Interview with Presidential Candidate Ron Paul

Interview with Presidential Candidate Ron Paul

By John King, USA - January 27, 2012

KING: Congressman Paul joins us from Lewiston, Maine, today. Congressman, thanks for your time.

I want to start with some policy questions. You have been very firm in all the Republican debates saying we need to cut spending. You say cut 1 trillion in your first year. I want you to listen to President Obama today on the road promoting his plan to help make college more affordable.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're telling the states, if you can find new ways to bring down the cost of college and make it easier for more students to graduate, we'll help you do it. We will give you additional federal support if you are doing a good job of making sure that all of you aren't loaded up with debt when you graduate from college.


KING: You heard the president there, sir, saying additional federal support. If it was a Paul presidency, would the federal government get out of the student loan and the student aid business?

REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, we have a problem with debt. So how do you solve the problem of debt by accumulating more debt? So he's just talking about who gets the debt. And he says the federal government does it. That just puts the debt on somebody else. Maybe another young person will get it, somebody that didn't get to go to college. So that's just a gimmick.

But they don't address the subject which I have in the debates so often, is why is the cost of education so high? And it's high because there's inflation. You pump money into something, you push prices up just as we did with the houses. So it's a failed policy.

When I went to college it was much cheaper, and you had jobs, and we could work our way through. So this is all a result of too much government interference in trying to give everybody something for free. It just doesn't work.

KING: Another big issue on the table right now is the Pentagon is working on a plan. Defense Secretary Panetta says he's supported to slash about 100,000 troops from the active U.S. military. A lot of conservatives say whoa; that's too many. How about you, sir? Is that a good number?

PAUL: Well, you have to look at that. I don't know where he's going to cut. But no, I think that's a good idea.

But even -- even Rumsfeld used to talk about that. Remember when he was talking about a smaller and elite army? But what you have to have is a small and elite foreign policy. If you're still going to maintain all these bases and pretend you can do all these things and cut out the troops, I think there's a conflict there. And that's why Rumsfeld never got very far and Panetta won't get very far, either.

You have to downsize the appetite for running the world and policing the world and doing all this nation building. So it's inconsistent. I don't think he can do it.

KING: You're in Maine today. Most of your rivals are in Miami or elsewhere in Florida. You just told the audience in Maine you're there because of the delegates. You're in for the long haul.

Help me answer this one, sir. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being yes, 1 being probably not, where do you view the likelihood of Ron Paul winning the Republican presidential nomination?

PAUL: Probably about equal to the other candidates in the race. I mean, there were nine of us, remember? So, no, I mean, it's going to be difficult. But to say that I have it sewed up, no. We have a long way to go, and we're going to accumulate as many delegates as we can get and see what comes out of it.

KING: The former G.E. CEO, Jack Welch, was on one of our morning programs this morning, and he doesn't think you'll win the nomination. But he also says the Republican Party better be careful. Let's listen.


JACK WELCH, FORMER G.E. CEO: Ron Paul is going to exit left on this stage sometime down the road before August or in August. And the GOP doesn't want to lose those wonderful voters that he's brought on board. So how well they treat Ron Paul going forward is a very big deal.


KING: Do you feel the party's treating you well, sir?

PAUL: I think they're making an attempt to do so. And I think he has something going there.

But the part of that interview you should have reported on was his wife saying that their four boys all supported me. So that was the magnificent part of that interview. And maybe tonight he's going to have to discuss it with his sons why he wants me to get out of the race.

KING: That's an excellent point. A good sense of humor there. You had a great sense of humor at the debate last night, including when Wolf Blitzer asked you about the prospect of your medical records. Let's listen.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: If you were elected, are you prepared to release your medical records so voters out there know what your health is?

PAUL: Oh, obviously. Because it's about one page if even that long. But I'm willing to -- I'm willing to challenge any of these gentlemen up here to a 25-mile bike ride any time of the day in the heat of Texas.


KING: A couple of questions there. Do you ride 25 miles in the heat of Texas? And you know, I think I'd pay money to come see that event if you could get the others to show up, sir.

PAUL: Well, I can. I don't have the time. I usually satisfy myself with about 12 to 15. I mean, when I'm not engaged in strict campaigning I'll walk for an hour in the morning. Then I ride my bike in the evening, and I love it and I enjoy it. But an hour or so, you know, in the morning or in the evening, I mean, there's a limit to how much time I can give to it. But no, I can do the -- I can do the 25 miles.

But you know, I've been thinking about bringing up my medical records. And now, I don't know where to go. I don't know who has my medical records. They're all in my head. I don't have -- I can't go to a physician and say, "Hey, print out my medical records." Because you know we have a lot of physicians in the family. And I have -- I don't take any medications. And so therefore, I don't have a medical record.

So I was really -- my reflective attitude was, I don't even know if it would fill a page. I guess I could put down a page. You know, I had a surgery here, too, to fix some knees. But other than that I don't have any medical problems.


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John King, USA

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