Ron Paul success scares establishment

Ron Paul (Mark Wilson / Getty Images / AFP Photo)
The mainstream might not consider him a top-tier candidate but his fanbase knows the truth.

Sure enough, more Americans are learning that Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul is a likely choice for the GOP come 2012, and his influence now has the other candidates running scared.

On Friday Ron Paul’s campaign spokesman revealed that the congressman’s campaign for president has managed to once again rake in millions of dollars in campaign contributions, and expects that figure to exceed $5 million by the time the campaign has to file paperwork for the third quarter. While that figure might only be a fraction of what Mitt Romney’s campaign has raked in, the ideals held by Paul and rarely touched upon by the other Republicans — such as ending unnecessary overseas military operations and abolishing the Federal Reserve — are hitting home remarkably hard with Americans, especially in the wake of the ongoing economic crisis.

Last week, former presidential candidate and activist Ralph Nader spoke to CNN in favor of Paul. “He wants to get out of these wars overseas, he wants to bring the soldiers back, he wants to cut the bloated military budget, he wants to change some of the anti-civil liberty provisions in the Patriot Act, he hates corporate welfare an all these bailouts of Wall Street crooks,” said Nader. “He ought to get more attention, instead of ten times more attention being given to Michele Bachmann.”

Former Minnesota governor Jesse Venture echoed those sentiments when speaking with radio host Alex Jones days later. “Ron Paul can win. It’s out there. All you got to do is activate and get the silent voters out to vote,” said Ventura. “You have to give them a reason to see their vote.”

As more and more Americans are seeing that reason, other Republican candidates are realizing that there competition is more serious than thought. The Associated Press reports today that some pundits say Paul has a serious chance of pulling support away from other GOP candidates like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, suggested that he would serve as a “spoiler” — much like Nader himself was labeled during the Al Gore/George W Bush campaigns of 2000.

"I have no idea what exactly spoiler means," Paul said while stopping in New Hampshire recently. "If you're a participant and you have an influence and you win or come close and you influence the debate, I think that's pretty important. So I don't put a negative term on that as spoiling anything. Spoiling their fun? Maybe they need a little spoiling."

Among many Republican, Ron Paul still seems an unlikely candidate — perhaps most evident in the jeers he received during a recent GOP debate when he called out the US government for encouraging terrorist attacks. “We have been bombing and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for ten years. Would you be annoyed? If you’re not annoyed then there is some problem,” said Paul, much to the chagrin of a conservative crowd. His anti-militarist views remain a very popular point of view among the younger, more liberally-minded audience that Paul has managed to win over, however.

Following the most recent presidential debate, Fox News asked its online audience to pick the most likely candidate. Paul placed first with nearly 25,000 votes, putting him ahead of both Romney and Perry. Within hours, however, the results of the poll were censored. Paul has continued to remind the voting public that he is consistently within that top three, however, despite the mainstream media’s attempts at putting him in lower placement.