keeping the U.S. out of war, dismantling the Department of Education and dramatically lowering spending. The candidate has suggested cutting $1 trillion in the first year of a Paul administration.

But Paul's supporters also applaud his speaking out against political opponents, outside and inside his own party.

The tactic was on display during the candidate's Cedar Rapids speech.

"You know, the other Republicans have been rather challenging," Paul said, not identifying whether he was talking generally about his GOP critics or his rivals in the presidential race.

"They'll say, 'It's impossible – he's out of step. He wants to balance the budget. That's being out of step.' Then they say, 'How in the world can he get crowds out and get support? He wants to end all the war and bring the troops home,'" Paul said, prompting loud applause.

The candidate also criticized a former U.S. leader, though again not by name, and seemed to criticize the motives of defense hawks within the GOP.

"We were advised, many years ago, by a Republican president who said, 'Watch out – there's an alliance between the military and the Congress. And they will beat the drumbeat of war. Scare the people, there's another Hitler coming. They're going to bomb us. And we have to attack another country,'" Paul said. "How many Hitlers have we had here in the last 30 years? They always have to have an enemy in order to have to spend the money and buy more and more weapons."

That kind of language, and Paul's positions on U.S. military defense policies, cause some conservatives to suggest that Paul has no chance of winning the Republican nomination. The congressman frequently beats back that notion.

And yet his criticizing both political parties – even elevating two controversial yet politically opposed movements - also raises some eyebrows.

At one point during his speech, Paul said: "The American people are waking up….They're tired of what they heard from the two parties and get promises."

"If the Democrats promise one thing, then they get in and act like Republicans. Republicans promise something, they get in and act like Democrats. But the people are upset. They are getting angry. They are speaking out and I think it's very healthy."

"We have a tea party movement, we have an Occupy movement and people are saying, 'We've had enough. We don't want to be ripped off anymore. We want to do away with this crony corporatism and we want to restore individual liberty for each and every American citizen,'" Paul added.

– Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN


Also see:

Bush 41 carefully backs Romney

Gingrich uses another tele-town hall to dispel negative attacks

Romney's austerity message raises some voters' concerns

Bachmann, Santorum and Huntsman not on Virginia ballot


Filed under: 2012 • Occupy Wall Street • Ron Paul • Tea Party movement
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Sorry old man but you have to get off the fence. Nits either the tea baggers or Occupy. You can't be behind both.
    When you lose and go back home why don't you travel to Egypt with that son of yours. They like to beat up women also for speaking up for their rights. Make sure yourngoons go sit you because you can hardly walk straight!

    December 23, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. anagram_kid

    Libertarianism looks great on paper and that is where it should stay. It might work in a very small population with an agricultural economy, where peer pressure forces responsibility, but a large population with a very complex economy, that includes faceless multinational corporations, requires regulation. The fact that we have to post speed limits in school zones and have signs in restrooms reminding people to wash their hands is all the proof I need that we are not ready for libertarianism.

    December 23, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Ron Paul supporters do not want to talk about the real Ron Paul and his entire record.
    Even Ron Paul doesn't want to talk about the real Ron Paul and his entire record.

    Ron Paul supporters have cried for the spotllight on their candidate. So far he has run from it.

    December 23, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. Logic in LA

    This man is not a Republican.To be a member of a political party you must follow their thinking and he does not. He may call himself a Republican but there is nothing in his voting, speaking or actions that say "Republican"
    This by the way , is not a bad thing. Just an observation.
    I can't call myself a a Christian and not believe in Christ.

    December 23, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Nash

    My question to Paul supporter, how does he plan to accomplish what he is promising with a Congress that is sustained by defense spending special interest? This is will never be accomplished in this day and time, not to mention the jobs tied to the defense industry.

    December 23, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Leeds

    Paul makes so much sense but his foriengn policy ruins him. Washington has become so corrupt it seems difficult to think any one person can turn it around. GOP thought Bush would turn it around and he spent like a sailor. Dems thought Obama and he spent like three sailors, and gave us Obamacare and Solyndra (thinks he is a green energy Czar) as his vision for America. We had Clinton and Reagan as our last good leaders and we haven’t had a winner since.

