Blogging CPAC: Ron Paul on Presidential Steroids

CPAC 2008 CHAPTER SIX: The New Ron Paul

I missed the first portion of Bob Barr’s introduction of Ron Paul yesterday because some whacked-out independent presidential wannabe ran into me in the hallway. However, I took copious notes during the intro and the speech, notes which are no longer needed, because it’s now on YouTube (Barr intro, Paul Part 1, Paul Part 2, Paul Part 3).

During the first part of Ron Paul’s speech, I was sitting next to a reporter from one of the major cable television outlets. The crowd wasn’t dominated by Paul supporters, but there were quite a few there. The few McCain supporters were easy to find. I didn’t note many Huckabee people in the room. There were a whole lot of Romney supporters there, many still sporting Romney stickers and buttons. The reporter and I initially focused our attention on an obvious Romney supporter and an obvious McCain supporter to note their reactions.

Around the middle of the speech, I went near the stage to shoot some photographs and sat down on the other side of the room, this time by Reason’s Dave Weigel. Again, I found a McCain and a Romney supporter to watch.

One really, really interesting thing I observed was the amount of applause Romney supporters gave Ron Paul. Other than on the foreign policy issue, they were cheering as loudly as the Ron Paul supporters. The McCain supporters were not cheering, but sat with their arms crossed, for the most part. There was a battle of boos and cheers (the anti-war cheers eventually drowned out the boos) over a statement Paul made about Iraq. I suspect McCain supporters were the loudest of the opposition.

The video doesn’t depict something well that quite a few people in the media section noted. Ron Paul actually sounded like a presidential candidate. I’ve probably heard Paul speak around fifty times in my life and seen him on television many more times. Weigel wrote:

If anyone was wondering what effect Ron Paul’s new hires like Doug Bandow or Daniel McCarthy were having on Ron Paul’s campaign, it was on display when he addressed CPAC late yesterday, the last candidate to speak to the grand ballroom before it was cleaned up for a banquet. Paul’s speech was the most combative I’d ever heard from him, and the message sent out from his campaign was that it wouldn’t be the last.

One reporter told me that Paul would have won several states already if he had been speaking like this a public events. A Romney supporter I know told me that Paul’s speech convinced him to support Paul. “I may not agree with Paul on Iraq, but saving the Republican Party is more important than that single issue,” a pregnant Romney supporter said to me. “This nomination is about turning the Republican Party back to conservative values and Ron Paul is the last candidate standing who has any.”

Back to Weigel:

The key moments in the speech were harsh statements of his foreign policy and attacks on John McCain. That latter stuff was red meat for this conference. After one subdued mention of McCain’s pledge to keep troops in Iraq for a hundred years if needed, Paul said “McCain” had a few troublesome friends. “One of his friends is named… Feingold!” Then a blast against campaign finance reform. “Another of his friends is named… Kennedy!” Then, an attack on immigration reform. “Another of his friends, although he’s not in the Senate anymore, is Daschle! Tom Daschle. Working with him on raising taxes, not cutting taxes.” All of this got the biggest cheers from the most listless, curious section of the crowd. Kids and middle-aged men who’d had their arms folded for most of the speech started smirking and saying “Yeah!” at every McCain hit.

It is likely to be too late to make a major difference, but something tells me a new chapter has just opened in the Paul presidential campaign.

42 Responses to “Blogging CPAC: Ron Paul on Presidential Steroids”

  1. Abe Says:

    I agree. This was the most combative I’ve seen him yet. He needs to fight like a starving underdog with a bone to pick with the Republican-wing of the War & Deficit Party.

  2. EDLFWood Says:

    There is a plan.

  3. Ted Says:

    I also don’t agree with RP on everything but I’ll vote for him here in VA on Tuesday.

    Too bad this “new chapter” in his campaign is about 6 weeks too late.

    Constitution Party anyone?

  4. Jason Says:

    Libertarian Party anyone?

    Dr. Paul doesn’t bible thump enough to be a good Constitution Party fit.

  5. Michael Cathcart Says:

    I’m glad to see Pauls new form. With some support from Romney and maybe Thompson folks, who knows we may just be able to stop McCain from reaching 1191.

