Transcript of Yahoo! and ABC News interview with Ron Paul

Yahoo! News
Newsmakers

ABC News - Digital Media Group

"GOP Candidates"

Interview With Ron Paul

Correspondent:  Terry Moran

Producer:  Michelle Levi

TERRY MORAN:

00:00:00;17     So, we are live on ABCNews.com and Yahoo News for an original series called Newsmakers.  And we're happy to be joined here by Congressman Ron Paul.  Congressman, thanks for joining us.

RON PAUL:

00:00:09;25     Thank you.

TERRY MORAN:

00:00:10;11     First question.  When did you know that you wanted to become the president of the United States?

RON PAUL:

00:00:18;11     There was no precise moment.  I mean-- I've been interested in this (?) projects, you know, for a good many years.  In '88, I ran.  But-- at-- at that time, it was a struggle because I was running in a third party.  I didn't realize how biased (LAUGH) the system was against anybody outside the mainstream, because we wouldn't get interviews like this if you're in a (LAUGH) third party.

00:00:40;17     So-- so, I ran then.  But it was-- it was-- real serious four years ago, but still, the odds were great.  But it was only this year at the beginning of the year that it beca-- we-- all became aware-- that is, our organization and myself-- became aware that the country has finally come our direction.

00:00:58;09     You know, people were getting tired of the war.  They were understanding that the Federal Reserve had a lot to do with the bailouts.  The crisis had hit.  And it's the kinda thing I had been talkin' about for 20 years.  So, that is when we got very serious about what we were-- been doing-- within (?)--

TERRY MORAN:

00:01:12;16     There--

RON PAUL:

00:01:12;25     --all these years.

TERRY MORAN:

00:01:13;12     --there was no moment of truth when you said, "I can do that job.  I know I can do it."

RON PAUL:

00:01:17;04     No, not really.  That moment of truth was very gradual over 40 years, where-- when I first got into politics I knew-- with certainty deep down in-- in my mind and heart that-- the country was going in the wrong direction.  And that, of course, had a monetary issue.

00:01:33;20     Once we removed any restraint on the Federal Reserve to print money, I -- well, I was completely confident and still remains confident that that leads to big government spending, deficits, financial bubbles and then corrections and -- and then destruction of production.  And that's where we are today -- debt with no production, jobs are gone.  But it's -- has-- has engulfed the whole world.

TERRY MORAN:

00:01:54;08     Now, you've got-- what Governor Branstad of Iowa called the boldest plan to cut federal spending.

RON PAUL:

00:01:59;22     Right.

TERRY MORAN:

00:02:00;01     One trillion dollars in the first year, the elimination of five departments.  You got plenty of critics out there.  But I-- I want you to explain why you think that drastic measure will actually help create jobs.

RON PAUL:

00:02:15;01     Because we've been spending too much and printing too much and borrowing too much for so long, and it destroyed the jobs.  People see cutting a trillion dollars as a negative.  I see it as a positive.  It's taking a trillion dollars outta the hands of politicians (LAUGH) and bureaucrats.

00:02:28;22     I don't have a lotta respect for 'em.  And I wanna put it back in the hands of people who have-- more common sense.  I also s-- a lotta the other candidates talk about taxes-- and I do, too-- and the Republican, you know, although we have different programs-- most Republicans are against more taxes.  Nobody wants to raise taxes.

00:02:45;01     But I start one step back.  I call spending a tax.  Because spending-- means it has to be paid for.  And you can pay for it for raising taxes, borrowing money or printing money, which dilutes the value of the money.  Prices go up.  And that's the inflation tax.  So, that's the big tax.

00:03:03;00     So, by cutting spending, I cut taxes.  If you start one step back from just saying, "Well, we have government.  We're not gonna challenge our foreign policy.  We're not gonna challenge the entitlement system or the special interest system in government, running education and schools and just on and on.  No, we'll just sorta cut proposed increases five years from now and we'll pretend then.  And we'll try to convince the people in the country that we're really cutters."  So, no, it-- it needs to be bold because the mess we're in is bold.  I mean, we've had-- we've been going in the wrong direction for so long that tinkering of the edges won't help, won't help at all.

TERRY MORAN:

00:03:43;05     All right, lemme (PH)-- lemme give you a question.  We've asked folks at ABCNews.com and Yahoo-- to tell us what they wanted to ask you in an interview.  And-- this is a question from Cal (PH) from Yahoo.  And it's out there.  He says, "There are so many Independents and Democrats who do like you--

RON PAUL:

00:04:00;00     Right.

