NEWTON, Iowa -- Ron Paul's appearance at the Iowa Speedway here drew the most media attention of the campaign season -- television and print journalists, as well as photographers, made the room tough to navigate.
Paul told the audience he wants to be the first president in history where the federal government shrunk -- instead of expanded -- "by thousands of pages and regulations."
On foreign policy, Paul asked, "How long do we have to stay in Korea?" He went on to explain how the U.S. military has had a presence in that country "since I was in high school." He also said Americans have been subsidizing Japan since World War II.
On Iraq, Paul said it is "so sad what's happening," telling the audience that before the war there, Iraqis were "arch enemies" of Iran; now they are "buddying up."
He said that in order to solve the nation's financial problems, Americans need to ask, "What should the role of government be?"
"Police the world, run your personal lives, and run economy? If that's what you want, this can't work."
The Texas congressman reminded the audience about the upcoming caucuses and said a message will be sent, telling voters that it's a choice between him or the status quo.
One audience member said he was a veteran and wanted Paul as the commander-in-chief. Paul responded by telling the man he served five years in the military, voted against the wars, and receives more donations from members of the military than all other candidates combined.
Asked about going back to the gold standard, Paul said he'd "like to go forward with a gold standard" and let the markets help decide.
Asked about federal funding of the Peace Corps, Paul said the organization is "not authorized under the constitution," and those responsibilities "should be done through voluntary groups."
And on eliminating the Energy Department, Paul was asked who would control nuclear waste. He said the Defense Department would take care of those responsibilities.