Most of Ron Paul’s Iowa campaign stops have been in the state’s largest population centers and college towns. Now, with a caucus victory within reach, the Texas congressman is taking his libertarian message to Iowa’s smaller cities. Paul visited Perry, Iowa over the noon hour on Thursday.
The crowd of 100 was definitely more reserved than what Paul is used to. There was no standing ovation at the beginning or end of his speech. There were no whoops or cheers, but plenty of polite applause.
“I like a lot of what he says, especially about the U.S. economy and balanced budget,” said attendee Jerry Kielsmeier. “I need to think a little more about his foreign policy.”
Paul stuck to his familiar themes of smaller government, cutting $1 trillion from the budget and bringing our troops home. “The military spending overseas, I am absolutely convinced does not make us a stronger nation,” Paul said. “Military might is sometimes military mischief…I think we’re in way too many wars and it’s time to change that and bring our military home to protect this country.”
Paul made is clear he is not just talking about bringing troops home from countries where they are in harm’s way, like Afghanistan. He wants to close every military base around the world.
“Just bringing the troops home would be an economic boost,” the Texas congressman said. “Why do we still have troops in Japan? WWII has been over for quite a while now. Why do we have troops in South Korea? Why do we have troops in Germany?”
Ron Paul has taken flak from some Republicans and his GOP competitors for his stance on Iran. He was asked about the Iranians’ recent threats to close down the Straits of Hormuz.
“I think they’re just doing that to say, ‘Why don’t you be just a little cautious and back off.’ And I think we should not impose sanctions. That is an act of war,“ Paul responded.
He also seemed to take sympathy with the Iranians position. “If I were an Iranian, I’d probably want to have a nuclear weapon too because you gain respect from that.”
Paul’s views, and his style, seem to be gaining traction in Iowa. One complaint about fellow GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney is that he sometimes comes across as too polished and rehearsed. No one will make those complaints about Ron Paul.
“His persona is more of what I’m used to in a small town,” said Perry native Jim Van Dorn. “I didn’t have that greasy feeling when he walked out.”
There is no doubt Paul has large appeal in Iowa’s larger cities. If he can appeal to small town Iowans, he has a very realistic chance of winning on Tuesday.
Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com
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