Doctor No wants you to say, “Yes,” and join him on the road to the White House.
Emerging from Cotton, a Manchester restaurant where he dined Thursday with friends and at least one major Tim Pawlenty supporter looking for a new candidate, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul invited Patch to join him on the road to a house party in Amherst.
On the campaign trail, people simply call the Texas Republican “Doctor,” not Congressman. It’s Doctor Paul. And it’s reminiscent of another presidential hopeful, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in 2004. Of course, the two doctors have vastly different political DNA – just consider Paul’s nickname of Doctor No for voting against bills on Capitol Hill. But his followers say Paul has somehow built a similar buzz, or so they hope.
It’s a lightning-in-a-bottle, damn-the-torpedoes, Davy Crockettness that has an organic appeal for certain Republicans and independents.
But how will it play in the Primary?
In case you missed it, he nearly won the Iowa Straw Poll last weekend. Can he do more than topple top-tier candidates in the New Hampshire Primary, a real election? Can a man who has delivered more than 4,000 babies breathe more life into his campaign, his third shot at the presidency?
During our minivan drive to his house call in Amherst, Doctor Paul said his campaign would surge as more people hear his message.
NH Patch: What about your message is resonating here?
Ron Paul: The message is the same. I think the message is what gets their attention. I think there is a greater need in the sense that the financial crisis is worse. I’ve been talking about that and warning about it. So credibility built. And also the foreign policy. If you view the statistics, we find out that the American people are getting tired of a 10-year war and they don’t see an end to it.
So I think those things are coming my way and I think it just takes time to change people’s minds. There’s a lot of information and we don’t get on the evening news very often so it has to be spread a little bit more slowly. Our numbers just keep growing. The message has pretty much been the same.
Patch: What’s it take to win New Hampshire?
Paul: Everything we did before we’re doing better and more of it, because we have more people. Yes, we had a headquarters last time, but when we opened it four years ago I imagine we had 20-25 people come. Last night we had a huge crowd. We have more people who are experienced in politics. We have a lot more people who are in office. They got energized during the last campaign and went out and ran for office.”
Patch: Do you need a “call-to-arms” for Tea Party supporters to rally behind you?
Paul: I’ll let somebody else do that. I don’t see much profit out of that, in claiming things. The facts are out on the table, when it started and what it isn’t. I think it’s a credit to the Tea Party that it is sort of spontaneous and sort of spread out, that you’d expect it to be, not monolithic, I mean, they didn’t take my campaign platform and say, ‘this is going to be the Tea Party platform.’ But the Tea Party people who are upset and frustrated, like I was, that was a unifying issue. We’re tired of it. Government is too big and they spend too much money and the debt is too high.
Patch: Do you expect the economy to get worse before it gets better?
Paul: Yes. I think that we’re in a downdraft. And I date our downturn, not to '08, but to 2000 with the NASDAQ bubble bursting. … Then with the recognition that the financial crisis hit in '08, this was more confirmation that now we still have more bubbles out there. We have a bond bubble. Everybody’s buying bonds and there’s no way these bonds can be worth what they think that it is because the value of the dollar has gone down, that’s what the price of gold is telling us and that’s why people are skittish about stocks.
So it’s going to get a lot worse and if we don’t do the right thing it’s going to last a long time. We didn’t do the right thing in the '30s and we didn’t get out of the depression for 17 years. And this is going to be equally long and it could be much worse because the bubble was much bigger and that’s why I consider it very, very serious. It’s worldwide. It’s the biggest financial bubble in the history of mankind and it was all based on our paper money, our dollar. It’s not going to be one country at a time, it’s intertwined. That’s why these riots and things and overthrows of government around the world are very significant. If we’re not careful we’re going to have violence in this country and we better get prepared and we ought to do the right thing to head this off.
Patch: The right thing being what exactly?
Paul: Restore these basic principles that really made us a great nation and wealthy. You have to liquidate debt, get rid of the problems that we created, and, that is, allow bankruptcies to occur. You have to quit spending money. You have to balance the budget. You have to lower taxes. You have to get rid of regulations. You have to change foreign policy, and people have to understand why you’re doing it and why it’s in their best interest to do it, and that’s a handful.”