Ron Paul may not see heavy attacks until after Iowa


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There is no question that the GOP primary season has been made up of a long string of scandals and gaffes. Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have all enjoyed frontrunner status for several weeks since the Ames straw poll in August. All, perhaps save Bachmann, have sustained the attacks and magnified gaffes that come with frontrunner status. Ron Paul has settled in just behind the frontrunners in both Iowa and New Hampshire. He is in the sweet spot of the polls where he may be able to avoid heavy attacks at least until after Iowa and maybe until after New Hampshire. By that point he will already have solid performances in both states under his belt.

If Gingrich would attack Paul as he is statistically tied it could backfire on Gingrich because according to the most recent PPP poll Gingrich's unfavorables are high with Paul supporters(35% compared to Perry's 10%), meaning Gingrich would not likely gain supporters from attacks on Paul.

While those lagging far behind in the polls, namely Perry and Bachmann don't want to attack Paul and run the risk of a resounding Gingrich victory in Iowa which would crush their hopes of making it out of Iowa with any reasonable amount of cash.

The goal here for Gingrich is likely to weather the Paul storm through New Hampshire. He will play down a Paul win or close second in Iowa and ignore a strong showing from Paul in New Hampshire. Gingrich is blessed in that he will have the mainstream media on his side when it comes to these tactics. Many pundits are already setting the bar high for Paul in Iowa but qualifying it as a one-off victory. The thing that Gingrich will not be able to spin is the mounds of cash in Paul's war chest leaving Iowa and New Hampshire.

Romney has to be hoping for a strong Paul victory in Iowa and a strong Paul second to his victory in New Hampshire to quiet the Gingrich momentum going into South Carolina and Florida where Gingrich, as of now, is likely to do well.

Nobody is sure what a broad scale attack on Ron Paul looks like in a Presidential primary because it has never happened. It could end up being a form of asymmetrical warfare that results in unintended consequences. The first thing it would do is completely legitimize Paul, something his opponents have been desperately avoiding, and entrench his army of supporters.

The wild card is that attacks are launched at Ron Paul from outside of the parameters of the campaign as it happened on a small scale in 2008. Those attacks however were perceived as desperate political attacks from the mainstream media and did not stop the eventual rise of Ron Paul that we are witnessing today.

The problem that Ron Paul's opponents have is that Paul is rising despite years of attempts at demonizing Paul by the GOP establishment and the media. The attacks have ranged from the "blame America first" line to the "he wants to legalize all drugs, even heroin" line. Now that the voters have become acquainted with Paul on Paul's terms those attacks simply do not stick.

Additional Reading:

Liberty Defined by Ron Paul

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About the Author: Andy is a graduate student who lives in Milwaukee.

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  1. Kate says:

    The funniest thing is that Dr. Paul really doesn’t have any skeletons, flip-flops or anything else that he can really be attacked on, and the more momentum he gets, the more people hear his message and the less the other candidates or the MSM will be able to do about it.

    Can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

    • Greg O'Toole says:

      Dr. Paul is great. I really respect his integrity and honesty. It is exceedingly rare in politics these days. BUT I do fear that things that he has said (or not said) will easily be taken out of context to dissuade people. I worry that the media’s future attacks on RP regarding racism will be successful. I think that those accusations contradict the person that i have long observed and read about and consequently I do not agree. However, when RP garners enough support those attacks WILL come and they will be harsh.

  2. Jacob says:

    Finally a truthful article! Ron Paul will restore America!

  3. George Washington says:

    Ron Paul 2012 Please.
    Track Record and Substance OVER Rhetoric and Flip Flopping.
    Thank you.

  4. William Patton says:

    Great points; Romney and Gingrich likely figure that they do not need to waste their own money to attack Paul because neo-con/RNC hacks in the “conservative media” such as Limbaugh and Hannity do it for them for free every day.

    And even if those guys fail to bring Paul down, the neo-con establishment has the entire-and even more powerful-corporate media/military-industrial-complex to back them up.

    If Paul were to survive all this and still win, to describe his victory as a revolution would be an understatement.

  5. Zeci says:

    Heavy attacks…bring them on.

  6. What cannon fodder could the other candidates actually use to effectively attack Ron Paul without the question most likely being turned back on themselves? The guy is a rock.

  7. Reggie says:

    Newt loves illegals (amnesty) more than Americans (Newt wants to bring back child labor for US kids). Mitt thinks corporations are people (killing his general election chances). Ron Paul is the only candidate with a plan to end the TSA and end the endless wars for Israel, it all started a decade ago after a false flag attack.
    9/11, US and Israel:
    http://www.amazon.com/America-Deceived-II-Possession-interrogation/dp/1450257437

  8. RPTwebtyTwelve says:

    Looking forward to vote Ron Paul in 2012!

  9. neil says:

    I am a life time republican and I will vote for Ron Paul whether or not he wins the Republican nomination. That is the reality for myself and many others.
    Fellow republicans please get on board or hand the election over to Obama.

  10. Sal says:

    America Wake Up. End The Fed. Bring Troop Home. Restore The American People LIBERTY.
    RON PAUL Need Are Support. ASAP in Events ………..Since It’s critical to win the Iowa and New Hampshire Caucus on Jan 3, 2012

    *UPDATE: The Campaign has placed a fundraising ticker on the front page.
    We are already over half-way there! Nice work everyone! Keep it coming!
    http://www.ronpaul2012.com/

    *Iowa is Critical! You can help with the Super Brochure Project http://superbrochure.com/

    Everyone is welcome to come to Daily Paul Forum http://www.dailypaul.com

    Imagine Armed Chinese Troops in Texas!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKfuS6gfxPY&feature=player_embedded

    Just got a new email from Ron Paul…

    The campaign needs a six million dollars “IMMEDIATELY” to start buying TV spots this week for ads like BIG DOG and SERIAL HYPOCRISY. Here’s an excerpt:
    _____________________________________________________________
    “I hope you’ll agree to make a generous donation to my campaign right away.

    You see, I need to raise $6 MILLION to be able to run this ad during the final few weeks before voting begins in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    In fact, if you were holding off on contributing until my next Money Bomb, I hope I can count on you to give half right now.

    My campaign must start making ad buys this week. But as it stands now, we need a massive influx of funds.

    So won’t you agree to act IMMEDIATELY?”

    Attention: To All Latin Viewers – Please Let’s Stop All The Blood Shed In Latin America….Boycott All Major Banks. -RON PAUL 2012 Is The Only Man To Stop This Crazy Madness
    -BIG U.S. BANKS LAUNDER BILLIONS IN CARTEL DRUG MONEY..WELLS FARGO, BANK OF AMERICA, ETC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3PH_qlHTXg&feature=related
    _____________________________________________________________
    -RON PAUL Is The Only Man To Stop This Crazy Madness-

  11. Larry says:

    “The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin.”
    -Ernest Hemingway

    Ron Paul and Ernest Hemingway, WOW!

  12. Tired of Lame Candidates says:

    “First they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win!”

    Ron Paul 2012

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