From NBC's Andrew Merten
GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul touted his non-interventionist prescription for US foreign policy at Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies in DC. There, he reiterated his opposition to the Iraq war -- which often makes him sound more like a Democrat than one of his GOP rivals.
Paul distinguished his policy of non-intervention from isolationism, explaining that he still sees a benefit in doing business with foreign countries -- provided currency manipulation does not create an unfair relationship. He added, "Non-intervention is better than assuming this moral superiority." He went on to talk about today's anniversary. "We don't understand 9/11," he said, adding that he believes American intervention in the Middle East over the past 50 years was a "major participant" in fueling the attacks of six years ago.
Also, the Texas congressman downplayed the threat of Iran, saying that current concern is "way overblown," because Tehran does not have the delivery technology to threaten America and that "Israel is quite capable of taking care of themselves," given their own nuclear arsenal. But Paul did not delve into the possibility of a nuclear hand-off between Iran and terrorist groups.
Although Paul's strong internet following has not translated into stellar fundraising numbers for his campaign (although he did have more cash on hand than McCain at the end of June) or a more impressive showing at the Ames straw poll, the auditorium was packed with audience members, with some even standing in the aisles. But he was not able to meet and greet his supporters after his discussion, as he had to catch a plane to California, where he will be campaigning tomorrow.