GOP candidate Ron Paul
went on the offensive on television on Monday denying that his views are out of the mainstream or that he is too old to be president.
“It’s the ideas that count. It’s your general health that counts. It’s your enthusiasm for liberty,” Paul told Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today show. “I endorse young ideas,”
If elected, Paul would be 77 years and four months by the time he assumes office in January 2013. That’s more than seven years older than Ronald Reagan was when he became the oldest man ever to take the Oath of Office for the first time. Less than three years into his first term, Paul would be the first octogenarian to be president.
But Paul pointed out that his views are particularly important to the young. "It's these endless, undeclared, unwinnable wars that are dumped on the young people," he said. “That’s why the next generation, the current young people between the age of 15 and 25 or 30, are with me. They’re getting dumped on.”
When Lauer asked about his plans to legalize prostitution and drugs including cocaine and heroin, Paul replied, “I want to legalize freedom. What's so bad about that? What’s wrong about legalizing choices about your life and liberty and your religious values? What’s wrong with legalizing the Constitution?
“I defend everything I do by the Constitution, so why can you turn that around and say everything he’s doing is nuts and crazy?”
Paul won the straw poll held at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans at the weekend with 612 votes. Jon Huntsman came in second with 382. He acknowledged that he is not leading in national polls but said that victory should not be dismissed. “All the others had their names on the ballot,” he pointed out.
And Paul, who is running for the Republican nomination for the third time, said his time has now come. “A growing number of people are starting to realize that what I’m talking about is pretty sound.
“It’s very American. It produces prosperity and peace and I’m always bewildered why anybody would reject it.
“We shouldn’t be the warmongers,” he added. “We shouldn’t be the policemen of the world, we shouldn’t be in 130 countries and 900 bases and fighting undeclared wars.”
Paul disagreed with Lauer who told him that many people agree with some of his views but not all. “People don’t want bits and pieces,” the candidate said. “This is a package. Economic liberty and personal liberty are one and the same and a foreign policy that defends America and does not police the world is part of the package as well.”
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