Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, was the subject of several in-depth profiles this week, revealing the reason he wears sneakers with his suits, his lack of pop culture knowledge, and, of course, his love for freedom.
The first, a New York Times Magazine interview, explained that Paul had never heard of Jon Stewart even as he climbed into Comedy Central’s limousine on his way to a Daily Show appearance.
The article described Paul as “homespun,” and said “he communicates with his constituents through birthday cards, August barbecues and the cookbooks his wife puts together every election season.”
A recent L.A. times profile, — which compared Paul to Democratic candidate and former Alaskan Sen. Mike Gravel — wrote that the same wife who compiles cookbooks sends her husband homemade cookies on the campaign trail. The article also said Paul simultaneously dons sneakers and a tie because of a bad knee, though he was quite the track star in his youth.
Both articles highlighted Paul’s surging online presence despite his low polling numbers. “It just might be that freedom is a popular idea,” he told the L.A. Times. That online interest has helped Paul raise enough money to nearly equal cash-on-hand of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Earlier this month, Paul stopped by Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., which, according to The Washington Post, is now a trendy stop for presidential candidates. In an hour-long session hosted by a moderator, Paul took questions from a live audience. According to the host, more employees submitted questions to Paul than to any other candidate who stopped by the Googleplex.
The audience appeared receptive to most of his responses about personal freedoms, the importance of private property and the Constitution, and how he believes the United States circumvents formal declarations of war.
However, the audience did not seem so pleased with Paul’s responses to questions on global warming. The Post reported Google has a penchant for environmentalism, which explains why there was no applause when Paul said, “We shouldn’t overdo some of the statistics and the reports on global warming because there’s two sides to that argument. I don’t have the final answer, but I tend to think it’s overblown.”
Paul said the Environmental Protection Agency has not been effective when it comes to regulating pollution, adding he believes consumer activist groups could be more influential.
On the campaign trail, Paul will hold a fundraiser in Texas on Saturday. Next weekend, Paul plans to make a three-day campaign swing, stopping first in Pennsylvania, then Missouri, and then on to Iowa to participate in the ABC Iowa Debate on Aug. 5.