Ron Paul and the Debate: Some Friendly Suggestions

Gang, you know I would crawl over broken glass for this guy, and that I consider him a giant in terms of his intelligence, his courage, his honesty, and his integrity.  Here’s my post-debate commentary, saying just that.  And standing on a debate stage alongside creeps and liars, getting 30 seconds to discuss complicated matters, must be unspeakable.  It’s easy to be a Monday-morning quarterback, for sure.

Having said that, I want to share a few thoughts on what I would recommend if I were a debate coach:

(1) Remember the level of economic knowledge most Americans have: pretty much zero.  They have never even heard the term “business cycle.”  One must be less ambitious in a debate, in terms of what he can expect to get across, as opposed to a more leisurely magazine or television interview.

At the same time, the candidate has to differentiate himself, and can’t simply repeat that he favors low taxes, reduced spending, and a balanced budget.  That’s what they all say.

I would say something like this: “By my count, we have tried at least sixteen forms of economic stimulus.  And most of them were tried under Republicans, so be skeptical of the pretty speeches you’re suddenly hearing from the other candidates tonight.  None of it gives us real prosperity. Just a sugar high that we’re now crashing from — and all the president can suggest is more sugar.

“My supporters are always on me to boast more.  After all, they say, I predicted long ago that this system of unpayable debt and money created out of thin air would come to grief. Now I do hate boasting. But the current crisis is too important for me not to level with you. No one on this stage saw the economic crisis of 2008 coming.  I’m flattered that they’re at least trying to sound like me, but I actually have the track record to show that I warned about this long ago and have fought a lonely battle, without much help from people on this stage, ever since.”

(2) If the Federal Reserve comes up, I would keep it very simple.  Two major points:
(a) “If you were given the power to create all the money you wanted to out of thin air, I bet you’d use that power.  Now think about it: what group in society would we least trust with that power?  If you said politicians, go to the head of the class.  But no one, and I mean no one, will talk about the Federal Reserve.  The less they talk about it, the more important you know it must be.  And that’s why I want to talk to Americans about it, whether or not the focus groups say I should.”
(b) “The Fed benefits the economic elite at the expense of the general public, as I’ve explained in my books.  And it encourages what we call moral hazard — which means these big firms take excessive risks in the expectation of a bailout in the future.  Well, why shouldn’t they expect a bailout under the current system — it’s so easy to print the money!  Enough is enough.  If you’re going to cry and whine about bailouts on this stage but not utter a peep against the institution that makes the bailouts possible, you are a fraud.”

(3) It is necessary to call out the other candidates. I know this goes against Dr. Paul’s style. But here is where his humility comes in: this movement is not, in the final analysis, about Ron Paul.  It is about his ideas.  And those ideas have to be allowed to penetrate the fog of a presidential debate. Whatever Dr. Paul’s personal debating preferences, they have to be secondary. The ideas, and the welfare of our country, simply demand it.

He doesn’t have to pick on any person in particular. But it would be an extraordinary moment, and one that would intrigue countless Americans into making that fateful first Google search of Ron Paul, if he said: “May I have a show of hands, please, of all the people on this stage who predicted the crash of 2008, and who were critics of the Federal Reserve and its destructive effects on our economy before I made it fashionable to be? Economic convulsions are being felt all over the world. The system is coming unglued. My colleagues on this stage have been taken by surprise.  I wasn’t — not because I’m a clairvoyant, or because I have some exclusive insight.  I knew it because I actually read the great free-market economists, and because I have written and spoken on these issues for over 35 years.

“We have a very bumpy ride ahead of us, and we’re going to need a team that has been knowledgeable and alert.  I invite you to examine my record for yourself, and then decide whose ideas are most likely to bring us through this crisis swiftly and effectively.”

(4) On matters relating to health care, I would have Dr. Paul repeat until it’s second nature, for every single time the issue comes up, “As a medical doctor myself, having delivered over 4,000 babies in my career….”

(5) As for how Ron Paul would deal with a divided Congress, I would say this.  Ron Paul is calling for real changes, not the usual pile of nothing his opponents are calling for.  If the country has decided it’s ready for a truth teller of his caliber, and someone who intends to change things root and branch, that would mean he had been elected with a serious mandate.  He could then appeal directly to the public to help him with Congress, perhaps asking them to inquire with any recalcitrant congressmen whether any of them were as prophetic on the economy as the new president had been.

