Ron Paul: Retired but not relenting

Reena Ninan, Richard Coolidge, and Jordyn Phelps
Power Players
Ron Paul: Retired but not relenting

Power Players

Ron Paul doesn’t miss much about being in Congress.

The retired Texas Republican congressman and presidential candidate tells “Power Players” he’s relieved to no longer have to book his flights based on House Speaker John Boehner’s schedule and has left the “political shenanigans” of Washington behind.

Paul, who serves as the chairman of the libertarian advocacy group Campaign for Liberty, which was born out of his presidential campaign, says he now gets to focus on the issues of “economics, noninterventionist foreign policy, and personal civil liberties” that he’s “been trying to talk about for 30 years.”

“We have a revolution going on now,” Paul says. “It's an intellectual revolution. It isn't this political shenanigans that everyone wants to talk about.”

Asked what the chances are that there will be another Paul presidential campaign in 2016, with his son Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., as the candidate, Paul says he hasn’t talked to his son about the possibility of a presidential campaign.

“Well, you'll have to ask him,” Paul says. And he jokingly adds, “It just doesn't look like I would be the likely candidate in 2016.”

The Campaign for Liberty recently stoked rumors that the younger Paul is considering a run for president in 2016 following the defeat of his Senate bill that called for halting U.S. aid to Egypt. The bill failed by an 83-13 vote, and Ron Paul’s group singled out Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., another rumored 2016 candidate, calling his vote against the bill “disgraceful” in a written statement.

Paul acknowledged that “some people might say” it was a defense of his son, but that the point of the statement was instead to draw attention to what he sees as a failed U.S. foreign policy in Egypt. 

“We prop up a dictator, he gets kicked out, so we prop up an election; they elect their own people, so we kick him out, we have a military coup, and we don't stop weapons,” Paul says of Egypt. “So that is the point.”

On the topic of the recent NSA surveillance leaks, Paul says it is “horrible” but that it came as no surprise to him.

“They’ve been doing this for years,” Paul says of the government. “I've been complaining about them spying on us for 30 years. So it shouldn't surprise anybody about what they're doing to us.”

For more of the interview with Paul, including why he says the recent back-and-forth between his son and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is “irrelevant,” check out this episode of “Power Players.”

ABC's Betsy Klein, Pat O'Gara, Wayne Boyd, and David Girard contributed to this episode.