Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is responding to critics who call his views “scary.”

“Those people who say that these ideas that I express are dangerous — it sort of baffles me a whole lot because I think big government is dangerous,” Paul said. “I think wars fought endlessly is dangerous. I think printing money and (expanding) government at will — that is what is dangerous.”

Paul made his comments before a crowd of about 200 in Le Mars this afternoon. Most of his rivals for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination have been calling Paul’s foreign policy views “isolationist” and particularly single out his statements that Iran is not a big enough threat to warrant retaliation from the U.S. to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Paul told the crowd in Le Mars he’s calling for “positive change” on a variety of fronts.

“If want to live in a free, prosperous and a peaceful world, we have to argue the case for liberty in the American tradition,” Paul said.

Paul is leaving the Iowa campaign trail this evening and plans to return Monday for a tour of the state with his son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

(Additional reporting in Le Mars by Dennis Morrice of KLEM)