NASHUA, N.H. - After taking two days off, Ron Paul returned to the campaign trail, again hitting his GOP rivals over criticism that his foreign policy positions are "dangerous."
With pep in his step that had been lacking in the final days of Iowa, Rep. Paul, R-Texas, reminded the youthful audience of his opinion that America minding its own business is a much better way to make friends then dropping bombs.
Paul also hit back at media descriptions of his ideas as out of step with Republicans and strange.
"Yeah, so strange: strong national defense, mind our own business and take care of ourselves," said Paul sarcastically to cheers from at least 600 people who packed into an airline hanger in Nashua, N.H.
Paul was joined on the campaign trail by his son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who again lashed out at Rick Santorum for contributing to America's debt problem.
While never mentioning Santorum's name, only identifying him as R.S., Rand Paul railed against excess spending by both parties in Washington and noted that "a guy who did pretty well in Iowa" had voted for many of those programs.
Asked later if Santorum represented his biggest threat, Ron Paul laughed and said "hardly."
"He brags about being for a balanced budget amendment, but [he] never did anything about it," Paul said of Santorum. "He voted 4 or 5 times to raise the debt ceiling. He voted to double the size of the Department of Education."
The Texas congressman also explained his two-absence from the campaign trail, saying that it's all part of his plan. He added that he had visited the state more times than many of his rivals and plans a very active schedule through Tuesday.
Paul plans a busy weekend. He has a town hall meeting tonight and will participate in GOP debates on Saturday and Sunday.
Paul also disavowed what he said was an "ugly" Web video from supporters that called Jon Huntsman a "Manchurian candidate" and used pictures of his adopted children.
"All campaigns have to suffer these consequences when somebody puts something up with the candidate's name on it," he said. "Obviously, it was way out of order."