Saturday night, Paul got caught. Santorum flushed him out, but Perry nailed it. Ron Paul was mid-attack against Santorum for adding earmarks when the subject of Paul’s own earmarks came up. Paul then gleefully announced that sure he added earmarks, but he never voted yes on any of the appropriation bills. Dr. Paul, that is a smoke screen. You put everything you wanted in bills that you knew would pass anyway, and then voted against those bills to pad your record? Sorry, not impressed.
Things got even worse when Paul attacked Gingrich again, apparently for not being eligible for the draft. Paul referred to deferments insinuating that Gingrich received deferments in Vietnam, and Gingrich had to set the record straight that his father was in Vietnam and Newt himself was not eligible for the draft.
While continuing unfair attacks on fellow candidates, Paul once again defended his newsletter by saying he never wrote the ones he signed or read the ones he edited. Paul did repeat a common liberal racist claim that illegal drugs and wars adversely affect African Americans and perpetuated the stereotype that blacks are inherently poor. His solution seemed to be to end wars and make drugs legal, but using the racism angle is a dishonest argument.
Paul made a gaffe when he talked about the US picking up Iranian seamen, which Santorum picked up on pointing out that if Paul was in charge our men wouldn’t have been there in the first place.
Paul’s answers on economics amount to vague elitism. Something many of us on the TEA Party side have been hungry for in Paul’s rhetoric is the what and how of what he wants to do with the economy. Yeah we get it. Paul is a constitutionalist. He is the doctor of democracy and champion of freedom. But what does that mean? Paul’s answer, liquidate debt and cut spending. I suppose we could all just go read his website to see what exactly he wants to cut, but I’m not convinced Paul even wrote whats on his website. I’m sure if something objectionable was found on there, Paul would have plausible deniability.
Fortunately, Paul did basically rule out a third party run.
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