Texas Rep. Ron Paul spoke with his supporters in New Hampshire at the Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester after placing second in the GOP primary.
Below, the full text of Paul's speech and audience reactions.
PAUL: Thank you very much. I really don't have to introduce my wife. I think you know my wife, Carol.
And we have a few other members of the family here. We have a daughter-in-law, Peggy. And we have Lisa, Linda -- Linda -- and Mark. And, you know, we have another member of the family, but he's also on the staff, but I think technically in the family he's a grandson-in-law. That's Jesse Benton.
But it is a delight. And, Jim, Senator Forsythe, thank you very much for your support, along with Andy, for your co-sponsorship, and Ray. I appreciate all that. That was just great.
I do want to mention three names of the individuals who did so much organization up here, and that was Jared Chicoin, as well -- Jared, I don't know if he's here. He's probably still making phone calls or something.
And Bob Goodman, he's -- he does a tremendous amount of work here. And George Braun, he was fantastic.
There was... there was one other acknowledgment I wanted to make. I wanted to thank the Union Leader for not for not endorsing me.
Now, I called Governor Romney a short while ago, before he gave his talk, and congratulated him, because he certainly had a clear-cut victory. But we're nibbling at his heels.
But there was another victory tonight. He had a victory, but we have had a victory for the cause of liberty tonight.
There is, there is no doubt there is no doubt that this whole effort that we are involved in will not go unnoticed, let me tell you.
I think the intellectual revolution that's going on now to restore liberty in this country is well on its way, and there's no way they're going to stop the momentum that we have started.
And that is the victory that you have brought about, because you have been the ones that have done the works. There's a lot of people here, but the ones across the country, the donors and the excitement on the campuses... it's just unbelievable.
We don't always get the coverage or the interest shown on what -- what is going on, because if they did, they wouldn't, they wouldn't be ignoring so much of what we're doing.
But, you know, I find it sort of fascinating when they finally get around (and this is different people, it could be in the media, could be our opponents, or whatever) but I sort of have to chuckle when they describe you and me as being dangerous.
That's one thing they are telling the truth, because we are dangerous to the status quo of this country.
AUDIENCE: President Paul! President Paul! President Paul! President Paul! President Paul! President Paul! President Paul! President Paul! President Paul!
PAUL: And we will remain a danger to the Federal Reserve system, as well.
Yes. And the Fed, right... yeah.
You know, in studying monetary history from the beginning of our country, and even throughout all of history, monetary policy on periodic occasions will come, [will] become the dominant issue.
And we have emphasized that, and it has become an important issue.
Just think: This is the first presidential campaign that the subject ever came up since the Federal Reserve was started.
So we are now: because of what is happening, it will remain a dominant issue. There's no way they're going to put it to bed, because they have destroyed our money. It's worldwide. There's a financial crisis going on. And it's only sound money and personal liberty that can solve the crisis that we have today.
But the one reason, the one reason I talk about the monetary system so much, it was a sneaky, deceitful way to pay the bills.
You know, an honest government that wants to be a big spending government would tax the people, and then the people would know what they were doing.
If, if we had to pay taxes for everything that they do, you know, the people would rise up and, and stop it.
So then they started borrowing money a lot, and then people didn't notice that quite as much, because they didn't pass that on.
But then they resorted to the printing of the money. And that is why the Federal Reserve was established, to take care of the powerful interests, the military industrial complex, the banking system, and deficit financing.
And there's a couple of reasons they have deficit financing. Sometimes there are conservatives that want deficit financing, and sometimes there are liberals who want deficit..
And they have resorted, they have resorted to this. And, of course, this is why we are facing this crisis today.
But it also serves those interests who like to think that we have this responsibility.
They claim it's a moral responsibility to take our young people, put them into the military, and send them hither and yon around the world, policing the world, and using up the money.
So just, just as we have been able to bring to the forefront that most important issue of funny money, fiat money, the paper money system, the Federal Reserve, we have brought to the forefront... others have tokenly talked about it. They get in office and they do nothing about it.
But right now, it is this liberty movement, which is seen as a patriotic movement, an individual liberty movement, that is saying to the country and to the world, we've had enough of sending our kids and our money around the world to be the policemen of the world. It's the time to bring them home.
AUDIENCE: President Paul! President Paul! President Paul! President Paul! President Paul! President Paul!
PAUL: Bring them home.
AUDIENCE: Bring them home! Bring them home! Bring them home! Bring them home! Bring them home!
PAUL: The one thing is, is we do know they will come home. My goal and our goal has always been to bring them home in a deliberate fashion, to avoid major economic crisis by destroying our economy by spending so much overseas.
In the last 10 years, the wars that have gone on have added $4 trillion of debt. And I don't think we have been one bit safer for it. I think we have been less safe because of all the money that we have spent overseas. So this is the issue now. It is, it is an issue that I think is crucial.
Jim mentioned in the introduction that, you know, so often they say that if we tell people that we think we should spend less in the military, they say, Oh, that means you want to cut defense. No, if you cut the military industrial complex, you cut war profiteering, but you don't take one penny out of national defense.
