Politics

With Mitt Romney Holding Back, Other Republican Hopefuls Barnstorm Iowa

Ron Paul looks to continue straw poll success while other candidates tour the state
By: Kevin Derby | Posted: August 5, 2011 3:55 AM
Rand Paul and Ron Paul

Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Ron Paul

With little more than a week to go until the Iowa straw poll in Ames, some of the Republican presidential candidates continued to beef up their operations in the Hawkeye State, which holds the first presidential caucus.

Having won a number of straw polls -- including two held at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2010 and earlier this year -- U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas looked to continue his success in the events.

Supporters of the maverick libertarian congressman’s presidential campaign announced this week that they were forming a coalition of farmers to help build support for Paul, and they would focus on Iowa.

“As a farmer, I have seen the waste and unintended consequences of government programs that are outside the federal government's mandate,” said Iowa state Rep. Jason Schultz, a Republican from Schleswig. Schultz, who raises corn and soybeans on his farm, will help lead “Farmers for Paul.”

“Ron Paul's record spanning 30 years of constitutional conservatism proves that he doesn't say one thing and then do another,” added Schultz. “He’s the one candidate who will steer our country back toward the liberty and prosperity that comes with true, limited government."

The Paul campaign also announced that the congressman would be hitting Iowa next week with his son -- freshman U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who is a favorite of the tea party movement.

Congressman Paul will be visiting Fairfield on Tuesday before his son joins him in Mason City, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines on Wednesday, and Ames on Thursday. The Paul camp played up the historic significance of the event, noting this is the first time a U.S. senator has campaigned with his father, who also served in Congress, for the presidency.

“We in the senior Dr. Paul’s campaign are already witnessing history as it pertains to Ron Paul inspiring the national conversation about restoring faithfulness to the Constitution, freeing Americans from a crushing national debt, and reversing the federal government’s overreach,” said Jesse Benton, a spokesman for Ron Paul. “Now we again are seeing history in the making as the Drs. Paul campaign alongside each other in the important early primary election state of Iowa.”

“We are heartened that the Iowa state Republican Party can be part of this great story of an incumbent U.S. congressman campaigning for U.S. president joined by his son, an incumbent U.S. senator,” said Drew Ivers, the chairman of Paul’s Iowa campaign.

One of Paul’s colleagues in Congress -- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota -- doubled down on her efforts to win the straw poll. On Thursday, her camp announced 12 events the congresswoman will hold over the weekend and early next week. She’ll be touring the state, hitting 11 cities -- including her old hometown of Waterloo -- as she looks to build momentum before the straw poll.

With former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, the current front-runner in the race, downplaying the straw poll, some of the underdogs in the race increased the pace of their efforts on Thursday as four of them campaigned in Iowa. U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter of Michigan campaigned in Altoona and Anamosa, while former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum held town hall events in Rock Rapids, Orange City and Sioux City. Businessman Herman Cain spoke in Des Moines and joined Santorum in speaking to the Professional Educators of Iowa in West Des Moines on Thursday night. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia campaigned in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines.

Despite the looming straw poll, on Thursday two of the Republican hopefuls focused on New Hampshire, home of the first primary. Former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah, who has said his campaign will do little in Iowa, spoke to the Salem Chamber of Commerce and Republicans in Derry, while former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, who was left out of the straw poll by the Iowa Republicans, campaigned in Concord, Manchester and Nashua.


Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

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Comments (5)

CornFedUp
8:42AM AUG 5TH 2011
I'm from Iowa and I've always voted Republican. I voted for McCain in '08 because the media told me to, and I believed them. They also told me that Ron Paul was crazy, and I believed them.

Over the last few months, I've done my own research about all the candidates and I've concluded that not only is Ron Paul NOT crazy, he is THE BEST CANDIDATE I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE.

I urge everyone to do your own research and vote for Ron Paul.
StillCrazy
4:56AM AUG 6TH 2011
It depends on your definition of crazy. If you thought the media was saying that he was mentally ill, then you are right he is not crazy.
destructifier
11:01AM AUG 5TH 2011
I've been a supporter of RP since '07. It's great to hear about people doing they're own research. Unfortunately, the mindless masses will not do this and will continue to rely on the media to spoon-feed them their carefully manipulated "opinions". It's going to be painful to watch this happen again.
Nicky
9:59AM AUG 5TH 2011
I agree 100%. When you actually do your own research on the candidates, it is clear Ron Paul stands alone. Dr. Paul has never voted in opposition of the Constitution, has ALWAYS done what he said he would do, is the only honest candidate that believes in liberty and our founding fathers. He will bring our soldiers home from the illegal wars around the world, help restore our civil liberties and start getting rid of the Federal Reserve and IRS; what more could anybody want. The president takes an oath to uphold the Constitution - Period! It is the most important prerequisite to restoring our Constitutional Republic, so how can any American vote for the others that have a track record of voting against our Constitution? FREEDOM!
Disenchanted
1:28PM AUG 6TH 2011
I am in complete agreement. During the last POTUS election, the msm painted Ron Paul as a religious zealot who strongly opposed social freedoms. The only issue I knew we were in agreement with was the Iraqi war being an utter mistake and all we are achieving there is inciting more people to turn to revenge against the US. After just a little research, I found out that Ron Paul is for less federal government (not more) and that the individual states are the only ones who should decide on social issues - a true believer in the Tenth Amendment.

Considering that Ron Paul is the only one with the history of voting the exact way as what he promises and that he is the only one who not only predicted our economic demise, but he also is the only one with rational ideas as to how to turn around our economy, our international status and return our United States of America exceptionalism. After all, the USA is the only nation that has declared its people have inalienable rights, not rights given by the leaders of their nation.

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