ABC’s Jason Volack and Michael Falcone report:
AMES, Iowa -- Pivoting away from his economic-focused speeches of the past week, presidential candidate Ron Paul told a crowd in Iowa on Saturday that “life does not come from the government-- it comes from our creator.”
His defense of the unborn during a speech at the Ames Straw Poll drew heavy applause from the audience as he makes a play for social conservatives in this state.
During his remarks, he recalled some graphic stories from his time as an obstetrics-gynecology resident to explain his opposition to abortion rights. Paul said that in the 1960s, physicians were "defying the law in doing abortions," and told a story of seeing doctors deliver a baby via Caesarean section and then "put it in a bucket in the corner of the room and let it die and pretended nobody heard it."
It took Paul several minutes to return to his-bread-and-butter issues like returning America to the gold standard.
“It's still on the books that only gold and silver can be legal tender,” the Texas congressman, who is in the midst of his second presidential bid, said.
During his speech he also spent time defending individual liberties and bashing policies like the Patriot Act, calling it an “attack on our liberties and the Fourth Amendment.”
“Just think of what is happening at our airports,” he said.
Earlier this week -- Paul told ABC News that talking about what he sees as the abuses of the Patriot Act is one of the factors that sets him apart from his GOP opponents. He also told ABC News that nobody is talking about our undeclared and illegal foreign wars.
Paul’s now common catch line -- “it’s time to bring troops home” -- again drew a thunderous applause from the straw poll crowd here, many of whom were wearing bright red shirts with Paul’s name on it.
Aides to Paul, a perennial favorite at straw polls like this, were predicting on Saturday that he could receive as many as 4,000 votes. But his son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., warned supporters that if his father wins today, "some will try to delegitimize" it.