MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul pushed his idea of smaller, no-nonsense government as he campaigned in St. Cloud Saturday.
Historically, he’s had a strong following in the Midwest, and he even did well in the area three years ago. But there’s another reason why Paul came to St. Cloud, according to professor Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota.
“Ron Paul was in town to raid some of the [Michele] Bachman votes in her own congressional district,” Jacobs said. “This is a conservative part of Minnesota, and it’s not surprising Ron Paul would be going where the conservative voters are.”
About 1,000 people packed into St. Cloud’s downtown auditorium, and they listened to a message about change. Paul talked of changing foreign and monetary policy, among other things. He said America is going down the wrong path and it’s time to change it.
“The revolution is alive and well even up north here,” he told the crowd. For 45 minutes, Paul preached his libertarian views. He said American should get out of every other country’s business, and that America should end all wars, because they are bankrupting the country.
“The big issue is personal liberty,” Paul said in an interview. “The second is the rule of law and following the Constitution. I think we’ve gotten soft. We’ve concentrated more on the blessings of liberty and the productivity of liberty. We forgot about the fundamentals, and now we’ve run out of both the material benefits of liberty. And now we have to restore our confidence and our understanding of liberty.”
Some call Paul’s viewpoints ‘radical,’ like the elimination of the Federal Reserve and Department of Education.
Jacobs calls Paul an agenda candidate.
“Ron Paul.. he’d like to win. But he’s also running for the ideas that he’s supporting,” Jacobs said. “Those ideas, that agenda is what Ron Paul is all about. He’s had a lot of successes, and I think he sees more and more reason for him to be in the campaign and make sure the Libertarian philosophy is well represented.”
Jacobs thinks Paul will campaign again in Minnesota. He also thinks the state could be an important battle ground state when the Republicans pick their presidential candidate.
“If the battle for the Republican party gets strung out, Minnesota could be a very important contest. And I think we’ll see more of Ron Paul. He’s got a lot of supporters here in Minnesota,” Jacobs said.