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I prayed yesterday, please don’t let Cong. Paul get lured into discussions on Iran’s nuclear bomb or explaining blowback and non-intervention to folks like former PA Senator Rick Santorum.  He needs to articulate a clear vision for what a constitutionalist President can do.  At the Fox News/Google debate on September 22, Paul had a clear vision and people reacted to it. He got consistent applause.

Paul said – veto any law that violates the Tenth Amendment.  While some of his rhetoric is over the top, so is everybody else’s!  He also called for getting rid of the Department of Education and allow parents to opt-out.  Paul also indicated he would simply not enforce the No Child Left Behind law.  Finally, what a constitutional President can do!

Even when he got the button pushing question:  Who do you know that wants to take their money and leave the nation?  Paul’s answer was priceless:  He said yes – 1.5 trillion dollars need to be repatriated into the United States.  Capital and monetary controls lead right into people controls.  That is a loss of liberty.  The money laundering and currency controls can be used to restrict liberty.  Paul then smoothly segued into how e-Verify can lead into a national ID card and suggested to rapturous applause the better idea is to take away the benefits for illegals:

“What you need to do is attack their benefits.  No free education, no free subsidies, no citizenship, no birthright citizenship.  That will get to the bottom of..”

What I did not realize is that Governor Perry apparently defended passionately in-state tuition for the kids of illegals.  Here’s the comment from Gary Bauer’s End of Day Report today:

Having said that, I think Governor Perry, whom I like a lot, ran into another significant problem last night. In previous debates, it was Social Security. Last night it was illegal immigration, specifically his support of in-state tuition benefits for children of illegal immigrants.

Governor Perry obviously feels strongly about this issue. But when he accused fellow conservatives of being heartless, I doubt he won any votes. The polling on the issue is terrible — even in Perry’s home state.


Bauer reports that Perry lost at least one vote:

After the debate last night, Fox News pollster Frank Luntz discovered that his focus group members overwhelmingly felt that Romney had won the debate. Several changed their support from Perry to another candidate. One member of the focus group said his son wanted to attend Texas A&M but could not afford the out-of-state tuition rates. Perry’s position on in-state tuition for illegals drove this voter away.

On Washington’s biggest talk radio show this morning, most callers were lamenting Perry’s position on illegal immigration, saying they were looking for another candidate. And the reviews of conservative opinion leaders were not helpful either, as this summary illustrates.

Perhaps some Perry voters will go to Paul. Romney apparently did not do well with his quip that there are many reasons for not electing me! Check out this from the Washington Examiner:

The Washington Post‘s Marc Thiessen: “Mitt Romney was the John Kerry of tonight’s debate. He was far more articulate than Perry (who flubbed what should have been an easy attack on Romney’s flip flops). But it was Romney who made the gaffe that will almost certainly appear in campaign ads that are probably being written as you read this, when he declared: ‘There are a lot of reasons not to elect me.’ You can see the ad already.”

The other right on point question was the morning after pill.  Paul said no policing the Plan B or the morning after pill.  He also said abortion is a state issue, not a federal issue.  Certainly some moderates might be able to consider Paul.  His concern for rape victims might be an opening to find a pro-life conviction but allow some exceptions to banning abortion.

Paul got a compliment from his fellow libertarian, former NM Governor Gary Johnson.  Johnson said he’d pick Paul as his running mate.  Paul did not either acknowledge the compliment or otherwise comment.  (I have suggested a Paul/Johnson ticket several times at this blog.)  It was his weakest moment in the debate.  However, this is a showing of Paul’s basic humility; he is truly uncomfortable touting himself (he is bold discussing IDEAS but not bold discussing HIMSELF) so those self-promoting moments are awkward for him.

Perhaps another surge in the polls for Paul?

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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