On the Record: Congressman Ron Paul
Last night, the Republican presidential nominees took the stage in Manchester, New Hampshire for another debate. The first question about Iraq was directed to all candidates except Congressman Ron Paul of Texas -- the lone Republican candidate who opposes the war and openly criticizes U.S. foreign policy.
On my radio show, Your Call, we're doing an “On the Record” series about presidential candidates’ voting records and campaign contributions. Today, we focused on Congressman Ron Paul.
On May 3rd, during the first presidential debate, Congressman Paul had a heated exchange with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani about the root causes of terrorism.
When asked about his opposition to war in Iraq, Congressman Paul blamed U.S. interventionist foreign policy for creating the “blowback” that gave rise to Al Qaeda and attacks like 9/11.
Giuliani denounced Paul, saying: “I don't think I've heard that before and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11.”
Following the debate, Congressman Paul compiled a reading list for Giuliani, including Chalmers Johnson’s book "Blowback," which examines the unintended consequences of U.S. foreign policy; and the 9/11 Commission Report, which says that Osama bin Laden was angered by the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia.
Congressman Paul is one of the *only* politicians who actually understands and talks about the consequences of U.S. foreign policy.
The day after that debate, Congressman Paul’s website got over 700,000 visitors and according to his campaign, the number of people donating to his campaign increased fourfold.
In most national polls, he gets one percent or less of the vote. But in online polls, he’s frequently in first place.
But what else do voters know about Congressman Paul other than his opposition to war and U.S. foreign policy?
Congressman Paul was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1976. He ran for president on the Libertarian ticket in 1988. As a practicing OB/GYN, he is often called “Dr. No” because of his propensity to oppose any bill he finds contradictory to the constitution.
Where does Congressman Paul stand on domestic issues?
Justin Raimondo first met Congressman Paul in 1977 and has been following his political career ever since. Justice is the editorial director of antiwar.com and author of the forthcoming book, “Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement.”
T.J. Aulds is a producer with Channel 11's KHOU.com in Houston. He is a former editor for The Daily News and The Texas City Sun.