Rep. Ron Paul has attracting strong support in his run tor the GOP nomination, and few lines of his stump speech are receiving more cheers than his call to repeal the Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act.
- A giant bull with a sign supporting Ron Paul sits outside a rally in Chanhassen, Minn., Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. (WSJ Photo by Michael R. Crittenden)
Mr. Paul, rallying voters ahead of Minnesota caucuses, told supporters that these laws -– particularly the NDAA -– “is not what this country is about!” The sentiment, as it was in campaign stops in Nevada, was met with hearty cheers from Mr. Paul’s backers.
With a libertarian platform focused on reducing the influence of the federal government and boosting individual rights, Mr. Paul is a natural adversary for the more invasive provisions in the Patriot Act and NDAA. The latter especially is a frequently yelled slogan at Mr. Paul’s event, typically with a derisive sneer or as a rallying cry for supporters.
The NDAA, signed by President Barack Obama on New Year’s Eve, includes a provision giving the government the power to indefinitely detain any terror suspect captured on U.S. or foreign soil, even if that person is a U.S. citizen.
“The president can use the military to arrest American citizens, they don’t have to be charged, they don’t have to be tried,” Mr. Paul explained to a standing-room-only crowd in Rochester, Minn., earlier on Saturday. “If that stands there’s not much left to our American civil liberties … if we can watch that and not do something about it the future looks bleak.”