In each of the GOP 2008 presidential debates that have so far taken place, U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) has more than held his own. While some dismissed Congressman Paul's entry into the race when so many better-known hats had already been tossed into the ring (and other well-known chapeaux belonging to, among others, Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich, are hovering at the ring's fringes), his clear articulation of the importance of adhering to the Constitution has kept him in the spotlight.
It recently came to light that two influential Iowa political organizations have chosen to exclude Congressman Paul from an upcoming candidates forum under their sponsorship. As reported by NewsMax.com:
GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul has been excluded from an upcoming political forum in Iowa on the grounds that he is not a "credible” candidate.
The event, sponsored by Iowans for Tax Relief and the Iowa Christian Alliance, is set for June 30 in Des Moines.
GOP candidates who will speak at the forum include Mitt Romney, Sam Brownback, Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, Tommy Thompson and Tom Tancredo.
But Paul, a Texas congressman, was left out because the invitation went only to those candidates who are "credible,” said Ed Failor Jr., vice president of Iowans for Tax Relief.
John Fund of the Wall Street Journal finds this explanation curious, as do I. Why claim that Ron Paul is incredible and not claim the same for Tommy Thompson or Tom Tancredo? (Those two candidates have their own problems in breaking the fractional digits in public-opinion surveys.)
In the daily, by-subscription-only "Political Diary" column, Fund says:
Despite his controversial views, Mr. Paul was tied for sixth place in the Republican field in last week's Wall Street Journal/NBC national poll (he had 2%), and was ahead of several other candidates who've been invited to the June 30 forum. What makes his exclusion all the stranger is that Mr. Paul just placed second behind Fred Thompson in a straw poll of National Taxpayers Union members at the group's annual convention in Washington. One of the key organizers of the NTU event was none other than Iowans for Tax Relief, the co-sponsor of the forum that is excluding Mr. Paul.Considering that Ron Paul is on record in favor of abolishing the Internal Revenue Service and repealing the 16th Amendment, his support among tax-reformers should be easy to explain.
It may also be easy to explain why, to the contrary, Iowans for Tax Relief wants to keep Dr. Paul's voice out of its forum. It doesn't take much digging to find out that its spokesman, Ed Failor, Jr., is a senior advisor to John McCain's presidential campaign.
So much for a "non-partisan" forum.
On the plus side, however, Ron Paul continues to give great performances on television, where he is receiving an excellent response. I have already noted his appearances on The Daily Show on Comedy Central and on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC chat show.
Dr. Paul has also recently been a guest on The Colbert Report (which follows The Daily Show on Comedy Central at 11:30 p.m.). A number of Ron Paul supporters had posted the YouTube video of the interview, but unfortunately -- no doubt because Comedy Central had asserted its intellectual property rights -- YouTube pulled the video and those links are dead.
Fortunately, Comedy Central itself provides code for folks like us to post that video, which implies a license to use it. So here is Ron Paul on the Colbert Report. Note when and how enthusiastically the audience applauds. (I think, however, contrary to Stephen Colbert's introduction, that Ron Paul is more than "the Republican Mike Gravel.")
I hope that anyone looking for "Ron Paul on Colbert Report" avoids the disappointment of attempting to use a broken link to YouTube (such as this one at Reason magazine's blog) and instead finds the live link here.