Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ron Paul Speaks The Truth Again, But Few Listen

Paul Says America Can't Afford To Maintain Its Empire In Final Debate
Raw StoryWednesday, December 12, 2007
Former Tennessee Gov. Fred Thompson has an opinion on whether global climate changed is caused by humans -- but he's not going to participate in a show of hands about it.
When the candidates in Wednesday's GOP debate -- the final time the contenders will square off before January's Iowa caucus -- were asked for a show of hands as to how many believed that climate change was a serious threat caused by human activity, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson refused. "I'm not doing hand shows today," he said. Other candidates concurred, and an official "hand show" never materialized.
Republican Oval Office seekers on Wednesday were facing their final debate opportunity to win over still-waffling Iowans ahead of the state's caucus next month -- and surging former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was bracing himself for some tough treatment from rivals looking to knock him off his poll-leading perch.
The debate's first question zeroed in on the US national debt, which Des Moines Register editor Carolyn Washburn, who moderated the event, called the "single biggest issue Iowans of both parties" wanted to be discussed.
Asked if the country's financial situation created a national security risk, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani said he "wouldn't call it national security. I'd call it economic security...I think Islamic terrorism is the national security."
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), however, said American spending was "absolutely a threat to our national security. Because we've spent too much, we taxed too much, we've borrowed too much and we print too much." He went on to say that the US couldn't afford its current foreign policy.
Huckabee agreed a security threat was posed. "A country can only be free if it can do three things: First, it has to be able to to feed itself...its gotta be able to fuel itself, if it looks to somebody else for its energy needs, it's only as free as those are willing for it to be. And it also has to be able to fight for itself...if we can't do those three things, our national security is very much at risk."
Asked what sacrifices should be made to reduce US debt, Paul said it was "unnecessary" to sacrifice, suggesting that a change in foreign policy could help to fix the problem. "We maintain an empire which we can't afford...we cut there," he said.
Alan Keyes, a newcomer to this year's Republican field but a perennial contender in past races, said "we need to start sacrificing some of these incumbents who have funded their political ambitions using our money."
Later, after Thompson derailed the planned 'show of hands' question about climate change, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said he believed climate change was real. "I've been involved in this issue since the year 2000. I have had hearings. I've traveled the world," he said. "It's real, we've got to address it...and I'm confident that we can pass on to our children and grandchildren a cleaner, better world." Giuliani also said he believed that climate change was occurring.
When the candidates were asked what that would realistically accomplish in their first year in their potential first year as president, Giuliani said he would ensure that the country was "on the road to winning the war against Islamic terrorists" and would work to reduce the size of the federal government.
Huckabee, an ordained Baptist pastor, has rocketed from obscurity in a matter of weeks to top the polls in Iowa, and is now making inroads in national polls as well.
Huckabee's ascendancy in the polls is the latest twist in the Republican race, as polls show party voters still lukewarm on the field, just 22 days before Iowa opens a flurry of contests that could produce nominees by early February.
Former Iowa poll leader Mitt Romney attempted to halt Huckabee's momentum, debuting a negative advertisement on Tuesday accusing him of offering state tuition assistance for illegal immigrants.
But Huckabee told reporters in Iowa Tuesday the former Massachusetts governor was getting "desperate" after spending millions of dollars in the state, only to be outpaced by his low budget campaign.
The final square-off was sponsored by the Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Television.
"The debates will be closely watched by the Iowa electorate and will possibly tip things one way or the other -- in the undecided categories particularly," said Professor Bruce Buchanan of the University of Texas.
Romney may have the most to lose, as probably his only viable route to the nomination rests on victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, which holds primary elections January 8.
Huckabee's joking, sunny demeanor, which won plaudits in past debates, faces a severe test Wednesday -- especially if he is cross-examined on past positions he took in the bear-pit politics of Arkansas.
Most recently, he has been fighting off a controversy over a 1992 statement that AIDS patients should be quarantined, telling Fox News he would probably "say things a little differently" now.
A CBS/New York Times poll published Tuesday found the Republican race had undergone a sharp transformation in the last two months.
In October, Huckabee had just four percent in national polls -- now he is snapping at long-time front-runner Rudolph Giuliani's heels with 21 percent support, compared to 22 percent for the former New York mayor.
Giuliani has not deployed significant resources in Iowa, reasoning that his liberal social record is unlikely to win favor among social conservatives, and hopes to make a splash in a clutch of nominating contests in February.

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