And besides... besides, we're flat-out broke. Fortunately, we did not have to fight the Soviets. The Soviets brought themselves down for economic reasons. Do you know that they were so foolish and thought themselves so bold that they could pursue their world empire that they invaded Afghanistan?
But we will come home, but if we do it now, calmly and deliberately, we can save our economy here at home, because there are a lot of people who are suffering here at home.
You have to stop the inflation, because that's what destroys the middle class, and that's what transfers the wealth from the poor and the middle class to the wealthy.
And that is why the wealthy got their bailouts and the middle class shrunk and they lost their jobs and they lost their houses.
So this is what we have to do. We have to cut the spending. This is why I have made a token suggestion in the first year in office: We would cut at least $1 trillion from the budget.
Now, the one thing that, the talk you hear in Washington is pure talk, because there is nobody suggesting, the other candidates are not talking about real cuts. They're talking about cutting proposed increases out in 10 years.
They say, oh, we'll cut a trillion dollars. Yeah, a trillion dollars over a 10-year period, which is $100 billion every year. Our national debt is going up in real terms $100 billion every month, and they claim that's cutting, and they're yelling and screaming, Oh, we can't cut, we can't cut.
We do have to cut. We have to live within our means, if we want to be able to at least take care of the people who have been made to be so dependent on the government. I mean, we have to work our way out.
I would say if we did this and cut this overseas spending, at least we might be able to allow the Social Security beneficiaries to get their checks and medical care be provided. But if we continue to do what we're doing, the results are that the dollar is destroyed, and the whole thing comes apart, and it's going to be worldwide phenomenon.
Already, already Social Security beneficiaries are suffering a lot. Their income is shrinking because the value of the dollar is going down, so they're getting, they're getting their checks cut. And that is why you have to think about the cutting and stopping the inflation.
But overall, you have to ask, once again, as our founders did, what should the role of government be in a free society? The role should be very simple: the protection of liberty!
AUDIENCE: Ron Paul revolution, bring us back our Constitution. Ron Paul revolution, bring us back our Constitution. Ron Paul revolution, bring us back our Constitution. Ron Paul revolution, bring us back our Constitution.
PAUL: Wonderful, wonderful. You know, the Constitution was written for a very precise manner. It was not designed to restrain the individual, not to restrain you: it was to protect your liberties and to restrain the federal government.
But liberty, liberty has to be re-emphasized because we have been careless over the last 100 years.
We have taken liberty and chopped it up into pieces. Some people think liberty has to do with personal habits, which I agree. Other people think liberty is how to spend your money, and they defend that part and then they fight about when to do what.
I think what we need to do is make this emphasis that liberty means you have a right to your life and your privacy and the way you want to live your life, as long as you don't hurt people, and you have a right to keep and spend your money as you want to.
But freedom, freedom is a wonderful idea, and that's why I get so excited. But I really get excited when I see young people saying it. It is a wonderful idea. Freedom is popular, don't you know that?
Freedom brings people together.
I think it's magnificent that the crowds that have come out over the weeks and months have been very diverse, because it should be, because some people want their freedom to practice their religious one way, maybe another way. Some might not even want to practice it at all.
But freedom, if you understand it, you should all fight for freedom because you want to exert your freedom the way you want.
Same way with economic freedom. It should bring people together. And I think this is one reason... people worry about, how are you ever going to put in a coalition or how are you going to... oh, no, they don't want a coalition. They say, how are you going to compromise and give up some of your beliefs in order to get some things passed?
You don't have to compromise. What you have to do is emphasize the coalitions that people want their freedoms for a different reason and bring them together.
It's been, America has been the greatest country ever, the most prosperous country ever, the largest middle class ever. It's not that way today. Our middle class is shrinking. The country is getting poorer. The wealth it's apparent is based on debt. The few who really hold the wealth, it's mal-distribution because it shifts over due to the regulations that control the government.
We have had too many people too long in the last 100 years thinking that it was beneficial more to be, to have high-paid lobbyists to, to get and to find out what they can get from the government, rather than us petitioning our government in a proper manner, petitioning our government and demanding our freedoms back again.
Now, a lot of times, they give us, they give us trouble, and they say, freedom, you people are just too selfish. All you want to do is have your freedom. You know, and, and...
They, they, they argue that that is the case. But the thing of it is, the people, the bleeding hearts (and I understand them and I recognize them, and I believe most of them are well intended), but it doesn't work, is the problem.
All that good intentions, of saying, we're going to give everybody a free house and have no loans and then they can borrow against, you know, the equity, and look what happened. It was a bubble. It burst. And they lost their houses.
So the, the humanitarian instincts are there across the board. What we have to convince them, if you are a true humanitarian, you have to fight and argue the case for free markets, sound money, property rights, contract rights, no use of force, and a sensible foreign policy, so we don't waste our resources.
We're, we're well on our way. We're well, we're well on our way. People have asked me, what did I expect 5, 10 years ago? I had no idea. I always assumed that the best I could do is set a record. I didn't know you were out there.
But it's, it's no longer that irate, tireless minority that is stirring up the troops. Now that irate minority (and so tireless, as you have been) it's growing by leaps and bounds. It's going to continue to grow by leaps and bounds. And we will restore freedom to this country.
Thank you very much. Thank you.