Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul hit back Sunday at claims that he’s “unelectable,” saying that he’s actually “pretty mainstream.”
Paul, who is in a statistical dead heat with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ahead of Tuesday’s caucuses, has seen his opponents seek to brand him as a radical, particularly for his foreign policy positions.
He called the attacks on his positions “gross distortions,” particularly former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who said he demonstrates “a systemic avoidance of reality.”
“I’ve been pretty electable, I was elected 12 times once people got to know me,” the Texas congressman said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“The bigger question is: Why are the rallies going so well for me? Why are the crowds getting bigger and bigger?” Paul asked. “I would say that I’m pretty mainstream. I think people who are attacking me now are ones who can’t defend their records…they’re having a little trouble finding any flip flops on me, they have to go and dig up and distort the demagogue issues.”
Paul has attracted controversy in recent weeks for inflammatory statements in newsletters sent under his name in the 1980s and 1990s.
“If you look at the real issues that count, and I wish you would concentrate on that, that is the foreign policy, the spending, the monetary policy, personal liberties I talk abut all the time…this is where I get the support,” he said.