The Kind Of Help Ron Paul Doesn’t Need, Part II

Back in September, I wrote about an incident in Michigan in which some overly-enthusiastic Ron Paul supporters who nearly became physical with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Well, Giuliani was in Metro Atlanta this weekend and, while it didn’t get quite that bad, I don’t think that this group of Ron Paul supporters did any better job to convince people to vote for their candidate:

It was Rudy Giuliani campaigning for president on the Marietta Square on Sunday afternoon, but anyone listening may well have thought the candidate’s name was Ron Paul.

“RON PAUL! RON PAUL! RON PAUL!” — a crowd chanted from Glover Park, effectively drowning out comments from the former New York mayor and occasionally changing the chant to “FREEDOM! FREEDOM! FREEDOM!”

The younger crowd of Paul supporters had stronger, or maybe more enthusiastic, lungs than the middle-aged crowd of Giuliani’s gaggle, who responded with a college try — “Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!” — while the Paul cadres tailed the GOP front runner on his walking photo op in downtown Marietta.

The Paul backers, handing out their own candidate’s literature, said they were more interested in a president who would truly try to shrink government, not just promise to do it, and who promises outright to bring the troops home from Iraq.

“You’re being very inconsiderate,” an elderly woman, aghast at the lack of Southern manners, told three young female Paul acolytes.

“You’re not helping your candidate with this,” a middle-aged man told a 20-something man toting a blue-and-white Paul campaign sign.

That’s an understatement.

I understand the enthusiasm that Ron Paul’s supporters have for their candidate, but whether your goal is to win the nomination, or simply to move the Republican Party, engaging in tactics like this that really do nothing more than annoy other Republicans doesn’t accomplish anything, doesn’t help the campaign, and doesn’t help the candidate.

H/T: Jason Pye

  • jmklein

    You could also spin it as humiliation for the Guliani campaign. For all their vaunted talk of pushing the “frontrunner” and their MSM annointed invincibility they just can’t get crowds to show up for their speeches. Its a plain fact that Ron Paul can get more people to one place for a political purpose than the other candidates.

    Ron Paul brings the most people. Ron Paul wins all the straw polls. Ron Paul has the most donors and the most money.

    Yet, strangely, the only place he seams to be at the bottom is the MSM generated polls.

  • jmklein

    Oh yeah, and the St Petersburg straw poll was rigged. When they realized Paul was winning they let the Romney people vote multiple times (1500 votes caste, 1000 people in attendance, 500+ votes for Paul)

  • DrEast

    This is democracy at its most democratic: Noisy, rowdy, annoying. People get engaged, feelings get heated, exchanges become bombastic.

    This is a GOOD thing.

    A silent democracy is an apathetic democracy, a dead democracy. If our political processes were healthy, then Giuliani’s supporters would be shouting back in equal numbers (and at other candidate’s rallies!), and in these stump speeches you’d be hearing about one word in three. Then the transcript would hit print and everyone would be talking about it over the water coolers.

    That’s not happening these days. It’s good to see one candidate still gets that kind of attention, though.

  • Doug Mataconis


    First of all, Ron Paul does not have the most money. Among Republicans, Romney and Giuliani have the most money. Among Democrats, it’s Obama and Hillary. Ron Paul has had tremendous fundraising success but there’s not point in exaggerating things.

    Do you really think that shouting someone down at a rally that is mostly made up of people who support that candidate is going to convince anyone of anything ?

  • Doug Mataconis


    As the Founders recognized, a mob-influenced democracy is not a good thing.

  • Mark

    1. Number of donors, internet polls, and victories at straw polls are entirely self-selecting- they show that a candidate has a large organization or measure the depth of passion amongst the candidate’s supporters, but they say nothing about support from the average person. The discrepancy between traditional polls and internet polls/straw polls/donors is thus not a conspiracy- it’s to be expected since traditional polls aren’t self-selecting. Statistical Research 101, people.

    2. Ron Paul supporters need to get very clear as to their goals: do they wish to persuade non-supporters, or do they wish to silence them? If the former, logic and reason work a hell of a lot better than hyperbole and slogans. If the latter, then you should question your commitment to free speech (not to say you don’t have a right to shout people down, just that shouting people down suggests a certain willingness to prohibit speech you don’t like). Of course, in the process of shouting people down, you make the undecided, neutral observer less likely to support your guy.

