The deck was heavily stacked against anti-establishment outlier and presidential candidate Ron Paul in the November 22 CNN debate, but the Texas Congressman and medical doctor was able to control the debate and slam his rivals on issues such as the Patriot Act, Supercommittee sequestration, and foreign aid. Paul, who has risen in the polls recently with an anti-war and personal liberty message, faced off in a crowded field of neoconservative opponents and a bevy of hostile questions from the neoconservative Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.
The debate included questions by former Dick Cheney Chief of Staff David Addington (a Heritage Foundation vice president) as well as Bush administration-era Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz (2001-2005), who helped push the United States into the Iraq War and is now a "visiting scholar" of the American Enterprise Institute. No skeptics of America's foreign wars were asked any questions for the entire duration of the debate.
Heritage Foundation official and former Attorney General Ed Meese led off the presumptive and biased questioning in the debate with this doozy: "At least 42 terrorist attacks aimed at the United States have been thwarted since 9/11. Tools like the Patriot Act have been instrumental in finding and stopping terrorists. Shouldn't we have a long range extension of the investigative powers contained in that act so that our law enforcement officers can have the tools that they need?" The Patriot Act allows so-called "National Security Letters," which are warrantless searches in flagrant violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
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Photo of Ron Paul: AP Images