In a rousing speech to his supporters a little after 9 p.m. on Tuesday night after placing second in the New Hampshire primary, Ron Paul talked about the case for freedom, free markets, and “a sensible foreign policy so we don’t waste our resources.”
As supporters thronged around him at his Manchester, New Hampshire, headquarters, the 76-year-old Texas congressman said that he had called Governor Mitt Romney to congratulate him on his win in the primary (as Rick Santorum told his supporters that he did as well). “He [Romney] certainly had a clear-cut victory. But we’re nibbling at his heels,” said Paul with a grin as his enthusiastic supporters nearly drowned him out.
“There was another victory tonight,” said Paul as the din cleared for a moment. “We have had a victory for the cause of liberty. There is no doubt that this whole effort that we are involved in will not go unnoticed. And I think the intellectual revolution that is going on now to restore liberty to this country is well on its way and there’s no way they’re going to stop the momentum we have started.”
At a little before 10 p.m., returns from the first 48 percent of the New Hampshire precincts indicated that Romney had 37 percent of the vote, followed by Paul with 23 percent of the vote and Jon Huntsman with 17 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum each had 10 percent.
During his speech, Paul went out of his way to thank his many supporters across the country, “because you have done the work. And the donors, and the excitement on the campuses – it’s just unbelievable,” he said, in a pointed reference to the groundswell of support he’s received among college students. He then mentioned that while the media and others haven’t always given him the “coverage” other candidates have gotten, “when they do finally get around to us, I have to chuckle when they describe us as being dangerous. That’s one thing they are telling the truth [about]. Because we are dangerous to the status quo in this country! And we will remain a danger to the Federal Reserve system as well.”
Paul pledged that monetary policy would remain a “dominant issue” in the campaign. “There’s a worldwide financial crisis going on,” he said. “And it’s only sound money and personal liberty that can solve the crisis that we have today.”
Consistently popular among Libertarians and many Tea Party conservatives, Paul recited some of the core beliefs he’s stated since the beginning of his campaign for the presidency: The U.S. needn’t “police the world” and “it’s time to bring them [our troops] home! Bring ‘em home!”
Here are additional excerpts from Paul’s speech tonight:
* “We have been less safe because of all the money we have spent overseas. This is the issue now. I think it’s an issue that’s crucial… If you cut the military industrial complex, you cut war profiting, but you don’t take one penny out of national defense. Besides, we’re flat-out broke … But if we [bring the troops home] calmly and deliberately, we can save our economy here at home.”
* “Our national debt is going up in real terms … We have to cut. We have to live within our means if we want to be able to take care of the people who have been made to be so dependent on the government.”
* “What should the role of government be in a free society? The role should be very simple: the protection of liberty.”
* “The Constitution was not designed to restrain the individual. It was to protect your liberties… But liberty has to be reemphasized. Liberty means you have a right to your life and your privacy… and you have a right to keep and spend your money as you want to.”
* “Economic freedom should bring people together… You don’t have to compromise. What you have to do is emphasize [to] the coalitions that people want their freedoms for different reasons, and bring them together.”