Yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX), who has “a libertarian tilt and an out-of-Iraq pitch,” set a single day fundraising record for the Republican field by hauling “in more than $4.2 million in nearly 24 hours.” Asked by MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell this morning about what he “attribute[d]” the “success” of the effort to, Paul said it was his anti-war “message” because Americans “don’t like the war.”
O’Donnell followed up by asking Paul about his reaction to the news that 2007 is now the deadliest year of the war yet. “It proves the surge didn’t work,” replied Paul. “The surge actually made things worse for us.” O’Donnell responded by noting that violence was down in October, to which Paul rebutted, “one month doesn’t make a year.” Watch it:
Paul’s attribution of his fundraising success to the continuing desire of Americans to end the war in Iraq is supported by a new ABC News/Washington Post poll out today that finds that “a record six in 10 want the level of U.S. forces reduced.” According to ABC’s analysis, the “results…seem to reflect a continued hardening of attitudes on Iraq”:
Views on progress are unchanged from early September, and they haven’t been positive since December 2005, shortly after the Iraqi elections. […]
All told, 63 percent say the war was not worth fighting, almost exactly its average this year, and a majority, steadily since December 2004. Intensity against the war continues to run high, with 51 percent saying they feel “strongly” that it was not worth fighting, more than double its strong supporters.
While the majority of Americans want redeployment out of Iraq in some form or another, the current debate around the war is drifting away from the core principle that a timetable for redeployment best serves America’s national security interests. The Center for American Progress has a strategy for how progressives can get the debate back on track.
O’DONNELL: For more on this one-day fund-raising bonanza by him, Ron Paul, the candidate himself, is on the phone.
Congressman, thanks so much for joining us. PAUL: Thank you for having me.
O’DONNELL: So let me ask you, what’s the latest and final tally of how much you raised yesterday?
PAUL: Well, I’m told by my staff it was $4.3 million within a 24-hour period.
O’DONNELL: And to what do you attribute that success?
PAUL: The message. The message is powerful and the level of frustration in this country that people are sick and tired of what they’re getting. And they’re angry and they’re upset. They don’t like the war and they don’t like the economy. And they like the answers that I’ve been giving.
O’DONNELL: But were they contributing to your campaign or was this all about Guy Fawkes Day, September 5th — November 5th, I should say?
PAUL: I think that was — I think it was a gimmick.
I don’t even know the individual. I’ve never talked to the individual that set this up. But he was interviewed and said it has nothing to do with violence. As a matter of fact, we emphasize a non- violent approach but a revolutionary approach nonetheless.
And I guess the movie had something to do with it, too, that V for Vendetta, which I have not seen, which is not same type of violence as the history of 1605 or whenever the original day occurred.
O’DONNELL: Congressman, you heard our political director, Chuck Todd, just raise some very important questions. Will many of your supporters be able to vote in the Republican primaries, or are these independents contributing to your campaign? In other words, you’ve had great success on the Internet with fund-raising but is this going to translate at the polls?
PAUL: Well, I would think so. But you don’t know until that happens.
But if somebody’s willing to send you money and invest all of this time and energy, you would think they would invest the energy necessary to register and come and vote. He was right: Some states it’s going to be a lot easier. There are some states that actually try to keep the party from growing. Others are quite willing to be open to allowing independents come in.
So, I think it does depend on the states, it depends on how we spend the money, now that we have it in the bank, and how we advertise and how we motivate the people to come out.
O’DONNELL: You have largely based your campaign on withdrawing from Iraq. The Pentagon letting us know today that the deaths of five more soldiers making 2007 the deadliest year of the war for U.S. troops. Your reaction. PAUL: It proves the surge didn’t work. The surge actually made things worse for us. And yet…
O’DONNELL: Except that the military has said that in the last month actually violence is down.
PAUL: Yes, I know. But one month doesn’t make a year.
And it’s a trend. Nobody expects that the killing is going to stop.
So, I would say it’s bad news for us that this is our worst year after all these years of fighting and undeclared, unnecessary war. So it’s very sad.
O’DONNELL: Ron Paul, congratulations on your fund-raising success: $4 million in one day. That’s more than the record by Mitt Romney. Good luck to you and thanks for joining us.
PAUL: Thank you very much.http://thinkprogress.org/2007/11/06/paul-iraq-fundraising/