  6. DW Says:

    This is all in the strategy. Ron was waiting until the dust cleared and the other 10 little indians were out or close to out. Its a whole new ballgame and this has been the plan all along.

  7. Ron Paul Wired Says:

    Thank you for this post. I was searching for this info.. Ron Paul 2008!

  8. Aaron Says:

    One of the pundits (maybe Russert) on NBC Super Tuesday coverage said of Huckabee that “Americans like the underdog”. A “come back” kid. Well America - here ya go…you should have been listening all along - but if you wanna join in at the 11th are more than welcome!

    Viva la Revolucion!

  9. gobo Says:

    Dr. Paul has keep a low profile all this time, letting the big dogs wear themselves out. Just look, $35million in the hole Romney just dropped out. While Mccain has been courting the media, one of the reasons for his excessive exposure, he has also been showing off his weaknesses to American and the GOP. Now is the time for Dr. Paul to lure him out and crush Mccain like the rat he is.

    Don’t forget, Dr. Paul has run for president before. this guy is experienced. he Won the liberation nomination, which proves he can compete on a national level.

    hasta la victoria siempre!

  10. Lars Says:

    Thanks - great article!

    We are collecting links to articles like yours at for all the latest reporting about Ron Paul.

    At this time it is even more important to show that the support for Ron Paul is still growing.

    Did you know that you can go to and post links to your own articles about Ron Paul as soon as you make them available online?

  11. poppatml Says:

    Nice article. Long way to go yet.

  12. Kevin Houston Says:

    A Romney supporter I know told me that Paul’s speech convinced him to support Paul. “I may not agree with Paul on Iraq, but saving the Republican Party is more important than that single issue,” a pregnant Romney supporter said to me. “This nomination is about turning the Republican Party back to conservative values and Ron Paul is the last candidate standing who has any.”

    This is what I have been saying all along. People aren’t voting for Romney so much as they were voting against McCain. Now that Romney has withdrawn, the anti-McCain vote is going to go to Paul. Especially if Ron Paul keeps talking like this.

  13. chad Says:

    McCain is a nutjob, and there is no way his sanity will remain glued over the next seven months in the spotlight. he will self-destruct.

  14. Linda Says:

    Ron Paul said on the radio last night that this was the first time he had been invited to CPAC - he was surpirsed by the invite. So glad he went.

    He also said (while in DC yesterday, doing his job) that his fellow Representatives in the House had chills going down their spines at the thought of a McCain presidency.

    I think we live in the twilight zone…

  15. Daniel Cochran Says:


    I too was very impressed with Dr. Paul’s content and delivery of the CPAC speech. I missed it live because of work and tried without success to see it on CSPAN last night. After finally booting the kids off the computer, I was able to enjoy the YouTube save of it.

    I went and watched what McCain had to say and here’s my .02 on that speech:

    He starts out by saying he is sorry he avoided CPAC in 2007 to appear to not be conservative. Then states conservatives are good to have in your corner for the vote. He then goes on to admit that he has differed from conservatives over the years, but while not agreeing with them, they should just forget and forgive.

    He goes on to say that he will make decisions that even after counsel against such non-conservative stances, we should just realize he’s made up his mind and will not change. Here again, we are supposed to just go along with it and believe he’s right even if we know he’s wrong.

    He mentions the Constitution zero (0) times, but he’s applying for the job to “...uphold and defend…” the Constitution. He talks very little about economics, which is his major short coming with his lack of understanding of it.

    He says he is for liberty of man through out the world, but then mandates that the world should adhere to his version of liberty. Going on to promise to threaten and worst to more people in the middle east.

    By contrast, one speaker mentions the Constitution and the rights given therein fourteen times. By contrast, someone profoundly more gifted on economics talks of the value of our dollar, the financial mess our huge Federal government is causing, and the reduction of the National debt. By contrast, one speaker did not have to ask for forgiveness on his record, voting, and bills. By contrast, one speaker talked of civil Liberties, Freedom, and Peace through cooperation with other nations not conflict.

    Who was this one speaker you may ask yourself? Ron Paul the only choice for President in 2008 that will “Uphold and Defend” the Constitution.

    Thanks again,

  16. Stephen Gordon Says:


    Ron Paul spoke at CPAC last year.