TERRY MORAN:

00:04:00;03     --"support your platform, but can't vote for you in these Republican primaries, many of them.  Would you run as a third party candidate?"

RON PAUL:

00:04:07;03     I-- I'm not gonna do that.  I'm not--

TERRY MORAN:

00:04:08;21     No?

RON PAUL:

00:04:08;22     --planning-- n-- no.  I'm not p--

TERRY MORAN:

00:04:10;29     You're not planning--

RON PAUL:

00:04:10;29     --having any--

00:04:11;06          (OVERTALK)

RON PAUL:

00:04:11;19     --I have no plans to do that.

TERRY MORAN:

00:04:13;02     Now (?), I don't know--

RON PAUL:

00:04:13;23     Somebody asked me the other day, "Why?  Why do you say you won't plan to do that?"  Because (LAUGH) I don't want to.  No.  And I'm in a middle of-- of a hot campaign.  So-- I want all the other candidates to be asked those same questions.  (LAUGH) You know?

TERRY MORAN:

00:04:26;01     But you would answer the call if you didn't get the Republican--

RON PAUL:

00:04:29;24     No--

TERRY MORAN:

00:04:29;30     --nomination?

RON PAUL:

00:04:30;10     --I'm not saying that at all.  I'm just saying that I'm in the middle of a campaign.  I'm campaigning very hard.  I have no plans, no intention.  And the answer-- the reason why I have no plan and intention?  'Cause I just flat-- (LAUGH) I don't wanna do it.

TERRY MORAN:

00:04:41;07     All right.  You're probably the most dramatically philosophical candidate.  You're a profound Libertarian.  You ran for one.  And I wanna give you a quote from the other side.  Elizabeth Warren, running for Senate in Massachusetts, got some attention with this quote.  And I'd just like to read it to you.  And you tell me why she's wrong.

00:05:02;03     She says, "There's nobody in this country who got rich on their own.  Nobody," she says.  "You built a factory out there?  Good for you.  But I wanna be clear.  You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for.  You hired workus (SIC)-- workers the rest of us paid to educate.  You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire departments that the rest of us paid for.  You don't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory.  Now, look, you built a factory, turned it into something terrific.  God bless.  Keep a hunk of it.  But part of the underlying social contract," she says, "is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."  Why is she wrong?

RON PAUL:

00:05:37;16     Because she's a socialist.  She wants the (LAUGH) the government to do all this.  Wait (?) the whole thing--

TERRY MORAN:

00:05:41;04     Educate children is socialism?

RON PAUL:

00:05:42;29     Well, in a way.  When the state runs things that-- that-- that is-- is-- isn't-- you know, a socialist idea, that it should be collective.  I'm for-- I preach home schooling and private schooling and competition-- in schools.  But what she forgets-- she's right-- you know, by the use of force, the government comes with a gun, they take money from you and they build a highway that, incidentally, you can use because you don't have any other choices.

00:06:05;29     But-- th-- the money had to come from productive effort.  She's saying it's the government?  Who's the government?  The government created nothing.  The government h-- only thing they can do is steal and rob people with a gun and forcibly transfer wealth from one person to another.  You take it-- the building of our railroads in our early history-- they were all subsidized and most of 'em went bankrupt except for one person, Hill (PH), who built the Northwestern (LAUGH) Iowa (?)-- Railroad f-- out to-- out to Seattle.

00:06:34;04     He-- he didn't get one penny from the government.  He was one of the very, very few, if not the only one of the new railroads that didn't-- din-- you know, get any money from the government and didn't go bankrupt.  So, I would say the opposite is true.  Yes, there are successes and we are forced to use some of the government programs.  But it's inefficient.  It costs more money.  And it was done by transferring wealth, not by creating wealth.

00:06:57;29     Governments are al-- always destructive in the production of wealth.  They pretend that they're gonna take care of us, like, "Well, the government's gonna give us all a house."  Look at what happened to the house.  The-- the big guys all got bailed out who ripped us off-- with all the derivatives and the banks-- they're still being protected.  Middle class lost.  And they lost their houses.  So, h-- her whole argument is absolutely wrong.

TERRY MORAN:

00:07:20;10     So, in Ron Paul's ideal America, there'd be no public highways, no public education.  There'd be no public air traffic control system.  There'd be no public protections for workers in coal mines, etcetera, etcetera.

