He’s a force to be reckoned with. A three-time presidential candidate, congressman from Texas, medical doctor and leader — of a revolution.
Ron Paul is now in Iowa, at it again, campaigning for 2012. A recent online straw poll put him as the most likely contender for the GOP nomination, and this weekend he finds himself in that very state awaiting the Ames Straw Poll, one of the most significant of its kind for each new presidential election cycle.
And, once again, his fans have come from all corners of the country to hear his message and show support.
“Myself and my wife and my family of four kids drove up from Las Vegas,” Mark Carduccisot tells RT. Another man, Joshua Urmess, came in from Kansas City, Missouri.
A long time critic of the federal government, Ron Paul’s policies are often called Radical.
“Just think of how many nuclear weapons surround Iran,” Paul said from Iowa last night during the GOP debate. “The Chinese are there. The Indians are there. The Pakistanis are there. The Israelis are there. The United States is there. All these countries … why wouldn't it be natural if they might want a weapon? Internationally, they might be given more respect."
Critical or not, many of his anti-establishment ideas are becoming increasingly mainstream as more and more Americans reject the status quo of past decades. Paul’s views on US foreign policy have received acclaim from Americans as of late, particularly his thoughts on the role the US is playing in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I don’t think our national security required it.I think we are less safe for it.The threat of terrorism is related to our foreign policy. . . I never feel safer for the foreign policy that we have today,” Paul told RT. That is something, he is finding out, resonates more and more with voters today.
And while much of the mainstream media often doubts Congressman Paul, his fans are some of the most loyal in American political history.
Mark Carducci has been supporting Ron Paul ever since 1986. “For 30 years, he’s not flip-flopped on anything except the death penalty — everything else, Barry Goldwater, Robert Taft — so you know what you’re dealing with,” he said to RT.
And despite being the oldest candidate running under the GOP at age 75, supporters lstill feel like Paul has what it takes.
“He’s the man.He needs to be president,” said one Ron Paul backer. “I think he’s a smart guy and I think he would change things that need to be changed.”
“I personally would have described myself prior to seeing Ron Paul in the 08 election cycle as a liberal democrat,” recalled another.“You know I saw him on stage talking against the wars against violations, and why aren’t the democrats saying this?”
Things Paul is saying, like pleading with Americans to fix the country after “we’ve maxed out our debt ceiling” and gone into “too many countries” is creating a likeable candidate among many 2012 voters.
At Iowa State University, home of the famous Iowa Straw Poll, Ron Paul has already sold thousands of tickets. Here he’ll be spending most of the day as people cast their votes, and though most believe that Paul will do very well in the Ames Poll, the question is if he can come in first place. If it’s an answer we will have to wait until this weekend passes to find out.