asked Ron Paul what should happen to an uninsured young man who becomes ill. Paul responded, “That’s what freedom is all about: taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to take care of everybody…” Did Blitzer’s question stir pangs of conscience in the libertarian Paul? He, after all, did not provide insurance for the late Kent Snyder (shown left of Paul), his 2008 presidential campaign manager who was integral to his political career:
…Back in 2008, Kent Snyder — Paul's former campaign chairman — died of complications from pneumonia. Like the man in Blitzer's example, the 49-year-old Snyder was relatively young and seemingly healthy when the illness struck. He was also uninsured. When he died on June 26, 2008, two weeks after Paul withdrew his first bid for the presidency, his hospital costs amounted to $400,000. The bill was handed to Snyder's surviving mother who was incapable of paying. Friends launched a website to solicit donations.
According to the Wall Street Journal's 2008 story on his death, Snyder was more than just a strategic ally: He was the only reason Paul thought he ever had a shot at the presidency in the first place.
"It was Kent more than anyone else who encouraged and pushed Ron to run for president," said Jesse Benton, a spokesman for Mr. Paul. "Ron would not have run for the presidency if it had not been for Kent. Ron was really hesitant, but Kent drove him forward."
And so, what started in February 2007 with one laptop in Snyder's Arlington, Va., apartment, quickly grew into a $35 million campaign employing 250 people. In the fourth quarter of that year, Snyder raised a stunning $19.5 million for Paul — more than any other Republican candidate had raised at the time.
After his campaign manager's death, Paul wrote, "…Kent sacrificed much for the cause of liberty…" Indeed, he exemplified Paul’s disdain for "[taking] care of everybody."