(6) A very effective 30-second closing statement has to be written, memorized, and rehearsed.  This is absolutely mandatory.  As he is flying to an event, or finding himself with a few spare moments, he can go over it.  The statement last night was much better than the one in the first debate.  But again, Dr. Paul owes it to his ideas to blow the other candidates off the stage with his closing statement.  Thirty seconds is enough time to make clear that he is different, that he is telling them the truth, and that he isn’t a plastic man like the rest of them.  I would be glad to draft such a statement.

I cannot emphasize enough that Ron Paul is a far more courageous person than I am, and that we deeply admire his vast knowledge, his personal integrity and his extraordinary, unheard-of record from twelve congressional terms.  All we want is for more people to become aware of this great man, and I hope some of these suggestions can help make that possible.

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  • silentnomore9

    Absolutely, I would turn to jello, but I am not running for President and we need to see Ron Paul’s strength in the debates.  If I had never listened to his speeches on the floor of the House, I would never have known he can actually articulate himself very well.  I want to see that same strength in the face of the lions in the media.  I know, its easy to sit behind my computer screen and be brave.  But, I want him as President.  That means he’s going to be facing the lions every day for at least four years and maybe eight.  I want him to demonstrate to the voters that we don’t have to worry that he will become President and not get the Congress and the Senate to present him with what he needs to get the job done.

  • Laura

    Show of hands (as he raises his own hand & looks at his opponents)—how many of you on this stage have NEVER received campaign contributions from the lobbyists who represent the rich elite, the military interests, BIG corporations, and/or the BIG bankers?  Then, when he gets no hands, he can say simply directly into the camera (not the journalists), “Therein lies the problem my fellow Americans & why you never every really see REAL change & why you can NEVER trust the politicians who are on the take!  Why? Because BOTH PARTIES represent the rich elites.  But, I would represent YOU.

    That’s one idea…

  • Jetkhaaan

    I agree with all of these points; I’ve had most of them on my mind since the last campaign. I just wish my main man Ron would stand up and speak these important words now, when it counts. This is it. Ron Paul’s final tour. The time for pulling punches is over.

  • Mechanized

    It is quite impossible to please everyone. Unfortunately, it is never possible. His accusation is indeed curious, even baffling.

  • silentnomore9

    The problem is those other politicians win the office they are running after.  We need Ron Paul to win!  That may mean we need to get out and articulate his message to more people – but I am not qualified to do that!  I am just learning that he is not crazy and if we don’t get the word out to more people FAST it will just be another failed pass at the Presidency.  We need him in the White House where the very people who have been marginalizing him for the last 35 years will have to shake their heads and wonder how he got there.

  • silentnomore9

    No, Ron has been consistently determined and has voted against the pack for 35 years.  I think that record should be blazed across the whole of the media every day from now until election day.

  • Tom B

    Ron Paul is a man of substance with a gentle demeanor. He did get fired up last night and I was glad to see it.  He needs to get his message out in non-traditional ways, which includes the Internet.  Even Barrack Obama learned that trick.  Ron’s message requires unlearning all of the things you have been taught and to actually think for yourself.  Liberty is a radical message to all patriots whose liberties have been systematically stripped away for more than 100 years.  This requires thoughtful conversation.  I agree with the other poster, a free DVD is necessary.  Not too long, but not sound bites either.  Ron needs to distinguish himself as an intellectual.  This is grassroots people.  You need to invite your friends to listen to the message.  Also his Iran points were very unpopular.  This has more to do with the fact that he has too much integrity to use demagoguery, even if it’s to his advantage to do so.  You can’t do that in 30 seconds though, it makes you look weak.

  • silentnomore9

    I think he got this point across effectively in the debate.  It was the one point that he made that I could cheer about.

  • Elijah Stanfield

    I have an idea. A Thomas Woods campaign 2016! Chew Romney up!

  • Jen Fishburne

    Excellent thoughts.  I hope you have passed them on to Ron Paul himself.

  • silentnomore9

    Aah!  yes all that Looove you are spouting…  No, Jesus is the Lord our Righteousness.  He did not come to do away with the law but fulfill the law.  He does not call the righteous because the righteous are already with him, he calls sinners to repentance.  God does not bless those who spill innocent blood.  He calls those who spill innocent blood to repentance unto God and to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.   So, all of your spouting is off base.  God sometimes directs the righteous into war in order to provide safety for his people.  People often initiate war because of their lusts, desires and hatred.  God doesn’t call people to war for their own lusts and doesn’t support them in the wars they initiate in their own lusts.  But, God never, ever, blesses those who shed innocent blood.