RON PAUL:

00:07:32;23     Well-- that-- that's an overstatement, because it might be a lot better.  Because a lot of those functions can be picked up-- I think France has a private-- air traffic controls.  I mean, it's not like it's (?) strength.  The thing of it is, do you want government's inefficiency to do these programs or do you want another source to do it?

00:07:49;14     So-- that-- that-- that's a big difference.  So-- I-- I think it's-- how you wanna bring it about.  And I think the private sources-- you take roads-- there's no-- and there's nothing in our Constitution that says Texas can't build roads.  But Eisenhower, when he built the Interstate c-- r-- highway system, he-- he knew that he was on the edge of violating the co-- the-- the Constitution.

00:08:15;03     And he says, "Well, we'll justify it because it's necessary for national defense purposes."  So, there was a respect for this at one time.  But now, everything a government, federal government can do, everything at all.  But there's no prohibitions against government schools.  But there is no authority for the federal government to have a department of education and mess up our educational sys-- all they did was give us debt.

00:08:37;06     Here we are graduating kids that don't know what they're-- don't know where they're gonna get a job.  They owe a trillion (LAUGH) dollars.  Their education is poorer than ever.  And the costs have skyrocketed.  It's a total failure.  See, we are witnessing now the failure of 50, 60 years of economic planning.  The Keynesian model is a complete flop.  And that is why we're getting a lot more attention, because our approach is completely different and-- their failure is staring them in the face.  And they have a long way to go to clean up the mess they've created.

TERRY MORAN:

00:09:09;06     It is a lot different.  And one of the problems in Washington right now that people are very frustrated about-- gridlock.  So, are you a purist?  Do you compromise on these?  Or would you go to Washington and President Paul would be--

RON PAUL:

00:09:22;03     Well, there's--

TERRY MORAN:

00:09:22;13     --"My way or the highway"?

RON PAUL:

00:09:22;22     --two (?) (UNINTEL PHRASE).  See, I-- I don't compromise.  But I work with coalitions, which is a big difference.  So-- some of my (LAUGH) closest allies in Washington are progressives, you know, because they like a different approach to foreign policy.  They might think we oughta (PH) protect habeas corpus and not have secret prison and torture.

00:09:39;11     So, I work with them.  But then I work real close with-- conservatives who like to believe-- in-- in the free market.  But, yeah, there are certain things-- life is precious.  So, I-- I think that-- you-- you know, y-- the Declaration of Ind-- Independence was a rather (LAUGH) purist document.  You know, inalienable rights?  You have a right to your life and your liberty.  I just go one step further.  You should have the right to keep (LAUGH) the fruits of your labor, too.

TERRY MORAN:

00:10:06;29     Another question from our-- online colleagues.  This was-- this was also from-- from Yahoo.  And lemme-- lemme phrase it this say.  "Polls show that a majority of Americans, a substantial majority of Americans, believe that taxes on the wealthy should be increased.  Why do you in the Republican Party side with the millionaires and against the will of the people?"

RON PAUL:

00:10:29;24     Well, I try to sort all that out, because I'm pretty critical of the wealth of a lotta millionaire and billionaires, because they ripped us off.  They got tax ben-- you know, they-- (COUGHS) they got the benefits.  They got the bailout.  They-- enjoyed the benefits of the bubble.  They get contracts from-- from government.  And they're part of the military industrial complex.

00:10:47;11     The banking system is in bed with the government.  So, they don't deserve this money.  Th-- they not only should be taxed, but they should have all their benefits (LAUGH) removed.  But if you're productive and you're producing jobs and you're rich because the consumer voted for your product and made you rich because you made an honest livin', ga-- living-- gave 'em a good product at the right price, they shouldn't be punished.  If we don't sort the two out-- it's-- it's gonna be very destructive.  So-- yes, some of that is true.  But we-- we-- we better be a little bit wise on exactly who (LAUGH) gets the punishment here.

TERRY MORAN:

00:11:23;21     On foreign policy, as you said, you're different from most Republicans.  Bring the troops home, you say.  And not just from Iraq and Afghanistan-- but from other countries--

RON PAUL:

00:11:31;15     Right.

TERRY MORAN:

00:11:31;18     --in the Middle East, Asia, Europe.  If an American ally were under attack-- Israel from Iran, South Korea from North Korea, Taiwan from China-- would President Ron Paul honor our treaty obligations and defend our allies from that aggression--

RON PAUL:

00:11:48;08     Well--

TERRY MORAN:

00:11:48;23     --by sending troops if necessary (?).

