On October 29, 2008, Ron Paul was interviewed by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. He criticized Obama and McCain, explained why he stayed in the Republican party, and described how America fell into Osama bin Laden’s terrible trap.
RM: And what about 2008’s grassroots sensation of the right wing, Republican Congressman Dr. Ron Paul. Dr. Paul stole the show at the Republican primary debates, largely by setting himself apart from the perceived pillars of the GOP. And last month at a third party press conference in in Washington, Dr. Paul announced he would not support John McCain. So what is the future of the Republican party, and who’s gonna be heading it up? Joining us now, former Libertarian presidential candidate, current Republican Congressman Ron Paul. Congressman Paul, thank you so much for joining us tonight.
RP: Thank you. Nice to be with you.
RM: I should speak more precisely and say that you were the Libertarian party’s nominee for President in 1998. You were a Republican Presidential candidate this year. Why did you decide to stick with the Republican party right through the primaries, and not try to be the nominee of the Constitution Party or the Libertarian Party this year?
RP: Mainly because the laws are very biased against people doing that. Some states won’t even allow you to do it. But the system is not very democratic for third parties and alternate choices. All the rules and all the laws are written by Republicans and Democrats, so it’s very hard to get in the debates. If I hadn’t been in the Republican primary I wouldn’t get into the debates. It’s very hard to get on ballots. Although they’ve done relatively well, it takes a lot of money. They’ll spend half their money just getting on ballots. So the system is very biased against competition, and that’s the reason so many of us, and I think a large number of the American people, in spite of this horse race going on, a large number of the American people, if maybe not the majority, think that really they don’t have a good choice and that the system is very biased and that the status quo is going to be maintained.
RM: By virtue of the fact that you did get into the debates and you worked hard at the Republican primaries, right through them, and you made a lot of money and you got a lot of attention, you attracted a lot of support, particularly from people who had seen themselves as outside the traditional market for politicos. You brought a lot of people into the political system who didn’t think there was a place for them in it before you. And for that I’ve always had a lot of admiration for how you ran this campaign this year. I wonder how you see those folks who you mobilized moving forward in the electorate. Do you think they are still alienated from he two party system, or could you imagine them lending their support to somebody?
RP: Well, a lot of them are running for office right now. You’d be surprised, there’s some states there’s 20 and 30 individuals up running, and they did it spontaneously due to the enthusiasm built in the campaign. New Hampshire and Minnesota, and different places, there’s a lot of candidates, we can’t even keep up with them, just as we couldn’t keep up with how we were raising the money in the primary.
There’s a lot of spontaneous energy because the message is so great. The message of individual liberty really attracted the young people. It’s interesting that a lot of young people that Obama has, go back and forth, they support him but they like me, and yet our message is significantly different, but our message is very attractive to young people. They like the idea of self-reliance and individual liberty. They like to get out of these wars. They love the idea of talking about monetary policy, which neither McCain nor Obama will dare talk about. Why do we have a Federal Reserve, and now that we have this financial crisis going on, the young people are really excited. Well, this is what we’ve been talking about not only for the past two years, but many more years. So it’s very appropriate to talk about this financial calamity, how it’s related to this trillion dollar a year expenditure that we spend on our foreign policy, and how it’s bringing us to our knees, and how we’ve more or less capitulated to Osama bin Laden’s idea of getting us over there, bogging us down overseas in a war like they did to the Soviets, bankrupting this country.
So we have fallen into a terrible trap, and right now we’re expanding it, and unfortunately, the two major candidates aren’t even talking about Syria and Pakistan, and the things that are important, because they essentially both agree with that viewpoint. They both say, send more troops to Afghanistan, and quite frankly, I am not expecting the troops, and regardless of whether Obama wins, that they’ll be home in 16 months. That is just pure political talk.
Both candidates support the same foreign policy, same monetary policy, neither one talks about balancing the budget, so the young people want to hear something different. They love the message of individual liberty. They love the idea of defending the Constitution, you know, that old fashioned idea, and that’s what has energized our campaign, actually it’s given me a lot of energy as well.
RM: Former presidential candidate, current Republican Congressman and political phenom, Dr. Ron Paul. Thank you so much for joining us tonight, Sir