Paul won a GOP presidential straw poll at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans during the weekend.
Paul, speaking Monday on NBC's "Today Show," said "undeclared unwinnable wars" and a financial crisis created by U.S. foreign policy are two reasons why his message is attractive.
"We're dumping that debt on the young people," he said. "The next generation … they're with me. They're getting dumped on. If people want to live in the past and think we can perpetuate this welfare state and continue with this foreign policy, it's just going to doom us."
His platform is "very American" and "produces prosperity and peace" by questioning the U.S. role as the world's policeman and the policy decisions that come from that perspective, Paul said.
Paul, who advocates legalizing drugs and prostitution and eliminating a host of Cabinet positions, including the Department of Homeland Security, says he's not a fringe candidate as he may be portrayed by the media.
"I want to legalize freedom. What's wrong with legalizing choices about your life, liberty and religious values?" he asked.
He said his age -- 75 -- isn't an issue for him or his backers.
"It's the idea that counts, it's your general health that counts, your enthusiasm for liberty that counts," Paul said. "I endorse very young ideas."
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