The Kind Of Help Ron Paul Doesn’t Need

Ron Paul’s supporters need to learn that stuff like this does not help your candidate:

Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul does not believe that 9/11 was an “inside job” and his campaign distanced itself from a raucous pro-Paul demonstration on a Mackinac Island ferry Friday night, a Paul spokesman said Monday.

In the incident, Paul’s supporters taunted former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for alleged complicity in the attacks.

Spokesman Jesse Benton said the campaign was aware of Internet reports about the demonstration, which occurred late Friday when Giuliani boarded a ferry loaded with Paul supporters leaving a Michigan GOP conference. No Paul campaign officials were involved, Benton said.

According to one eyewitness, Giuliani was beset by dozens of Paul enthusiasts as he was leaving the island, some of whom shouted taunts about 9/11, including: “9/11 was an inside job” and “Rudy, Rudy, what did you do with the gold?” — an apparent reference to rumors about $200 million in gold alleged to have disappeared in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

Ed Wyszynski, a longtime party activist from Eagle, said the Paul supporters threatened to throw Giuliani overboard and harrassed him as he took shelter in the ferry’s pilothouse for the 15-minute journey back to Mackinaw City.

“It was awful,” said Wyszynski, who supports Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination.

People, stop acting like children.

  • Fluffy

    You might want to watch the various YouTube videos of the ferry ride before you uncritically accept and re-post Giuliani camp and Romney camp spin.

  • Buckwheat


    Mataconis’s choice of posts are much easier to understand when you realize that he is a concern troll neocon who doesn’t want Ron Paul to win. His track record is crystal clear on this, we’ve been calling him out on it all summer long.

    Here’s another case in point: two days ago, Ron Paul’s campaign started an online fundraiser with the goal of making $500,000 in the last 6 1/2 days before the end of Sept., which is also the end of Q3:

    How’s it going? In the first 42 hours they’ve raised $330,000. They’re on pace to meet the 7-day goal some time after midnight tonight, which will be 2 1/2 days total. The forums are already talking about going over a million (the current pace is for about $1.2 mil). Incredible; to put it in perspective, John Edwards’ campaign has set a goal of $1 million in the last 10 days of Sept./Q3 (they started Sept. 20), and have ~$475,000, i.e. they are not on pace to make their goal and Paul’s people are outraising them online 2 to 1.

    But what does Mataconis choose to blog about, instead of Paul’s amazing fundraising? A couple of Ron Paul supporters who may or may not have been rude to Rudy on a boat. Of course, Rudy himself — not his supporters, the candidate himself — is rude to everyone everywhere. But Mataconis doesn’t blog that.

    Let’s see if Mataconis blogs about the fundraising. Seriously doubt it. And Doug: please don’t waste your pixels claiming you’re engaging in constructive criticism of the Paul campaign. You don’t have anywhere near the creds for that with us.

  • Doug Mataconis


    I choose this story because I think idiot hecklers are a bad thing for the campaign.

    And I havent talked about the fundraising because until this morning I’ve been busy with other things and really haven’t had the time.

  • Buckwheat


    Re-read the last paragraph of my post. You’re predictable.

  • oilnwater

    One thing I don’t understand is why you brought this up… yet again.

    Everyone has already had their way with 911 Truth and RP, including FoxNews months ago. So, honestly, what value are you bringing by highlighting it yet again.

  • Buckwheat

    I guess Doug is still “busy with other things” and “really hasn’t had the time” to mention the $350,000 Ron Paul has taken in online in the past 48 hours.

    Funny, he sure had time to mention a couple of Paul fans who were mean to the extremely gentlemanly Rudy Giuliani on a boat.

    Doug, you could really help the fundraiser with a quick mention. How about it? I offer you peace of mind, a clear conscious, and no more snotty comments from me for one (1) week.

  • Paul

    I saw an one ex-KKK member out of 100 at a [Rudy McRompson] rally… my carefully crafted conclusion? OMG! Everyone at the [Rudy McRompson] rally was KKK members! All the [Rudy McRompson] supporters are KKK![Rudy McRompson] a rascist, etc!