RON PAUL:

00:11:49;11     --treaties-- treaties can not-- amend our Constitution.  So, because two generations ago somebody signed a piece of paper and said, "No (UNINTEL) wh-- no matter what happens-- to Taiwan or South Korea--

TERRY MORAN:

00:12:03;04     Or Israel.

RON PAUL:

00:12:04;00     Or Israel.  "No matter what happens, that you can commit the next generation to automatic war"-- that's immoral and it's not Constitutional.  But let's say-- and it's a serious problem-- somebody posed, you know, "What if a foreign country closed down the Panama Canal and, you know, is that-- well, what-- what-- what would you do?"

00:12:20;10     Well, I would-- look at it very carefully, study it, find out how serious it is.  And if it looks like it's a threat to our national security, I would go to the U.S. Congress, which is to the people, and say, "This is-- this is very serious.  And we need to make-- a collective decision on whether this is a threat to our national security."

00:12:38;12     And if it is, you declare war and you win it and you get it over with.  But I would not go to war on my own iss-- I would never go to the NATO-- NATO or the United Nation (SIC) and take my arch-- marching orders from an international body.  That is wrong.  And that's why we've been fighting perpetual wars.  That's why we've been in Afghanistan for ten years.  And that's also the reason we've never declared a war-- in-- since World War II.  And-- and-- and we haven't won a war either since that time.  And it has led to-- our bankruptcy.

TERRY MORAN:

00:13:07;28     All right, we're almost outta time here f-- with Yahoo.  But we're reaching a different audience.  We wanna have some fun.  This is the lightning round.  I'll just pop off some questions.  Quick answers.  Worst job you ever had?

RON PAUL:

00:13:17;12     (LAUGH) The worst job?  I've always enjoyed m-- my-- my jobs.  But-- you know-- (LAUGH) I'd have to think about it.  I don't have any--

TERRY MORAN:

00:13:25;08     All right.

RON PAUL:

00:13:25;15     --worst jobs.  I've always enjoyed every job I've done.  (LAUGH)

TERRY MORAN:

00:13:27;26     That's good.  TV guilty pleasure?  Is there sumpem (PH) you watch on TV that's a guilty pleasure, you think?

RON PAUL:

00:13:32;28     No.  (LAUGH) I don't-- I only watch news broadcasts from ABC.  (LAUGHTER)

TERRY MORAN:

00:13:37;09     That's it.  Favorite junk food?

RON PAUL:

00:13:40;15     Favorite junk food?  Oh, well, I've kidded about that.  I-- I don't think it's junk food because it tastes so good.  I-- I-- I am-- very soft-- on-- likin' chocolate chip cookies.  (LAUGH)

TERRY MORAN:

00:13:51;12     Right on.  Blackberry or iPhone?  What do you prefoo (?)?

RON PAUL:

00:13:55;12     Well-- I-- I-- I-- I use neither.  I use the i-- iPod right now-- iPad is what I carry and use.  And then I have a small little cell phone.  (LAUGH)

TERRY MORAN:

00:14:06;11     Happiest you've oth-- ever been other than your wedding day or the birth of your children?  Happiest day?

RON PAUL:

00:14:13;08     Let's see, (LAUGH) there's excitement.  And happiness is-- pretty well separate.  You know-- you know, if you separate it from these personal things, you know, like family-- I think it was the-- the independence I got after c-- college, medical school-- residency, military.  And I came in and opened up my medical practice here.  And I was responsible to takin' care of my patients.  And to me, it was very nice to know that I had been trained.  I worked a long time.  And I was finally-- ready to assume that responsibility and make a living (LAUGH) for myself.

TERRY MORAN:

00:14:51;05     Last one.  Theme song?

RON PAUL:

00:14:53;30     Theme song?

TERRY MORAN:

00:14:54;18     Do you have a theme song?

RON PAUL:

00:14:55;28     Born Free.  And I've said that off cr-- cross the top of my head.  But it is a pretty good song--

TERRY MORAN:

00:15:00;15     There you go.

RON PAUL:

00:15:00;25     --I like that.  (LAUGH)

TERRY MORAN:

00:15:01;09     Well, Congressman Paul, thanks very much.  And good luck on the trail.

RON PAUL:

00:15:03;28     Thank you.

* * *END OF TRANSCRIPT* * *