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  • Staff photo by Bruce Preston


    GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul stands on a coffee table as he takes questions from a group of people at the home of Dr. Brian Gilchrist of Amherst on Thursday night.
  • Staff photo by Bruce Preston


    GOP presidential candidate Ron arrives at the home of home of Dr. Brian Gilchrist of Amherst on Thursday night to take questions from a gathering of residence.
  • Staff photo by Bruce Preston


    GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul stands on a coffee table as he takes questions from a group of people at the home of Dr. Brian Gilchrist of Amherst on Thursday night.
  • Staff photo by Bruce Preston


    GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, left, is greeted by Dr. Brian Gilchrist of Amherst as he arrives at Gilchrist’s home for a question and answer session on Thursday night.
Friday, August 19, 2011

Rep. Paul packs a full house at campaign event in Amherst

AMHERST – 50 or more people crowded the living room, dining room, and overflowed into the kitchen of a local pediatric surgeon’s Amherst home Thursday night for a chance to get their questions answered by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, a Republican presidential candidate from Texas.

Attendees, many from the medical field and Elliot Hospital, nibbled on chips and sipped beverages as Paul towered over the crowd from atop marble living room table, fielding questions from around the room for almost 45 minutes.

Paul, also a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s and obstetrics/gynecology specialist, answered questions on everything from tort reform to national health care, while touching on his solutions for the lack of jobs in America, and for American foreign policy in Iran and Israel if he were elected president.

One Plainfield, Conn., native, Tom Stratton, who commutes to work in Manchester everyday, rearranged his work schedule to hear Paul speak – already ready to place his vote for the Texas Congressman.

“He’s the only one telling the truth,” Stratton said. “He’s honest about monetary policy and America’s foreign policy in that our continued involvement overseas is hurting us, and there’s not a whole lot of candidates talking about that we can’t afford to have a warfare state in a welfare state.”

Charles Eastwood, of Bedford, however, joked he had made his way to the Ron Paul house party for the food.

Eastwood wasn’t sure who he was going to vote for yet for president, but he said the candidates’ stances on healthcare would play a major role in his decision.

“I think it’s a unique turning point in time, it’s an opportunity for our country to decide where as a society we want to go,” Eastwood said. “Do we want to take care of each other and do we want what’s done to other people to be done to us, or do we want every man for himself?”

Paul, atop the marble table, professed his preference for an every state for itself system, in terms of social programs, if elected president.

“There’s nothing in the constitution for (social benefits),” Paul said. “The best social program is freedom and a sound economic system. Sound money. Property rights. That’s how you provide for the general welfare, to have the general environment conducive for free markets and incentives to work hard and save money and be productive. If there’s to be, there’s no prohibition against any of these social programs at the state level, there’s no national prohibition, so it would be up to the states just as it’s up to states about the school system.”

“The states can sort this out and understanding a very democratic process up here, if you don’t like what they’re doing in the state and you want more state programs or less, it doesn’t take long to find a state rep. around New Hampshire, so I think that’s the better way to handle any social program,” he said.

Maryalice Gill can be reached at 594-6490 or mgill@nashuatelegraph.com.