View Full Version : Nashua Telegraph: 'The Ron Paul Show'

08-20-2007, 06:35 PM

By JOSEPH G. COTE, Telegraph Staff

Published: Monday, Aug. 20, 2007

HOLLIS – Sunday’s GOP barbecue fundraiser could have been dubbed “The Ron Paul Show,” based on the attention the Texas congressman received and the number of his supporters in attendance.

Paul was one of five lesser-known presidential hopefuls at the Hillsborough County Republican Committee’s annual fundraiser at Alpine Grove in Hollis. North Carolina businessman Daniel Gilbert, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, and Illinois businessman John Cox joined him.

But he was the only one who had a plane towing a banner circling the banquet hall.

U.S. Sen. John Sununu gave the afternoon’s keynote address. The campaigns of U.S. Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter of California also sent representatives.

More than 500 people ponied up $18 for the ticket, making it the most successful barbecue in years, according to Vahrij Manoukian, the committee’s chairman and a Hollis resident.

“It’s very important to bring all the candidates under one roof and show we are united,” Manoukian said.

The same event drew about 150 people last year, he said.

Paul received thunderous cheers from his supporters – who seemed to fill the back of the room – when he talked about continuing the “modern day revolution” for individual liberty, eliminating “divisive” pursuits such as welfare and warfare, eliminating the federal reserve and bringing U.S. troops home to protect U.S. borders.

Later Paul said it’s anyone’s guess as to whether his vociferous base of young supporters will be enough to overcome big-name and big-money campaigns like Giuliani and U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton.

“All I know is they’re growing by hundreds every day,” he said. “I think they’re hungry for a message of freedom, and that’s what I deliver.”

Merrimack resident and Paul supporter Elaine Laplante said she was surprised Paul’s platform of “liberty and the constitution and back to basics” appeals to young voters even more than the old guard.

“I love Ron Paul,” Laplante said. “I like that he’s very low key.”

But for some Republicans, like Hollis resident Rick Gagne, the Ron Pauls of the world are too far to the right. Gagne said that while he showed up to the barbecue with an open mind, he was drawn to the practicality of Cox and McCain.

“You need someone who’s practical,” Gagne said. “I’d rather have someone near the middle and someone with common sense, and I’m not seeing a lot of it from the candidates on either side.”

But as loud as the cheers were for Paul, all the candidates at the barbecue face long odds gaining the Republican nomination, never mind winning a general election. That’s a reality Tancredo is well aware of.

“I am a long shot,” he said. “It’s sort of David and Goliath, but like someone told me: David won.”

Tancredo said he did have a rock and sling he’s counting on.

“It’s called illegal immigration,” he said. “We’re going to throw that stone every chance we get.”

Tancredo said illegal immigration has been a top issue for him during his nine years in Congress, and he’s the only candidate who has consistently called for the deportation of illegal immigrants.

Cox echoed that.

“Three words: Enforce the law,” he said to a round of applause.

Perhaps the most agreed upon topic, though, was Clinton. Cox described himself as the “perfect anti-Hillary.”

Huckabee said he wanted to be the Arkansas governor who beat Clinton for the presidency rather than the one who married her.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashuatelegraph.com.

08-20-2007, 06:38 PM
Thanks for the info! Sounds like our good Doctor did quite well!!