  • Cleaner44

    Ron Paul will easily win if the votes are counted. Vote fraud is a serious concern in the day. Ron Paul is simply the people’s choice. While the bankers and CEOs may not want him, the rest of thinking America does.

    Doug, you should note that Ron Paul absolutely dominates in the Straw Polls, Debate Polls, Fund Raising, Web Traffic and Grass Roots Networking and is clearly a “top tier” candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination. Romney’s fund raising looks better than it is because he is donating millions of his own money. Wait until this quarter is over and you will see who raises the most money, especially from the citizens.

    Please visit and judge the evidence for yourself.

  • Doug Mataconis


    So that’s going to be your response if Ron Paul loses ? Vote Fraud ?

  • Jeremiah

    Sorry man, I think you are dead wrong.

    Although I know you didn’t offer any evidence to support your claim that showing public support for one’s chosen candidate at an opponents speaking engagement does “nothing more than annoy other Republicans doesn’t accomplish anything, doesn’t help the campaign, and doesn’t help the candidate,” here is a little evidence to the contrary.

    According to renowned persuasion guru Dr. Robert Cialdini, “social proof” is one of the most influential devices science knows about. The groundswell of support for Ron Paul that is overflowing everywhere, manifesting into cheering crowds at the competitions’ campaign stops, can only be good for Paul and his supporters. By showing everyone at Giuliani event (including Rudy supporters, undecideds, media people, and Rudy himself) how popular Ron Paul and his message of liberty is, it (subconsciously) encourages others to say to themselves, “Gee, there really must be something to this guy if so many people like him and are so passionate about him.”

    According to modern social science, the public displays of support erupting across America for Ron Paul will only encourage others to jump on the bandwagon.

    Here is a link to an excellent lecture by Dr. Cialdini about “social proof”


  • Scott

    “some overly-enthusiastic Ron Paul supporters who nearly became physical with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani”

    I have seen no evidence anywhere that Paul supporters “nearly became physical” in this situation. How did you determine how close they were to becoming “physical”?

  • TanGeng

    I disagree about the “bad” assessment.

    This isn’t good, but it’s not bad. Bullying like this goes on all the time, mostly in private, but it happens quite often in public as well. However, most bullying is done by those with connections against those without. This just happens to be other way around. You have to accept that this is the price of trying to depose the establishment. Being too polite gets you ignored.

    As long as they’re not violent, it’s not a problem.

  • Jeff Molby

    No, people.

    Doug is right.

    This was a childish act that only tarnished our image.

    It’s good that we have people show up at these events. It’s good that they have an obvious presence.

    It’s bad that they’re disrespectful of the audience who came to hear Rudy speak. Why they would do such a thing, I have no clue. But they did and we only managed to ruin their evening.

    This is not how you convince people.

  • Doug Mataconis


    Thank you.

    I’d add to what I posted the following —

    Ron Paul supporters like these people need to be reminded that not every person who supports a candidate other than Ron Paul is an evil member of the Tri-Lateral Commission bent on world domination. Some, even most, of them are decent people who have a different opinion on the issues. Some of them are even the kind of Republicans who might be persuaded to support pro-liberty candidates in the future.

    Pissing them off and treating them like the enemy isn’t going to accomplish anything.

  • CaptainAmerica1776

    Who is Ron Paul?

    As supporters of Dr.Ron Paul, we are not only voters, we are the revolutionaries, the defenders
    of the liberties that you have despised enough to sell for their fake dollars. Know that continued
    deception and willful manipulation of the truth
    will be and is considered to be attacks upon our Republic and those that do, consequently, are to be regarded as domestic enemies, as terrorists.

    With Liberty and Justice for all.

  • Mark

    There is a big difference between showing up at an opponent’s rally while advertising support for your guy and doing everything you can to prevent your opponent from being heard at all. The former shows passion; the latter shows fear.

  • Brad Warbiany


    A silent democracy is an apathetic democracy, a dead democracy. If our political processes were healthy, then Giuliani’s supporters would be shouting back in equal numbers (and at other candidate’s rallies!), and in these stump speeches you’d be hearing about one word in three. Then the transcript would hit print and everyone would be talking about it over the water coolers.

    The solution for a “silent” democracy is not screaming and shouting. One need not even open ones mouth to make “noise”.

    Trying to shout down your opponents only says one thing, and that’s about your own manners, not about your candidate.

    If you truly believe your candidate has the best ideas, you should be restricting the battle to the realm of ideas, not decibels.

  • jmklein

    He will have the most money when this quarter is up.

  • TanGeng

    Oops, missed the part about drowning out Giuliani. That is bad. Yeah, best not do that.

  • Jono

    Hang on a second.. sure.. Ron Paul supporters have done some silly things before, but what exactly is wrong here ?

    Carrying signs and showing enthusiasm for Ron Paul is not good for the campaign ?

    There was no mention of violence or profanity in the article. Thats a lot better than Hillary supporters or Republican supporters who threaten to take away your liberties and property for the sake of universal health care, or fighting Iran, or “the environment” or whatever pet cause they have .. like stopping ManBearPig.

  • Leonard Witt

    Want to see one explanation for the Ron Paul supporters crashing the Rudy Giuliani party in Marietta and to see it unfold in real time, watch my video at;

  • oilnwater

    the observation made that this is the way politics are supposed to be in a vibrant, healthy democratic process of the constitutional republic is a welcome one. so often i forget to thank RP and his support for making this election cycle something real for a change. *nosebubble*

  • Paul Klavins

    @ Mark
    “1. Number of donors, internet polls, and victories at straw polls are entirely self-selecting- they show that a candidate has a large organization or measure the depth of passion amongst the candidate’s supporters, but they say nothing about support from the average person. The discrepancy between traditional polls and internet polls/straw polls/donors is thus not a conspiracy- it’s to be expected since traditional polls aren’t self-selecting. Statistical Research 101, people.”

    The primaries are a self-selecting poll, so if anything this a great thing for Ron Paul and his supporters.

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  • xtrabiggg

    The ‘incident’ in Michigan is misrepresented in this article (and others). Giuliani was on the ferry back to the mainland from Mackinac Island, and he was surrounded by Ron Paul supporters, as they were everywhere that weekend, not just on that boat. He decided to hide out in the bridge room to avoid being outnumbered so badly. That’s it- no harassment, no ‘physical intimidation’. Just look at the numerous videos as well as eyewitness accounts and you will see no evidence of what is alledged. If Rudy can only draw 1 supporter for every ten Ron Paul supporters in New Hampshire at his own events, it is not a case of Ron Paul supporters’ ‘harrassment’- it is a case of a candidate (Rudy) who needs to reassess his support base, as well as his candidacy.

  • Kaligula


    Cash on hand, Paul probably does have the most money at this point(or real close), although Mitt can cut himself a check anytime. Rudy also set aside a chuck of change for the general that he can’t touch during the primaries.

    Total aggregate raised funds the past year, yeah Paul is not close to Rudy or Mitt.

  • immigrant

    We did not shout down Giuliani…we came out and expressed our support for our candidate pure and simple just they way they supported theirs. There were tons of cops there (cobb county ones at that )and they had no problem with what we were doing. We did nothing unconstitutional or violating. Rudy simply did not want to speak to a crowd of Ron Paul supporters that out numbered his..and had more enthusiasm than his..the end.

  • mark

    Those Ron Paul supporters were shouting from across the street at a place that they meet every weekend.Youtube footage can show that.

  • mark

    Money talks and the cash that Dr.Paul gets comes from We The People.Including our brave men and women who are sending more money to Ron Paul than ANY other candidate.So if you want to vote for more Corporate/America then vote for those puppets that get paid by them.

    Also look at all the donated time and money spent on This campaign for Freedom,such as meetup group memberships ,Youtube footage including songs, ads ect. and also planes,boats,billboards and even a BLIMP !!