    Ron Paul supporters have *plenty* to work on. But no need to spread fake hit pieces the neocons made up.

  • bert M

    I agree with you Mataconis. This is what’s killing the campaign. Buckwheat, why do you act like this is a good thing? What is it with Ron Paul supporters that they are so inflexible they can’t realize how bad publicity doesn’t help the campaign. People like you are trying to hijack this revolution to advance your own agendas. Stop it. I’m an avid Ron Paul supporter and this stuff makes me cringe. This is really hurting Ron’s mainstream appeal and you better believe he needs it. I would’ve considered myself mainstream neocon until I found Ron Paul. But every time I see something like this, it makes me question my allegience to the campaign and its supporters. So wise up and stop acting like a child. Whether you like it or not, it’s true.

  • Brad R

    Yes, very bad for Ron Paul’s campaign, but at the same time it does my heart good to see a group of people threatening to throw somebody like Rudy Giuliani overboard. I don’t know, just gives me a little hope that maybe all Americans haven’t lost that spirit. Now, I know they probably wouldn’t have actually done it, but the fact that something like this even happened is good. Tying it into the Paul campaign, however, not so good.

  • Buckwheat

    Bert, what are you talking about? I’m not condoning the behavior of people who are rude to other candidates, I’m saying that anti-Paulites intentionally pick out isolated incidents of bad behavior and attempt to smear the campaign with them.

    I mean, Doug could have blogged about dozens of aspects of the Paul campaign, and he picks this?

    Anyway Bert, did you donate yet? If not, get over there and do so.

  • Doug Mataconis


    If you don’t think that the 9/11 truthers and others like them aren’t hurting the campaign among mainstream Republicans then you’re deluding yourself.

    Ron Paul is dealing with the same problem that Howard Dean had in 2004 — his campaign doesn’t necessarily have control over his supporters. In Dean’s case it didn’t really matter because the candidate was as nutty as his supporters were. In Congressman Paul’s case, a small group of deluded conspiracy theorists are making a decent man look like a nut.

    If they truly wanted the Congressman to win, they’d stop acting like children and start doing something constructive.

  • Bob

    The problem is that its not an isolated incident. This kind of story seems to appear every time Paul supporters interact with main stream Republicans. Many Republicans come away with a 1 word description of Paul supporters: “rude”. That turns many Republicans off, they won’t consider supporting Paul because they don’t want to be associated with rude people. Other things that turn potential supporters off is talk about: the CFR, 9/11 being an inside job and other conspiracies. I don’t care what your other causes are, please don’t mix campaigning for Ron Paul with those other subjects.

  • oilnwater

    Actually, I’ve seen journalists intentionally point out conspiracy people among event supporters. So either way it’s just life and RP and his campaign will have to live with it. I’m sure opposing campaigns plant and will plant bigger and bigger numbers of fake RP supporters at events to act nutty, be violent etc.

  • Bob

    So all these people are plants. Funny how they’re playing dirty tricks on a candidate with 4% of the vote but not on candidates with are polling better.

  • oilnwater

    No, never said all “offensive” people at events are plants, but yes some are. Really though what is the damage with overzealous RP supporters in the big sense? If you look at the press trying to draw attention to the Ferry Incident, it painted Guiliana as a scared victim of sorts. This is actually hilarious; I don’t see it as entirely bad.

  • rho

    Many Republicans come away with a 1 word description of Paul supporters: “rude”.

    Is that more rude or less rude than the another candidate, to say nothing of his supporters, insinuating that Ron Paul believes that America “deserved” 9/11 and that he takes his marching orders from al Queda?

    “Boisterous” is not “rude”, though the two are often confused by people who are dull.

  • Bob

    If you don’t see it as bad that a good number of Republicans are refusing to consider your candidate because of the way his supporters act there isn’t any point in continuing this. RP will get his handful of votes/delegates and in a few months his campaign will (at most) be an asterisk.

