News / USA

    Texas Congressman Ron Paul Joins US Presidential Field

    U.S. Representative Ron Paul speaks during a news conference at his newly opened Iowa campaign office in Ankeny, Iowa, May 10, 2011.
    U.S. Representative Ron Paul speaks during a news conference at his newly opened Iowa campaign office in Ankeny, Iowa, May 10, 2011.

    Multimedia

    Audio

    In U.S. politics, Texas Congressman Ron Paul announced Friday that he will run for president next year, his third bid for the White House since 1988.  Experts give Paul little chance of winning the Republican Party's presidential nomination, but his Libertarian views on foreign and domestic policy should spice up the race.

    Ron Paul, 75, had a small but loyal following when he ran four years ago and expects to count on those supporters again for 2012.

    Paul sets himself apart from most of his fellow Republicans on a number of foreign and domestic issues, especially his opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Paul told ABC's Good Morning America program that while he supported the U.S. raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, he remains an overall critic of the war on terror.

    "We then went and invaded Iraq," said Paul.  "We spent $1 trillion. We have lost 5,000 American lives.  We have killed many, many innocent people, so the process has been very bad."

    Paul first ran for president as the Libertarian Party candidate in 1988.  He was first elected to Congress in Texas in 1976.

    Paul is the latest candidate to join the slow-forming Republican presidential field.  Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich also formally entered the race this week and several more contenders are expected to make their decisions soon.

    Among them is former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who ran in 2008 and who is considered by some Republicans the frontrunner for the nomination in 2012.

    But Romney has been hampered by conservative criticism of a health care reform plan he signed into law in Massachusetts that became the model for President Barack Obama's health care law passed by Congress last year.

    Opposition to the national health care law was a major factor in Republican gains in last year's congressional elections and helped to spark the rise of the grass roots conservative Tea Party movement.

    During a speech in Michigan, Romney defended his authorship of the Massachusetts law and said he opposed the Obama health care law as too sweeping.

    "Our plan was a state solution to a state problem and his is a power grab by the federal government to put in place a one-size-fits-all plan across the nation," said Romney.

    Romney remains at the top of most of the early public opinion polls that measure support for the various Republican contenders.

    But Karl Rove, a political adviser to former President George W. Bush, told NBC's Today program that Republican voters so far do not appear impressed with the Republican field and that the contenders have a lot of work to do before the nominating process begins early next year.

    "If you look at the polls there is essentially no frontrunner and these numbers give us little clue of how the race is going to play out," said Rove.  "And so what people do in the months left between now and February when the Iowa caucuses are going to be really important for earning their way into the first tier of candidates and earning the vote there in New Hampshire and Iowa and South Carolina."

    Just as more Republicans are getting into next year's race, polls suggest President Obama's election prospects are brightening.  The president got a boost in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden and more voters now see Mr. Obama as a decisive leader.

    However, most analysts say the president's political fate remains closely tied to the state of the domestic economy.

    Matt Dallek is a political expert at the University of California's Washington Center.

    "The economy, gas prices, a lack of confidence in the economic recovery will, I think by November of 2012 crowd out in a sense this issue of the war on terror," noted Dallek.

    A number of recent polls suggest most Americans remain gloomy about the state of the economy, a mindset the president will continue to try and turn around in the months ahead.


    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, the history of take-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora