Ron Paul, Peter Schiff on Freedom Watch

This April 15, Ron Paul joined Peter Schiff, Lew Rockwell, Michelle Muccio, Shelly Roche and Liam Fox on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s online show “Freedom Watch” in a refreshing discussion about Somali Pirates, a recent DHS Report on Right-Wing Extremism, and other economic and political developments.

Part 1: (Ron Paul)
Part 2: (Ron Paul)
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:
Part 6:

Channel: Fox News Strategy Room (online only)
Show: Freedom Watch
Host: Judge Andrew Napolitano
Date: 4/15/2009

Transcript of Ron Paul’s appearance (starts here)


Judge Napolitano: It’s my great pleasure to invite one of the great defenders of our Constitution and of our freedom in the halls of Congress today. My good friend, Congressman Ron Paul, joins us on the telephone. Congressman Paul, welcome back to Freedom Watch. Where do we find you today? Are you on one of the rallies?

Ron Paul: Well, I’m in Texas in between interviews and appointments and on my way to a rally shortly, so it’s been a pretty busy day, and I’m very pleased. There’s a lot of attention about the tax rallies and, lo and behold, there has been an interest in Marque and Reprisal and the economy and all of a sudden, these other subjects come up like use of our civil liberties and profiling us. So this is all very interesting.

Judge Napolitano: You know that I have argued, and you have joined me in this argument, that the PATRIOT Act is one of the great abominations in modern times, and when I told my colleagues at the Fox News Channel this morning, one of the most terrifying things about this Department of Homeland Security report is that it chills our First Amendment freedoms. They said, “What do you mean?”

I said it allows the government to put its nose right in our face because under the PATRIOT Act, FBI and DHS, Department of Homeland Security agents, can get our phone records and monitor every keystroke on every laptop they want on their own.

They can write themselves a search warrant without having to go to a federal judge as the Constitution requires. Have the chickens come home to roost? Have the people in the Congress who gladly gave this power to George W. Bush now fear [of] how this power will be used by Barack H. Obama.

Ron Paul: Yeah, and they’re coming a little bit too late, but, you know, you also have to think of what the progressives are going to do. I know some are speaking out against that, but very few. But just think of how many progressive, good civil libertarians from the left didn’t like what Bush was doing, but all of a sudden, they are not getting anything that they expect that they were going to get from Obama.

I mean, he’s just as bad and he, of course, has lulled to sleep some of those individuals who were strongly opposed to it, so hopefully the coalition between the good people in the right and the good people in the left and all the libertarians and constitutionalists will stick together no matter who is getting abused. I mean, we have to stand up for this.

You know, I used to think that I had to always be on guard against overstating our dangers or lose credibility. I think today that there should be no caution because this danger is growing by leaps and bounds whether it’s on economic or foreign policy or on our civil liberties.

So I think that it is great for me to see the people coming out and mostly the economy is prompting these tax day rallies.

Judge Napolitano: Right.

Ron Paul: But they should be crying out against big government in all areas.

Judge Napolitano: The report is really terrifying. It lumps in along with skinheads and race baiters, people opposed to abortion, people fearful of the size of the federal government, people concerned about immigration. I guess these are thoughts and ideas that the government would just as soon we didn’t discuss and when you think of the powers that the government has gladly given when it was their tyrant, George Bush, now fearfully given, from the Republican point of view, when it’s a Democratic tyrant. They should have known what was coming.

Ron Paul: That’s for sure.

Judge Napolitano: The rallies are fascinating to me. These rallies started out as your idea, as the ideas of Ron Paul for President. Suddenly, they’re mainstream. Suddenly, the whole Republican party, many of whom crazily rejected you when you were running for the Republican nomination are joining in these things and they can’t wait to get on the podium. What do you make of that?

Ron Paul: Well, you know, they’re not actually joining Ron Paul in that group, but they want to take credit and they want to, you know, move in and take over, so they see that there’s a political benefit to this, which is I think of a very positive sign and gives us credibility.

But at the same time, people should be on their guard because they’re just going to move in to promote their neocon big government policies, then it won’t do much good at all. But they certainly have, I mean, the Republican party has really jumped on this. But quite frankly, you know, they haven’t, you know, had any outreach to me or talked to me at all about, you know, wondering where we get our enthusiasm or how we energize young people. That question has not come yet to me.

Judge Napolitano: On my radio show this morning, I was arguing that when Republicans get up, Republican office holders, Republican members of Congress, to speak at these rallies, if they voted in favor of the PATRIOT Act, or if they voted in favor of the bailout, the TARP funds in September, or if they voted for the stimulus in February, they should be booed along with anybody else who did that no matter what party they belong to. These are Johnny-come-latelies who are still big government people.

