Ron Paul May Isolate Potential Supporters on Student Loan Programs

Sticking to his guns on policy could cost him votes.

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Ron Paul continues down the purist's path as a libertarian. He sticks to his guns on policy even when it might disappoint some of his potential followers.

The latest example came when he said on NBC's Meet the Press that he favors phasing out student loan programs from the federal government as part of his overall deficit-reduction plan. This may make perfect sense for a libertarian like Paul who believes that Washington is becoming too powerful and that Americans need to rely more on themselves. But it might to hurt Paul in political terms, since many of his potential backers are college students who rely on those loans.

[Read: Ron Paul Continues His Controversial Comments.]

Paul said, "Just think of all this willingness to want to help every student get a college education. I went to school when we had none of those. I could work my way through college and medical school because it wasn't so expensive."

The Texas congressman, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, argues that the federal student loan program has led too many young people into debt at a time when jobs are scarce.

[See a roundup of cartoons about the 2012 presidential hopefuls.]

Overall, Paul continues to raise substantial amounts of money from his devoted followers. His latest "moneybomb"--a sustained period of fund-raising that ended last weekend--has brought in $2.5 million, largely from the Internet, according to Paul's website.

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  • Read: Ron Paul Takes on FEMA.
  • See photos of the 2012 GOP hopefuls on the campaign trail.