  • Roland

    Excellent, Tom. I would add a couple of simple things:
    Never use the pronoun “we” when talking about something that the U.S. government or Congress did that you did not approve of or vote for. As in, “We let George Bush make the decision to invade Iraq.” Distance yourself from the statist Constitution-trashers. They are “they” or “the Congress over my objections.”
    Make it clear that America and the American state are not the same thing. Make sure viewers know that when you criticize foreign policy, you are not blaming America first; you are blaming American politicians first.

  • Clint Ramsey

    Tom, Paul should be begging you to be on his campaign.  You need to have his ear big time.  Your one of the most articulate speakers in the Austrian school of thought and if he had used that he would have killed that debate.  If he could speak as well as you with his name recognition and record he’d have this election in the bag. Keep up the good work and hopefully his campaign reads this.

  • John C. Randolph

    I’d love to hear him say something along these lines:

    “My fellow Americans, the problems we face are enormous, and all of my opponents are offering you a quick fix.  If I’m elected, I will not bring you a handout, or help you rob your neighbors, or rail against some scapegoat and lead you on a witch hunt.  What I will do, and what I promise to you, is that I will do everything in my power as President, to get the government out of your way and off of your back, so that we can all get on with the hard work of rebuilding our economy, to restore peace by bringing our troops home, and to restore sound money by abolishing the Fed and bringing the government back within the bounds of the constitution.”

  • YODA777

    Awesome Tom,  I have been hoping Ron would do this for a long time.  I sure hope he takes your debate coaching advice and really works on this.  I have posted in many places now how Ron is talking about the big picture, asking the question “What do we want to the role of Government to be?” Romeny and the others are talking smaller picture stuff within the current framework of government, which we now know [Ron has known for several years] is not working.  Bravo Zulu.

  • Danielschmid

    I love Dr. Paul and understand him and the issues enough to understand what he’s talking about, but he could definitely do better in the debates.  I actually lament that Ron Paul supporters flood the post-debate polls because it makes it impossible to know how well he actually did in the eyes of the public.  As far as the last debate, I would admit that Newt Gingrich probably did the best job debating.

    That said, I completely agree with all of your suggestions- you’re close to Dr. Paul, perhaps you could convince him to let you coach him.

  • Laura & Carl

    I hate to say it but the term “LIBERTY” has to be dropped.  Every American thinks we already live in a free country.  The term “FREEDOM” also has to be dropped, too.  The MASSES don’t understand this term.  They think we already *are* free!  It has to be dropped from his repertoire. 

    All your ideas are good Tom.  It’s really hard to do this with the sound bite time limits he gets, but I believe it can be done.  Somehow he needs to look DIRECTLY at the AUDIENCE CAMERA, to bring the TV audience into him, to help them comprehend that…..

    “This isn’t about Republicans and Democrats.  SHOCKINGLY, what this is REALLY about is the ultra-rich elites (said slowly) who have been STEALING our money since 1913 when the Federal Reserve was illegally formed by ultra-rich American and world bankers.  That’s why our politicians passed the Banking Bailout against 70% of American’s will.  And, that’s why you can no longer trust these people on this stage.  Why?  Because they’ve ALL taken money from these ultra-rich elites through their lobbyists.  But, this is EXACTLY why…because I’ve never been on the take.  I also predicted the 2008 financial crisis.  Not one of these candidates did, and now I predict a DOLLAR crisis so severe that American’s may never recover from it.  I want to help prevent this.  I know how.  I know what went wrong.  I will educate all of you.  I will do everything possible to protect the poor, the downtrodden, and the elderly.   I don’t have the BIG media on my side, and the Republican & Democratic party elites are all against me…BUT, we don’t need them.  But, I need you. And, we..need each other… 

    Tom, what do you think of that idea?  It’s 1 minute, 15 seconds.  Get together with Ron, ok?!

  • roadrunner


    You’re right. If I only told you how many times I shouted at Ron Paul, watching the debate: “Say this!”

    But this is a different kind of game. We don’t want to sell something to people without them knowing what they’re buying. Yes, most people don’t know too much of this stuff. But what do you get if you make them buying into something without knowing what they’re buying into? They will turn against you in a New York minute.

    Let the man be himself! It’s an idea that we’re fighting for. We may not win this time around, but we’re making progress and the idea has to remain and to grow. Tomorrow there’ll be others to spread it and fight for it. It may be you, it may be Rand Paul, it may be who knows who.

