Congressman Criticizes Media Coverage of Ron Paul’s Campaign

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) blasted the media yesterday for all but ignoring Ron Paul’s strong second-place showing in last week’s Ames Straw Poll.

The nine-term congressman blamed media “arrogance” for the virtual blackout of Paul’s impressive showing in Iowa — a contest in which the three-time presidential candidate came within a scant 152 votes of defeating Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann, the odds-on favorite to win the straw poll.

Saying that sooner or later the media would have to deal with the longtime Texas congressman, the 68-year-old Jones told The Hill that Paul’s paltry coverage was the result of the “arrogance of certain people in the media who don’t think he can win.”

Jones, a conservative Republican, has frequently sided with the Democrats on economic issues while embracing a libertarian philosophy on foreign policy matters.  In early 2007, he was one of only two GOP House members who supported legislation that would have required President George W. Bush to bring combat troops home from Iraq by September 1, 2008 — a position also supported by Paul.  He later joined with Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and other lawmakers in filing a federal lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s U.S. military action in Libya.

The independent-minded, antiwar Republican — once regarded as a pariah in his own party — is one of the few members of Congress who has endorsed Paul’s presidential candidacy this year.  He also supported him in 2008.

The remarks by the North Carolina congressman echoed those of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” earlier this week when Stewart humorously asked, “How did libertarian Ron Paul become the 13th floor in a hotel?”

They also mirror the poignant comments of nationally-syndicated columnist Roger Simon, who said that Ron Paul got “shafted” in the news coverage following the Ames Straw Poll.

Reminding readers that the Texas congressman had come within nine-tenths of one percent of winning the high-stakes straw poll, Simon lamented that “if it had been an election, such a result would almost certainly have triggered a recount.  It was not an election, however, and that is my point.  Straw polls are supposed to tell us, like a straw tossed into the air, which way the wind is blowing. 

“And any fair assessment of Ames, therefore, would have said the winds of the Republican Party are blowing toward both Bachmann and Paul,” wrote Simon.

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