Buoyed by strong poll numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire, Ron Paul proclaimed today that although the Republican presidential field has already had several flavors of the month, he’s the flavor of the decade.
Two new polls in the past day, the Des Moines Register poll and the NBC News-Marist poll both found Ron Paul in the top three in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Paul, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said that his consistent message of ending all foreign wars and controlling federal spending is “striking a chord with people.”
“So, I think we continue to do what we’re doing,” he said. “We’ve had the flavors of the month up and down so far in this campaign. I’d like to think of myself as the flavor of the decade.”
The Des Moines Register poll found former House speaker Newt Gingrich taking first in Iowa with 25 percent of likely Republican caucus goers. Paul was second with 18 percent, a gain of 6 points since October, edging out former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who was third with 16 percent.
Although Paul is polling well in the early voting states, other polls have shown a lingering concern among Republicans about his ability to defeat President Obama in a general election.
A recent survey found that only 4 percent of Republican voters viewed Paul as the candidate best poised to defeat Obama in November 2012.
Paul dismissed that number as being premature. He said it will change drastically in the general election, when various conservative groups and disenfranchised Democrats will come his way. Not skipping a beat, Paul again reminded everyone of his rising poll numbers.
“You know, I would say that if the people in Iowa wouldn’t consider me a good option to beat Obama I wouldn’t be a close second in there,” Paul said.
Paul added that he “optimistic” about picking up Herman Cain supporters because of his independent mind.
As for his recent spat with Donald Trump after refusing to participate in a debate the real estate mogul and reality TV star is moderating, Paul said he doesn’t understand why his GOP colleagues give Trump so much credence.
“I didn’t realize he had the ability to lay on his hands and anoint people,” Paul said.