    Let the people hear what Ron Paul says, as he says it, then ask themselves questions, do their thinking, and decide what they’re choosing. This is the real win!.

    Otherwise, man, I LOVE that MAN.

  • Wonz

    I for one, am drawn to Ron Paul’s unpolished way of speaking and presenting his ideas, I have no qualms about it. To me it makes him more down to earth, that he thinks and cares deeply about these issues and that he is a man of ideas and above all it comes out naturally. 

    If Ron was to take Tom’s advice, there is no doubt that Ron would only take it on his terms, 3 decades in politics and being the lone voter is a testament to that. Does Ron feel the pressure as he becomes closer and closer to having a real shot at being POTUS… hardly, speaking the truth for him is easy as pie, no lies and excuses to remember. Just read the constiution duh!

  • Scott

    I would hope Dr. Paul would consult you next time around. However, I was listening to right wing talk radio today while sitting on a tractor.  And I find all the so-called free market zealots slam Ron Paul.  But the most disturbing comments came from Mark Levin.  I mean, I find him offensive on many levels, but today I thought I heard Levin refer to the followers of Dr. Paul as “Brown Shirts.” A euphemism to the days of Hitler.  Now, like I said, I was listening to this while farming on a tractor and it is possible I did not hear Levin correctly. Can anyone confirm this? Or was I hearing things? 

  • Andrew

    I really disliked Paul’s answer to his first debate question, and I lost a little sleep over it. Worst part of it was that he said “a divided congress will exist for some time to come.” I disagree, and even if it were true, he should not mention it because it sounds terrible.

    Congressman Paul, What specific things would you do as president to increase growth, calm the markets, create jobs that could pass through a divided congress?

    They did give him a loaded question, knowing that he couldn’t address
    everything in a minute. And they purposefully put the “divided congress”
    part at the end of the question, after he had already thought of how to respond. I think he would be better off
    addressing the issue of “a divided congress” to begin with, anytime it is mentioned in a question.

    Paul: If I were to become president, I will have convinced a majority of people in this country to completely change their philosophy about government. That is important to understand. I feel that the people would not only elect me, but also elect new representatives that share the same philosophy. And the majority of Americans already support my positions on auditing the fed, ending corporate welfare, and ending the wars.

    I do believe that as President I can unite people of differing philosophies. I believe many conservatives and progressives support abolishing the patriot act, ending the drug war, and restoring our civil liberties. Many conservatives and progressives support ending the unconstitutional wars overseas. As commander in chief, I have the authority to bring our troops home. I believe taking these initial steps would immediately save billions of dollars and increase confidence in our nation and our economy, as I work with congress on cutting regulations and spending.

    I poll very well with independents, and I believe that the freedom philosophy can unite all Americans.

  • Jeffrey Porter

    Oh hell yeah.

  • Parker

    Yes. Agree 100%. What I think is also making a huge contribution is RP supporters engaging with people in a constructive ways. It’s the six degrees of Kevin Bacon… Every RP supporter talking with a couple people.. who talk with a couple people… and so on. Pretty soon, the word has spread. I’m trying to be active on high volume YouTube vids where people post anti-RP screeds to cancel them out and give people better info. YouTube is the absolute greatest resource for RP. There’s is a goldmine of stuff on YouTube… including a whole bunch of supporter made vids that are fantastic.

    RP activists will do the movement a great service by getting knowledgeable of RP positions and working the room so to speak. Get yourself a list of YouTube vids you like and hand out the list. I think there is no more powerful message than RP giving it in his own words. I like tuning into to his old stuff. I always end up shaking my head thinking if only he’d been elected in 1988… how different our world would be today.

    Here’s one RP did at Google in 2007… It’s really good.

    Here’s RP in 1998 telling us Clinton should be impeached but for different reasons than Lowenski. And he warns that we could be attacked by terrorists @2:55 Three years later the WTC is destroyed…

  • Joe Brookes

    my suggestion to ron paul in debates, is to somehow get himself pissed off right from the get-go

    he’s hilarious and effective when he’s pissed off

  • Vincent Vendetti

    Mr. Woods, thank you very much for your insightful article. I have been thinking about this exact same topic. Dr. Paul needs to appeal to the masses (I don’t mean pander but make everyone know how great he is because they NEED to know).  Dr. Paul is an amazing human being and the American public HAVE to know about him.  As Dr. Paul’s movement is grassroots in nature I am sure he will see your article.  During the next debate he will demolish the adversaries of liberty and spread his message of liberty and love for this country.

