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Perry Vs. Paul

In a campaign ad this week, Ron Paul points out that he supported Ronald Reagan when others called him "extremist," and he takes shots at Rick Perry:

Ron Paul was one of only four Congressmen to endorse Ronald Reagan's campaign for president,... After Reagan, Senator Al Gore ran for President, pledging to raise taxes and increase spending, pushing his liberal values. And Al Gore found a cheerleader in Texas named Rick Perry.

I had no idea Perry was once a Gore supporter. I hope he'll come on my show (like other GOP candidates have) to let me ask him about that.

Today Rick Perry hit back at Ron Paul by showing this letter Paul wrote upon resigning from the GOP in 1987:

Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party have given us skyrocketing deficits, and astoundingly a doubled national debt. How is it that the party of balanced budgets, with control of the White House and Senate, accumulated red ink greater than all previous administrations put together?

...There is no credibility left for the Republican Party as a force to reduce the size of government. That is the message of the Reagan years.

It does seem odd that Paul would run an ad touting his support for Reagan, if he thinks Reagan was a bad president. But Paul has been consistent in fighting for limited government. Reagan -- less so.

I'm surprised Perry thinks this letter will be a BAD thing for Paul's campaign. If conservative voters actually read the letter, I doubt they'd be disgusted by the contents. It reads a lot like something the Tea Party would say today:

I want to totally disassociate myself from the policies that have given us unprecedented deficits, massive monetary inflation, indiscriminate military spending, an irrational and unconstitutional foreign policy, zooming foreign aid ... and the attack on our personal liberties and privacy.

...[O]ne must look to other avenues if a successful effort is ever to be achieved in reversing America's direction.

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John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. The show airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. and midnight ET. It re-airs Fridays at 10 p.m., Saturdays at 9 p.m. and 12 midnight, and Sundays at 10 p.m. (all times eastern). He's also the author of "Give Me a Break" and of "Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity." 

To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

John Stossel is the host of "Stossel" (Thursdays at 9 PM/ET), a weekly program highlighting current consumer issues with a libertarian viewpoint. Stossel also appears regularly on Fox News Channel (FNC) providing signature analysis. Click here for more information on John Stossel.