  • Max

    “Some, even most, of them are decent people who have a different opinion on the issues”

    Sorry Doug your wrong like usual, Rudy is a piece of shit war mongering scum bag and should be confronted everywhere he goes, no need to get violent but if I ran into him I would yell, scream and cuss at him.

    9/11 was the best thing that ever happened to that guy

  • Doug Mataconis


    I’m talking about your average mainstream Republican voter, not the candidates.

  • Sean Sullivan

    There will always be bickering and fighting between the political types and the apolitical types. Both factions are important to the freedom and prosperity of all individuals. I think its impossible to determine whether a small group like this had or will have any effect (on either side) at all in the grand scheme of things.

  • Brian T. Traylor


    The discrepancy between traditional polls and internet polls/straw polls/donors is thus not a conspiracy- it’s to be expected since traditional polls aren’t self-selecting. Statistical Research 101, people.

    Elections are self-selecting polls.

  • Jeff Molby

    Elections are self-selecting polls.

    Yes, and the depth of our support will be evident on election day as well (especially in bad weather), but nowhere near like it is straw polls. The larger the sample size, the less impact our passion has. It’s still important, but we’re not going to win on heart alone. It’s going to take a lot more hard work.

  • Don Hannaford

    Poor Poor Rudy, The Big Bad Paul supporters were too much for him. Poor Baby!!! Go Ron Paul!!! Go Mike Huckabee!!! The only 2 honest grass roots candidates out there!!!

  • Mike Lipka

    Ron Paul was the only one to get it right about Iraq!!! He’s the only one not wanting to wage war against Iran!!! He’s the only one with any sense on foreign policy. Enough WELFARE!!! ENOUGH WARFARE!!! Ron Paul is the only candidate out there that can get this Country back on the right path!!! All you hear from the MSM is that the man is a fringe candidate, He has no chance. He gets all his money from Nazis, White Supremecists, Conspiracy theorists, The Legion of Doom, etc. We the people are not dumb!!! We will let our voices be heard on Election Day!!!! GO RON PAUL!!!!

  • Brian Miller

    Ah, why am I not surprised that a majority of the comments are why such behavior is A-OK, justified, etc.?

    Of course, if women who don’t want their uteruses made into government property, or gay people who understand the Constitution has a 14th Amendment, were to drown out Ron Paul in a similar fashion, you’d have hundreds of Ron Paul posters complaining about the “censorship” — along with death threats against the protesters, conspiracy theories about “who in the Jewish Cabal paid them,” and various other nuttery for which Ron Paul supporters are so dearly beloved by real libertarians — and non-libertarians — alike.

  • truthseeker

    Bravo for the brave Paul supporters for exposing the charade of the MSM making Rudy a “top tier” Republican candidate- when he is not even a true Republican.

    When the MSM ignores Ron Paul, in a democracy, we have a right to free speech and to show others that there is a silent majority- and thanks for the Atlanta Constitution stepping up and pointing it all out.

    There is a pattern here folks- San Francisco republicans did not vote last night because too many Paul supporters attended-Romney could only win the straw poll in Florida because he cheated- and the MSM wants to show Rudy as a real front runner- yet hardly anyone shows up when he comes to town.

    Connect the dots and vote for Ron Paul!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Doug Mataconis


    The most shocking thing about your comment is that there are apparently still Republicans in San Francisco. Do they keep them in the zoo ? ;)

  • GeneG

    Oh, poor Rudy…*sniff* The same scum bag campaign that charged RP supporters threatened to toss him overboard in Michigan…and Rudy the debate cackler…

    Your same all shmaltz, Doug.

  • Rob Davidson

    Doug, I have to wonder if you are the least bit familiar with American history. If you want to learn about rowdy electioneering, try studying the political history of the United States during the 19th century, particularly in the first half of that century, when the United States were still a Republic.

  • Immigrant

    We did not try to drown Rudy out while he was speaking. He had every opportunity to speak. We did not try to silence him at all, that was his own doing. Guys, do not buy into the way the media is trying to spin this. The media has an all out offensive against Paul…you saw it in the CNN debates. We simply showed up just the way Rudy’s people showed up. We chanted just like they did. The difference though is that we endured THIER insults.If people would pick up their constitution they would figure out why we could be there. We did nothing that was unconstitutional, the cops did not see us as out of line and that’s Cobb County cops who usually give people a hard time. We did nothing wrong, we had a right to be there peacefully supporting our candidate.

