Former Rep. Ron Paul shares his thoughts on the Trump-Clinton battle, Republicans seeking a third party candidate, and the state of the Libertarian party.
BRZEZINSKI: Let's bring in former Republican Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas.
Very good to have you on board, sir.
PAUL: Thank you.
BRZEZINSKI: There is, I guess, a third party option. I mean, is it worth talking about?
PAUL: Well, I guess you're talking about the Libertarian Party maybe?
BRZEZINSKI: Yeah, maybe. What do you think?
PAUL: So, well, I'm looking for a second party, because I see the Republicans and Democrats, and all they fight and scream at each other. Policies never change. The size and scope of the executive branch, which is a big concern for me, keeps growing no matter which candidate, and whether -- quite frankly, whether it's Hillary or Trump.
I think they believe in a strong executive, and that's opposite of libertarianism. But the libertarian principle of non-aggression, that is where government can't use force to mold a society or the economy or tell other people how to live around the world, I would say that's a great principle.
PAUL: I'm not overly enthralled with the candidates, but that principle is really worthwhile and the opposite of what we've been living with, and an opposite of the ideas that have brought us to this point where we are now facing bankruptcy. And nobody is talking about the seriousness of the economy and the bankruptcy we face.
BRZEZINSKI: In fact, what they are talking about is they -- they are both attacking each other and it's almost a race to how low things can go, based on the Trump side.
I know you don't feel these candidates who are in -- Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, they are really more than a shrug. Is there any possibility for anybody else at this point?
PAUL: Not -- not really. But I mean, I think the people are left with very poor choices and no real contest.
We send hundreds of thousands of people and spend trillions going overseas, and saying, we're going to throw out your dictator, and we're going to force you have to democracy and elections. Then they have elections and we throw them out, because they're not our guy.
This country, we do not really have democracy. I mean, even if we were really, really super happy with the Libertarian candidate, you think they'd get into the debates? No, the debates are run by the Republicans and Democrats.
They'd find a way of excluding them. So, that's -- that's not going to happen, unless you're a billionaire and can put enough pressure, and the media capitulate and say, hey, maybe we ought to talk to a third-party candidate.
PAUL: But no. Overall, foreign policy won't change with either party in a significant manner. Spending is going to continue. Government intervention of the Federal Reserve is going to keep manipulating interest rates, and never facing up to the fact that this country has lived way beyond its means. And the debt is incomprehensible and all we know is it's going to grow and grow.
And I think the fighting, the personal fighting is a distraction from the real issue, which is personal liberty and the bankruptcy of this country and the failure of our foreign policy. That's where the problem is.
WALLACE: Sir, just speaking up on some of that. You ran against a rigged political establishment well before it was cool.
What do you think, though, about the fact that Donald Trump, having run against a rigged political system, a rigged economy that you've just described, and Bernie Sanders is still in the race, running a revolution -- which might be something that you would have called your movements of the time.
I mean, they've gone pretty far. Do you think that there is -- do you think we're on the cusp of seeing things shaken up from what you describe?
PAUL: Yeah, I think it's -- yeah. No, I think that's very good that the independent candidates, because Sanders doesn't even admit he's a Democrat. He's a socialist. And Trump, nobody said that -- accused him of being overly supportive of Republicans.
And the evidence is that he wasn't much of a Republican in the past. He was whatever he wanted to be. So there's an independent. But I don't think that's what the people are looking at. They're looking at the disgust of the current system, the current Republican leadership, the current Democratic leadership, the economy, failure of the foreign policy, the way we treat our veterans.
They look at all of this, and yet, it has drifted into this personal bickering back and forth. It's almost like, you know, I think -- I put a little blame on the media. They like this bickering, because it's good for ratings. They need to hit the important issues.
You know, what are you going to do about it? And I think that will come. I think, maybe, after the primaries are over, maybe they will get to the real questions that ought to be asked.
BRZEZINSKI: Well, they've been asked. I mean, they just haven't been answered.