Megyn Kelly: Well, there is a new leader of the Republican pack in Iowa, folks, as we count down to the caucuses. A week from yesterday, Ron Paul maintains a first place position against his rivals in the Hawkeye State ahead of next Tuesday’s contest. With all the last minute jockeying for votes, Congressman Paul, leads the Nominee Preference Public Policy Poll with 24%; Mitt Romney is in second with 20%; Newt Gingrich is now third at 13%.
Doug Wead is senior advisor to the presidential candidate, Ron Paul, and he is with me now. Doug, welcome to the program, it’s great to have you.
Doug Wead: Thanks, Megyn.
Megyn Kelly: Alright, so this has come as good news to you, but now you’ve got all these folks – as Ron Paul continues to be first in a lot of polls, And I think under the RealClearPolitics average he’s up there as well – suggesting he could win Iowa, and it’s not going to go any further than that. And to those folks you say what?
Doug Wead: Well, winning Iowa is a big deal. The last two presidents of the United States, Barack Obama and George W. Bush, won Iowa and lost New Hampshire and went on to win the nomination and then the presidency. So if your template works in Iowa; if your advertising your coalitions, your ground game, your message resonates in Iowa, it’s a good example of how it will resonate in other places, of course, tweaked for regions. So it’s a good sign, it’s not a bad sign.
Megyn Kelly: But what’s the plan to parlay a victory, or even a second place or a third place finish in Iowa? How do you parley that into success in later states where Congressman Paul may not be polling as well?
Doug Wead: With the same template. The people of Iowa have focused on this race, the people in California that are voting in the national poll of Gallup or Rasmussen, aren’t focused on who they’re actually going to vote for. Last night, we had a very well dressed business women come to us for caucus practices in Iowa, and someone pulled her aside and asked, “Why are you supporting Ron Paul?” She said, “He’s the purest protest I can make against the corruption in Washington DC. Ron Paul has kind of pulled the curtain back on that. There’s always been corruption, but the scale of corruption in Washington DC is now so bad, he’s the purest vote. He’s always voted against tax increases, unbalanced budgets, he gave back a $100,000 of his own congressional allowance. If you want a pure protest vote, it is Ron Paul”. And we think when the people of New Hampshire, as the polls are already beginning to show there, and the people in South Carolina, focus and make their decision, we’re going to do very well. When they see our commercials, we’re going to do very well.
Megyn Kelly: Yea, I was in Iowa for the debate on December 15, and I can say, you guys have certainly peppered the airwaves with ads against Gingrich and Romney and others. I want to ask you about the news today that Gary Johnson, who had been a Republican candidate for president, is now going to run on a Libertarian ticket. That’s you guys thing: libertarian ideals, although Gary Johnson shares them as well. Ron Paul has not closed the door to a possible third-party ticket run if he doesn’t wind up as the GOP nominee. Your thoughts on the announcement from Gary Johnson today?
Doug Wead: Well, Ron Paul is not an absolutist, and that’s the only reason that he leaves a little bit of the door open. The last time around, the Republican Party didn’t treat him very well, and the fact that he’s a contender and a player and is going to win the nominee, is a mute point. The PPP poll last night you referred to, showed a remarkable thing, it showed Ron Paul leading among evangelical Christians in Iowa, over Perry, Bachman, and Gingrich. That bodes well for South Carolina, it bodes well for him winning the nomination, and the presidency. And just three days ago, the Washington Post Poll showed him doing better than Gingrich against Barack Obama, and at a statistical tie with Mitt Romney within the margin of error against Barack Obama. So who’s talking about third party, we’re talking about winning in Iowa and making a run for it, if not winning in New Hampshire, and winning the nomination.
Megyn Kelly: You know, one of the issues, obviously, you know that Congressman Paul is most controversial on it, is his foreign policy stance. And in particular, Israel and Iran, and whether he would allow Iran to get the bomb. He said he doesn’t want it, but he doesn’t want it because he’s worried that the United States will then go to war with Iran. And he doesn’t want that, just as he didn’t want the Iraq war, because he thinks we’re too prone to attacking other countries and injecting ourselves militarily. Newt Gingrich came out and said, given that kind of attitude and policy stance, it would be a tough choice for Americans if the choice came down to Barack Obama versus Ron Paul. And Ron Paul is to the left of Barack Obama on certain issues, including foreign policy with respect to Iran. To Newt Gingrich, what do you say?
Doug Wead: Yea, I totally disagree with that idea that he’s to the left or the right. He’s pro-constitution, he’s in favor of taking the idea of war – he’s not against war, he was the only public figure in 1981 to stand up and defend Israel’s right to defend herself and take out those Iraqi nuclear facilities. He’s not as war, he’s in favor of going to the U.S. Congress, as the constitution says, debating it, committing to war, getting in, winning it, and then getting out. He’s against these endless wars that just happen out of whim because somebody believes that someone’s a threat to the United States. If there is serious threat to the United States and/or our allies, then let’s take it to Congress, let’s discuss it, let’s commit, and let’s get in and win it and get out.
Megyn Kelly: Dogh, last question for you, and forgive me if this is impolitic, but Ron Paul is 76 years old. Is there a concern that his age might be an issue for him in going after this nomination?
Doug Wead: You know, the real problem is getting right on issues, not having the right age. Barack Obama has got the right age, but he’s totally wrong on the issues. And the people who are voting for us in Iowa and who support us in Iowa are people who have lost the value of their homes, they’ve lost the value of their IRAs. They’re students who are paying 8% interest on a student loan, while billionaires are getting 0% interest free loans to stimulate the economy. And they’re fed up with that corruption. And his message resonates regardless of his age. The hard part is getting right on the issues, and Ron Paul has been able to do that in this cycle.
Megyn Kelly: Alright, I know you’re much more focused right now on that number 24% that puts him in first place in the latest PPP Iowa poll. The numbers “24% over Romney’s 20%” than you are on the number “76 years”. Doug, all the best, thanks so much for being here.
Doug Wead: Thank you, Megyn.
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