Tales from the Trail

CPAC victory in hand, Ron Paul takes on Tea Party

February 14, 2011

USA-POLITICS/REPUBLICANSLibertarian Ron Paul, a godfather of the Tea Party movement, isn’t altogether happy with his political progeny these days.

Fresh from victory in last week’s CPAC presidential straw poll, the Republican congressman from Texas laments to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that some Tea Partiers aren’t measuring up when it comes to the tough defense and entitlement program cuts he believes are needed to save the United States from economic cataclysm.

“They don’t want you to touch Social Security. They don’t want you to touch anything but Obamacare,” Paul says. “Some of them are real Republicans and they wouldn’t dare touch Bush’s increase in medical care costs, you know, prescription health programs.”

“They treat the symptoms and they don’t look at it philosophically,” he adds.

This sounds like a new fissure in the divisions emerging among Republicans. The Tea Party movement swept Republicans into the majority in the House of Representatives last November, while narrowing the Democratic Party’s hold on the Senate.

This year, newly elected Republicans with Tea Party backing have embarrassed the party leadership in the House on high-profile votes and pushed to expand initial 2011 spending cuts of $40 billion to more than$60 billion.

Differences between Republicans have appeared to turn on degrees of conservatism and aggressiveness about spending cuts, with some balking at the prospect of reducing popular programs that could cost votes.

But Paul says it’s also a matter of age, with young Tea Partiers showing themselves to be much hardier than the movement’s elders.  And he’s a youth leader, at 75: “On the long run, I’m optimistic because there’s a new generation coming.”

His son, Tea Party Republican Senator Rand Paul, drew boos at CPAC when he talked about cutting Pentagon spending. The applause meter also dipped noticeably on Social Security, with the most robust support coming from audience members who won’t feel the cold wind of old age blow for decades to come.

USA-BUDGET /The problem father and son both see is that cutting too little condemns the United States to a deadly debt addiction. Or as the congressman himself puts it: “I think the addiction is so bad that we’re going to continue and we are going to have a major, major economic crisis with the destruction of the dollar.”

So he’s running for president again. And no matter what Donald Trump says, Paul is clear – and nicely wry — about his chances of getting elected: “You always take that risk when you put your name on the ballot.”

In other words, be careful what you wish for?

Reuters Photo Credits: Jonathan Ernst (Ron Paul) and (Obama Budget)

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Comments
6 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Nice article and unusual for established media.

No doubt Ron Paul will have a good chance if getting elected in 2012.

http://www.ronpaul.se

Posted by RonPaul.se | Report as abusive
 

Dr. Ron Paul has single-handedly taken back the Republican Party that had been hijacked by Neocons. Neocons are big government spending, spread goodness around the world through the barrel of a gun people. Real conservatives are for non intervention – war only when necessary, no entangling alliances with other nations, and for less government and less intrusion in the lives of the populace. The congressman is completely honest and not a flip-flop. Who else among politicians can that be said of? Shouldn’t everyone vote for him just for that reason?

Posted by edw987 | Report as abusive
 

I think the appraisal that “Neocons” may have taken over the
Republican party is true. I think the characterizations of Real Republicans as for ;non intervention, war when necessary, no entangling alliances with nations and less Government is accurate.
Somehow the issues of saving the world, religion and such personal issues as abortion have taken over.
Those are not Government issues.
I certainly don’t support the Democratic agenda, but much of the “neocon” agenda has left me voting Republican only really as against the Democrats.

Posted by macira | Report as abusive
 

Ron Paul IS America. The man is a true conservative, and he will surely get my vote in 2012. The GOP is so very foolish for trying to silence Dr. Paul, when they should be taking advantage of his popularity. Ron Paul is the GOP’s only shot at beating Obama in 2012 – let’s hope they don’t blow it by electing some clown like Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin!

Posted by ConservativeUSA | Report as abusive
 

I’m a Democrat, and I have always liked Ron Paul. His Libertarian streak appeals to me, and I appreciate his insistence on cost cutting. I have no idea what will happen in 2012, but I think Ron Paul will have wide appeal with independents.

Posted by MathewsG | Report as abusive
 

Fox News has been busted yet again editing video to misinform its viewers.

“Fox News. We distort, you buy it.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwo0Iyrh1 Zk

Posted by Infiltrator | Report as abusive
 

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