Siddhartha Mahanta
National Journal
February 4, 2010

In 2008, independents frustrated with establishment politics found a hero in Texas Republican Ron Paul. Warning voters about the dangers of an overstretched and overcommitted government, Paul provided today’s Tea Partiers with a blueprint for grassroots success.

Republicans like Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Mike Pence of Indiana, and Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul — Ron’s son — have embraced the Tea Party movement. talked to Ron Paul last week about the energy of today’s grassroots movements and the Republican Party’s evolving relationship with the Tea Partiers.

NJ: Judging from how the Tea Party movement has grown, has the Ron Paul revolution been a success?

Paul: I’m not sure they’re absolutely related. A lot of people would say the Ron Paul revolution has been very successful, but in the very early stages, because we have a long way to go to reverse the trends of this country. But as far as getting the attention of a large number of people, I think that’s been done.

The Tea Party movement has expanded, it includes more people, and it’s not precisely a Ron Paul party movement. So they’re not directly related, but I would say that both have gotten the attention of the American people. Whether it’s the people who go to Tea Parties or the people who go to our rallies, all of us are pretty upset with what we see in Washington.

NJ: What stirred the activists’ fervor now?

Paul: I think it’s the failure of government. People are recognizing that government…. made promises, and yet now people are recognizing that they can’t fulfill their promises. They know about the debt, they know about the entitlements that can’t be paid. They know about the problems that we have around the world, they know about the corruption dealing with Goldman Sachs and others.

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