  17. Joseph Says:

    Ron Paul has stuck it out because he has true character and conviction. He will never give up for freedoms of the individual

  18. BillTX Says:

    Velly intellesting. I hope Paul stays in this all the way to the convention.

  19. JimS Says:

    You may read the pundits say its mathematically impossible for him to have a comeback. This is not true at all. Please Vote for Ron Paul.

  20. Linda Says:

    Really? On the radio last night he said, “...And generally over the last ten years or so I have always tried to hint to CPAC leaders that I would like to speak but they were never quite willing to. This year I did get the invitation, I got my thirty minutes…”

    listen here at 1:50 :

  21. Gene Berkman Says:

    Glad to see Congressman Paul attacking McCain the mad bomber.

    Unfortunate that he seemed to attack Russ Feingold with his guilt by association attack on McCain. Feingold joined Ron Paul in voting against the Patriot Act, and against the Iraq War. Feingold opposes gun control and is better on economic issues than Ron’s buddy Dennis the Menace Kucinich.

  22. johncjackson Says:

    This is good and all, but is anyone actually covering this other than TPW and reason? According to the MSM Paul either dropped out or doesnt exist and only Romney and mcCain spoke at CPAC.

    So this message and new direction is being witnessed only by Paul faithfull, libertarians, and CPAC attendees.

    The timing is a big issue as before the media did at least try to give some coverage, but the terrible primary results give them the excuse to stop wasting time on him.

  23. Dan in B-more, hon. Says:

    Gene: He was playing to the audience, and the point being made was clear. McCain works very well with others—especially Democrats.

    Ron’s a liberty buff, plain and simple. But he doesn’t need to play the “liberty is everything” broken record to crowds that care more about preserving mainstream conservatism.

  24. Sean Scallon Says:

    I’m from Wisconsin and I like Russ too but he’s dead wrong on campaign finance reform. I know he wants to get corporate money out of politics but it finds its way into politics. It always does. It’s silly to think companies that makes lots of money and have lots of business before Washington and state capitols aren’t going to find away or find loopholes to make sure it has role in running the system. If anything such laws hurt the kind of grassroots citizens efforts that the Ron Paul campaign represents because of its draconinan regulations.

    If you want to get big money out of the process, reduce the size of government.

  25. DX10 Says:

    I have noticed that Dr. Paul’s detractors such as Chad never say anything of substance. There is probably a reason for that.

  26. Toni Says:

    Watching this speech moved me like no one could believe. After Romney dropped out yesterday and I saw our chances at a brokered convention start to float away, I was pretty down.

    Dr. Paul, with this speech, gave me the shot in the arm that I really needed to carry on - our primaries are this Tuesday, and I’m going to work twice as hard for him. If he doesn’t give up, then neither will I.

  27. Trans-Mutant Says:

    Ron Paul showed at the speach that he has the strength and issues to blow away ANY other candidate. The reason is because HE’s RIGHT. This is why he’s unkillable.

    On another note, McCain needs to be held accountable for the vietnam POW/MIA scene. Watch this and post it everywhere you can.

  28. David Hauser Says:

    “Libertarian Party anyone?

    Dr. Paul doesn’t bible thump enough to be a good Constitution Party fit”

    Paul isn’t going to run on the LP ticket after what some Libertarian Party leaders and Libertarian publications did to him the day before the NH primary. Are you kidding? Paul will never run that ticket again - ever. The Libertarian Party eats their own. I was once an LP member, but after I saw the way the party was turning (embracing Globalism and the war on terror) - NO THANKS!

    The CP isn’t all bible thumpers and by the way, the CP has a greater membership and more actual people serving in office than the LP.

  29. lastnymleft Says:

    johncjackson: The media don’t need any excuse to “stop wasting time” on Dr Paul. They did it well BEFORE Super Tuesday. Consider this from the “Project on Excellence in Journalism”:
    Look at the top graph on this page, but particularly the bottom table “Media Exposure by Candidate”

    If you want, you can go back through previous week’s reports by the links on the left under “Previous Index Reports”. All show Dr Paul receiving from 0.4% of presidential election media coverage, down to the present ZERO%.

  30. vance Says:

    glad to see ron paul is finally getting some publicity.

    I really like his economic policy.

  31. RPKicksSomeAss Says:

    Ron Paul is always at his best when he’s on the attack!!

