Ron Paul tells Iowans he is a “mainstream candidate for 2012

Des Moines Register
June 1, 2011

Mason City, Ia. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul insisted today he’s no longer a fringe candidate and more Americans are embracing his philosophy of personal liberty and limited government, which he believes increases his chances of being competitive in the 2012 Iowa caucuses.

“We are mainstream if you believe in the things that I believe in, the Texas Republican told an overflow crowd of about 125 people during a midday speech in a banquet room at the Rose Bowl lanes in Mason City. He said that’s part of what happened in the last election with the success of the tea party movement and the growth of the Republican Party.

Paul, who ran for president in 1988 as the Libertarian Party nominee, has long had a devoted group of followers who have enthusiastically endorsed his criticism of runaway federal spending and government overreach. But some political analysts have contended his views particularly his laser-like focus on obeying the U.S. Constitution have been too narrow for him to be elected president. He finished fifth in the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses with 10 percent support.

Paul maintained today that mainstream American political attitudes are changing, and more people are agreeing with his approach. Increasing numbers of independent-minded people and others who have felt disenfranchised by many American politicians are identifying with the Republican Party, he added.

Paul spoke for about 30 minutes to a crowd that repeatedly applauded his remarks, warning the nation faces serious problems from a federal government that’s out of control. The situation could lead to steep inflation, higher unemployment and a reduced standard of living for Americans, he said .

The larger the government, the more rules and regulations and the less prosperity the society will have, he contended.

“It is a very subtle, if not direct, attack on the way we live, Paul said.

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