Ron Paul talks federal spending, foreign policy at Politics & Eggs Friday As originally appearing in The Nashua Telegraph
By MARYALICE GILL/Staff Writer
MANCHESTER – A stream of Ron Paul supporters hoisted royal blue signs and waved, standing outside St. Anselm College Friday morning, as the Texas Congressman and presidential hopeful participated in the popular Politics & Eggs series hosted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and New England Council.
One NHIOP volunteer, 19-year-old Zach Gregoric, a sophomore politics major at the college, said he’s attended each Politics & Eggs session this season, but has yet to see the kind of following that backed Paul on Friday.
“I went down to the store to pick up some things, and they were still out there in the rain,” Gregoric said. “I really appreciate Ron Paul’s down to earth nature. There hasn’t been another candidate who stood in the back and talked to people beforehand.”
Before Paul took the stage around 8:30 a.m., he spent time taking photos and signing autographs for attendees who represented businesses that support the popular political forum. Two employees from Fidelity Investments even had Paul scribble a message on a brick of silver.
Gregoric said he is still undecided about who to vote for in the upcoming primary, but he is looking for a candidate to reach across party lines and bring Democrats and Republicans together.
“The most important thing for me is somebody willing to bring both parties together and show strong bipartisan reform,” Gregoric said. “I don’t know if Obama has that in him, or if any of these republican candidates have that ability.”
But Paul’s discussion Friday morning, hitting mostly on decades of failed fiscal policies, suggested bipartisanship is part of the monetary problem in the U.S.
“Both parties have been irresponsible in spending,” Paul told a room full of local business reps and state politicians. “Democrats don’t hide from (spending). They believe in spending and usually argue its case. Republicans pretend they aren’t, but when Republicans have a chance, they haven’t done a very good job. So there becomes a cooperation between the two parties, some on the right that want to spend for one reason, and some on the left want to spend for another reason, and they are bipartisan and they get along quite well. I argue the case that maybe we have too much bipartisanship in Washington, instead of not enough.”
Paul, who said he was first motivated to get into politics when the U.S. dollar departed from the gold standard in 1971, blamed the Fed for the spending and borrowing that has pushed interest rates up and sent debt spiraling out of control, resulting in too many “foreign adventures” and what Paul called an “unsustainable entitlement system.”
“The 70s, 80s, and 90s, even though we had frequent recessions, we were always able to paper them over, spend a little more money, print a little more money, borrow a little more money,” Paul said, “But really what we were doing was a worldwide financial fall over, because the dollars were exported–that became our best export–and our jobs were exported, but the world still took our dollar, even though there was nothing behind the dollar and they used that in their reserve, so the bubble, the dollar bubble, the bond bubble is worldwide, so that’s why we live in a very precarious time.”
When talk shifted to Paul’s foreign policy platform, prompted by a question from the audience, the Congressman’s take on affairs overseas was not any more uplifting.
“I think what we have been doing the last several decades has been very detrimental to our defense because money is being spent, but it’s just creating more enemies,” Paul said, citing a U.S. military base in Saudi Arabia that Paul said was a major reason the U.S. was attacked Sept. 11.
“I think we should have a golden rule foreign policy: don’t ever do anything to another country that you would not accept them, or they, another country, doing to us,” Paul said. “We would be very, very happy, we would be very unified, we would be a great bipartisanship, we would join together as we joined together on 9/11.”
Paul referenced the Founding Fathers’ belief that the U.S. should have “no entangling alliances,” in his outspokenness against America’s foreign wars, and used our founding document–the Constitution–many times to explain his policy positions and to answer questions.
When Gregoric ventured to ask Paul if he believes the U.S. is in a state of decline, Paul didn’t hesitate to give his opinion.
“We’re in decline, there is no question about it,” Paul said. “Sure, we still are printing currency, and they still are taking it, we still have a lot of wealth out there, but we have $3 trillion worth of foreign debt, and $14 trillion of a federal debt expanding rapidly and the good jobs not being here…That’s decline that has to be reversed.”
Towards the end of the dialogue, Paul responded to one attendee who said he hopes “the republic can survive the media somehow,” thanking Paul for providing “intellectual honesty” about the U.S.’ current state of affairs.
“Today if you’re a whistle blower, you’ll be accused of treason,” Paul said. “The whistle blowers are real important people and yet they are looked at very much in a negative manner, that they are un-American and unpatriotic. But I believe that telling the truth should never be unpatriotic.”
As the event wrapped up, attendees said they were confident in Paul’s ability to win New Hampshire.
Darlene Houtz of Epping, who said she supported Paul in 2008, was set to vote for him again in 2012.
“100 percent, I’m supporting him,” Houtz said. “I think this state is very open to Libertarian-mindedness, a lot of it is, I mean with ‘Live Free or Die,’ and everything. If anywhere, this is probably the place he has a good shot.”
Paul recently finished second in a Suffolk University poll, winning 14 percent of support in New Hampshire, just 27 points behind frontrunner Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Maryalice Gill can be reached at 594-6490 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Gill on Twitter (@Telegraph_MAG).