  • oilnwater

    Yeah I mean that’s great that you’re obsessed with this point; I guess you might as well distance yourself from RP then. Because I’m telling you here and now that people are going to keep rehashing this, and yep some RP supporters are going to be raucous as hell in the future.

    So if you’re really down about this, sorry dude. I’m sure some supporters will “calm the hell down,” and some wont. It’s the very nature of a portion of RP support.

  • oilnwater

    Oh, and Doug pay attention: YES the press will bring your topic up again over and over, so in the future there’s no need to echo it every time someone else does :)

  • Buckwheat

    Such selective outrage!

    Well, we’re all on the same team. Doug and Bert, have you donated yet?

  • Bob

    I’ll continue to support RP, even though I realize that his campaign is doomed. Part of the reason why its doomed is that some of his supporters don’t know how to act in public.

  • Jeff Molby

    Part of the reason why its doomed is that some of his supporters don’t know how to act in public.

    As we get the word out to more and more mainstream voters, the tactless among us will make up a smaller percentage and become less of a concern.

  • FullyAlive

    Really, most of the fixation about Ron Paul supporters and what they say and do actually comes from this site. I think you guys are letting people tell you what to worry about too much.

  • Thomas

    Ron Paul supporters were treating Rudy Giuliani the same way Rudy Giuliani and Fox News moderators treat Ron Paul in nationally televised debates. Rudy needs to learn you get treated the same way you treat others. But I don’t expect him to learn any time soon seeing the way he used to treat New Yorkers.

  • Bob

    Threating to throw a rival presidential candidate overboard is rude. On a good day Paul is polling at 4%. When ever possible his supporters should refrain from upsetting any Republican primary voter, including the dull.

    Paul supporters need to decide what’s more important: (1)not alienating Republican primary voters (and maybe winning some of them over) or (2)getting even for perceived insults. If they choose the later they should continue their present course of action. If they choose the former they need to grow up.

    One of my ex-bosses used to say: “Bob, I’m not asking you to sleep with them, I am asking you to kiss them”. If they want Paul to win Paul supporters need to puker up when they’re around Republican voters.

  • rho

    Threating to throw a rival presidential candidate overboard is rude. On a good day Paul is polling at 4%. When ever possible his supporters should refrain from upsetting any Republican primary voter, including the dull.

    Pfft. I’m not bothered by the dull, exciting or strange. An interesting side-effect of supporting a campaign who’s refrain is “freedom and liberty” is that you’re going to have a bunch of nuts mixed in with the M&Ms. They don’t bother me so long as they don’t actually physically harm somebody, and I don’t particularly care what crazy things they believe, either.

    Dr. Paul will find it very difficult to sway “primary voters”. He has to bring in a bunch of new primary voters. The Republicans you’re talking about wouldn’t vote for Ron Paul if he were the only one on the ballot. His primary campaign will hinge on GOTV efforts, reaching new people. Not convincing the AARP-members who will vote for whoever gets the most coverage on Fox and talks a good game.

  • Thomas Wilkinson


    This is the concept of blowback. I don’t believe Romney would have been treated this way by Paul supporters neither would Huckabee or McCain or any of the others. This is how Giuliani gets treated by people in his own state though. Just watch the video of him calling New York city workers “losers”, “idiots”, and “morons”. He gets what he deserves if you ask me. Ron Paul supporters could have been more civil but the bottom line is Giuliani is the source of the vitriol, not Paul. If he wants better treatment then he should become a better person. This is why his own kids and ex-wives hate him.

  • Bob

    It is impossible to win the Republican nomination by running against the Republican party. It is equally impossible to win the Republican nomination by overwhelming the Republican party with new voters. It has been tried before and it never works. I know that you don’t believe me and that I’m not going to convince you. After January you might change your mind and just maybe you’ll say to yourself “Hey, that guy that posted on “The Liberty Papers” was right. :-)

  • hmm

    You’ve certainly been thinking about this, literally, all day, haven’t you Bob?

  • Bob

    Mr. Wilkinson,
    Paul supporters need to think before they act. This story was covered on Fox News “Special Edition”. I can imagine the conversation that happened in living rooms across the country.
    Joe: “Martha, did you see that? Those Paul people think 9/11 was an inside job and they wanted to through Giuliani overboard!”
    Martha: “Paul people must be a bunch of kooks.”

    I’m not arguing that Giuliani is saint. 1 of his tactics is to paint Paul as a kook, this kind of thing makes his case for him. Paul supporters must remember that everything they do reflects on Dr. Paul. Does anyone think that he would have said 9/11 was an inside job or that he would have threatened to throw Giuliani overboard? I’ll concede that he might have thought it but he never would have said it.
    9/11 truthers have to realize that most people think they’re kooks. Maybe in 50 years we’ll all realize that the truthers were right but right now that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it hurts Ron Paul for people to connect him to kooks.

  • Doug Mataconis


    It is impossible to win the Republican nomination by running against the Republican party. It is equally impossible to win the Republican nomination by overwhelming the Republican party with new voters. It has been tried before and it never works.

    Truer words were never spoken.

  • Doug Mataconis


    An interesting side-effect of supporting a campaign who’s refrain is “freedom and liberty” is that you’re going to have a bunch of nuts mixed in with the M&Ms. They don’t bother me so long as they don’t actually physically harm somebody, and I don’t particularly care what crazy things they believe, either.

    Yes, but if the general public, and, more importantly, the mainstream Republican voter who will actually vote in a primary next year, tends to think that you’re candidate is associated with people who aren’t that far removed from the crowd that wears tin-foil hats so Big Brother can’t read their minds, then the campaign will.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Paul campaign should disassociate itself from the 9/11 truthers the same way the William F. Buckley Jr. disassociated the conservative movement from groups like the John Birch Society.

  • js290

    This is the concept of blowback.

    “Blowback” can just as easily be the casual Republican watching this episode on the mainstream news and deciding, he’s not going to vote for whomever that guy is supporting.

    Reading for the militants:

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  • Blowback


    I was on that ferry. Most of this crap in the news is just that, crap. Most of it are lies from people that were most definitely NOT on the ferry. There were nearly 100 Ron Paul supporters on that ferry and they happened to find ONE Long-Time GOP activist ROMNEY supporter to quote?

    Even if the Ron Paul supporters had done nothing “rude” on the ferry, it would have been reported that they did, as can be seen by the lies in the news reports.

    Exactly 2 people (and I know exactly who they were) mentioned ANYTHING about 9/11 was an inside job. But, from the sounds of the reports EVERYONE was screaming it. Well, I certainly wasn’t, nor was anyone around me.

    Guiliani deserved EXACTLY what he got. I can promise you that NONE of the other candidates would have received this “rude” behavior (in fact, we RP supporters held extremely civil conversations with most of the other candidate’s supporters there… Rudy didn’t have even one supporter there that I could see.)

    So sit down and shut up.

  • Blowback

    BTW, Rudy left immediately after his speech, held no receptions for his supporters (because there simply wasn’t ANY!) Romney was holding events when that ferry left, so I find it hard to believe that a Romney supporter was even on the boat to begin with. I know just about everyone that was on that boat, and they were all RP supporters (keep in mind that there are 3 ferry services running.)

  • Bob

    “Guiliani deserved EXACTLY what he got.” What he got (thanks to a couple of Paul supporters) was sympathetic press. Too bad those Paul supporters weren’t any better at taking your advice (“So sit down and shut up.”) than me. Of course, that assumes you were bright enough to give them that advice.

  • Blowback

    Yeah. That ought to gain him two more supporters. Whatever…

    So, let’s see… you were ALMOST a Ron Paul supporter, but just can’t do it because of his one or two whackjob supporters, right? You “would’ve” voted for him if it just weren’t for his supporters, right?

