MONT VERNON, N.H. — Texas Rep. Ron Paul wants to abolish the IRS and the Patriot Act, the law passed after 9/11 that restricts civil liberties. That has natural appeal in the “Live Free or Die” state.
Zoe Fimbel lives in the small southern New Hampshire town of Mont Vernon.
“We want someone who truly loves America,” Fimbel said. “Somebody who will lead us in a good way without burdening us with ridiculous taxes and sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.”
The latest polls predict Paul placing second to Mitt Romney with 20 percent of the vote. Fimbel says Paul could do much better.
“I really wish people wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, I’m not going to vote for Ron Paul because he can’t win.’ If everybody who said that would vote for him instead of their second best he would have a great chance,” Fimbel said.
Still, Paul hasn’t done many public events in the days before the New Hampshire primary. His campaign says it was the plan all along to take a break between the Iowa caucuses and the primary here. Some observers say he’s taking a long view of the election, and has the money and supporters to sustain him for months.
In Saturday night’s debate, Paul addressed a question on many people’s minds — whether he would run as a third party candidate. He said he’s not planning on it.
“I don’t know why a person can’t reserve judgment and see how things turn out,” Paul said. “In many ways, I’d like to see some changes.”
Change in foreign policy. Changes in government spending. Paul’s best chance at getting those changes might eventually be his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Father and son are of the same ideologically, but Rand Paul is a better speaker, 27 years younger, and less cranky than his father. Rand stumped Saturday for his dad and said he hasn’t ruled out his own bid for the presidency in the future.