Daily Revolt

December 23, 2007

Ron Paul Exposed on Meet The Press

Ron Paul was finally exposed by Tim Russert on Meet The Press. On several points Paul was stumped, giving rambling or bizarre responses.

He attacks Abraham Lincoln:
MR. RUSSERT: I was intrigued by your comments about Abe Lincoln. "According to Paul, Abe Lincoln should never have gone to war; there were better ways of getting rid of slavery."

REP. PAUL: Absolutely. Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war. No, he shouldn't have gone, gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic. I mean, it was the--that iron, iron fist..

MR. RUSSERT: We'd still have slavery.

REP. PAUL: Oh, come on, Tim. Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world. And the way I'm advising that it should have been done is do like the British empire did. You, you buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where it lingered for 100 years? I mean, the hatred and all that existed. So every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war. I mean, that doesn't sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach.

Are you for term limits or not?:
MR. RUSSERT: Let me ask this. Term limits. You ran on term limits. "I think we should have term limits for our elected leaders." You've been in Congress 18 years.

REP. PAUL: But I never ran on voluntary term limits. There's a big difference. I didn't sign a pledge for a voluntary term limit. Matter of fact, some of the best people that I worked with, who were the most principled, came in on voluntary term limits. Some of them broke their promises, and some didn't, and they were very good people. So some of the good people left. And it's true, I, I didn't run on that, Tim, you're wrong on that. I support term limits. You know, I, I, and I voted all--we had 16 votes one time on term limits, and I voted yes for them.

MR. RUSSERT: Yeah.

REP. PAUL: But voluntary term limits is a lot different than compulsory term limits. It's good to have a turnover, but that isn't the solution either. It's the philosophy of government that counts. It's only...

MR. RUSSERT: But if you believe in the philosophy of term limits, why wouldn't you voluntarily...

REP. PAUL: Well, it's, it's one of those, it's one of those things that's not on--I mean, you don't see that out I'm campaigning on that. I mean, I don't think it's--I don't think it's the solution. Philosophy is the solution. What the role of government ought to be, so if you have a turnover and the same people come in and they believe in big government, nothing good is going to come of it.

Are you a Republican or not?:
MR. RUSSERT: You're running as a Republican. In your--on your Web site, in your brochures, you make this claim: "Principled Leadership. Ron was also one of only four Republican Congressmen to endorse Ronald Reagan for president against Gerald Ford in" '76. There's a photograph of you, Ronald Reagan on the right, heralding your support of Ronald Reagan. And yet you divorced yourself from Ronald Reagan. You said this: "Although he was once an ardent supporter of President Reagan, Paul now speaks of him as a traitor leading the country into debt and conflicts around the world. "I want to totally disassociate myself from the Reagan Administration." And you go on to The Dallas Morning News: "Paul now calls Reagan a `dramatic failure.'"

REP. PAUL: Well, I'll bet you any money I didn't use the word traitor. I'll bet you that's somebody else, so I think that's misleading. But a failure, yes, in, in many ways. The government didn't shrink. Ultimately, after he got in office, he said, "All I want to do is reduce the rate of increase in size of government." That's not my goal. My goal is to reduce our government to a constitutional size. Completely different. I think that--matter of fact, he admitted in his memoirs that he had a total failure in Lebanon, and he said he relearned the Middle East because of that failure. And so there--he--you know, he...

MR. RUSSERT: But if he's a total failure, why are you using, using his picture in your brochure?

REP. PAUL: Well, because he, he ran on a good program, and his, his idea was a limited government. Get rid of the Department of Education, a strong national defense.

MR. RUSSERT: George Herbert Walker Bush, this is according to Ron Paul: "`Bush is a bum,' Paul wrote in" "November" 15th, "1992 issue of his newsletter, the `Ron Paul Political Report.'" And asked about the current President Bush, whether he voted for him in 2004: "Paul says no: `He misled us in 2000.'" Asked if he voted for Bush in 2000. No, "`I didn't vote for him then, either. I wasn't convinced he was a conservative.'" And actually, in 1987, you submitted a letter of resignation to the Republican Party: "I therefore resign my membership in the Republican Party and enclose my membership card." If Reagan's a failure, Bush 41 is a bum, and you didn't vote for Bush 41--41's a bum and 43 you didn't vote for, and you resigned from the Republican Party, why you running as a Republican candidate for president?

