Reporter: Uh, you’re a rockstar here at the fair. Everybody loves to see you. Everybody’s coming by, making the eye contact, and they say, “I’m voting for you”—I saw a guy with twenty bags of popcorn come by, “I’m voting for you!” There’s a big straw poll tomorrow in Ames. Your reputation is, that you have the most loyal followers, you’re people are the most committed to you. It’s not because they think that your hair looked nice, or that you had the best one-liner. They love your policy, and they’re willing to marshal their forces to go do it. I know you don’t make predictions, but how do you think the straw poll’s going to go tomorrow?
Ron Paul: Well, I think we’re going to do well. And we’re going to do better than we did four years ago. If we don’t do better than four years ago, it’ll be a big disappointment to me.
Reporter: What did you do four years ago?
Ron Paul: I think it was fifth.
Ron Paul: But it will be a disappointment to me not in a personal way as much as it would be disappointment that I haven’t delivered this message, which I think is the answer to so many of our problems. It’s a popular message. Young people love this message. So if we backtrack, that will be a disappointment. But so far, we don’t see signs of that. I mean, it seems like the momentum keeps building and building. Even in between the two elections, this Campaign for Liberty has been ongoing. And when I go to the campuses, they are just very very much alert to this. And they have a lot at stake. Young people have a lot at stake, because they’re inheriting a system that won’t provide jobs—but a lot of obligations. And they’re tired of the wars, and they love my emphasis on trying to put freedom back into one package. You know, personal liberties are not different than economic liberties. But we’ve divided that up. We have some people: “Well, we’ll protect your right to do these personal things, but we want to tell you how to spend your money.” And I think young people, for some reason—their minds haven’t been clogged by the status quo or the government and all this education—
Reporter: The old political rubric that developed forty and fifty years ago that separated those two things; I think you’re right when you talk to young people, the libertarian idea—lower case “l,” libertarian idea—about unity and freedom is more popular, it is on college campuses, people are talking about it. The other thing I notice is, four years ago, Rudy Giuliani and others in the field made “whacking you” in debates their #1 thing. That was like—that was the way they were trying to get an applause line, and go after you on foreign policy. Four years have passed. The Republican Party has come a long way in your direction. And now they’re in a hurry to agree with you, especially on fiscal policy, monetary policy—they say, “Oh yeah, obviously!” And you in some ways are sort of a grandfather of the TEA Party; you were there before that was happening—movement came up. Do you think that this is a sustainable direction for the Republican Party? Inside the GOP, can it keep moving in that direction?
Ron Paul: If they want to continue to grow! You know, interestingly enough, I think we are having an influence in the party. But the conventional, traditional Republican leaders that have been around a while, they want to grow the party, but they never come and ask me and say, “How do you get young people interested in the party?” They’ve never done that! But that’s what they have to do. They have to appeal to the young people. And I think most politicians are flexible enough, they just understand it. But there is a strong resistance by many in this country—and it’s not just Republicans—that we can disengage ourselves militarily from the world. And I’m not talking about an Isolationist position; I want to trade with people and talk with people and be friends with people. But to bring our troops home and save this money, that’s a bipartisan support. Even though the party out of power usually always argues the case that we have to come to our senses, that when they get in power they do the same thing. But I think you argue that on the entitlement system, too. The Republicans get in and they get control—“We gotta cut back!”—and then they double the size of the Department of Education. That’s what—that inconsistency, that flip-flopping is what people are getting tired of, and certainly the young people see the inconsistency.