ANKENY - Saying the mood of the country "has definitely changed" from four years ago, presidential candidate Ron Paul thinks more people are coming around to his economic and foreign policy ideas.
Speaking at his Iowa campaign headquarters located next to a Quizno's sandwich shop in an Ankeny strip mall, Paul said war is a drain on the economy and it's an "economic fallacy" that such engagements can pull a country out of a depression.
"If a person is a conservative and likes limited government, it's during wartime that government grows," he said.
International aid can do more harm than good for allied nations, Paul said. He said the recent incident between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is evidence of that.
"Israel has been too willing to give up their sovereignty, take our money, and then they have to take their orders from us," Paul said. "I am convinced it is in the best interest of everybody not to be dependent on others. National sovereignty is a good idea, as a matter of fact, I think state sovereignty is a good idea."
At the mention of state sovereignty, a few cheers came from the crowd of about six dozen.
The 12-term Texas congressman was in Ankeny to introduce members of his county organization and get the endorsement of Rep. Glenn Massie, a conservative Republican freshman House member from Des Moines.
The antiwar sentiment from Paul was exactly what attracted 27-year-old Justin Jensen of Cedar Falls to the campaign. Jensen, a recent graduate from the University of Northern Iowa who works as a waiter and is a co-chairman of the Paul campaign in Black Hawk County, said he voted for Obama in 2008.
Now, he's disappointed.
"A lot of it is because of what Obama said about the war," said Jensen, who got Paul to sign a bumper sticker for him. "I know there are a lot of students in my political science classes who felt the same way."
Jensen said he hoped Paul would speak at UNI this summer and, he said, his next order of business is to change his registration from Democrat to Republican so he can support Paul in the upcoming straw poll.
Meanwhile, Paul said he thought Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor who announced his presidential candidacy a few hours before Paul's news conference, was "a delightful person" whom he didn't have anything against.