Paul presses campaign themes before mass audience exit
October 29th, 2011
02:54 PM ET
11 years ago

Paul presses campaign themes before mass audience exit

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

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Ron Paul
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. BK

    Despite having voted for Obama last election, I would vote for Ron Paul were he to run against Obama without hesitation.

    October 29, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. wsjiii

    Bravo, Dr. Paul. Obviously, people are getting tired of drinking the poisonous Republicrat kool-aid and are beginning to awaken from their media-induced comas.

    October 29, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. Thinker

    Ron Paul or bust! There is no other choice.

    October 29, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. heavyhorse

    Maybe some of the middle of the road voters will join him and he can gain leverage in all of this mess

    October 29, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Jessica

    If Paul doesn't get the GOP nomination it's likely to be a mass exodus from voting GOP as well..

    October 29, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. lynn

    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.

    October 29, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Vet4RonPaul

    All the other candidates are neocon war-mongers. As a military veteran myself, I implore you to support the one person that is pro-peace, pro-freedom and pro-defense. The other candidates will certainly cause harm to our youth; innocents here and abroad. This is a moral issue people and we have more responsibilities.

    October 29, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Billy Reese

    The only grown up in the room. The only non statist on either side of the aisle. The only man fit for president of this nation. Thus the only candidate I will vote for. Ron Paul 2012 or none of the above!

    October 29, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Scott S.

    I admire Ron Paul's willingness to stand by his beliefs and not waiver on anything, but unfortunately his vision is a pipe dream that is both unrealistic and dangerous to many Americans. For all their flaws, and for the obvious waste, many government programs do very good things to help people. And Unions do good things to help workers. Yes, they're flawed. But it's proven throughout the rest of the world that a lack of government is as bad, if not worse, than an active government. Look at Somalia. Plus, there's the overwhelming evidence that social programs such as single-payer healthcare are greatly beneficial in the countries that enact those programs. Again, I admire Ron Paul's willingness to stick to his guns, but he needs to wake up and take good hard look around him.

    October 29, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |

    So when he wins, will it be news?

    October 29, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Dan

    I'm starting to think Ron Paul could actually win Iowa. Wouldn't that be the game changer of all game changers? I know that the winner of Iowa doesn't always win the nomination, but it's different for Paul. With a win in Iowa, Paul's bandwagon becomes bullrushed by all of the people out there, including some of you who are reading this, that say "I always liked that guy and now I know he can win!".

    Paul reminds me of a cross of Eisenhower and Kennedy. As far as I'm concerned, he's the only one I trust at this point to right the ship. The rest of them, in both parties, are just slight variations of more Big Government, whether abroad or domestically. I'm tired of surprises and liars promising the moon for votes. For those of you who say he's too old, I have two words for you. Nelson Mandela.

    October 29, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. Paul

    Now that is sending a message to the NEOcons!

    October 29, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Bonnie

    Paul was the first one to speak, and after he left – over half the audience left as well. Yay!!!!!! I love it!!!!!

    October 29, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. scs8815

    he has a great head on his shoulders as a country we need to take care of ourselves first. after there are NO more starving americans then we can worry about starvation in other countries. We DO spend too much money as a country and really need to look hard at our budget and at tax reform as a country.

    October 29, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Adam

    "This country needs to wake up and quit lying to itself," Paul said. "Whether its on the economics or foreign policy."

    I love the media, I love my country, I love all of the democrats, i love all of the republicans, i love life, i love you.

    i almost cried when i read that

    October 29, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. Saul

    I think Ron Paul is correct on everything it is time for a real change. Those that think that is radical are the radical ones. Why keep choosing more of the same? It is time for something different.

    October 29, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. L Step

    The ossified Republicans, squatting in such cold-war outfits as the Heritage Foundation or propping up such torture-bent "Patriots" as Karl Rove, had better start treating Paul with some respect. I know I am not the only one who will sit home during the Presidential elections if one of their "chosen" is presented to me as "my" candidate. No way Jose.

    October 29, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. Jason Graves

    Ron Paul for President 2012! Keep the Revolution marching and Ron Paul will gather many more to follow him to freedom.

    October 29, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. Marvin Cooley

    Ron Paul is going to be the nominee for the GOP and will beat the pants off Obama. This war stances is how Obama got elected. He is a regular politician and never keeps his word. So is the rest of the crowed. Ron Paul will keep his word.

    October 29, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. RIchard Duffin

    If you are a Ron Paul supporter, you need to get the message out. Don't just post on this forum. Put on your bumper sticker and put up your yard sign then talke to your neighbors. Especially the 74 year old couple down the street that have voted in every election since 1956. Help explain Dr. Paul's policies, and more importantly help those who get there news soley from TV and Radio to access information about Ron Paul's philosophy. Say what you want of Karl Rove, he told Ron Paul supporters to the effect "you are talking to yourselves, you need to broaden the base". Get his name out there and sign up for the national phone bank and talk to your neighbors. Liberty – Peace – Prosperity

    October 29, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. ded

    Nice if I was there I would do the same thing. Once your on Dr, Paul's side you don't need to hear the others, you realize how non radical he is and how extreme the peoples view of gov't has been for a half centruy now. Big gov't just doesn't work in a republic we know that now.... Ron Paul 2012

    October 29, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Adam

    Wake up America. Ron Paul is the man who will put us back on the path to greatness. He's my guy in 2012.

    October 29, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. Josh

    Ron Paul is a true American leader...

    October 29, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. mariner34

    Ron Paul 2012, Cain is just a puppet for the Fed sent to dilute the coservative vote.

    October 29, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |

    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.


    October 29, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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