    I know it is hard for you to understand when all the other candidates PAY for their supporters, but, really, each Ron Paul supporter is an individual with his own free will to do and say whatever he wants to say or do. The campaign doesn’t need to distance itself, the other supporters don’t need to distance themselves. Nobody DICTATES behavior to anyone, because it is about individual freedom. The mere fact that you cannot grasp that concept is almost proof that you are most definitely NOT a supporter of Ron Paul.

    While I ‘wish’ those TWO people weren’t making the statements they did, it is their right to do so and make fools of themselves. I will gladly defend that right.

    Please, spare us, do you realize how old that “I would’ve voted for him, but…” BS is? Can’t you people just vote for Hillary quietly?

  • Bob

    The problem isn’t that people “would’ve voted for him if it just weren’t for his supporters” the problem is that people won’t listen to what he has to say because of his supporters.
    This may come as a shock to you but grassroots campaigning didn’t start with Paul. My 1st presidential campaign was for Phil Crane (The Early Bird) in 1980. Trust me I didn’t receive a dime. I’m not advocating a centralized authority to oversee every action. I am advocating that supporters think before they act. If a supporter see someone else doing something stupid they should speak up.
    As for me I’ll support Paul no matter what you do, but then I voted for Paul in ’88. Yes, we did have elections before you newbies came along. :-)
    In 1968 Eugene McCarthy ran for the Democrat nomination. His grassroots supporters (largely hippies) had a saying: “Clean for Gene” his supporters realized they had to look clean cut so the primary voters would listen to their message. It worked well enough that McCarthy’s performance in NH drove President Johnson from the race. Paul supporters have to remember to act in a way that voters will be willing to listen to their message.
    I’ll admit that when I 1st heard this I smiled for a second at the thought of Guiliani having to retreat to the protection of the bridge. But then I realized that the story was going to do more harm then good. As supporters we all have to think before we act, will this help or hurt the campaign.
    Peace and good luck.

  • js290

    Please, spare us, do you realize how old that “I would’ve voted for him, but…” BS is? Can’t you people just vote for Hillary quietly?

    Ron Paul won’t win the nomination because of his militant supporters. They’ll be the ones coming up with more conspiracies on why he lost instead of considering that most people are turned off by the ones acting like jackasses. And, even though the jackasses may be a vocal minority, those are the ones that the press will be picking up on.

    Seriously, “Paulestinians,” read this book.

  • Bill from Michigan

    Ron Paul people did not ‘confront and intimidate’. Rudy walked up the ferry dock (outside the normal line), went right to the front of the line, where he waited for a few minutes (maybe 10 minutes – long enough for a few folks to get some pictures take). I even grabbed my kids and RESPECTFULLY went up to him and asked him a questions about border security.

    He was then taken, without incident, before anyone else could board, and put on the boat up in the pilot’s house, behind closed doors and windows. He had 2 or 3 security people with him, and I believe there were also a few police on the boat too.

    The atmosphere on the boat (with the exception of two comments that I can recall) was akin to being at a WINNING college football game. You must keep in mind that we all just finished having dinner and a special visit by THE MAN, Ron Paul, and were feeling quite PAULitical. I was on the upper deck (in pitch blackness) as we crossed the Straits of Mackinac. There were cheers (not chants) of “Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul”…sort of like ‘Go Blue, Go Blue, Go Blue”. There were a few isolated shouts of, “Where’s the gold Rudy?” Big deal. What, people are not allowed to express their opinion any more? Simply because Ron Paul doesn’t agree with that position, that 9-11 was an inside job, doesn’t mean that others are not allowed to think that.

    There were NO official campaign people on board – just people who attended the event. The gentleman quoted in the Free Press that stated he was embarrassed to be a Republican was right, but for all the wrong reasons. I’m embarrassed to be a Republican too with pack of sold-out, globalistic, war hawks running as so-called ‘conservative Republicans’.
    The man is also a Romney supporter (yeah…that’s real credible.).

