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Interview with Presidential Candidate Ron Paul

Interview with Presidential Candidate Ron Paul

By John King, USA - July 12, 2011

KING: The country's best known libertarian is calling it a career in Congress and in elective politics unless you decide to make him your next president. Texas Republican Ron Paul announced today he will not seek re-election to his seat representing the 14th Congressional District of Texas. Congressman Paul says he will instead concentrate on his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. The congressman joins us now from Capitol Hill to discuss his decision and the big debt and deficit showdown between House Republicans and the White House.

And let's start there, Congressman. In the big debate of the day, the president tried to up the ante today. He says unless you guys cut a deal and Congress extends or raises the debt ceiling, that he can't guarantee that on August 3rd Social Security checks will go out, veterans' checks will go out. What do you make of that?

REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: I think he's using scare tactics. That just isn't true. Because the funds there for Social Security and these emergencies, the cash flow is good enough for that. And if they really needed to, why don't they just quit sending the interest rate payments over to the Federal Reserve?

So no, I think he's using scare tactics. That's that old thing. It's Social Security. It's -- and if you don't do exactly what we say, raise the debt limit, keep the spending going, don't change anything, so -- and I just don't believe that is true that social security checks are going to stop if the debt limit is not raised by August 2nd.

KING: So you're critical of the president there. I want you to listen here to your leader, the Speaker John Boehner who essentially today after starting to negotiate with the president says you know what, why this back and forth, let's hear from you, Mr. President.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: This debt limit increase is his problem and I think it's time for him to lead by putting his plan on the table, something that the Congress can pass.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: I know you're not a fan of President Obama but is it fair to say this is his problem? Isn't this everybody's problem? This goes back years and years and years, some of the money that has accumulated the debt. You didn't vote for them, but the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have required all this money. It is fair to say this is his problem?

PAUL: No, it isn't his problem. As a matter of fact, even though I don't think the administration has helped get us out of the recession, it's gotten much worse. I never say it's Obama's recession. I talk about long-term problems. You know I talk about monetary changes back in the '70s, the -- and creating the anticipation I've had that we would reach this point. So no, it's been many administrations. It's been both parties.

But you even go back to the people. There's a high demand by the people to have entitlements. And then there are a lot of special interests who think that we should be the policemen of the world. So there's a lot of blame to go around. And as long as it's a blame game and a power struggle, you know it's power and blaming and a power struggle and that's why we don't get anywhere and my goal has always been to get the American people to ask what should the role of government be?

Should the role of our government be to be the policemen? Should it be there to tell us how to run our lives? Is it be there to be Centro economic planners and have a Federal Reserve system pretending that you know what the interest rates should be. That is the question that has to be asked because I don't think this is a budgetary crisis. The budget is the symptom of us not having a precise definition of what the role of government ought to be and the founders gave us the precise definition and that's in our Constitution and unfortunately, we don't follow it.

KING: And it is a question you have asked for many years back in 1988 as a libertarian candidate for president, last time as a Republican candidate, this time as a Republican candidate. And yet you say now you will not run for re-election to the Congress. If you're not successful in winning the Republican nomination for presidency and then the presidency, sir, and the polls at the moment suggest that's unlikely to happen, is this it? Is this the end of Ron Paul's political career?

PAUL: Well I guess all the way you describe it, you know I've been in politics, but I don't think I have a political career as much as trying to change the course of history and trying to change the attitude of the American people. So I've done that in and out of office. You know I took a break from Congress of 12 years, and yet I continued with educational efforts. So I think the philosophy of the people and the philosophy of our economic policy that is more important than the politician himself or herself, so no, I will continue to do that. I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't continue this process, you know of trying to change people's minds, so that will continue and of course, this will free me up. I won't have two campaigns to run, so there's a long way to go in this campaign, so I'm going to continue to work on that effort as well. KING: You say a long way to go in this campaign, but why the decision not to wage two campaigns? And let me ask it in this context. On the first day of the session, I was up there standing in one of those balconies and I was with Ron Paul and I was with the newly elected Senator Rand Paul. Does your son's election, him coming to Congress did that impact your decision at all, sort of a generational passing of the torch or a changing of the guard?

PAUL: No, I don't think of it that way and I don't think he does either. Because I think he's dedicated the same way I am to changing the nature of government and to produce good ideas and good economic policies. So -- but I don't of it -- I don't think he thinks of it in that manner nor do I. I think we just do our best as individuals.

KING: We talked recently at the CNN Republican Presidential Debate up in New Hampshire and you were making the point that, you know, after years of talking about U.S. intervention overseas and those questions about the role of government, that you think in recent years things have started to trend your way. There would be many of your supporters out there who say Dr. Paul you know if this presidential thing doesn't work out, why are you going to disappear now?

PAUL: I don't think I'll disappear. I think my approach will be somewhat different and there will be some. And I think I've already read a few on the Internet that, you know, that worry that way, but the change in the country that can't depend on one person. It depends on a lot more than that, and it doesn't even depend on one party. When you think about what has happened over the past, you know, I keep referring frequently to Richard Nixon when he said we're all Keynesians now, so Keynesianism, a whole philosophy infiltrated both parties. But we need the philosophy of individual liberty and free market economy and sound money to infiltrate, you know, both parties. Because it's an intellectual revolution that I'm looking forward to and I'm involved in and the political process have just allowed me a voice and allowed me to express myself as a member of Congress and now as a serious candidate for the presidency.

KING: The Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, appreciate your time today. We'll keep in touch as the campaign plays out.

PAUL: Thank you.

 

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John King, USA

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