Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul says it’s his “common sense” ideas that are catching fire in the countryside.
Paul has been standing at or near the top of the polls just a dozen days before the Iowa Caucuses. An enthusiastic crowd of about 200 people gathered in Mount Pleasant yesterday to greet Paul. Paul started out by talking about his recent appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Leno called Paul late Tuesday morning.
“He thinks there’s a pretty good chance they’re just going to just replay that program again,” Paul said, laughing, as his supporters clapped and cheered. (Find the audio of Paul’s remarks here.)
Paul suggested his popularity is rooted in his views about monetary policy, free market economics and limited government.
“It’s not that complicated,” Paul said in Mount Pleasant. “A lot of it is just common sense.”
According to Paul, the U.S. has drifted into “superficial prosperity” because the government has gone into debt to prop up individuals and the entire economy.
“I am convinced that the problems we face today is that we many, many years ago gave up on market principles,” Paul said.
Paul’s competitors label him an isolationist when it comes to foreign policy, but Paul argues it’s time of the U.S. to mind its own business and quit making the entire world a battlefield. On the field of competition here in Iowa, some Republicans have openly speculated a Ron Paul victory on Caucus Night would devalue the contest in future years. Governor Branstad says that’s “not necessarily” the case.
“This is really something that the voters should decide who they think is the strongest and best candidate,” Branstad said during his weekly news conference. “You know, I think Ron Paul has demonstrated a consistent record of opposing this excessive spending at the federal level…You’ve got to give him credit for that.”
But Branstad predicts the leader board will change a few more times as poll after poll is released between now and Caucus Night.
(Theresa Rose of KILJ in Mount Pleasant contributed to this report.)