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2008-09-03

Thousands Gather in Minneapolis for Ron Paul Counter-Convention

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Ron Paul, speaking in Minneapolis.

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Thousands of supporters of former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul gathered last night in Minneapolis for a counter-convention to show support for the Libertarian-leaning Texan congressman. During the primary season, Paul placed second or third in twenty states, but he was barred from speaking at the Republican National Convention, reportedly because he would not change his position on the war in Iraq. During his speech in Minneapolis, Paul refused to endorse his fellow Republican, John McCain. [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Thousands of supporters of former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul also gathered last night in Minneapolis for a counter-convention to show support
for the Libertarian-leaning Texan congressman.

During the primary season, Ron Paul placed second or third in twenty states but he was barred from speaking at the Republican National Convention, reportedly because he would not change his position on the war in Iraq. Ron Paul ran his insurgent campaign on a largely Libertarian antiwar platform.

Without a role at the Republican National Convention, Paul held his own “Rally for the Republic” in Minneapolis last night. During his speech, Ron Paul refused to endorse his fellow Republican, John McCain.

    RON PAUL: You know, they like to describe us being on the fringe and a little bit kooky now and then, but isn’t that — isn’t that rather strange? We talk about these strange things, like balanced budgets, personal liberty, privacy, a sound national defense, defend this country. And we — and they want to say that these are bizarre ideas. But it’s time now for some just very good common sense.

    You know, they harp about the need to be around the world. And right now, the candidates out there of the major parties don’t have really difference in their foreign policy. They both want more troops in Afghanistan. They really want to maintain bases in the Middle East for a long time. They want to threaten Iran.

    And lo and behold, lo and behold, both candidates now think we should send more of your money to Georgia to protect that oil line. And that’s not the state of Georgia, either. You know, I told somebody once, I said, “Here we are messing around with Georgia. Well, before we know it, we’ll be sending troops over there, and our kids will be dying over there. And since they got out of public school, they probably don’t even know where the country of Georgia is.” And somebody said, “They probably don’t even know where the state of Georgia is.”

    But it is positively amazing how the war drums can beat and how the propaganda machine can work and how this country is — you know, can be built up to practically want to go to war against Iran. You know, Iran spends — Iran spends one percent as much money on their national defense as we spend. They have no missiles, no airplane, no tanks and no nuclear weapons. The UN inspectors say they don’t have it. And we’re supposed to be intimidated and scared. And we put anti-ballistic missiles on the border of Russia, because the Iranians might shoot missiles at us that they don’t even have. The Iranians — the Iranians, if you want to put it into perspective, they don’t even refine their own gasoline, and we’re supposed to be frightened and intimidated by them. We’ve got to get the truth
    out. That is what we need.

AMY GOODMAN: Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, speaking last night here in the Twin Cities.

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