Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul comes to town for three events on Saturday, September 15, starting with an $1,000 per person brunch reception from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Union Pacific Depot Grand Hall in The Gateway at 91 S. Rio Grande St. Following the high-priced croissants is a more affordable (i.e., free) Constitution celebration and public rally from 1-4 p.m. also at The Gateway’s Union Pacific Depot. Finally, later in the evening, the American Founders University in Provo is holding a private reception from 5-7 p.m. To RSVP, visit RonPaul2008.com/saltlake. City Weekly caught up with Dr. Paul (he’s a M.D., too), who also happens to be talk-show host Bill Maher’s “new hero,” to see what all the commotion is about:
What should City Weekly readers know about Ron Paul?
That I fight for your individual rights and freedoms more than any other politician in Washington.
On what issues do you part company from other Republican candidates?
I part company on the direction that the Republican Party has taken on a lot of things in the past six years. Republicans have traditionally been non-interventionist when it come to foreign policy and stood for less government and constitutional rights at home. But now, we have become a party that advocates pre-emptive war, entitlement spending and illegal wiretapping. I want to bring the party back to the traditions from which we have strayed.
Who are some well-known Ron Paul supporters in Salt Lake City?
I can’t name anyone in particular but I understand that we have hundreds of Meetup group members and a lot of enthusiastic volunteers.
If, while attending a fund-raising dinner in Salt Lake City, you notice the wait-staff is made up of mostly undocumented workers, what would you tell them about their future employment prospects in the United States?
I would tell them that I hope that we can fix our broken immigration system and attune it much more closely to the free market so the United States can be much more generous in granting legal immigration and guest worker programs.
Assume you are elected president in 2008 and take office in January 2009. When would you order troops from Iraq withdrawn?
I would immediately have the troops stop patrolling the streets of Iraq. That is a policeman’s job, not a job for our brave men and women. Then, I would consult with our military leaders and devise a plan to withdraw all of our troops and quickly and safely as possible.
How have you been so surprisingly effective at reaching the grass-roots?
It’s the message. The message of freedom. It is popular and powerful. The message of freedom brings people together from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Many Utahns support Mitt Romney. How would you be a better choice than Mitt?
I’m not going to disparage Mitt Romney. But if the citizens of Utah want a president who will bring the troops home, stop policing the world and vigorously defend the constitution, then I am their candidate.
Why should a Democrat give you his or her vote in 2008?
Democrats were elected in 2006 to end this war in Iraq. They haven’t done so and are playing political games just like Republicans. I am the only candidate who would end this war and fix our foreign policy.