Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Ron Paul spoke to a nearly packed hall of about 1,000 Republicans in Iowa on Saturday – reiterating frequent campaign themes of increased individual liberty and reduced government spending and entanglement in foreign wars.
Moments after the Republican presidential candidate walked out, over half the audience walked out as well.
The mass exit of seemingly Paul supporters suggests the Texas congressman stands a good chance of winning the National Federation of Republican Assemblies' presidential straw poll. Results will be announced later on Saturday.
Paul is a perennial favorite at these types of non-binding vote tallies that gauge a candidate's popularity.
The congressman kicked off the event, only one of two presidential candidates to appear in person. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum followed Paul. Anita Perry, wife of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, also addressed the gathering. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich delivered a video message to the group.
For his part, Paul restated libertarian qualms with the government: the Federal reserve is dangerous for the nation's economic health, Americans should be wary of the government's privacy violations, there's been a steady erosion of liberties, and the U.S. spends too much.
Paul's most sustained applause came when he pressed that the U.S. should disengage from virtually all involvement in wars abroad.
"I fear much more the erosion of the protections of our liberties here at home and the erosion of our economy than I do from any foreign adversary," Paul said.
The congressman continued by criticizing the U.S. "dropping drones in Pakistan," and the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
"Maybe our policies are flawed," Paul said. "I think it's time for us to come home and mind our own business."
That elicited sustained applause from the audience. This despite many conservatives frequently stressing that the U.S. should maintain a strong and active military, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Recently, many of Paul's fellow presidential candidates – including Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich – decried President Obama's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year.
"This country needs to wake up and quit lying to itself," Paul said. "Whether its on the economics or foreign policy."
–Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN
Hey Southern Hottie, maybe you should look closer at Dr. Paul's platform. He consistently argues for trade with all countries. His stance is that we would be better to talk/trade with other nations instead of putting a military presence there and dealing with the unintended consequences that inevitably come when bombs blow up more than they should. That to me sounds like a much better plan for a "global economy." Also, can you tell me what the Department of Education does?
@southernhottie: You seem to have arrived at the party a bit late, dear. We've all established he's not an isolationist – he's a non-interventionist. Big difference. As far as tailors go, I think it's a brilliant tactic to create a sticky visual of an ill-fitting suit as it says, "I'm not a suit. Therefore, I'm not slick." Finally, oh uneducated one, eliminating the Department of Education will make this country smarter because local school districts will finally be freed-
up to radically change the ways and means by which they educate. This is your brain on Obama. This is your brain on Ron Paul. Any questions?
Admittedly I do not like Cain at all, or most of the other candidates either, but it it was still disrespectful to at least not let him speak -and he was right to call them out – as it would be for any candidate.
As for Paul...I am an undecided independent, so not for against him yet ...but I don't see a snow ball's chance in h@ll of him getting nominated But don't blame anyone else, don't bother blaming media, blame your own voter's in the GOP that just aren't into him.
Okay, MSM and CNN. We are on to your amateur antics. Paul has no chance and loads up his peanut gallery to stuff the boxes at these meaningless straw polls. And you try to pump him up, as it only takes away from serious candidates like Romney and Perry. You have failed.
Southern Hottie, you come close to saying something substantive about foreign policy but stop short of it. If you're focused on the cut of a candidate's clothing, maybe that is distracting you from more important matters? As to "career politician," while it is true that Paul has served in Congress over 20 years, he is a physician (you refer to him as "Mr. Paul, so perhaps you were not aware of that.) and served in the Air Force. I suspect that he has more years spent in apolitical endeavors than has, say President Obama or VP Biden. Do you think they are career politicians who should retire?
I've been a Republican for 30 years, and I will again vote for this man. Only person out there who just plain spills the beans.
rp is not isolationism, he is about trading and keeping friendly and diplomatic relations with other countries, rather than using its military empire as a bully to do as it pleases, like obama is doing now by putting in radicalists in power in the midde east. do non rp supporters have a problem with dipomacy first and not putting in radicals in powe or giving iraq to iran as obama and bush did? such things don't make the us safer, but radicalization of islam makes the us more unsafe.
