Ron Paul Receives Warm Welcome in Iowa City, Asks Crowd for Help at Straw Poll

The Texas Congressman spoke to an enthusiastic crowd in the meeting room of the Sheraton Hotel in Iowa City, exhorting them to help him win the upcoming Ames Straw Poll on August 13.

Two things were evident from Dr. Ron Paul's (R- Texas) visit to Iowa City Tuesday morning:

1.) For a Republican, Ron Paul is a surprisingly popular candidate in Iowa City.

2.) Ron Paul is putting a lot of emphasis on doing well in the upcoming Ames Straw Poll.

They had to bring in more chairs to meet the demand in downstairs meeting room of the Sheraton Hotel in Iowa City, as around 100 people crowded in to listen to Rep. Paul speak. The mood in the room was positive and enthusiastic, and there was applause as Paul took the stage. 

In between Paul's usual rhetoric denouncing foreign entanglements, government restrictions, lamenting the loss of gold standard for American currency and the loss of personal freedoms for Americans and markets (all popular topics with the crowd), there was another theme that was readily apparent -- the importance of the Straw Poll to the Paul campaign.

Paul told the audience that the Straw Poll is not a meaningless exercise, and although the campaign finished a surprising 5th in 2008, his ambition is much higher this time around.

"We're bound and determined to do better," Paul said.

Paul told the audience that he would be saddened by the result if he finished worse than third in the Straw Poll.

As if to emphasize this point, a man associated with the Paul campaign greeted everyone who was in line to meet the Congressman after the speech, offering a handshake and repeating the mantra.

"Are you going to the Straw Poll?"

"If so, bring a friend if you can."

"It really is going to be a historic event."

For their part, the crowd, a healthy cross section of Republicans, Independents and even a few Democrats, seemed pleased with Paul's speech, especially his emphasis on ending foreign wars and restoring personal freedoms.

Paul told the crowd that while it is easy to blame President Obama for the country's problems, the real problems have existed long before. He said his goal would be to return the United States to a state more consistent with the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution.

"I would not be a president who wanted to rule the world, I don't want to run your life, and I don't think anyone can run the economy," Paul said, to big applause from the audience.

When Paul was asked by Iowa City Patch if he felt it was a positive that he was so popular in a college town he said that it was.

"I think it's great for the freedom movement," Paul said.

He added that he has worked with very liberal members of Congress before, and that it is not about compromising beliefs, it is about working on issues where they can find common ground.

Zach Townsend, of Iowa City, said he was a former Democrat who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, but he now considers himself more of a Libertarian. He said Paul's speech resonated with him.

"I realized after I voted that (Obama) followed the same policies that (George W.) Bush did."

Townsend, who is looking for a job at the moment, said he has a stake in the improvement of the economy.

Elaine Olson, a retired school teacher and political Independent from Cedar Rapids, said she was impressed by Paul's knowledge and experience.

"I think he's very ethical, he's experienced and he's shown he can govern," Olson said.

When asked what she thought as a teacher of Paul's oft stated desire to eliminate the Department of Education, she said she wouldn't mind that.

"They (the Department of Education) aren't doing anything worthwhile anyway," Olson said.

John Shackelford, a software engineer and Independent from Cedar Rapids, said he likes Paul's frankness in the midst of a political debate that often is devoid of substance.

"He tells it like it is and he has the voting record to back it up," Shackelford said.

Stephen Schmidt August 03, 2011 at 05:21 PM
Thanks for the comments.
David Mogrovejo August 10, 2011 at 02:04 PM
I have a strong word of caution for all you who are planning on voting for Ron Paul at the Ames straw poll. Let me remind you that numerous voters were not allowed inside the building to vote. All of these voters were wearing T-shirts with Ron Paul's name on it. This injustice may happen again and I know you guys want to show your support and wear his T-shirt I advise you all to swallow your pride and wear something else so you may be allowed inside to vote.
Alie Gensheimer August 11, 2011 at 09:30 PM
Great article, Stephen. I work for Patch in PA and am so excited about the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa and even more excited about the Ron Paul revolution!! I hope everybody gets out there to vote Ron Paul 2012. He is this country's last chance.
Grey-Ghost August 13, 2011 at 02:59 AM
Ron Paul for pres When fascism goes to sleep it looks under the bed for Ron Paul He has never taken a government junket. He does not participate in the lucrative Congressional Pension Program. He returns a portion of his annual Congressional Office Budget every year. He has never voted to raise taxes. He has never voted for an unbalanced budget. He has never voted to restrict gun ownership. He has never voted to raise Congressional Pay. He never voted to increase Executive Branch Power. He will Reinstate The Constitution and Save The Republic He will END the unconstitutional FED. He will phase out the unconstitutional IRS beginning immediately He will secure the borders He will limit Big Government in your private affairs He will stop Illegal immigration and no amnesty He voted against regulating the Internet He voted against the Iraq War and warned us against going forward with an undeclared war. “Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberty and wealth are in Jeopardy” July 10th, 2003 He voted against the un-patriotic so called Patriot Act. He supports a non-interventionist foreign policy yet a strong military He will end the inflation tax He is a true Constitutional Conservative
Grey-Ghost August 13, 2011 at 03:01 AM
Rick Perry, despite his flaccid Tea Party and secessionist rhetoric, is the ideal candidate for the neocons and their global elite taskmasters. If nominated – and this is a distinct possibility – and elected as chief teleprompter reader, he will bring back neocon chest-pounding to the establishment political scene. As Obama has demonstrated, the agenda does not change. Only the rhetoric is slightly modified every four or eight years as the establishment shuffles the deck and the game of musical chairs continues uninterrupted. Learn more about Ron Paul.


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