INDIANOLA, Iowa -- Iowa is buzzing with talk of Ron Paul.
The Texas congressman appears poised to win the Iowa caucuses, and excitement about his candidacy was palpable at a standing-room only event in Newton, Iowa on Wednesday where Paul quipped that he'd never seen so many cameras at one of his campaign stops.
"I've been talking about freedom for a long time," Paul said. "For many years, the crowds were very small. But they've steadily grown."
Paul has experienced an unexpected surge in the polls here in recent days; his Real Clear Politics average is 22.5 percent, meaning he's neck-and-neck with Mitt Romney and leading the rest of the pack.
And on Wednesday night, Paul snatched Sen. Kent Sorenson from Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign. In a statement, Bachmann blamed the defection of her state chair on "a large sum of money to go to work for the Paul campaign."
Paul covered a lot of ground during his Newton stop, promising to ax the Patriot Act, to cut $1 trillion from the budget in the first year, and pull United States troops out of the Middle East.
One of the toughest questions from the crowd focused on Paul's pledge to eliminate a handful of federal departments, including the Department of Energy, which oversees security of the nation's nuclear stockpile.
Paul conceded that the National Nuclear Security Administration ought to be preserved but put in a different department.
Meanwhile, Paul's stance on foreign affairs has come under fire from other candidates for being too isolationist
Bachmann is among the critics.
"Ron Paul would wait until one of our cities in the United States is wiped off the map before he reacted," Bachmann said at a campaign stop in southern Iowa. "I won't wait. I'll act."
But that's among the many things that Jack Church of Blakesburg, Iowa, likes about Paul.
"A lot of the other Republican candidates seem to be on this drive, this march to go to war with Iran," Church said. "I think that is insane. I'm sick of young men and women coming back with missing body parts, missing legs from the [improvised explosive devices]."
Paul didn't leave the stage without reminding the crowd to vote next Tuesday. Iowa has same day registration, and some of the Democrats and Independents who say they'll support Paul this time around could turn the caucuses in his direction.
Paul argued that if voters are sick and tired of the status quo, he's the quintessential outsider candidate.
"A message is going to be sent," Paul said. "There are a lot of status quo politicians out there... if you pick another status quo presidential candidate, nothing is going to change."
Go Ron Paul 2012!
A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for Peace.
A vote for any other, including Obama, is a vote for endless war, assassinations, life in detention without charge, crushing debt and enough deficit spending to enslave Americans for generations.
All of Paul's opponents are competing who can borrow the most money to start the biggest new war. His opponents seem to think it is bragging rights to actually start a war, rather than to defend our country. Romney and the rest have PROMISED to start the largest war we've ever fought with the most money ever borrowed for a war. Who wouldn't vote for that kind of brilliant idea?
This is why Paul gets more financial support from members of our military than all the other Republicans combined. Our military guys are on the front lines in all these places and they know the truth, and think Paul is speaking the truth.
That's what Bachmann doesn't understand, the majority of us don't want this ongoing 'War on Terror', this invading countries all over the world and killing innocent people to get a few nutjobs. Going after BinLaden after 9/11 was one thing, but the rest was unwarranted. Michele( Newt, Perry, Mitt ) wants to increase this madness by attacking Iran.
Thank God for Iowa for leading the charge to freedom and peace!
ROMNEY'S "Business experience" consisted of buying companies, laying off workers, stripping pension funds, and taking the companies public again - 80% of which shortly went bankrupt.
Willard Mitt Romney campaign is full of Top Neocons
Iowa, keep track of every vote count like a Hawk-eye.
don't let them turn a landslide into a photo finish
Remember the Ames Straw Poll fix.