  • Vincent Vendetti

    Just keep doing what you are doing, learning about Ron Paul.  Keep reading about what the constitution really stands for, read books about our Founders, and read Dr. Paul’s books.  His foreign policy confuses a lot of people because we have been conditioned to accept war as a means of freedom and spreading democracy.  His views on foreign policy stem from the essence of liberty.  One free nation shouldn’t attack another nation without proper cause and our causes have been unjustified.  Once a nation is in war the war itself causes unjust rule of law on its own people and makes them poor.  This is the enemy of liberty.  He also believes that our foreign policy has pretty much given the terrorists a reason to attack us.  If we weren’t overseas bombing, killing, and occupying then the terrorists would have no reason to attack us.  Leave other people alone and they will leave you alone.

  • Freedom4Me

    Ron Paul is my hero. One of, if not the most courageous men in my lifetime. He is so-o-o intelligent, passionate and truthful that it is difficult for him to answer questions (in good conscience) with short memorable ” glib” remarks like the actor/pseudo politicians in today’s arena. He respects the American people and feels they deserve in-depth information (a teacher). He is in it for Us! I am a thorough and deep thinker so I respond to and respect people like Dr Paul. The average American wants a 30 second commercial with a cute memorable phrase. Most preachers are taught to write their sermons at a sixth grade level. If we want to educate those Christians that voted for Bush are we going to have to talk at a sixth grade level? PS:I bombarded my “fellow Christians and family members in the last election (RP) with daily emails and you tube videos. The first time I heard Ron Paul
    was on a Christian radio station WVCY (Milwaukee, WI) talking about abortion. One brother who voted for Perot and later Bush jumped on the band wagon right away…Last election He couldn’t convince any of his kids, wife or in-laws (7 kids) this year they are all voting RP!!. My die hard Republican Uncle told me he was libertarian shortly after the last election. That was a little short of miraculous. 

    Think about what attracted most of us to RP…we should campaign on that platform.  My questions began when 911 happened.#1) I got weekly polls from the republican party until I asked the big question. Why are our troops overseas and not protecting our borders at home? If my home in the midwest was attacked I would start with securing my own backyard before my husband goes off to California to find the supposed culprits. (same scenario) If we are so-o-o-o concerned with terror attacks in our country, wasn’t Bush worried about his own family? There should have been a national lockdown on our borders. Or did he know who the real attackers were, and where they lived, and he wasn’t concerned. Just asking. If so, what’s with all of the airport security and no real border security? Since asking that question I have never received another money or poll request from the republican party.(am I now on a LIST?)  #2) Other questions I asked (and I was not a very political person before RP) while I was still a Neo-con;  the economic booms and busts how does this just happen overnight? Shouldn’t it come on slowly, if it was real? #3) Who starts all of these wars? Most people (all over the world) are too busy just working and taking care of their families. Why don’t all of these educated politicians (who are great business negotiators) get in an arena with their sons and daughters and the other “opposing” countries leader and family and fight it out to the death. We can all buy tickets to the event and help the economy that way. #4)Today’s racial problems…who has time for it? (unelected Jessie Jackson). Most of the whites and minorities that I know are just working and struggling to keep their heads above water. Too much overtime, no time to quarrel.  Most seemed staged to me.  #5) electronic voting vs paper ballots?  #6) forget all of the phony campaigning, send us a congressional voting record with our federal tax forms and run it in the newspapers again at election time. Tax time is a Good time of year when we’re all  p***ed off.   #6) I had some Democrat relatives whom I admired. Good, decent, hard working, generous people. I thought, how can they be deomonized so badly from us Republicans? I didn’t see any difference in them as human beings. What is going on here? Are we being played against each other to weaken our strength against BIG Gov? #7)How about all of our young fighting men? Does Big gov want to keep that population at a minimum in case they decided to storm our own capitol instead of the “supposed” boogie man in some foreign land?  

  • dave

    Official campaign people:  I know you may have your opinions of Tom, and I know Ron is Ron (isn’t easy to change his ways), but please consider this input.