"Why do his suit jackets always seem to large – are they trying to make him look more robust than he really is? He's way over the hill to run for such an important job. Maybe the Pope can be elected when he's already ancient, but not the President."
Is that all you got, bad tailoring and ageism?
"What century is Mr. Paul in? Isolationism will not work in the 21st century. Welcome to the global economy, Mr. Paul. Also, doesn't his platform want to eliminate the Department of Education? Yeah, okay. Mr. Paul needs a tailor and an overdue retirement from being a career politician.
THAT ONE/BIDEN 2012"
Got any substance to your rant, or are you just another liberal idiot who overdosed on the O-bomb-ya Kool-Aid?
Hey "Southern Hottie" you should review Dr. Paul's platform because you have it all wrong. Ron Paul is NOT an isolationist. He in a non-interventionist. And eliminating the Department of Education has nothing to do with eliminating actual education. He wants to let local school districts have more control over education rather than letting the federal government tell schools what they need to be doing.
Ron Paul is the only honest and truthful politician in the race right now. He doesn't accept lobbyist money and is not in the pockets of big banks.
GO RON PAUL!!!
A little revolution, now and then, is a good thing.
Go Dr. Paul!
am i the only one who caught "...decried President Obama's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year." president obama didnt just decide that, Bush did a lllonngg time ago... remember that press confrence when that guy threw his shows at ol' W... thats when he agreed to bringing all troops home by dec. 31 2011... obama is just stealing the credit... Rob Paul 2012
threw his shoes***
For your information Southern Hottie Mr. Paul hasn't bought into the government retirement program.He wants to put departments like the education department back in the hands of the states,and he wants to restore our country.Obviously you are just running your mouth,and haven't got a clue where he stands on the issues.Before you fix the world,you have to fix your own country.
He already won. The straw poll is more important than 94 bickering elderly folks that chose Santorum????? Seriously...Santorum???? That's crazy. Scott S. and southern hottie you couldn't be more wrong. Richard Duffin you nailed it on the head. Nice job RON PAUL 2012 !!!!
Before you get all excited about Ron Paul – do a little research what he really stands for. "Taking back the country" becomes again a total different meaning – this time it is way back to the 1800! Why does it seem to be so difficult to just give it some thought what is wrong and to solve the problems before someone like Ron goes off and creates a total new set of problems without the ability to get rid of the current ones?
SOUTHERN HOTTIE..name really says it all but....read the comments on this page...you are one of few on here that is hating on Ron Paul. Read more books and don't quit your day job.
Does he have teeth?
It is a 2 way race now in the gop primary Ron Paul vs Status Quo. Ron Paul 2012 Bring Our Troops Home. ps ron paul is the only one running with credibility.
How's that Herb Cain thingy workin out for you Ron Paul sheep? The Koch brothers don't want your guy.
Ron Paul is the Grateful Dead of conservatives. Not a lot of supporters, but truly devoted. Folks like these make a big difference in low-participation straw polls. If he went third-party his supporters would desert the GOP en masse.
Typical republican sheep ... quit ... don't listen to others, don't compromise, don't ATTEMPT to work with others ... this is gonna be good for Obama ... take a closer look at this idiots economic policies and a real disaster will be added to the one the BUSH's and REAGAN started
Ron Paul and American Greatness/Exceptionalisim: "A legend in [their] own minds", Dirty Harry.
FACT Check: the US had depressions before there was a FED, and btw: one of them was caused in part by going to the gold standard. FACT Check: His notion of economics is based on the "Austrian School", which to put it simply amounts to "faith based economics". All of this is just another reminder that Ron Paul, his supporters, and the Republican/Tparty in general are living in the dark ages and ignorance that has nothing to do with facts or reality.
Obama 2012. Clinton 2016 & 2020...I hope all of you Ron Paul supporters stay home on election day as he will never get the nomination.