    December 23, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Common Sense

    I'll just write what everyone knows: Ron Paul is a kook and so is his son, Rand. Completely unelectable

    December 23, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. anagram_kid

    Brian wrote, “Freedom to sink or swim on your own…” That is a big problem since none of us are on our own. You share this country with millions of others. Personally, I would rather share it with educated, healthy, employable people. It benefits you Brian when others succeed, so how is not beneficial to you to help them reach that success? Also, did you obtain all of your success all on your own? I doubt it.

    December 23, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. LibertyMama

    More liberty and less taxes is a radical idea... the founding fathers were radicals, but they were right.

    December 23, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Thai

    I have my disagreements with Ron Paul–mainly on domestic issues, but the Office of the President doesn't have unchecked power over any of the domestic issues. Economic issues are handled by Congress and influenced by the President, not dictated by the President. Social issues are actually issues that are fought out on the streets with peaceful protesting (think MLK, JR). Presidents and Congresses simply give into the people's desires on social issues after the people show what they want–regardless of the personal feelings of the actual President and Congresspeople.

    Wars, however, are controlled by the President, and for the past few decades the President has been able to go to war (or end the war) without Congressional approval. Therefore, when considering a candidate for President, his stance on war is the most important aspect of his candidacy.

    And I agree with Ron Paul 100% on his views on war.

    So he gets my vote, even though I actually on Obama on more total issues than with Paul. It's just that if I look at the areas where the President has unchecked power, I agree with Paul more than anyone else.

    December 23, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Scott

    @MN Mom

    Have you read any of his works? I have. The argument is that government proves to raise costs on lower class and middle Americans when they get involved in Healthcare. Historically, the percentages of Americans insured with Healthcare has decreased the more and more government gets involved, because the expense gets to high and individuals can't afford it, and then companies can't afford it.

    I suggest you read a little more as to the reasoning behind his philosophies, because most scholars will say it makes the most sense.

    Sure, healthcare might not be given out by the government, but under a Paul philosophy, reducing access to lawsuits and letting markets decide pricing, you wouldn't have "free healthcare", but the cost would be half or a quatrer what it is today, which would make it vary much more accessible.

    "Accessible" is a relative term. Acceptable exam for $200? Or an acceptable exam at $50? Would it be better to have government dolling out the $200 exam fee and forcing individuals not to afford it out of pocket? Or make it affordable by getting government out of the regulations?

    December 23, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Scott

    @anagram_kid

    The government's involvement in inflating house prices, education prices, healthcare prices, oil prices, food prices, all contribute to low income and middle income families having to spend more on every day goods. This feeds the rich, as the prices rise because government is eager to give everyone a "fair shot" by simply paying for it and then putting the debt on the person or society.

    That is a stupid tactic. How many Americans went into a loan that was twice the amount of what the market would have said the price fo a house was? How much debt will the pay and interest will they pay to some big banking firm?

    How many students will go to the State University and rack up $50k of debt because the government hands out free loans? Why WOULDN'T the Universities raise prices on students because there are more applicants than availability? That is supply and demand. Demand goes through the roof, prices go up. And the stduents get the debt.

    We should all read one of his books before jumping to conclusions, because by golly, he is so right on so many things.

    December 23, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. Mark

    He and his followers are the only ones who have woken up from the "Matrix" ( the crazy corrupt US political/ Fed Reserve system), and the "agents" (GOP/DEMS/Media) are after him and his followers.

    December 23, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  14. ObamaJoe

    Wow,,,,,,,,,,,,,he has a golden tie now,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Good for you ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Paul,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Wish you will win Iowa,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    December 23, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. .Ralph

    Ron Paul, isn't any different than Ross Perot; both extreeme fringe canadates with Ideology that appeal to only a few, AND, would be detrimental to the USA as a whole.

    December 23, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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