Ron Paul Moves to Top Tier in Iowa

Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are in a dead heat as the top choices for Iowans likely to attend the Jan. 3 Republican presidential caucuses.

A Bloomberg News poll shows Cain at 20 percent, Paul at 19 percent, Romney at 18 percent and Gingrich at 17 percent among the likely attendees with the caucuses that start the nominating contests seven weeks away.

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This is a rush transcript. If you notice any errors please report them using the “Help improve this post” link at the bottom of this post.

Eric: We’re less than 7 weeks from the first in the nation caucus, and Iowa Republicans have yet to settle on a single candidate. At this moment, a Bloomberg poll finds it a 4-way tie for the lead position. Our own Hans Nichols is in Washington, and he has the latest on the Republican race. Hans?

Hans Nichols: Thanks Eric, and good morning. No one has made the sale in Iowa, it’s a dead heat. Former leader of the pack, Rick Perry, has practically slid off the map. Let’s look at the numbers: Herman Cain is at 20%, Ron Paul is at 19%, Mitt Romney is at 18%, and then New Gingrich, also in that top-tier, is at 17%. But, Eric, the race is still fluid, 60% of likely caucus goers say that they could back someone else if they decide to, this is still very, very fluid. Eric?

Eric: So what is driving the race, Hans, that’s the question everybody is trying to answer? The Iowans top choice may ultimately not be their final choice, right?

Hans Nichols: Right, and it’s economic issues. According to our poll, it finds that these Iowa voters care more about jobs, taxes and government spending, than they do about the social issues. And that’s even though Iowa is doing pretty well economically; unemployment is at 6%, commodity and land prices are rising. This is poll is really a validation of Romney’s low-key Iowa strategy. His embarrassing loss to Mike Huckabee in Iowa 4 years ago still stings. Romney, at that time, sprinkled some 10 million dollars throughout the state for the win. This time around, it’s former state agricultural commissioner, Rick Perry; he’s the big spender to prepare that Iowa. Political reports say that he’s pumping $400,000 a week on to the airways to make up for some of those past debate performances. And the former leader of the pack, well, he’s now fallen to 7%. And another earlier leader, Iowa straw poll winner, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, has dropped to 5%, Rock Santorum and Jon Huntsman are bringing up the rear. But it’s still very fluid, anyone can break this race open in the next 6 weeks.

Eric: Hans, thanks very much for a look at the Republican presidential race.


This is a rush transcript. If you notice any errors please report them using the “Help improve this post” link at the bottom of this post.

Larry Kudlow: New tonight, an Iowa poll shows Ron Paul has vaulted to the lead. Actually, it’s a four-way top between Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich. Here now is Congressman Ron Paul.

Congressman Paul, welcome back, you are among the four dead heat front runners in Iowa. Do you have a quick thought on that, you are surging there?

Ron Paul: Well, actually I’m very pleased and the campaign is very pleased with what’s happening, but I think I’m very cautious also, we have a lot of work to do and we’ll keep plugging away. One thing I feel good about is when we do get supporters, they’re pretty solid and they don’t come and go, they’re pretty solid and they’ll stick with me. So that, to me, is very encouraging.

Larry Kudlow: Congressman, what’s your key message right now to the Republican voters in Iowa that will caucus?

Ron Paul: The main thing is, which I’ve talked about for years, that we need to dramatically change our approach to government. Not so much that you get rid of waste and fraud, which I think we should, but it’s bigger than that. I think it’s the role of government. I want to talk about our foreign policy. And, of course, you know I talk a lot about monetary policy and how monetizing debt is an encouragement for spending, but we also have to address the spending here at home, and for that reason I say you have to cut spending. That, to me, is at the top of the list, and I have proposed and I have gotten good reception on it, that we ought to cut a trillion dollars out of the first year’s budget in order to tell the world and the financial markets that we’re serious and we’re not going to just drive ourselves into this sovereign debt crisis that the rest of the world is involved in already.

