The GOP has signed up woefully few female candidates this year. But CPAC hero Ron Paul is helping to close the gap. Liz Goodwin talks to Paul about his followers now running in their own right.
On Tuesday, a relatively unknown and poorly financed retired nurse named Debra Medina siphoned off almost 19 percent of the vote from heavyweights Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Texas Republican gubernatorial primary. Medina’s surprisingly strong finish is partly attributable to the surge of Tea Party support around the country, a movement Medina is associated with, as well as to general anti-incumbent feeling. But her 18.6 percent may also owe something to the support and political endorsement of CPAC hero and fellow Texan Ron Paul. Paul wrote an open letter soon after Medina—a top campaign volunteer in Paul’s 2008 presidential race—announced her candidacy, calling her a "defender of liberty" and "role model for Texans across our state.”
Congressman Paul, who handily fended off his own primary challenge Tuesday with 80 percent of the vote, is usually associated with a fleet of college-age, testosterone-fueled supporters. But Medina is just one of a trio of female former Paul volunteers who are waging their own campaigns this year, and advancing Paul’s libertarian brand of Republicanism. In addition to Medina, Valerie Meyers in Georgia and Linda Goldthorpe in Michigan are both seeking U.S. House seats.
Asked if his past as an OB-GYN makes him feel more comfortable around women and vice versa, Paul said, “I hope I’m comfortable. I have a lot of empathy, and I assume they feel some of that.”
Paul, a former OB-GYN with a strong anti-abortion stance, says his message attracts women to his campaign. “Historically, people have always commented that women might be more pro-peace than pro-war, and I think my message has excited a lot of women,” he says. (Paul doesn’t support spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.) “I’m pleased that they’re running,” he says of the three candidates. But he was quick to say it’s just a coincidence that he tends to have women in important staff positions. “People have kidded me over the years… I’ve had a lot of key personnel who have been women. It’s always been coincidental.” Asked if his past as an OB-GYN makes him feel more comfortable around women and vice versa, Paul said, “I hope I’m comfortable. I have a lot of empathy, and I assume they feel some of that.”
Nice article. It shows that Ron Paul is the only one who can win over the Women and Youth vote. Your thoughts.