At The FAMiLY Leader’s Presidential Lecture Series event in Pella yesterday, Congressman Ron Paul said that the Iowa Supreme Court was justified in making it’s ruling in Varnum v. Brien, a case that made Iowa the third state to allow same-sex marriages.
When a reporter asked Paul if he supports the Iowa Supreme Counts ability to legalize gay marriage, Paul said, “I defend that constitutionally.” When the reporter clarified his question, Paul added, “Oh yeah, oh sure, every state has that right.”
Paul’s traveling press aide then interjected himself and told the Texas Congressman that he didn’t understand the question. Paul and the reporter went back-and-forth, and then Paul said that “he was asking about the ruling, not the justices.” Paul then turned to the reporter and laughed when he said, “Just make sure we give you the right answer.”
After a another laugh, Paul said, “I support the state of Iowa voting to get rid of the justices and write laws dealing with marriage, not the federal government.” When another reporter asked his views on same-sex marriage, Paul said, “It’s a personal, spiritual matter and individuals should make that determination.”
Paul’s comments on same-sex marriage are consistent with his previous statements and libertarian views. What is interesting is that it took members of the media to ask questions about Paul’s stances on social issues, since representatives of The FAMiLY Leader failed to ask any probing question of Paul at the public event.
On its website, The FAMiLY Leader states that the purpose of the Presidential Lecture Series is to, “provide prominent national figures with a pre-planned, full day in Iowa to introduce them to Iowans and to allow citizens an opportunity to become better informed on the pro-family vision of each lecturer.”
Paul, who as made public statements in support of legalizing drugs and prostitution, and whose federalist views would preclude him from advancing social conservative issues if elected president, wasn’t asked any questions about those positions. Instead, he was asked about what keeps his marriage strong, illegal immigration, the federal budget, the federal D.O.M.A Law, which he supports because it protects state’s rights, his reaction to the Iowa retention elections, and public employee unions.
TheIowaRepublican.com talked to one member of The FAMiLY Leader’s leadership council, which got to ask direct questions to the candidates, and said it was reported that Paul was asked about his position on Israel as well as further questions about abortion during the private round table. Those types of questions would have helped those in attendance form a more educated opinion of Paul if they had been asked during he public portion of the event.
For an organization that “unendorsed” Terry Branstad in the last election and has lobbied against a bill that would prevent a known late-term abortionist from setting up shop in Iowa because the bill doesn’t outlaw all abortions, their refusal to press Paul on these issues seems out of character.
The FAMiLY Leader asks the candidates to focus their speech on pro-family issues. In line with that request, Paul focused the first part of his lecture around a Bible passage, from the Book of Samuel. He equated many of America’s current day problems to what the Israelites were dealing with in ancient times. “The many things Samuel was concerned about, we have today, with over-taxation, over-regulation, conscription, and fighting wars,” Paul said.
Inevitably, Paul turned his focus to the Federal Reserve, which he would like to see dissolved. Repeatedly, Paul said they are counterfeiting money and it is bankrupting our country. He mentioned counterfeiting at least a dozen times. Paul also spent a good amount of time advocating for smaller government, liberty, and hammering home the message of where our rights truly come from. “We have placed our faith and our trust in a false god, and that god is government,” Paul said.
Paul was interrupted four times during his speech by applause. One of his biggest reactions came when discussing aid for the underprivileged. “The most important thing that anybody can do, if you have a humanitarian instinct to help other people, is defend liberty, defend property, defend low taxes,” Paul said. He also touched on foreign policy, saying the United States cannot afford to be the “policemen of the world.”
This was not the typical Ron Paul-type crowd. His visits to Iowa usually consist of speaking to hundreds of young, enthusiastic, white males. That demographic was in the minority during Paul’s stop in Pella, as most of the 125 people in attendance were senior citizens. Many of them had likely never seen the Texas Congressman in person before. However, the response to Paul’s unique message was positive.
This was supposed to be Ron Paul’s second speech of the day as part of the “Presidential Lecture Series”. However, due to inclement weather, Paul’s plane was not able to land in Northwest Iowa so his visit to Dordt College in Sioux Center was postponed.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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