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Ron Paul Says He Is ‘Pretty Electable,’ in U.S. ‘Mainstream’

Iowa’s Weather Could Make Tough Paul’s Quest for Caucus Win
Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul arrives for a town hall meeting at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Photographer: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Representative Ron Paul of Texas dismissed criticism from Republican presidential rivals that his views are outside the U.S. political mainstream, saying he is “pretty electable.”

“I was elected 12 times once people got to know me in my own congressional district,” Paul said today on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I would say that I’m pretty mainstream. I think the people who are attacking me now are the ones who can’t defend their records and they’ve been all over the place.”

The libertarian-leaning congressman said his Republican rivals are too tepid in their approach to shrinking the federal budget and deficit, while he would make dramatic cuts.

“I don’t see any actual cuts,” he said of the spending plans put forward by his rivals during an interview airing this weekend on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt.”

Paul has predicted he’ll either win or finish second in the Jan. 3 Iowa Republican caucuses that start the 2012 nominating contests.

Editors: Gail DeGeorge, James Tyson

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