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Paul On Point with Supporters

For the most part, attendees came supporting Ron Paul, and left feeling buoyed by his momentum.

Just before the crowd was allowed to take their seats inside the Judd Gregg Auditorium for Monday night's Town Hall forum, Congressman Ron Paul had an understated moment with a small group of fellow veterans, all supporters of Paul for President and his interest in ending the current war.

They had come to publicly endorse Paul's candidacy. They had come, they said, because Paul is the lone voice for sensibility and has a message of truth for a world that has been fractured, in every way, by prolonged war.

Joshua Holmes, 24, of Manchester, has supported Ron Paul since 2008. He was an infantryman with the Army for two tours in Iraq. He's seen friends die in combat -- but he's lost even more friends, of late, to suicide.

"I support our troops, but there is no mission there. This is why more veterans support Ron Paul than all the other candidates put together," Holmes said.

"I was a freshman in high school when 9/11 happened. I have served two tours and am out of the military, and the war is still going on. That's not how it was in past wars. That's not how it was supposed to be," Holmes said.

Paul spent about 90 minutes in total, speaking on some of his key platforms, including his interest in dismantling the Federal Reserve, promoting a free market economy and rebuilding the country based on true liberty for all.

Questions from the audience ranged from his position on illegal immigration to the perception that he's got no heart, due to some of his Libertarian policies.

Paul responded as he's been responding, that there should be no free pass to citizenship, and that less government interference is the most compassionate way to lead a nation based on the notion of personal freedom.

And while most who stepped to the microphone professed to being die-hard Ron Paul supporters, there were a few who admittedly came to find out more about what a Paul presidency would look like.

Constituent Russell Paul of Nashua was concerned about the candidate's stand on gay marraige, and asked him if he agreed that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

Paul said he personally did believe that.

"But I don't believe we need the federal government to get us all to agree," Paul said. "I've been married to the same woman for 54 years. I don't want to convert anyone to my beliefs, or vice versa," said Paul, his words  drowned out by applause from the audience.

Another question came from Andy Bridge of Amherst.

"Will a Ron Paul presidency keep me and my family safe, with forces like radical Islam looking to destroy the Christian faith?" asked Bridge.

Paul said as president his goal would be to provide a strong national defense, and he'd work toward identifying why America is not safe in the first place.

"We're told  they resent us because we're free and prosperous. Well, I don't buy that," said Paul. "There are other countries free and prosperous, like Switzerland -- you don't see them worrying about someone  dropping bombs."

Paul said a policy of neutrality would be a step in the right direction, and that Americans should be approaching foreign policy like a "golden rule," of doing unto others.

Afterwards, Bridge said that although Paul answered his question,  he wasn't sure whether it was enough to answer his concerns, as a voter.

"What he's suggesting really requires a whole shift in my way of thinking and the position of the United States' role in government," Bridge said.

While he is not ready to endorse Paul, he said right now he's leaning in that direction.

Discussion outside the venue following the event between a group of Democrats was not altogether different.

"We aren't Ron Paul fans, but we do agree with some of what he's saying," said Ellen Barr of Nashua. "Like taking down military bases and not wanting to go into new wars. But I'm also one who feels the government should step in to help those who are vulnerable."

Barr said she supported President Obama in 2008, and has some reservations about supporting him again in 2012, which is one reason why she came out to listen to what Paul had to say on the issues.

"I would've like to see him discuss more talking points, like how do we address the problem of jobs and Social Security, instead of how we should disable them," Barr said. "As a Republican, he's a big exception, and he stands alone in that way. But because he's a big Libertarian, he has no chance of winning."

Elaine Thomas, also of Nashua, said she is concerned about Paul's no-tax policies and where they would leave those who are dependent on disability income, like her disabled son, who is in his 40s.

"It's an insurance program to me, not an entitlement. I have paid into Social Security since I was a teenager, and I stopped at the age of 71. I would like to know how someone like my son would fit into his talk of freedom, and no taxes and everyone taking care of themselves," Thomas said.

Adrian George of Nashua said he appreciates Paul's candor, but feels it's too much naive idealism.

"I'm afraid the way Ron Paul and a lot of these other Constitutional candidates approach the issues is too simplistic. I'm 57, and I've worked  hard all my life. I've saved for my retirement and for my daughter's college education next year. I'm worried that if I lose my job, all my hard work and savings is wiped out," George said.

"This is how real people think. This is what we fear, but you don't hear them addressing that. People didn't cause these problems with our economy, but none of them are discussing how corporate power is ruining this country," George said.

