CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Ron Paul was greeted by adoring and large crowds throughout the day Thursday, and at his last event at a hotel he touched on one of his most controversial past comments, saying “people misinterpret what I say about what happened on 9/11.”
“But, very clearly — it was so tragic — but I just point out that a different foreign policy might have diminished the incentive,” Paul told the crowd of over 300, who mostly silently sat through his speech, but leapt to their feet when he finished. “I don’t believe people are going to come over here and commit suicide to prove that we’re rich and free. They don’t do that. They come because they’re angry at us.”
Paul then said people ask him “where did you come up with this crazy, un-American idea?” He answered his own question with Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense under President George W. Bush.
“Paul Wolfowitz, right after 9-11, says this perfect statement that I could have written. The 9-11 Commission confirmed this, Wolfowitz confirmed this, the CIA confirmed this, DOD has confirmed it,” Paul said. “What Wolfowitz said was we can close that base down now in Saudi Arabia because the base in Saudi Arabia was a good recruiting tool for the al-Qaeda. So this is the architect of the war saying this was one of the incentives.”
The candidate was linking it to Iran policy, saying the potential of America or Israel attacking Iran to prevent the country from getting a nuclear weapon “totally destroys anti-ayatollah movement within the country.”
“They say every time we threaten and they think they’re going to be attacked, the ayatollahs get stronger. So if we start bombing, their whole effort to undermine the ayatollah and change their government would be undermined. It’s maybe well intended. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. But sometimes it seems out of control and unreasonable, because the other argument is maybe there’s people in our country that would like to get the oil. Could that possibly be it? It seems like we go into countries more when they have oil,” Paul said.