WEBSTER CITY, Iowa -– Ron Paul spoke to over 50 people at a town hall on Friday in the Webster City Fire Station, the hometown of his Iowa Campaign Chair Drew Ivers.
Commenting on the support he is getting in Iowa, Paul said, “Last night, we had a few students come out at the university, like 1,300! I don’t go in there with wild promises.”
Paul stressed the importance of the early voting states candidates like him and told them their “single vote” is a hundred fold benefit compared to the vote in California.
“A state like this as well as New Hampshire allows opportunities for candidates like myself to come out and meet people and talk about the issues in a more deliberate fashion because there won't be very many states, once this thing gets rolling, once the first two primaries are done in Iowa and New Hampshire, once they're done, you know it is really, really a rat race.”
He said “you can’t run a campaign without the money,” and that for him, “fortunately, fundraising has been rather easy.”
“I've never been really good, I'm very enthusiastic about our message, but I've never been very good, and people who work with me in campaigns think I'm not very good at calling people up, like I don't do it and ask them 'Send me money. Send me money.' I always work on the assumption, if the message is worthwhile, they'll send some money."
Paul talked little about the economy and more about foreign policy, stressing his belief that bringing the troops home is the easiest way to cut spending. He also warned the audience about upcoming war with Syria and Iran.
“We plan now to go into Syria and the plan, matter of fact, the covert war or war has already started in Iran. I mean, we have our CIA agents in there, we’re trying to overthrow that government, our drone plane just the other day was shot down. They captured some of our CIA agents. War has already started. I would say that, that does not help us. It furthering our bankruptcy. It makes us more in danger.”
Speaking about the president’s press conference yesterday where he told reporters “nothing is off the table,” with Iran, Paul said that really means a nuclear attack.
“Nothing off the table means military, bombing and actually nuclear first strikes. That’s what usually it means that we want to reserve and intimidate people and say nuclear first strikes, not off the table. You know what, they have taken one thing off the table and that’s diplomacy. And I would say in a civilized society, that should be the first thing which we should try. That’s what we are admonished to try as Christians, that we should talk to our enemies and try to deal with them.”
One woman asked Paul about a provision in the Defense Authorization Bill and the ability of the federal government to indefinitely detain American citizens.
“It goes against the First and Fourth Amendment -– that you don’t have to give a judge to write a search warrant and they have one of these sneak and peak searches in your house. If you tell anyone about it –- you can go to prison. So that’s an attack on the first amendment. And what she’s talking about is that it passed the senate overwhelmingly –- and that is -– the battlefield for terrorism which is everyplace and any place and you can pick people and arrest him. But the battlefield specifically is everyone in this country too. If you could be associated with an organization that might have contributed and been involved with Muslims. You could be suspect and you could be thrown in jail. And it’s actually written that the president must try them in a military and they can be held forever. You can be hauled off to Guantanamo even if you are an American citizen.”
Paul called that provisions “very dangerous” and said “some people have compared this to the enabling act in Nazi Germany to say that literally that the way that the law should read that we should virtually give up our 5th amendment rights of the rule of law and our lives can be taken without the due process of law.”
He told the audience that if someone is against this provision, they will be labeled.
"It’s always couched in the tune of -– you don’t like this -– you don’t care about terrorism -– blame America! They twist it around and say that you’re not a patriot -– that's why they called it the Patriot Act -– because if you didn’t vote for it, you were unpatriotic.”
He also addressed a question about his support for Israel, saying he is for the sovereignty of the country which means no foreign aid.
“It actually helps Israel ... Israel’s neighbors get seven times as much as Israel gets, so it really doesn’t help Israel. And you know, the other day somebody came to my defense and they explained Zionism, in an article, and they said the two basic principles of Zionism is independence and self reliance. And even this year, Netanyahu gave a speech on the House floor, you know, in Congress and said that we do not need American troops to defend ourselves, we can take care of ourselves.”