  • Filmmaker

    I too find myself wishing I could complete his sentences sometimes, but I must say, he is doing far better than he did in 2008 because he seems a bit pissed off, and that’s good.  Here are some phrases I would encourage   On Gay marriage or drugs”You cannot legislate morality”  On the war on Islamic extremists “You do not win a war of ideals with guns, you win a war of ideals by being the shining example of what liberty can bring to a country”.  On Gitmo and tribunals :  “Our entire government was based on an ideal communicated in the most important paragraph in human history:  “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal,”…not all Americans, but all mankind has inalienable rights granted by their creator, whatever that word means to you.  That is why America was once the envy of the world, because we stood for those principles.  But now we have these fearmongers trying to convince us that preemptive wars and bullying other countries is the right thing to do.  No wonder we have people who hate us, and it’s their fault! 
    That’s all for now, I’m available to help the campaign in any way I can.

  • Sleuth51

    “He [God] sometimes directs the righteous into war.” Any Muslim radical could have made this statement. So, When the Bush/Cheney cabal conspired to annex the Iraqi oil fields, they did so because God looked at these righteous souls, paragons of Christian virtue and holiness, and directed them into a war that to date has caused the death of 1.4 million souls. (Bush/Cheney oil war, a war of lust. Iran war will be a repeat of the same horror show.) Folks, this notion presented by silentnomore is so far removed from Him who taught us that blessed are the peacemakers and love your enemies, that I ask you to reject this neo-con, Islamic version of Christianity that “silentnomore” tries to propagate.

  • Stuart Grant

    Replying to Bacon Nivison:
    You’re wrong. I wouldn’t normally bother to tell you — but you DID ask. 1)Paul is not against the Military and is the only Veteran in the race.2) Paul believes in a STRONG National Defense but, from experience, has seen our current Foreign Policies making us less safe and he wants to change that.3)We are NOT at War with Islam (but we are certainly insulting and offending and killing a lot of people who identify with Islam). You cannot win a war against a religion.4)You say everything else depends on our ‘massive’ defense. I think you mean ‘offense’. We are attacking THEM in their homeland. How would YOU react if they were attacking you and occupying YOUR Country? — but what IS ‘everything else’? 

  • Ronpaul4prez2

    The American people don’t know that it’s against the constitution to be the policeman of the world. They think it’s the norm. Dr Paul needs to explain and quote Washington and Jefferson. Dumbed down Americans need led by the hand I believe. He speaks so far above most of their heads that I think they don’t understand so they dismiss it.

  • Alataloap

    I think everytime they bring public defence up, Ron Paul should tell those people that he is only candidate who Ronald Reagan has PERSONALLY endorsed.

  • Roland

    Well said, Stuart. The one trait that warmongering “conservatives” seem to have in common is an absolute inability to put themselves in somebody else’s shoes.

  • Anonymous

    I find myself in the dubious position of agreeing with both sides of this debate. I love Dr. Pauls humble ways, but 8i also realize that this is not the time to be humble. I will just let God sort this out and continue to be the most active and supportive campaign volunteer in the whole state of New Jersey.

    I am doing everything I can for Dr. Paul, I give money I don’t have to Dr. Paul, I’m doing things I have never done for Dr. Paul and it makes me feel good.

  • Court Rand

    I would like to add that Dr. Paul should take a little coaching from Jesse Ventura as well.  On military matters, why not ask the other candidates -who are pushing for war –  what military service they themselves have performed?    Also  when talking about the Fed – use the “C” word – CARTEL!

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Paul is far too decent to get elected to the presidency.

  • RoyalSubject

    Ron is a lot like an iceberg: his supporters know that underneath what appear to be simple or  unpopular statements, there is a complete philosophy and stacks of evidence to back it all up. When I watched the debate the other night, I could tell that all most viewers would get to see was the top of the iceberg, and on that occasion, it wasn’t very impressive. His TV interviewers may be going easier on him in terms of not asking him boring ‘gotcha’ questions, but they need to start asking his viewpoints on other subjects – especially his conservative economic position on drugs etc. (the battle is too expensive…), otherwise people will lose interest. 

  • None

    well said, mr. woods.

    one reaction i had:  

    he could’ve smacked down santorum and all the neo-con warmongers he represents, but didn’t.  he should’ve asked santorum how many decades and how many lives and how many trillions are enough to protect israel and america and the world from the tin horn that is achmedinijad, however you spell it.  then santorum said moral law is higher, and basically implied that we’re a theocracy, and opened up a whole can of worms…..

    ron paul can own the stage if he wants to.  he can challenge these guys and gals on the economy, war, healthcare, etc.  the media will actually like it.  he can take supporters from all of them.

