Paul's anti-establishment campaign draws crowds

December 22, 2011 - 5:26 PM

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa campaign rally by Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul is a decidedly stripped-down affair.

There are few signs, no theme song and a candidate more comfortable discussing a return to the gold standard than glad-handing for votes. His message has largely been ignored for most of his long political career. But it's now striking a chord with voters angry over federal bank bailouts, government dysfunction and the burgeoning national debt.

The crowd listens quietly. It's a large one for a GOP presidential race by Iowa standards. The Texas congressman speaks for about 30 minutes, takes questions, smiles for a few photos then disappears behind a door.