During a campaign speech at Kansas City's Union Station on Saturday, Texas Rep. Ron Paul warned that the United States was "slipping into a fascist system," according to the Associated Press.
The White House hopeful said the country had been on the wrong course ever since President Woodrow Wilson, who helped establish the U.S. Federal Reserve in 1913.
Paul often laments the increased size of the government over the last 100 years and the move away from the gold standard. He has also voiced concerns about American's civil liberties.
"We've slipped away from a true Republic," Paul said. "Now we're slipping into a fascist system where it's a combination of government and big business and authoritarian rule and the suppression of the individual rights of each and every American citizen."
He repeatedly denounced President Barack Obama's recent enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. Provisions within the $662 billion defense spending bill contained a controversial section that required terrorism suspects to be detained by the military without trial, regardless of where they were captured.
While signing the bill on December 31, Obama issued a statement in which he pledged that the new laws would not violate Americans’ constitutional rights. But human rights advocates said Obama’s signing statement did not prevent future administrations from abusing the law.