Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who represents Texas' 14th Congressional District, says the U.S. is "slipping into a fascist system" dominated by big government and big businesses.
The Texas congressman drew an estimated 2,000 standing and chanting people to Kansas City's Union Station Saturday night across the street from a World War I Memorial, upstaging simultaneous Republican Party banquets being held on both sides of the nearby Missouri and Kansas line.
Paul said the U.S. got off track during the era of President Woodrow Wilson, who led the nation through World War I and unsuccessfully advocated for the nation's involvement in a forerunner of the United Nations.
Although campaign aides were aware, Paul told reporters after his speech that he did not know his rally was coinciding with long-established Republican Party events.
Paul's event came on an evening when the Des Moines Register released a poll showing him with the widest lead of three Republican presidential contenders over President Barack Obama if the election were held this week in Iowa. Both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum had leads within the poll's margin of error in a state that Obama won in 2008.