  32. Eafnar Says:

    JohnCJackson: what about Giulianis pathetic primary results? Ron Paul did substantially better than Giuliani, but the MSM ignores Paul and still gives El Duce prime time coverage, so your theory of the MSM ignoring him because of “terrible primary results” doesn’t hold water.

  33. Scott Says:

    “...something tells me a new chapter has just opened in the Paul presidential campaign.”

    Yea, and the MSM is opening a new chapter of “ignore” so people think Ron Paul is in outer Mongolia digging for gold.

  34. arch WA Says:

    Dr. Paul’s speech gave me shivers last night. That was the clearest most powerful speech I have ever heard him give. Two of my friends who were supporting Obama just after seeing that speech. Ron Paul is the future. Lets get him elected. For our country!

  35. DenisL Says:

    It ain’t over until the fat lady sings or the votes are cast at the conventions.
    Go Ron Paul!

  36. Ralph Says:

    I’ve been praying he do this, being combative and assertive. It’s in him, I’ve seen it before. Had he been earlier he would have been called a loon. But the gloves have come off, at least it will get more interesting.
    Three cheers for Ron Paul!

  37. Gene Says:

    Actually, I’ve heard him make much better speeches. I guess if you get a lot more non-official supporters listening instead of reactionary responses (mostly by TV “news” broadcasts) - reason is more apt to creep in.

  38. NH Says:

    Yes, it’s called having conviction and telling the truth. I suspect we will be picking up many Romney supporters who loathe McCain as much as we do and see through the phony Huckabee.

  39. Constitutionalist Says:

    The deliberate action to black out and ridicule the message of “IT’S THE CONSTITUTION …. STUPID” deserves nothing less than Hitlery of Osama. Build more HOMELESS SHELTERS!

    My guess is rather than hand the nomination to McCain and 100 more years of war, Conservatives will hand the election to Hillary or Osama. Reminds me of what Jacob Javitts and the Rockefeller factions did with Republicans for LBJ in 1964 when the killed Barry Goldwater. THE LINE IS IN THE SAND!

  40. Andy Says:

    “The CP isn’t all bible thumpers and by the way, the CP has a greater membership and more actual people serving in office than the LP.”

    This is misleading. The Constitution does have more registered voters than the Libertarian Party, HOWEVER, this is because in California they are known as the American Independent Party and in Nevada they are known as the Independent American Party, and most of their registered voters in those states checked that box by mistake thinking that they were registering as independents which in those states is Decline To State A Political Party. The Constitution Party’s voter registration numbers are also inflated in the state of Nebraska where they are known as the Nebraska Party (many people in Nebraska checked that box only because that’s where they are from, not because they know what the party is). When you take California, Nevada, and Nebraska out of the equation, the Constitution Party’s voter registration totals are actually pretty small, even less than the Libertarian Party’s voter registration totals.

    As for the number of people elected to office, the last time that I checked the Libertarian Party had elected far more people to office and I’ve never heard of the Constitution ever having more people elected to office than the Libertarian Party. I will say that the Constitution Party currently has one person who was elected to a higher office than anyone in the Libertarian Party currently is in Rick Jore who was elected to the Montana State Legislature, but that’s it. Rick Jore is the first Constitution Party member ever elected to a state legislature. The Libertarian Party has elected a few people to state legislature seats in the past, but the last time that happened was several years ago.

  41. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Well, it’s about freakkng time he started talking like that. He should have been doing that before New Hampshire.

    And don’t think he’s just pulled back to deal with his Congress seat. That will be dealt with on March 4 when he sends Peden backunder teh hole he came from. By that time a brokered covnention will be definite and the national delegates will start to be really decided at state conventions, not the fantasy prpjections of the MSM.

  42. Joe S. Says:

    Nothing is absolutely certain in politics, but it is extremely unlikely at this point that Ron will end up with the GOP nomination.

    The thing we need to remember about the Libertarian Party or the Constitution Party is that Ron Paul Meetup groups are at 100,000+ members. Let’s see, if we allow 150 lbs. per Meetup member, that’s 15,000,000 lbs. That means, if we walk into the LP or CP, we are the 15,000,000 lb. gorilla in the room, and we will be in charge.

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