Josiah Ryan and Kevin Mooney | Staff Writers | Friday, February 8, 2008
Paul claims to be the only conservative remaining in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
"We are in a bind. We are in a fix. We spend too much everywhere. We spend too much overseas, we spend too much domestically. The only answer is to be true conservatives," he told conservative activists.
Invoking the 1994 "Republican Revolution," Paul reminded conservatives about a time when the Republican Party forcefully pursued smaller government and fiscal restraint. But after Republicans gained a majority in 1994, following a campaign that focused on those principles, the conservative spirit eroded as Republicans became accustomed to power, he said.
Republicans once identified the Department of Education as a target for extinction, Paul reminded audience members. But in recent years, the DOE has grown in size and influence under a Republican administration. This overspending has antagonized the Republican base, Paul argued.
"We have lost House seats not because we aren't compassionate, but because we aren't conservative," he said.
Paul expressed doubt that Sen. John McCain can lead Republicans back to the conservative principles of 1994. Instead of advancing limited government, McCain has chosen to align himself with some of the most destructive liberals in the United States Senate, Paul said.
Paul was particularly critical of the alliance McCain has forged with Sen. Russ Feingold and Sen. Ted Kennedy. "This candidate's best friends names are Kennedy and Feingold," said Paul.
Paul, who is staunchly pro-life, has proposed a "sanctity of life" amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Such a bill would establish the principle that life begins at conception, Paul explained. "That's not a political statement, that's a scientific statement," he said.
Paul also said he favors legislation that would preclude the federal judiciary from having jurisdiction over the abortion issue. "Such legislation would allow states to have greater latitude in setting policy as it pertains to abortion without judicial legislation," he said.
Although Paul trails in the polls and didn't command the same overflow crowds at CPAC as McCain and Romney did earlier in the day, he has a loyal and enthusiastic following.
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