  • Elaine McKillop, Esq.

    Isn’t it interesting that it is oh so terrible, according to this article that the Ron Paul supporters were being vocal at a Rudy event, and that behaviors is criticized, when at a straw poll in St. Petersburg Romney thugs stuffed the ballot, with tickets purchased by the Romney team, and with multiple films to prove it, the press won’t even mention the criminal and unethical behavior. Media bias is the only explanation. On another level, the family values of Romney are dismal. On my space, Romney’s son lies about the event, claiming to have rallied the crowed, helping his father win the straw poll. Romney had no more than 20 supporters and could not have rallied 800 plus votes. Romney cheats and his son lies about it. Great family. Next to this a little bit of overzealous vocalizing in support of the only man in Washington you can be proud to vote for seems silly in comparison.

  • TerryP

    If we are to believe the MSM and even some people on this site, then there is no way that these people could have been Ron Paul supporters. I mean he doesn’t even hardly show up in the polls. How in the world could he have enough supporters that could drown out the supporters of the “frontrunner” in the race. How could he have enough supporters to cause the party to cancel a straw poll. (sarcasm off)

    Maybe, just maybe we shouldn’t believe the polls and the MSM. And maybe, just maybe Ron Paul does have the kind of actual support that could cause Parties to cancel straw polls and drown out the “frontrunners” supporters. Maybe, just maybe Ron Paul has the kind of actual support that he could win the nomination.

  • C Bowen

    Does anyone really believe there is some person out there attending a Guiliani rally who might come over and support Paul?

    I doubt Doug really believes something so ridiculous, but he pretends to for reasons yet to be revealed…

  • Doug Mataconis


    If they weren’t there to persuade, then they were there to shout down. It’s rude, it’s stupid and it’s immature.

    They have every right to do it, it just doesn’t reflect well on them or their candidate.

  • KevinP

    I’m a Paul Supporter. I have passed out Literature and given $$ to the Paul campaign. It irritates me when I see things like this, you are only pushing people away. If you want to show up, do so and engage in conversations with people, pass out literature and try act like an adult. With the rising media coverage of Ron Paul, these tactics will only portray the Paul campaign in a bad light.

  • Craig

    The incident in Atlanta sounds worse than the one in Michigan.

    If Rudy had been any kind of politician, he would have tried some politicking with the guys on the boat. Rudy was just taking the ferry, so ribbing him wasn’t really out of line.

    Showing up with signs when a supposedly more popular candidate visits your city and outnumbering his supporters is okay, but being rude and shouting over him when he tries to speak isn’t.

  • RaferJanders

    McSame can use the word “Nazi”, in an attack on Dr. Paul and Rudy Rudy we know where you were, The Question to you is, If you can’t keep a promise to your wife, how can we be expected to believe anything you say? Just say no to El Douchay, Ron is the only hope to bring this country back on track. Thanks All Ron Paul 08

  • Dixon Cannon

    One of the wonders of the Ron Paul phenomenon is that it attracts all kinds of people, from all walks of life, all sharing the Freedom philosophy. As individuals, each may have different parameters regarding Liberty and Freedom; boundaries, as it were. Such is the rough and tumble of a free society. The free society that we all seem to long for.

    In these modern times, no one is getting tarred and feathered – no one is getting run out of town on a rail. There are just well intentioned individuals passionately participating in the political process as best they can with the tools that they’ve got.

    Speaking strictly for myself (I was not present in Georgia), I’ve grown tired of the mendacity, the hubris and the outright misrepresentations by Demopublican politicians. Frankly, they deserve a little heckling and raucaus disent. For the first time (ever) we have candidate that represents our Constitution, our Republic and who respects our intelligence by being honest and forthright with us. I’d say it’s time for a little passionate support and promotion – square in the face of the opposition!

