Striding upon the stage to Tom Petty’s “I won’t back down” after last night’s New Hampshire primary, presidential candidate Ron Paul hit his typical notes of freedom and fiscal conservatism. But this time he included an admission in response to repeated media-hyped claims that his views are “dangerous.”
“We are dangerous . . .” he told his packed crowd of supporters, “dangerous to the status quo.”
This is a status quo that the liberty movement has already begun to change, as the LA Times reports:
Paul’s 16-minute speech hit on all his favorite libertarian themes, including some that were once too obscure for a presidential campaign, such as abolishing the Federal Reserve. “This is the first presidential campaign that the subject ever came up since the Federal Reserve was started,” said Paul, who seems continually surprised that he’s been able to inject the topic into the public discourse.
“We have had a victory for the cause of liberty tonight,” said Paul. “The intellectual revolution that’s going on now to restore liberty in this country is well on its way, and there’s no way they’re going to stop the momentum we have started . . . I sorta have to chuckle when they describe you and me as being dangerous. That’s one thing they are telling the truth about because we are dangerous to the status quo.”
Looking on from the back of the ballroom, a 52-year-old real estate agent from Long Island nodded approvingly. “He stays on message, but it comes from his heart and he doesn’t sound like a broken record,” said Gigi Bowman. “Romney sounds rehearsed. When Ron Paul speaks, it comes from the heart. Maybe I am biased, but I want to listen to him every time he says something.”
After what his campaign called a “strong second-place finish,” campaign manager Jesse Benton made an appeal to other candidates that only Paul has proven to be effective consistently as the anti-Romney candidate. If we don’t want to be stuck with Romney, was the message, the only choice is now to drop out and back Paul:
“Ron Paul tonight had an incredibly strong second-place finish in New Hampshire and has stunned the national media and political establishment.
“When added to Paul’s top-tier showing in Iowa, it’s clear he is the sole Republican candidate who can take on and defeat both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
“The race is becoming more clearly a two-man race between establishment candidate Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, the candidate of authentic change. That means there is only one true conservative choice.
“Ron Paul has won more votes in Iowa and New Hampshire than any candidate but Mitt Romney.
“Ron Paul and Mitt Romney have been shown in national polls to be the only two candidates who can defeat Barack Obama.
“And Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are the only two candidates who can run a full, national campaign, competing in state after state over the coming weeks and months. Ron Paul’s fundraising numbers — over $13 million this quarter — also prove he will be able to compete with Mitt Romney. No other candidate can do all of these things.
“Ron Paul is clearly the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney as the campaign goes forward.
“We urge Ron Paul’s opponents who have been unsuccessfully trying to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney to unite by getting out of the race and uniting behind Paul’s candidacy.
“Ron Paul has the boldest plan to cut spending, a dedication to protecting life, and a lifelong dedication to the Constitution and limited government. He also has the necessary support to campaign nationwide against Mitt Romney.
“Our campaign is already planning ahead for South Carolina, Florida, and beyond. Soon Ron Paul will head to South Carolina to begin a feverish round of campaigning.
“Ron Paul is in this race for the long haul. And he is ready to fight.