Monday, December 17, 2007
Ron Paul Says Funding Windfall Gives His Presidential Campaign Hope
DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 17, 2007
The campaign's fourth-quarter fundraising total of $18.2 million includes a one-day haul of $6.2 million raised Sunday through the Internet, said campaign spokesman Jesse Benton.
Paul, a 10-term congressman with libertarian views, said his fundraising success ensures he'll continue to campaign regardless of how he fares in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, the first contest on the presidential nominating calendar.
"We have the support, the momentum and the money," Paul told The Associated Press after an event in downtown Des Moines.
Paul said he'd stay in the race at least until Feb. 5, when two dozen states hold contests.
"Nobody would understand if I faded out before Feb. 5," he said.
Paul registers mostly in upper single digits and is way behind his major rivals in most polls in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, states that vote early next year, but he was optimistic his standing would improve as more people learn about him.
He has benefited from an enthusiastic core of supporters who, among other things, have launched a Ron Paul blimp. On Sunday, they held a one-day online fundraiser that included a re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party _ an event meant to promote Paul's call for freedom. It was similar to a fundraiser Nov. 5 in which Paul set a one-day, online GOP presidential fundraising record by raking in $4.2 million.
Paul beams with pride when discussing his "uncharacteristic" group of supporters, many of whom are drawn by his opposition to the war in Iraq.
"The crowds are so interesting," he said. "Some of the people sitting together, you'll have people there with hairdos that are different and purple hair, sitting next to a banker or a doctor. I think that's delightful."
Paul is the only GOP presidential candidate calling for a quick withdrawal of troops from Iraq. He also supports limiting federal spending, opposes the federal income tax and urges Americans to push for a fiscally responsible government.
He said he encourages supporters to dream up other creative ideas such as blimps and tea parties to get his message across.
"If you're working that hard and investing your time and your money, you better have some fun," Paul said. "This gets too boring if it gets too serious." >>
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