NASHUA, N.H. (Jan. 6, 2012) — In his first appearance in the lead-up to next week’s primary, Ron Paul pitched his brand of libertarian, conservative values to an overflow crowd of supporters and the curious.
“I’m just curious about Ron Paul. I want to see what he’s all about and I think he’s worth seeing,” said John Wesley Wilson, 20, a New Hampshire native and a student at Oxford University.
Also on hand to welcome Ron Paul was his son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. In introducing his father, Rand Paul took shots at the GOP. “The Republican party is an empty vessel,” he said, “unless we fill it with values.”
Ron Paul’s speech hit on many of his core libertarian beliefs and emphasized his consistency during his 20 years as the congressman from Texas’ 14th Congressional District and his 2008 presidential campaign.
“You have the right to keep the fruit of all your labors,” Paul told the crowd. “Individual liberty and economic liberty are one in the same.”
That message resonated with David Pincince, 32, an project engineer from Berry, N.H. He is “locked in” with his support for Paul, he said. In the last election, he supported Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a choice he came to regret. This campaign season, he said, Paul has changed the debate among Republicans.
“I think the message is being sent clear,” Pincince said. “He hasn’t changed his views in 30 years.” Paul wants small government and audits of the Federal Reserve so that, Pincince said, “these people aren’t wasting our time and money.” Added Pincince, “He wants to protect our right.”
Mark Brusso, 22, drove from Massachusetts to attend his first political rally.
“I’ve been following him since he declared for the presidency. It’s more like a repeat of what he’s been saying. But it was nice to see him in person. You can tell he has a lot of conviction with his ideals and really stands by what he believes,” Brusso said.
Brusso’s support for Paul does not extend to the Republican Party. Brusso, a student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, lists civil liberties and foreign policy as his two key issues. The other GOP candidates don’t address those concerns, he said.
As he finishes his New Hampshire campaign, Paul has received a boost from a loyal political action committee. On its website, Revolution PAC, the so-called super committee that supports Paul announced Thursday it has purchased a “six-figure” block of ads to run in the Granite State throughout the primary week.