    You may not do it. I may not do it. But I certainly respect the right of the individuals that feel that they want to do it! Ron Paul, the Constitution, and this Republic should be hailed from the highest mountaintop – and if that’s in earshot of Rudy Guliani – so be it! -dixon cannon

  • RaferJanders

    Oh hey Brian, your sorry little man, first of all it’s ok to shout down the other team in any sporting events right? So with that being said, I support Ron Paul 100% and then some, and if poor little Duce got his inner child spanked, well sorry bout that.

  • smileyjohn

    During an earlier debate, Ron Paul said that blowback was a main reason for 9/11. Rudy interrupted him and tried to make it look like Ron Paul was blaming Americans for being attacked.

    Now Ron Paul supporters are giving Rudy a little blowback.

  • Jim McClarin

    I agree that the Ron Paul campaign is hurt by supporters who engage in rude behavior, especially when there are media reports of it that reach thousands, even millions, of news consumers. However wrongly, most of America saw Rudy as an heroic figure in the weeks following 9/11 and many are incensed when he is heckled or hounded by supporters of another candidate they may know nothing about.

    First impressions are very important in politics, especially as we head into the primary contests. If all a voter knows of Ron Paul prior to voting is that his supporters were rude to “the nation’s mayor,” even if they are inclined toward liberty, they will be very reluctant to vote for him.

    Ron Paul is spending millions right now on repetitive advertising impressions expressly designed to give voters warm feelings toward him. He especially needs to do this because many voters had never even heard of him before. If too-zealous supporters do stupid things that tick lots of voters off, it will undo all the hard work.

    Lyndon LaRouche’s democratic supporters were frequently nasty-tempered zealots who turned off voters right and left. I fear some of the same sorts of people have glommed onto the Paul campaign.

    Take a clue from how Dr. Paul conducts himself. He does not bully or interrupt. He responds to emotional accusations with logic and reason but also with humility and grace. Dr. Paul is well-liked by most all who know him and that should be proof that his way works.

  • Raymond

    how do you know? were you present?

  • Jerry

    I do not think that convincing someone who “came to hear Rudy..” is really ever going to happen anyway so go ahead and annoy the crap out of them.

    The reactions we are seeing are the result of an unfair process. It not about Ron Paul, its more about frustration.

    Many feel they are being “told” who to vote for before they ever have a chance to form any kind of opinion of their own.

    People are sick of the pundits telling them what to think and sick of having to chose between two evils. They are sick of the party elite deciding for them who the rightful heir to the throne will be.

    Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

    Get used to it Rudy.

  • Kerry Kolsch

    Michigan, Marrietta, no harm done. Ron Paul supporters have every right to be boisterous in the presence of other candidates whose positions they oppose. I do not think it is extreme nor should they back off. So called polite society has gotten us in this mess. All of us who remained silent when they took our Constitution, our liberty, our property, our leaders, our lives and lied with disinformation called “news” on the main stream media, we should have made some noise. The Founders of this Nation spoke at the risk of their lives. We have been silent far to long. Apathy has enslaved us. The new Revolution is on, get used to it Rudy and pals!

  • rhys

    You know, in the year the Jefferson won his presidential bid he hired a man who claimed that Jefferson’s opponent was a hermaphrodite! Then when Jefferson distanced himself from the literary hit-man, the literary hit-man claimed that Jefferson was sleeping with his own slave!

    I don’t know if any of what I just wrote is true, but I heard it from a guest on William Benette’s show this morning.

    My point is that Giuliani should have embraced Paul supporters. There was bound to be one weak link there, ready to turn on Paul if givin the chance to shake Giuliani’s hand. *Then, all over the news, “Paul supporters find Giuliani palatable.”*

    Giuliani is afraid. Now he will think twice before showing his face in public again. You commentators don’t understand that these people running are human. Who wants to be shamed in public? They do it because of the eventual reward, but if the shaming is consistent and unrelenting, unless they represent the truth, they disappear.

    Show us you are as strong in your convictions as Paul, and you will earn your space. Until then you deserve to be drowned out.

  • Laughing God


    Your opinion is interesting. Since shouting down the candidate is not the best way to suppress his message and advertise that there are average American citizens, passionate enough about a candidate to meet and rally for him. Then, what should they have done?