Debate: Does a Shaky Economy Help Paul?

Everybody seems to think that a faltering economy helps Mitt Romney because of Romney’s Bain Capital past. Romney, reason says, made money himself, so he can make the country some money. That’s all fine and good, but what about Ron Paul?

Paul, of course, has been trying to be the canary in economic coal mine for months now. When Brian Williams asked him whether the government has a role in stimulating the economy, Paul started his answer with solid conservative logic: Lower taxes, fix the dollar, and deregulate the hell out of everything. It sounded great until he started talking about those pesky foreign-policy views of his. Once Paul started saying the war in Iraq and the fight against terror are reasons for the potential recession, he lost the fiscal conservatives in the audience. While Paul doesn’t need to hide his beliefs, he also doesn’t need to include all of them in every one of his answers. If he keeps his anti-war, semi-isolationist foreign-policy views separate from his economic talk, his menu looks pretty good: an entree for fiscal conservatives and dessert for anti-war independents. But when he mixes them together, the dish starts to look unappetizing.