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Paul Refocuses Attention on House Seat for Now


By Mark Anderson

In a last-minute twist, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) bowed out of a big Houston energy forum to focus on his congressional reelection in the short time remaining before the Texas primary March 4. If he prevails in the Texas primary and becomes the Republican nominee to return to Congress, his burden will be much lighter, enabling him to rededicate himself to the presidential race, where media-preferred frontrunner Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is rocked by scandal amid Republican Party displeasure with his left-leaning views.

Paul is being challenged for the GOP nomination by Friendswood City Councilman Chris Peden, who Paul describes as a “slick” politician who used to say supportive things about him but now is spreading lies.

Peden, who reportedly is against eminent domain land takings for private gain and helped ease the local property tax burden as a councilman, says he agrees with Paul in opposing the Trans Texas Corridor, according to a spokesman contacted by AFP. However, Peden supports the Bush administration’s “war on terror” against what Peden calls “Islamo-fascists.”

Paul sharply disagrees, saying the war is a sham and that such multibillion-dollar intervention abroad is drastically depleting America’s defenses and resources.

So in the short amount of time left, Paul is hoping to defeat Peden, freeing himself from the bind of running two campaigns at once. Should he not secure the congressional nomination, he thinks the enemies of freedom will see that as a major victory. He said his opponent for Congress would love nothing more than to “bury me in the graveyard of Texas politics.”

This event initially was promoted as a debate, but neither Sen. John McCain, nor Mike Huckabee, responded to invitations to participate on the GOP side.

It’s conceivable that this was a tactic to deflate the Houston event and deny Paul a national forum where he could have intellectually outshone the other contenders right before the primary.

“Since it’s no longer a debate, Ron is going to stay in Washington and make his [congressional] votes,” spokesman Jesse Benton told The Houston Chronicle.

Spokesman Anthony Riedel told AFP that Paul is still a presidential candidate, despite incessant media “blurbs” that suggest the opposite. For example TXCN, a Texas cable TV network, flashed a short news item across the bottom of its broadcast Feb. 24 that alleged Paul admits his presidential campaign is a “failure.”

But, as of Feb. 25, Paul had $6.1 million on hand and had just completed a big rally in Austin, Texas, where he spoke to nearly 7,000 people on Feb. 23.

TXCN’s website listed an Obama appearance around the same time in Austin, where it said about 100 people were lined up to get in. But Paul’s well-attended Austin appearance was ignored. TXCN is owned by the Belo media conglomerate with editorial offices in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston.

CNN, Fox and the other big networks have continued to ignore Paul. By their own twisted logic, they should be covering Paul to allege that he’s bowing out. Huckabee, who’s fading somewhat, is mentioned as if he is barely in the race, running “if only in name.” But Paul isn’t even mentioned in the negative.

The media policy applied to Huckabee is not applied to Paul. Paul said that, above all, he needs financial contributions for his congressional campaign right away to get past that hurdle (800-RON-PAUL).

Mark Anderson is the author of The Ron Paul Revolution, AFP’s special report we are encouraging everyone to distribute. For more on how you can help Ron Paul get elected, click here.

(Issue # 9 &10, March 3 & 10, 2008)

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