The New Hampshire Union Leader is no fan of Ron Paul.


(Laura Segall/GETTY IMAGES)

From the editorial:

A Wall Street Journal columnist notes that Paul is “a leading spokesman for, and recycler of, the long and familiar litany of charges that point to the United States as a leading agent of evil and injustice, the militarist victimizer of millions who want only to live in peace.”

Perhaps this warped view is why Paul believes that al-Qaida terrorists caught in the United States ought to be treated as common criminals, not enemy combatants. He wants them read Miranda rights to which they are not entitled and he wants them tried and sentenced in civil courts rather than by military tribunals.

This is nothing short of nuts. What is needed to competently fight a war, and al-Qaida is indeed at war with us, is the ability to gather information. Telling the enemy that it has a “right to remain silent” is absurd.

The paper last month endorsed Newt Gingrich for president, an endorsement that came just as the former House speaker was beginning his late surge in the polls.

Now, a new CNN/Opinion Research poll shows Paul in a dead heat with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) in Iowa and a distant second in New Hampshire, while Gingrich’s support in both states is plummeting.

That Paul’s foreign policy views are outside the mainstream is hardly a revelation: his rivals on the campaign trail and in debates have hammered him on national security time and again.

The question is whether those criticisms of Paul are resonating with voters – and a Pew Research Center survey from earlier this month would suggest perhaps not.

Only 4 percent of respondents in the Pew survey cited “war” or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as the top problem facing the country today. In September 2007, that number stood at 37 percent.

By contrast, 37 percent of respondents now cite unemployment or the lack of jobs as the country’s top problem. In September 2007, only 3 percent said so.

So, while the Union Leader editorial is a reminder of Paul’s isolationist foreign policy views, the polls show that the concerns of the public are focused elsewhere.