Larry Kudlow: You know, Congressman, we’re talking a lot tonight on this program about the super-committee votes coming up, and it’s a very hot topic everywhere around the country. What do you make of these rumors and reports that Republicans are agreeing to 6 or 7 or 8 hundred billion in tax increases, which in some sense may actually exceed the spending cuts and it could be less than one-to-one spending versus revenues? What do you make of that and what would you do about it?

Ron Paul: Well, if I had anything to do with it, I wouldn’t accept it, and I certainly wouldn’t accept it nor vote for it. But if it goes through, and that is resolved, I think seals the faith for the Republicans in the next go around. It’s sort of what George Bush Senior did, he said, “I won’t raise taxes”, and he raised taxes and he was punished for it. So I think if the Republicans capitulate, there will be a punishment, and I don’t think that there’ll be any changes in the executive branch. But I’m offering something different and if we prevail, those kinds of things won’t happen.

Larry Kudlow: Wouldn’t the GOP be better off, sir, just on this point, to take the across-the-board spending cut trigger? Why not take that, at least it comes to, if I’m not mistaken, over a trillion dollars in spending cuts?

Ron Paul: Oh, yea. That’s better than not doing anything or raising taxes. But even that, from my viewpoint, isn’t very much, because that’s over a long period of time and it doesn’t really address the major problems. It would be better, though, I agree with you, than doing what it looks like they might do: raise taxes and pretend that they’re going to get more cuts. That’s not going to happen, that’s been tried before and the cuts never come about. Because what we do is only good for one year, these plans, these ten year programs that these baseline budget thing, that is what’s wrong. That’s why I claim that this year’s budget, the year that we’re working in, is the only thing that counts, and that’s why we have to address it and we have to cut spending in a very significant manner.

Larry Kudlow: You know, just last thought quickly, sir. You have an ally in the Fed, believe it or not. Last night on this show, Dallas Fed President, Richard Fisher told me he was totally opposed to any more quantitative easing, and felt we’d already done too much quantitative easting. Now I know you’ve suggested Jim Grant as a Fed chairman, what a President Ron Paul look at a Richard Fisher as Treasury Security?

Ron Paul: Well, certainly, you should be open, I just happen to know Jim very well. And fisher did write me a note recently and it was a friendly note, and he said he didn’t agree with a lot of what I say, but he was in agreement with a significant amount of it. So it was a friendly overture to me, and I think you should talk with people because you won’t everybody agreeing with you on all the issues. I just want to curtail some of powers of the Fed, of course, at the beginning. I’d like to change the whole system. But I think this is unrelenting monetizing of debt, which is the QE type thing; just printing and creating credit out of thin air, that will cause great harm, it has already caused great harm, and it’s going to take a while for us to work our way out of that mess.

Larry Kudlow: Alright, we’ll to leave it there. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, now among the front runners in a dead heat in Iowa. Thank you, sir, as always.

Ron Paul: Thank you.

Larry Kudlow: Alright, very interesting, Richard Fisher a possible Treasury Secretary.

  • w1945

    My self being from GA I can tell you right up front, stay clear of Newt and by all means stay clear of Herman Cain. To elect either would be a complete Nightmare. When you consider Ron Paul you just know in your gut that he is the right man for the job. Most people may not agree with everything he says but all in all they know he is the best man. We will never find a man that satisfies every one in all things, some times we just got to go with the best we have and that my friends is Ron Paul.

  • Hoyt Brown

    Ron Paul will blow Iowa away. Why? Because non of the other candidates have anything to pin on him, he has a rock solid base, he does not flip flop, and he does not change his stance on anything. No way the other candidates can get around that.


  • Liberty

    First the media wanted Perry, then Cain, and now Gingrich to be the Frontrunners. And, as always Romney is there chosen. Take a look at these two videos. It will explain why no one should vote for Gingrich and why we should vote for Ron Paul.

  • Daniel Trippett

    Dr. Paul is magic!

  • Michael F. Douglas

    It is funny to see how the lamestream media keeps pushing RINO Romney on us but we are not falling for it this time.And I hope we never do; like most people fell for RINO McCain in 2008.