  • Laura & Carl


    Why not join the RHINOS by saying, ok, if you believe in the Constitution which all of you are exclaiming that you do, then, I’ll go to war against any country, if I’m President, but only if you get the Congress to declare war!!!

    This is what can blow the Rhinos up—-it’s their ONLY card against Ron Paul……..they use the Constitution but if they do, then, put THEM to the TEST!!

  • Laura & Carl

    He can ask them for a show of hands FIRST—everyone raise your hand that they believe 100% in the US Constitution…..they will all raise their hands.

    Then, he can say, OK, their biggest gripe against me has been that I won’t go to war.  So…..if I become President, I will go to your wars, if you follow the Constitution and DECLARE WAR!!

    But, further, I will go to war & win it decisively & bring our boys back VICTORIOUSLY!!!

    Tom…..I can hear the screams & applause in the audience.  It would be thrilling.

  • Jeff Doolittle

    Draft and post that 30 second statement, Tom!

  • Julie Patrick

    I agree with Colin. Most important is for Dr Paul to be calmly Dr Paul. I earnestly worry about what Dr Paul is sacrificing for us all. I find myself praying for Dr Paul. Prior to Dr Paul, I never gave to anyone in politics and I have never felt before moved to pray for a politician in a real personal manner.

  • john w

    You know him Tom, please tell him because this is great advice!

  • Charles M

    I really am trying to put this as politely as possible and hope this comment will be received kindly.Your advice is nothing new. Ron Paul supporters have been harping on this for four years, and more, with no results. Your suggestions also demonstrate that campaign strategy at the presidential level, and simple marketing, are not your forte.The best advice you could give Ron Paul would be to hire a staff of talented, professional speech writers and word smiths. The advice here does not reach that level. The suggestions are actually two or three steps behind where Ron Paul needs to be to take the lead in this campaign… and keep it. Some of the suggestions would entail engaging in a ‘dog fight’ with the other candidates. Instead, Ron Paul should be taking the lead with his debate points and speeches. To do so he should jump from his current style of delivery. The new message he should be emphasizing is SOLUTIONS!Ron Paul’s SOLUTION for Small BusinessRon Paul’s SOLUTION for Full EmploymentRon Paul’s SOLUTION for a Safer AmericaRon Paul has been preaching and warning about the dangers to America and our economy for some time. Rather than repeating those warnings or showing people he was right, he needs to provide easy to understand SOLUTIONS on how to ‘Restore America’. Certainly, a short precursor to those SOLUTIONS would be the previous warning… then immediately into the SOLUTIONS for a given problem.Emphasizing he was right is dangerous and counterproductive. Nobody likes to be ‘I told you so’ and pointing out that he was right (and we didn’t listen) puts him in serious jeopardy of being considered an I told you so. We need Ron Paul to be perceived as the guy with the SOLUTIONS… not a chip on his shoulder.Even some of the specifics are too verbose to be understood. In your suggestion 2a for example, this reads like an excerpt from a book. Instead, something like “What has the Federal Reserve done for you… other than destroy your savings and decimate your Retirement?”. A less long, yet equally circuitous answer does us little good. The answers need to be short, to the point, and strike and emotional chord. This is why we need some serious professionals to craft Ron Paul’s message into: Talking Points, One Lines and Memorable Sentences. Just imagine if we could get the pundits and media echoing Ron Paul’s Talking Points, or repeating his well crafted one-liners.You have a substantial following and your words and thoughts carry great weight. But, I hope you will consider your stance on campaign strategy and marketing efforts. This is not your field of expertise and you should allow those who do this work best to try and help Ron Paul win this election.Take a look at Perry’s campaign and how they have handled his announcement to run. I may hate the guy, but this has been handled brilliantly by his campaign. Look at Romney and how he does not engage in arguments with other Republican candidate… he always compares himself to a match up with Obama. Look at the Obama campaign and how they beat the daylights out of Clinton. These are the people we will be facing and we will need truly professional efforts to beat them. Dedicated, true believers will not win this campaign alone. Ron Paul needs a seasoned core of political professionals and writers to get across his message so it is understandable… and proper campaign expertise to beat the competition both in the primary and general.I think the best advise you could offer Ron Paul are not your suggestions listed here… but, encourage him as others have done, to hire a truly professional staff of word smiths and to desist hiring family and friends for this terribly critical task. Perhaps your voice in this regard could be the tipping point… and we could see some really positive results in his speeches, debates and interviews.

