Senate candidate Murray Sabrin was presidential candidate Ron Paul’s biggest advocate in New Jersey. And tonight, Paul, a Texas representative, returned the favor by visiting the self-proclaimed Republican frontrunner for a fundraiser at the Hilton next to Newark’s Penn Station.
The event, which attracted about 100 supporters, cost $250 per head and $100 for the under 30 crowd, who made up about a quarter of the audience. Though the campaign wasn’t certain exactly how much they made tonight, spokesman George Ajjan announced with great fanfare that the campaign has raised a total of $500,000 so far.
The general theme of the night was an impending economic collapse if the government doesn’t radically alter its fiscal policy. But Paul, Sabrin and economist Peter Schiff – Paul’s economic advisor — all said that the Paul’s presidential campaign ignited a movement that has continued with Sabrin’s Senate candidacy, which Paul referred to as “the strategically most important Senate race that’s going on in the country.”
Before Paul spoke, Schiff warned of tough economic times ahead and said that Sabrin could help usher in the necessary change of policy.
“We have to have somebody out there who’s saying why we are in this mess. Not because we let the free market run amok, but because we have too much government,” he said. “The level of ignorance of basic economics in wall street and Washington, it’s ridiculous. We need to get someone in there who can articulate what’s happening.”
Sabrin said that “tax freedom day” was just a few days ago – that the average American works almost five months to pay their taxes.
“Right now tax freedom day for the United States is April 23rd,” said Sabrin. “If nothing is done over the next 10, 20 or 30 years, the young people in this audience and their kids will be paying their taxes from January 1st to August 23rd– eight full months of the year.”
While his campaign may look like it faces tough odds in the primary and general elections, Sabrin said that, had Vegas been around in 1776, gamblers would have given the American Revolution slim odds as well.
“[Ron Paul] has ignited a movement that will not stop. That’s what this campaign is about,” said Sabrin.
Paul began his remarks by making light of the criticism he faced from the New Jersey Republican establishment’s presidential pick, Rudy Giuliani. An infamous confrontation during a debate, Paul said, where Giuliani had accused him of blaming America for 9/11, had gotten him more media attention than he’d had in his entire Congressional career.
“Giuliani is no longer in the race. He’s still out there paying off debt, and we’re in second place,” joked Paul.
Paul said that his campaign’s fundraising prowess had won him respect from a lot of congressional colleagues. But he felt that they didn’t understand why he was so apt at raising cash through the internet – the same way Sabrin’s campaign has raised much of its $500,000 (which includes Sabrin’s own $150,000 loan).
“What I wanted to do was just shout back ‘maybe it has something to do with voting on principle once in a while,’” said Paul.
Paul said that he first ran for congress because of economic issues, but the crisis has gotten even more dire than it was in the 1970s. Paul cited a statistic that most Americans were concerned about their economic future.
“Now they’re losing confidence,” he said. “The only thing that keeps this whole system together is confidence and illusion, and that’s the main reason our message is resonating.”
Paul also lamented American foreign policy, especially in the middle-east, saying that there appears to be a drive to expand the war from Iraq to Iran.
“Since the foundations have been eroded from our economic and monetary system, can you imagine what it will be like if they start dropping bombs on Iran?” he said.