    Rudy Giluliani, Fox News, and much of the mainstream media has misrepresented Dr. Paul, his supporters, and the whole thing from the beginning. We shouldn’t have to walk on egg shells (although I’m all for, 100%, being polite, and reasonable).

    Just check out the comments on any Dr. Paul article to get a feel for the real sentiment of the people. Just ask any of the other 150-200 people on that boat that night what they thought went down. I think that maybe even Rudy had fun!

  • Eli

    Personally, I think anyone who looks at the supporters of a candidate as one of the hugest reasons to not vote for them really shouldn’t be voting at all. That just furthers the “popularity contest” mentality that elections seem to have these days. I don’t like the idea of these “9/11 truthers” either, but I plan on voting for Paul based on the issues, which is, dare I say it, the important thing.

  • UCrawford


    That’s great for all the people who pay close attention to the issues. For the other 60-70% of John Q. Public, though, they aren’t going to take the time to find out anything about a candidate if the most visible people from his campaign are nuts (and by “visible” I mean the ones who get on TV…not the ones who post on blogs). And frankly that’s not unreasonable. Most of the people I know with a passing interest in the election don’t know anything about Ron Paul’s, or anyone else’s, issues with any depth. But they do know that the “truthers” love him. And that’s enough to convince them that learning about or voting for Paul is just a waste of their time.

    The “Paulestinians” can complain all they want about how unfair they think that is…that’s just life, and it shows just how little they understand the political process. Campaigns are about selling the candidate to the uninformed swing voters…the issues are often irrelevant. People who want Paul to win have to fill the role of salesmen, and most customers don’t generally buy things from salesmen who act like rude, idiotic assholes. And, like it or not, the most visible Paul supporters right now are a bunch of rude, idiotic assholes.

    We can go back and forth on this all we want. Frankly, the only thing that’s probably going to change it is if Ron Paul himself comes out and says something directly and very publicly to shut the fringers up. Grassroots campaigns are nice and have their advantages, but at some point the candidate needs to start exerting control, start pushing out a cohesive message on a few important (and popular) mainstream topics, and start minimizing the fringe elements. Paul doesn’t do that…he discusses every topic with no emphasis on anything in particular, he’s not decisively separating himself from the “truthers”, and he lets the supporters take the lead on disseminating his agenda, and as a result his campaign’s not moving outside the fringe. He’s got to have a message that the swing voters understand and buy into and right now he doesn’t have that…and that’s Paul’s problem to fix right now, not the bloggers.

  • Thomas Wilkinson

    I think everyone here who trusted the media to report this story fairly needs to watch the youtube video of what ACTUALLY happened on that boat. This was a complete NON-story from the start.

    Apparently Rudy was so “threatened” by Paul supporters that he felt the need to shake hands as he was leaving the boat and wave as he was walking away. I think its also interesting that this entire story came from a single source who has nothing to do with Giuliani’s campaign and that Giuliani’s spokesman said he “welcomes verbal jousting”. If he was truly threatened why wouldn’t he use this opportunity to hurt Paul’s chances?

    I think the anti-Paul people on here need to stop whining about the enthusiasm of Paul supporters and quit lecturing them on the political process. And also quit trusting the media.

    Video here:

  • Jeff Molby

    You’re right that nothing of any importance happened, Thomas, but it was a story. Why do I say that? Because both of Detroit’s major papers ran it and the blogosphere picked it up; that makes it a story, even if there’s no substance.

    We don’t trust the media and we understand that we need enthusiastic supporters. But we need to remember who our enemies are and how they play the game.

    Anything that can be spun against Paul will be spun against Paul. We all know this. We need to be conscious of it at all times. A boisterous presence was very important on the island. It brought a lot of positive attention to the campaign. But there weren’t any undecideds on that ferry, so that release of energy wasn’t productive and it gave the anti-Paul crowd some ammunition.

    We just need to minimize the number of times we put ourselves in that position.