Ron Paul is pro-peace, pro-freedom, pro-life, pro-right-to-bear-arms and anti-NYC-bankster bailouts. The other candidates, including Obama, are a Chicken Hawks; too chicken to serve in the military but more than hawkish enough to send other kids to die. I served 4 years active duty and the troops and vets are sick of Chicken Hawk Commanders in Chief. Finally, only Romney and Paul are now contenders because none of the others qualified for Virginia. That's right, none of the others can even get one vote in that state.
onight I watched a video of Ron Paul in Iowa. Afterwards people were invited up to have their picture taken and I was amazed at the young people of all nationalities who crossed the stage to have their picture taken with Mr. Paul. Many of them saying you are our only hope. I realized in that moment that these young adults future is at stake. They have seen many of their family and friends lose their jobs, their homes and much of what they worked a lifetime for. Opportunity has literally vanished before their eyes. Why Ron Paul? They see hope, they trust and believe in Mr. Paul's ideals for America. Though we have a tough road to haul I want my two son's and 3 grandson's to enjoy liberty, peace and happiness. For 2012 I wish a stop to greed and corruption and restore America to what it once was a land of opportunity for all. Candidates can sling hash at each other digging up bones but knowledge of this economic disaster, how we got here and how to move forward lies In Mr. Ron Paul
If you are not afraid of yet another US led war , vote for Gingrich, Romney or Obama who won the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize while continuing or starting not 1, not 2, but 3 wars in the Middle East. Even as the new war is won, the US loses through loss of soldiers and severe future financial stress. Vote for Ron Paul!
I voted for Obama but in this upcoming election my vote is for Ron Paul. We do not want war hawks any more.
Romney has the same top donors as Obama: Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan-nuff said. And he appears to flip-flop whenever it is politically expedient.
Perry has too many gaffes and seems insincere when he can't remember his policy proposals.
Newt is just shaddy in general.
Bachmann has a problem differentiating between facts and falsehoods.
Santorum sides with neocons on war, endless war.
Ron Paul wants America follow the constitution and only will enact war if congress approves it.
I'm a veteran (USMC) and i can only support/vote for Ron Paul.
Let's see....Ron Paul would not attack Iran but he would work to rule this nation under biblical Old Testiment law, he would work to undo civil rights laws, he would work to make sexual orientation a punishable-by-death offense, he would work to force women out of work and back home, he would work to abolish abortion under any circumstance, and he would work to implement his "gold standard" ideas for the nation's economy.
Our country will be in such an uproar working out how to implement his extremist agenda that it likely would not have any time, money, people or tolerance to spare on many other ventures inside our borders or outside.
I voted for Obama with a lot of enthusiasm, and I supported his campaign. This time, my vote will go do Dr Paul Who is the only anti war candidate.
Ron Paul is a man of principle who will never be bought off by special interest groups, unlike Freddie Mac's boy Newt the Grinch and Mitt Romney. If you want a crony capitalist candidate that will sell out America to foreign interests and push your children to war with Iran, then vote for any of the Republican candidates but Ron Paul.
I will not be voting for Ron Paul but I do hope that is candidacy results in a shift in our thinking about national defense. Why should the USA carry the responsibility to defend the rest of the world?
I'm voting for the only non-war candidate, Dr. Ron Paul. Obama had my vote before but not this time. If the GOP nominates anyone other than Paul, then I'm going with Obama again -
I will not be voting for Ron Paul but I do hope that his candidacy results in a shift in our thinking about national defense. Why should the USA bear the responsibility to defend the rest of the world?
Even the Lord says to "help those who help themselves."
Our country is falling apart because of the neocon/neolib goal of world dominion. It's time to get rid of all neocons and neoliberals in our government and get our country back on the road to freedom and prosperity.
We need representatives who put American citizens and their well-being first - and by "American citizens" , I don't mean just those who live or work on Wall Street or in Washington, DC.
As the "Who" lyric goes, "here's to the new boss, same as the old boss." It is time to depart from this path of war and military industrial complex and Ron Paul is the man to do it! His commitment to constitutional law is the foundation that this country was founded on and the current political establishment has inched us away from the basic framework, over the years, until we are miles away from what our founding fathers had in mind, ie. Patriot Act, Homeland Security, TSA, international assissinations and on and on. Our mindless expansionism and colonialism has cost untold young lives and bodies, not to mention our international reputation. It is time to stop, and Ron Paul is the answer. When Ron Paul is elected, that will just be the beginning salvo, because bureaucrats and the press will attempt to character assassinate him. The next step will be to vote the career polititions out of office two years later. "Run Ron Run!"
ron paul is the only candidate who has a consistent rational position regarding the limits of u.s. military power. he is the only candidate with real viable alternatives to the current failed policies by both past democrat and republican administrations that have led us to the brink of bankruptcy and collapse. a true and honest patriot.