MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Monday night discussed Ron Paul's rising poll numbers in Iowa, and said his candidacy for president revealed an "uncomfortable truth" about the Republican Party.

She noted that establishment Republicans had blasted Paul's isolationist foreign policy, even though his policies often received applause from Republican debate audiences.

Maddow said Paul was persistently popular across the country, noting his "sustained fundraising, his sustained support, his sustained ability to turn out big crowds, his appeal across the country, his cross-demographic appeal."

"What is most interesting about Ron Paul is not just his isolationism, there has always been a strain of that in Republican politics," she continued. "Pat Buchanan ran as an isolationist among other things when he ran back in the 90s."

"What is most interesting about Ron Paul is the extent to which his domestic stuff, his social-issue libertarianism, his position on things not just like the war in Iraq but the war on drugs, calls out a really uncomfortable truth in Republican politics," she explained. "Which is that Republicans want their brand to be small, hands off government, but the policies they support are more like big intrusive government. Things like forced, mandatory drug testing by the government and federal regulation of every marriage in the country."

Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below:

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