Ron Paul’s Candidacy
Whatever happens in Iowa come January 3, the next Republican debate should be a doozy. Here’s Newt Gingrich unloading on Ron Paul.
“I think Barack Obama is very destructive to the future of the United States. I think Ron Paul’s views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American,” Gingrich said Tuesday in a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer.
Could he vote for Paul? “No.” If it came down to Paul vs. Obama? “You’d have a very hard choice at that point.”
“As people get to know more about Ron Paul, who disowns 10 years of his own newsletter, says he didn’t really realize what was in it, had no idea what he was making money off of, had no idea that it was racist, anti-Semitic, called for the destruction of Israel, talked about a race war – all of this is a sudden shock to Ron Paul?” he asked. “There will come a morning people won’t take him as a serious person.”
With Paul now leading in Iowa (Romney’s in second with everyone else but Huntsman tied in third position), the spotlight is now on the cranky old man with the radical positions and the bigoted-tinged past. To hear Paul disavow any knowledge of the content of newsletters which earned him a little fortune ($1 million or more), does serious damage to his credibility. It’s a point which Gingrich, Bachmann and Perry will hammer away at over the next while.
Interestingly, a poll released this week shows that only 51 percent of Paul’s supporters come from the Republican side of the ledger. That compares with Romney’s 87 percent and Gingrich’s 85 percent Republican support. The breakdown for Paul supporters in New Hampshire is as follows: 13% Republican, 36 % independents and 26% Democrats. No other candidate attracts non-Republicans like Paul does.
Is Ron Paul going to win this thing? Not likely…but here’s an interesting thought to ponder:
[A] semi-successful Paul 2012 run means that there is now a whole network of party activists who love the Paul brand and know the ropes. They’re ready to go if Kentucky Senator Rand Paul – Ron’s son – wants to run. He’s also a fairly pure libertarian in many ways and could easily pick up that wing of the party. If the social conservatives burn out in 2012 and 2016, by running against Democrats during the peak of the business cycle, then the GOP may be ready to let Rand Paul run in 2020 and he might win. The real legacy of Paul’s 2012 primary run may be laying the groundwork for Rand Paul presidency.
Chew on that.