Mitt Romney walked out of New Hampshire Tuesday night with another win, but Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who placed second in the primary, said that the state helped make another medalwinner this week.
According to Paul, there was also a “victory for the cause of liberty.”
Rep. Ron Paul has continued to cut past the competition in the conservative field and once again place among the top-tier in a mainstream pre-election contest. Following a third-place ranking in the Iowa caucus last week, Paul managed to soar to second place in New Hampshire Tuesday night, outranking all candidates but Mitt Romney.
But while Romney has been considered the frontrunner in the race for the GOP nod ever since the former Massachusetts governor threw his hat into the contest, Ron Paul has been quite the opposite. In the media, the congressman has by-and-large been referred to him as an anti-establishment threat that would revamp the nation beyond any measure a mainstream Republican would be willing to do. Despite this smear campaign, Congressman Paul pulled in around 23 percent of the vote Tuesday night at the New Hampshire primary, securing a large second place win.
Paul and Romney’s positive turn-out comes without challenge of Jon Huntsman, a candidate who in recent days has been pitched by the media as the next big frontrunner. Just as has been the trend with Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry in the past, however, such surge in popularity proved to be only momentary. Huntsman finished third Tuesday night with around 17 percent of the vote, trailed by Gingrich and Santorum tied in fourth. Both Speaker Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum had at one point been considered Romney’s only challenge for the GOP nomination, but neither was able to collect even 10 percent of the vote on Tuesday. Only a week earlier, Santorum placed second in Iowa by falling just eight votes shy of Romney.
Now following a fallout from Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and an almost certain slip off the charts for Perry, Gingrich and Santorum, Ron Paul is having his turn in the spotlight to be the Republican Party’s flavor of the month. Given the surge in success that has skyrocketed his campaign this far at a steady pace since it began, however, Paul and his supporters seem to think that this is only the beginning. A month ago as the media started to finally flinch at the chance of a Paul victory, the congressman told CNN in fact, “We’ve had the flavors of the month up and down so far in this campaign. I’d like to think of myself as the flavor of the decade.”
Ron Paul and Romney have proven that they are the only GOP candidates that have a chance at running a viable national campaign that will sustain as the Republican National Convention nears, so now the two must focus their efforts towards dethroning President Barack Obama by proving to voters that one is more qualified to run America than the other.
From New Hampshire Tuesday night, Ron Paul made it clear that he was running for president as a representative of all those that are angry at the Washington establishment. In a speech which was delivered with for more vigor than Romney’s that evening, Paul told a crowd in Manchester, NH Tuesday that they were making it well known that they are becoming a danger to America. And not stopping.
“I find it sort of fascinating when they finally get around — and this is different people, it could be in the media, could be our opponents, or whatever — but I sort of have to chuckle when they describe you and me as being ‘dangerous’,” said Paul. “That’s one thing they are telling the truth, because we are dangerous to the status quo of this country.”
Very true, a heavy agenda of abolishing the Federal Reserve, eliminating foreign aid and ending overseas military adventures are ideals that are shunned, if not ignored, by the mainstream media and Republican Party establishment. While Paul acknowledges that those ideas might be considered dangerous, he insists that they are daring ideas that America was built on. And according to Paul, they need to be restored. Freedom, liberty and the American way of life — this is what Paul preached from New Hampshire, and he promised he will be the candidate that will finally bring that change.
“But overall, you have to ask, once again, as our founders did, what should the role of government be in a free society? The role should be very simple: the protection of liberty!” said Paul.
“You know, the Constitution was written for a very precise manner. It was not designed to restrain the individual, not to restrain you: it was to protect your liberties and to restrain the federal government. But liberty, liberty has to be re-emphasized because we have been careless over the last 100 years,” insisted the candidate. “We have taken liberty and chopped it up into pieces. Some people think liberty has to do with personal habits, which I agree. Other people think liberty is how to spend your money, and they defend that part and then they fight about when to do what.
I think what we need to do is make this emphasis that liberty means you have a right to your life and your privacy and the way you want to live your life, as long as you don’t hurt people, and you have a right to keep and spend your money as you want to.
But freedom, freedom is a wonderful idea, and that’s why I get so excited. But I really get excited when I see young people saying it. It is a wonderful idea. Freedom is popular, don’t you know that? Freedom brings people together.”
The popularity of this message is immense, as reflected in the ongoing grass roots support for Congressman Paul that continuously surges. Meanwhile, the media has been quick to attack the candidate that they are quickly considering a threat to the establishment.
An edited CNN clip portraying the candidate as a riled-up agitator surfaced last week, and Paul’s campaign has since commissioned a company to analyze a Huntsman attack ad that they think may have been created to besmirch Paul’s personality. Despite the attacks, Paul says that their stab at the nomination will only gain steam from here.
“I think 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 that we have started,” Paul said from Manchester on Tuesday.
The candidates will next move onto South Carolina, where the state will hold a primary on January 21. Following his win Tuesday night, Romney told ABC’s Good Morning America program Wednesday, “I know it’s an uphill battle.”
Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Congressman Ron Paul speaks to supporters at his New Hampshire primary night rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, January 10, 2012 (Reuters / Shannon Stapleton)