Ron Paul: Yeah and even, you know, in some of the rallies, they don’t want the elected officials to speak and that’s a mixed argument, but I will be speaking at the one that I will attend up near Houston, just on the edge of Houston, but there will be a lot of other politicians that are very, very […], very moderate. They did everything that George Bush told them. They are anxiously attending these rallies because I think they see the handwriting on the wall.

Judge Napolitano: I’m interviewing Congressman Ron Paul who is not physically with us today who is on the telephone, and next to me is Shelly Roche and you can what’s the word, twitter?

Shelly Roche: Twitter.

Judge Napolitano: You can twitter Shelly at Your tweets at Twitter will make their way to me and will form part of our discussion. We might even have one for Congressman Paul before we let him go. You had, Congressman Paul, a fascinating idea about what we should do for the pirates taking over private merchant ships and it goes back to the time of Thomas Jefferson and a clause in the Constitution that even most constitutional scholars are unfamiliar with. Tell us your idea.

Ron Paul: Well, the principle is the provision in the Constitution that authorizes Congress to issue letters of Marque and Reprisal, and this comes up when we have a problem or an enemy to deal with, but it’s not really clearly identifiable. With terrorism, people coming into our country to do harm would be an example and now, the piracy on the high seas. We can’t, hopefully… I mean, I’m sure somebody would like to try, they might want to declare war against Somalia and send in troops or something like that.

But to prevent that, the founders I think were pretty astute. They said, “Why don’t you have a mini-war? Why don’t you permit the people who are most in danger to act in behalf of the United States government to protect their property, and at that time it was internationally accepted that these people will follow the rules of law. They just can’t go out and be pirates themselves and kill. They had to be responsible and they could retrieve their goods that had been stolen, but they could fire back —

Judge Napolitano: Right.

Ron Paul: — and it would be legitimatized. But today, just like on the airplanes, they are not allowed to have their weapons in and they’re told not to do this, “the government will take care of you” and the companies don’t want to have it. But they’re the ones who are responsible. It shouldn’t be the American taxpayer and the American Navy. There is no way they can patrol all the high seas and I am predicting that this incident that we just went through will accelerate the violence at the same time. You wait and see. There’s going to be an appropriation coming along to massively increase the size of our Navy.

Judge Napolitano: Well, yeah. One of your Republican colleagues, not someone you agree with, I don’t remember his name from Colorado, announced today, because Congress is not in session that next week he will introduce legislation to have the Navy accompany every one of these merchant ships, which would be a physical and a financial impossibility.

I think Shelly has a question for you from one of the good folks that has been watching and listening.

Shelly Roche: Yes. Congressman Paul. This is from Betsy Ross and she would like to know…

Judge Napolitano: Is that really her name?

Shelly Roche: That’s her screen name.

Judge Napolitano: Great name.

Ron Paul: Hi, Betsy.

Shelly Roche: I know. It’s appropriate for today. She would like to know about the questionable constitutionality of the 16th and 17th Amendments.

Judge Napolitano: Oh, you want to weigh in on that, Ron.

Ron Paul: Well, I can rather quickly because I discuss it a lot. I think it was improperly ratified, the 16th. But it really doesn’t matter. I think it’s good to debate it and expose it. But we’ll get rid of the IRS and the 16th Amendment by repeal or [maybe] people are finally going to get fed up, and there will be a tax revolt and so much chaos and violence in our streets, so nobody [will pay taxes anyway].

But on the 17th, I never think of the 17th as being illegally ratified. There may be an argument there that I’m not aware of, but the whole thing is I don’t like the 17th, and that’s the one that allows the senators to be elected by popular vote rather than representing the states. That was the symbol or the essence of the states being independent and sovereign, that the legislatures elected the senators and sent them to us. If we did it that way, we would certainly eliminate all these buying and selling of senators like they have in the Illinois.

Judge Napolitano: In Illinois.

Ron Paul: But it wouldn’t eliminate it, of course, because man is prone to corruption.

Judge Napolitano: Congressman Paul, we’re going to let you go. We deeply appreciate your time with us. I wish that I could be at that rally that you’re going to attend tonight. I’ll be with you in spirit as well as almost everybody who is watching and listening to us now. Thanks very much.

Ron Paul: All right, Judge. Thank you.


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  • Dfens

    Newt Gingrich’s Congress balanced the budget, well, sort of, but then he gave us NAFTA too. While I’m sick of his phoney populism, I found Sean Hannity to be even worse. That guy is nothing but a party mouth piece and an idiot.

  • Dimitri

    I am so sick of butthole Newt Gengrid trying take credit for these teaparties. Ron Paul’s been fighting for the Constitution while that r.i.n.o. was spending me in debt. Who’s with me?