Paul opens Iowa office, says expect decision soon

AP News
Posted: May 10, 2011 6:05 PM
Paul opens Iowa office, says expect decision soon

Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul on Tuesday opened a campaign office in Iowa, site of the nation's leadoff presidential caucuses, and said he expects to decide within a week whether to again seek the Republican nomination.

"I think I'm on the verge of it," said Paul, speaking at his new Iowa headquarters in Ankeny, a Des Moines suburb.

Paul announced that veteran activist Drew Ivers would serve as chairman of his Iowa campaign.

Paul said that if he makes the decision to run for president for a third time, Iowa's caucuses will be an important test. He also vowed to compete in a straw poll in August being sponsored by the Republican Party of Iowa.

On Thursday, Paul raised more than $1 million in 24 hours with an online fundraising effort, and he said that encouraged him to consider seeking the nomination.

"I do know now there's a lot more enthusiasm than ever before," Paul said. "I think the enthusiasm and support and the organization is going to be so much stronger."

He argued that conditions in the country have left voters frustrated and angry, and that's made them willing to listen to his libertarian message.

"Not only that, it's the conditions of the country are so much more different," he said. "It's the economy and the foreign policy and the debt, and we have the frustration and anger of the people is dramatically different."

Paul rejected suggestions that his libertarian views would put him at odds with Republican activists in the state who are heavily dominated by evangelical conservatives.

"I think I have a unique position," Paul said. "I have a personal lifestyle that is very socially conservative."

Paul has called for an end to the many wars around the globe, arguing from a financial perspective that the country shouldn't continue "spending trillion and trillions of dollars on endless wars."

"I am very, very conservative on the social issues while at the same time not being an authoritarian and tell everybody how to run their lives," he said.

Paul declined to predict how he'll fare in the caucuses, but says he'll have to show some strength. Besides opening his campaign office, Paul headed for the Statehouse to meet with GOP lawmakers and appeared on talk radio programs. It's his third swing through Iowa in the past month.