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Interview with Presidential Candidate Ron Paul

Interview with Presidential Candidate Ron Paul

By The Situation Room - October 17, 2011

BLITZER: Let's assess what is going on, on the jobs front, on the Republican presidential campaign front. The Texas congressman Ron Paul, is running. He just unveiled a huge plan of his own. Congressman, thanks very much for coming in.

So let's talk a little bit about your jobs proposal. We heard a little bit from the president of the United States. He has his ideas. Yours is the most revolutionary, shall we say. Want to cut $1 trillion in spending over how long.

RON PAUL, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Over three years. But the first year is $1 trillion, balanced budget in three years, so cut $1 trillion the first year.

BLITZER: The first year. And you want to do that by eliminating, one, two, three, four, five cabinet positions, right?

PAUL: Right. The problem we have is I think the radicals have been in charge. The people who believe in spending and deficits don't matter and we can be in any place in the world and can you print up money forever. And they've been doing this for about four years. So this is an inevitable problem we have today.

And yet I think the country, people are waking up. People in Washington, you know, the bureaucrats and the other politicians, the other candidates running for this office, I think they are living in a different world.

BLITZER: This plan is pretty radical. Let's take a look at this. You would cut, and correct me if I'm wrong, the Department of Energy, 100,000 jobs right there, the Department of Education, 4,200 jobs, Department of Commerce, 38,000 jobs, Department of Interior, 70,000 jobs, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 9,000 jobs. That's 221,000 government jobs you would seek it eliminate over three years.

PAUL: Yes. But they are nonproductive.

BLITZER: What?

PAUL: They're nonproductive. They are not productive jobs.

BLITZER: These people working these jobs, they think they are pretty productive.

PAUL: I know, but when the government spends your money, they don't spend it as wisely as you do. You spend it more diligently and smartly and investments are much better. So governments aren't smart enough.

BLITZER: The Department of Energy, all of America's nuclear power is related to the Department of Energy. What are you going to do with America's nuclear arsenal?

PAUL: Why subsidize anybody? Why subsidize nuclear over solar? I mean, let the market decide.

BLITZER: So would you just get rid of the nuclear bombs that the United States has?

PAUL: Well, you don't need -- we have enough to blow up the world about 20 times. And people are arguing for more. They want more military spending. I want less military spending. But we can blow up the world 20 times, and they want more weapons?

BLITZER: So you would eliminate that nuclear arsenal?

PAUL: No, I wouldn't eliminate it.

BLITZER: Not completely?

PAUL: I'd have enough to defend our country.

BLITZER: Your plan also has a huge cut in defense spending and in the number of jobs at the DOD, the Department of Defense.

PAUL: Right. I don't cut anything from defense. I cut military. There's a big difference. Defending this country is one thing --

BLITZER: So explain the difference.

PAUL: Militarism is buying weapons to subsidize the military industrial complex to build weapons that we don't need. I mean, why do we need 7,000 drones dropping bombs on any speck of the earth in order to defend this country?

BLITZER: So the $700 billion a year Defense Department budget which obviously finances the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, what would it go down to in a Ron Paul administration?

PAUL: Well, over a period of time, drastically lower, but the first year I think it goes down $200 billion.

BLITZER: Two hundred billion in the first year alone?

PAUL: Yes, because it doesn't really help us. It harms us by doing this. And we need a stronger national defense, not a weaker one. Just spending money doesn't necessarily help us.

BLITZER: I suspect that when it comes to this issue, defense spending, you are further apart from your fellow Republican candidates than you are from the Democrats.

PAUL: Yes, but I'm closer to the people and I'm closer to the military. I get more money from the military, acting military duty, twice as much as all the other Republican candidates put together.

The military people know exactly what I'm talking about. They know these wars aren't going well and that we shouldn't be there. We literally, in the last 10 years, have added $4 trillion of our debt because of this militarism around the world.

BLITZER: Because I remember you and Barney Frank have actually cooperated in seeking to cut defense spending.

PAUL: Yes, and I think the American people know this. I think they are tired of paying for Germany's defense, Japan and South Korea. I mean, what's the purpose?

BLITZER: So is this going to resonate in a Republican presidential contest? Because right now, you're trying to get the Republican presidential nomination. You go out there. Are Republican voters in Iowa, in New Hampshire and Florida, South Carolina, are they going to listen to you?

PAUL: So far so good. I think it's going very well. And I think when they hear the truth, they know they are hearing the truth.

And I really think the people are way ahead of the politicians. I believed this for many, many years. And that's why you have to have Tea Party movements and sit-ins on Wall Street, because the people are annoyed with this.

They know these bailouts and the spending cannot last. We cannot continue to do this. Our national debt goes up $4 billion a day. I mean, where are we going to -- I think the easiest place to attack is overseas. All the foreign aid and all the militarism --

BLITZER: So you'd bring all the foreign aid to zero? PAUL: Sure. I mean, unless you want to donate yourself. Everybody can donate what they -- and they're going to be richer, and they can pick out their friends and their country, and it used to be that way.

BLITZER: You have been in some major disputes in other presidential debates with Republican candidates over U.S. policy towards Iran. Last week, the Justice Department said that Iran, at the highest levels -- they didn't go how high -- at the highest levels, they said, were seeking to assassinate the Saudi president in Washington.

If you were president, and that report came to you from your CIA, your Justice Department, your FBI, what would you do about that?

PAUL: I'd check it very carefully for the facts, because now the facts are filtering out. They have arrested him, and that's fine. He could be a very dangerous person.

Maybe he will get a day in court, but I predict they won't, because I don't think they have much concrete evidence. But at least he is captured and he's in court and is going to do it. But the same --

BLITZER: But why do you think -- because various Republicans and Democrats, Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee -- you know him -- he believes that the evidence is strong. Dianne Feinstein --

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL: I think it's mostly war propaganda. They've been itching to go to war against Iran for a long, long time. This is exactly what they did leading up to the war in Iraq, and the danger was not there.

I don't think the Iranians are that stupid. And yet, the people here right now are getting pretty excited about it.

The same people giving us this information gave us Fast and Furious. Why? They are having investigations in Washington. Fast and Furious is a fraud. But all of a sudden, they believe this? No.

The same people are telling them the same thing. They need to look at it very carefully.

As president, I would like at this type of intelligence very carefully. I certainly wouldn't advocate going into another war. These people are using this one episode, the possibility of this one guy doing something. Was it a sting operation? We don't know.

People are suggesting we go to war over this. That is such a careless attitude.

BLITZER: I just want to make sure I heard you right. You said these allegations are war propaganda on the part of the Obama administration. Is that what you're saying?

PAUL: No. The people who are jumping up and down and saying this is wonderful, wonderful. It's all the way up to the top. Yes, I think people whoa re suggesting that this is a horrendous problem would like to see us go to war against Iran. They have been preaching this for years. I mean, they are just looking for the opportunity.

What I'm saying, he's a bad guy, he's off the streets. Give him his day in court, but let's wait and see if he really does get a day in court and we get all the facts on the table. That's what I would demand.

BLITZER: Congressman Paul, as usual, thanks for coming in.

PAUL: Thank you.

BLITZER: Next time you have to tell us how you really think.

PAUL: OK. I'll work on that.

BLITZER: Good work. Thanks very much. 

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