REP. PAUL: Because I represent what Republicanism used to be. I represent the group that wanted to get rid of the Department of Education, the part, that part of the Republican Party that used to be non-interventionists overseas. That was the tradition, the Robert/Taft wing of the party. There was a time when the Republicans defended individual liberty and the Constitution and decreased spending. So the radicals, the ones who really don't belong in the Republican Party and why the Republican Party is shrinking, why the base is so small, is because they don't stand for these ideals any more. So I stand for the ideals of the Republican Party. I've been elected 10 times as Republican. I've been a Republican all my life except for that one year that I ran as a Libertarian. But, no, I represent the Republican ideals, I think, much more so that the individuals running for the party right now.

Given your hostile views toward the Republican Party it Sounds like you are going to run as an independent. You've done it before:
MR. RUSSERT: If, if you do not win the Republican nomination for president, will you run as an independent in 2008?

REP. PAUL: I have no intention to do that.

MR. RUSSERT: Absolute promise.

REP. PAUL: I have no intention of doing that.

MR. RUSSERT: Well, but no intention's a wiggle word.

REP. PAUL: Well, OK, I deserve one wiggle now and then, Tim. I mean, what the devil...

MR. RUSSERT: So no--so no Shermanesque statement.

REP. PAUL: You know, I...

MR. RUSSERT: "I will not sun as an independent."

REP. PAUL: Well, I can be pretty darned sure that I have no intention, no plans of doing it, and that's about 99.9 percent. I don't like people who are such absolutists, "I will never do this, or I will win, I'm going to come in first." I don't like those absolutists terms in politics.

MR. RUSSERT: But the door's open a little bit.

REP. PAUL: Not very much. It really isn't. I, I don't--Tim, we just raised $10 million in two days. We haven't even had a race, we have February 5th coming up. We have a campaign to run. Why--do you ask all the other--how many other candidates have you asked, "Are you going to run as a third party candidate if you don't win?" Have you asked John McCain that?

MR. RUSSERT: Well, if someone has a history of running as a third party candidate, sure. You ran in '88 as a Libertarian.

REP. PAUL: Yeah, well, I know...

MR. RUSSERT: It's a logical question.

REP. PAUL: ...but there are independents. So I--ask them, too.

Paul the Isolationist:
MR. RUSSERT: Under President Paul, if North Korea invaded South Korea, would we respond?

REP. PAUL: I don't--why should we unless the Congress declared war? I mean, why are we there? Could--South Korea, they're begging and pleading to unify their country, and we get in their way. They want to build bridges and go back and forth. Vietnam, we left under the worst of circumstances. The country is unified. They have become Westernized. We trade with them. Their president comes here. And Korea, we stayed there and look at the mess. I mean, the problem still exists, and it's drained trillion dollars over these last, you know, 50 years. So stop--we can't afford it anymore. We're going bankrupt. All empires end because the countries go bankrupt, and the, and the currency crashes. That's what happening. And we need to come out of this sensibly rather than waiting for a financial crisis.

Would you get rid of the public schools or not?:
MR. RUSSERT: And you actually go further. You said this. "Abolish the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency and dismantle every other agency except the Justice and Defense Departments." And then you went on. "If elected president, Paul says he would abolish public schools, welfare, Social Security and farm subsidies."

REP. PAUL: OK, you may have picked that up 20 or 30 years ago, it's not part of my platform. As a matter of fact, I'm the only one that really has an interim program. Technically, a lot of those functions aren't constitutional. But the point is I'm not against the FBI investigation in doing a proper role, but I'm against the FBI spying on people like Martin Luther King. I'm against the CIA fighting secret wars and overthrowing government and interfering...

MR. RUSSERT: Would you abolish them?

REP. PAUL: I would, I would not abolish all their functions, but I--the, the, the...

MR. RUSSERT: What about public schools? Are you still...

REP. PAUL: OK, but let's go, let's go with the CIA. They're, they're involved in, in, in torture. I would abolish that, yes. But I wouldn't abolish their right and our, our requirement to accumulate intelligence for national defense purposes.

Read the entire transcript...

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