  • Tom Woods

    This does not help.  Everyone claims to have “solutions.”  Every candidate on that stage.  Most Americans are not in a position to compare one candidate’s solutions with another.  Smooth delivery of a bunch of boilerplate will make them think that person’s solutions must be right.  We have to be more sophisticated than this.

    As I said, he does not need to pick on any individual.  Likewise, he does not need to make this point over and over.  But if people are going to listen to his solutions, as opposed to the ones offered by the younger, blowdried candidate, they must first __have some reason to believe him, and to believe that his solutions aren’t the same old line of you know what.  That is why it is essential at least to direct people to his huge online presence, his YouTubes, etc., to show he has had a handle on this.

    Obviously there is  way to say these things without coming off as a jerk.  Every other candidate seems to be doing pretty well with I, I, I, I, I.

    The guy has been talking about precisely what is now happening to us for his whole political career and you don’t want to highlight that?  No one is saying it has to be the only point he makes! 

  • Charles M

    I truly regret that I have insulted you. That was certainly not my intention. My intention was to have you consider a professional approach to the problem with Ron Paul’s debate, speech and interview responses.

    And, I disagree. People are looking for solutions. More specifically, they are looking for solutions that include the ‘what’s in it for me’ answer. Remember ‘hope and change’? These are largely meaningless until they are tied with the promises BHO made regarding individual gains for those who would vote for him.

    The electorate is a simple, mindless mass… we have got to use experienced professionals and tailor Ron Paul’s message to reach them on an emotional and personal level. If we do not, we will not win.

    Without trying to anger you again… I hope you will consider that there are others much more experienced and qualified for this particular type of work and that that does not include you or me. I would hope you would calmly consider how you could add your important voice to help Ron Paul get the right people in place to help in this regard.

  • Dl Smart

    Agree with you totally.  I wonder how many of these Monday morning QB’s walked door to door in their neighborhood today to ask their neighbors to vote for Ron Paul in the upcoming primaries?  How many votes did you secure this week?

    Anyone can sit on their couch and pontificate.  I want Ron Paul to WIN.  FTW.

  • Tom Woods

     Right, because I have obviously done absolutely nothing.

  • Patty Hankins

    Colin Pi, I agree with Dr. Woods and I agree with you! I love Dr. Woods’ funny ways when he talks – he is a funny guy and brilliant and I just bought his book NULLIFICATION. But Dr. Paul is a completely different human being. He does not play to the crowd and he doesn’t need to. There is nothing wrong with playing to the crowd, it’s fun for everyone and an art form. I am a democrat who just registered as a republican so I can vote for Ron Paul in the primary. I agree with Dr. Woods that Ron Paul is not the best speaker.  But I disagree that he needs to try and change his style. 

    His whole life speaks for him, he radiates character and integrity.  The first time I heard him speak was on a video of the 2008 debates that I watched 3 months ago, and it sent me on a journey that won’t end until my life does.  It was what he said and who he was, not how he presented his ideas.  I remember thinking, that guy rambles and I don’t know what he is talking about on the economy.  So I just started to Google stuff. 

     When he said “we just marched in, we can just march out” I was in love.  When he schooled Giuliani on blowback, I knew I would crawl over broken glass for the guy just like Dr. Woods.  And I was a democrat!  No matter how much Dr. Paul rambles and stumbles, he always has a few golden moments of passion and clarity that are electrifying. Those moments illuminate everything else.  They are all he needs. It was only a youtube video, but I will never forget Ron Paul standing there in the bright lights, on national TV, with Giuliani pointing the laser weapon of 9/11 at him, and a stunned silence in the audience, and he didn’t back down!  It was incredible.  He didn’t give an inch, he showed astounding presence and courage. That was it. End of story. Three months later I am an expert on the Federal Reserve, I’m reading up on Austrian economics, I’m supporting Iraq Veterans Agaist the War, and I’m planting Ron Paul signs here and there on my way home from work.  I just finished a book on the American Revolution, I carry the Constitution in my purse, and I am giving my reps grief over the TSA and its unholy love child the VIPER program. 

    They say that everyone has the defects of their qualities. I believe that, in some undefinable  way, the “defects” of Dr. Paul’s speaking style spotlight his qualities.  There is something there that I don’t think anyone should try to mess with.  But then, what do I know?  Maybe Dr. Paul would enjoy a debate coach.  Anyway, I enjoyed Dr. Woods’ comments and yours as well, and now I’m going to youtube and watch that video again, it’s been 3 months….