Nightly News | December 29, 2011
>>> while the romney campaign likes its chances in iowa , the wild card continues to be ron paul . he's got momentum, organization and a fiercely loyal base of supporters. our chief white house correspondent and political director chuck todd is traveling with the paul campaign today. he joins us now from atlantic iowa . chuck?
>> reporter: good evening, harry. when it comes to ron paul there are two key questions. one, can e he widen his appeal among widestrem republicans and not just the closet libertarians in the party? and two, does he have the infrastructure or is this a howard dean ruse from 2004 to catapult him? at the core of ron paul 's strength in iowa , devote followers like these. joe stone made some 200 calls last night for the campaign and drove four hours from his minneapolis home to catch a glimpse of his little bit kol hero.
>> i have never seen him and he's one of the only people i want to meet before i die.
>> reporter: nick hofstetter turns 18 next year in time oh cast his first vote. he's volunteering here while visiting relatives in iowa .
>> me and my friends do sign-making party as lot.
>> the next president of the united states , ron paul !
>> reporter: five days ago the paul campaign is now measuring success by the sheer number of attacks from other candidates.
>> ron paul would be dangerous as president of the united states .
>> one of the people running for president thinks it is okay for nuclear to have a nuclear weapon . i don't.
>> reporter: today paul continued to push back aggressively.
>> some people say, you mean isolationism we don't want to deal with the world? no.
>> reporter: it's that policy position that resonates with his supporters here.
>> i think we are in too many wars and it is time to change that and start bringing our military home to protect this country. [ applause ]
>> i don't really see what we've got when you're borrowing money from china to lend to pakistan and what do you have as your final valuable product other than more chaos and debt?
>> reporter: attempts to pigeon hole paul and his supporters as outside the main stream offends stacy hartman of minburn, iowa .
>> there are references to paul supporters being fringe, lunatics, extremists. i don't think it's true.
>> reporter: what makes insiders nervous about paul is the idea that so many of his supporters wouldn't mind if he ran as an independent. the paul campaign is worried about being pigeonholed. so they had little cookbooks on the chairs at all of the events here in atlantic iowa and also in perry iowa . if you remember the old clean for gene campaign for jew yeen mccarthy. think about that when it comes to ron paul .
>> as long as there is a recipe for pork tenderloin .
>> there is.