Although the media has decided Mitt Romney is the GOP front-runner and the winner of Saturday's debate at St. Anselm in New Hampshire, Ron Paul ain't doin' so bad. He had direct confrontation during the debate with Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.
1. He took Rick Santorum to task on his corruption and lobbying. What Paul didn't mention is that Rick Santorum was a junior Senator and involved in meetings with famed lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Abramoff was convicted of mail fraud and conspiracy in 2006. Santorum was meeting regularly with Abramoff in 1996.
Paul did go on to mention Santorum's own lobbying career. The Huffington Post reports that Santorum earned $1.3 million between January 2010 and August 2011. He became very wealthy doing what he describes as being a "board member" and working on behalf of his own interests. There's a fine line between pooling money to sway a vote and coming together in a group for your voice to be heard. Which do you think best describes Santorum's efforts?
2. He did a good job of deflecting his own racist views dispersed in newsletters several years ago to making a case for ending discrimination today. Although his racist views are documented in those newsletters, it doesn't mean he hasn't learned since then. Even Senator Byrd, a former KKK member, said years later that was the greatest mistake he ever made. Byrd also filibustered against the Civil Rights Act and later said he would go back and change that if he could. Does Paul still hold racist views or is there any indication, other than statements from the debate Saturday, that he has changed his views?
3. Comparing his voting record to that of Santorum, Paul is the true economic conservative. Santorum voted to increase the debt ceiling 5 times. Paul voted against the bank bailouts and has a record of not supporting big government spending. Paul states that fixing the economy requires a liquidation of the debt, something he's stated several times over the course of the campaign.
4. Paul pointed out that the United States became involved in the Iraq War without a Declaration of War from Congress and continues to invade Middle Eastern countries at will ever since. It is true that Bush violated the Constitution and got America involved in a war that was never declared. However, Paul seems to be the only one on the planet with the opinion that Iran is not a nuclear threat. Is he right or is he wrong on Iran?
In addition, Paul made a valid point calling Newt Gingrich a hypocrite for sending America's youth to war when he, himself, took several deferments to the draft. Gingrich went on the defensive stating that he was married with a child when he was drafted. To which, Ron Paul retorted that he was married with two children when he served. Would a President that has been to war give more thought and consideration to sending American troops into harm's way?
These are some things to think about when considering Ron Paul for President. He stood his ground and was, by far, the most aggressive candidate in the debate. When will he take on Mitt?