He expects to vote for Obama in 2012, despite wishing there were an alternative that made more sense.

"I was skeptical of Obama, too. I didn't think he'd go this far to the right. So I guess I'll go back to the polls holding my nose," George said.

This was the second in a series of Town Hall-style events presented by We the People Freedom Forum, a Nashua-based organization headed by Republican activist Jennifer Horn, that promotes the Constitution.

shawn October 04, 2011 at 02:15 AM
For those concerned about Ron Paul about social security, medicare, disability, etc, Ron Paul is not looking to dismantle them right away. He is aware that people are currently dependent on them. His view is that that we should cut militarism spending(not defense) and use it to cover these people as part of a transition. Also, he suggests that people should have the right to opt out of these programs instead of being forced to pay into them with our income especially the youth. Ultimately, as Ron Paul mentions, we must decide as a country what the purpose of government is. Should it run our lives and limit our liberties to be secure, or should our it protect our liberties and let us take responsibility for our actions even when we mess up?
Tony Hughes October 04, 2011 at 02:21 AM
Not too sure about that guy. I think i'll vote for the guy who supports Wall street. The guy who didn't do anything he said he would. I mean, Ron Paul sounds too honest when he talks about ending the wars. Can you believe he actually said he would start putting money against our debt and secure the social programs for those who are dependent? I'm going to "hold my nose." FAIL
Brian October 04, 2011 at 02:54 AM
I know for some its very emotional when it comes to some issues like foreign policy and freedom. But we cannot continue doing the same thing and expect different results. Think if Iran dropped a bomb on some of the people in this country that advocates killing of Muslims, and then iran claiming they have aright to drop a bomb and kill anyone who incites violence. if this is where we have come to we are really in much bigger trouble than I thought.
Socrates Gadfly October 04, 2011 at 03:02 AM
"but none of them are discussing how corporate power is ruining this country," George said. THAT IS RON PAULS MESSAGE!!!!! and you are "VOTING FOR OBAMA? Who handed our country to wallstreet?" WAKE UP AMERICA!!! RON PAUL 2012!
Jackson Baer October 04, 2011 at 03:37 AM
Let's go Ron Paul!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjRcO1Sm0HU
Dave October 04, 2011 at 03:43 AM
The Following is What is Different and Better About Ron Paul Over All Others: He has never taken a government junket. He does not participate in the lucrative Congressional Pension Program. He returns a portion of his annual Congressional Office Budget every year. He has never voted to raise taxes. He has never voted for an unbalanced budget. He voted no to the bankster bailout. He voted no to raising the debt ceiling and warned us against the “Super Congress” part of the legislation that resembles both an “ Enabling Act” and a “Politburo.” He has never voted to restrict gun ownership. He has never voted to raise Congressional Pay. He never voted to increase Executive Branch Power. He will Reinstate The Constitution and Save The Republic He will END the unconstitutional FED. He will phase out the unconstitutional IRS beginning immediately  He will secure the borders He will limit Big Government in your private affairs He will stop Illegal immigration and no amnesty He voted against regulating the Internet He is the only candidate for President in 2012 who actually served his country. He was a flight surgeon during Vietnam. Ron Paul’s popularity is so high among U.S. service members that the Texas  Congressman’s presidential campaign has received more money from U.S. soldiers than any other candidate in the 2012 presidential race.  http://www.thestatecolumn.com/...
Dave October 04, 2011 at 03:44 AM
He voted against the Iraq War and warned us against going forward with an undeclared war.“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it´s realized that our liberty and wealth are in Jeopardy” July 10th, 2003 He voted against the unconstitutional and un-patriotic misnomered so called “Patriot Act”. He supports a non-interventionist foreign policy yet a strong defense He will end the inflation tax He is a true Constitutional Conservative He would have soundly beat Obama in 2008 because Independents trust him and like him. We could have had a V8 instead of McCain´t in 08 Ron Paul for President 2012 Because no one else can be trusted to say what he means and do what he says like Ron Paul does. Ron Paul is the man of the hour. They used to laugh him for being way ahead of the others in his thinking and his warnings. Now, they are not laughing because what he predicted is coming to pass. Now, he is being called a prophet for having warned us and still calmly suffered through the barbs. "First they, ignore you, then they fight you, then you win." Gandhi When fascism goes to sleep it looks under the bed for Ron Paul.
Michigan For Ron Paul October 04, 2011 at 08:34 AM
Carry on, heroes. Talk to your neighbors, yes? Win your precinct for Dr. Paul. yes?

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