After their recent exchange during a Larry King Live interview, Congressman Paul challenges Ben Stein (and others who share his position) to a public debate over our nation’s foreign policy and what truly motivates terrorists.
Date of recording: 12/30/2009
Jesse Benton: Dr. Paul, there has been a lot of activity on the Internet about an interview you did on Monday night on Larry King. Why don’t you tell us just a little bit about that?
Ron Paul: Well, that was an interesting interview, so it caught me by surprise. But this is a sort of run-in with Ben Stein when that happened, when he challenged me and challenged my credibility as far as what I was talking about when dealing with Yemen. It sort of reminded me of an incident during the campaign. The Giuliani incident… all of a sudden I was shocked about the charge. He had never heard such a thing that maybe our policies have something to do with the desire to come here and harm us. It’s the old blowback theory that has been around a long time and was devised by the Central Intelligence Agency.
So I was a bit shocked. But what I really didn’t enjoy was the shouting, and I have to confess I was a participant in that. But, you know, obviously it was a little bit upsetting to me. But I think it was very, very important issue and he took a position that was exactly the opposite of what I think we should be doing. He was defending it and he felt very strongly about it. But I think it’s very harmful to us. But I think this whole idea of foreign policy and what it means to us and whether it helps us or not, I think it’s very, very important.
Jesse Benton: Obviously, this is a very important issue and an issue that a lot of Americans are still learning about and making up their minds about. How would you like to see us work towards resolving this?
Ron Paul: Well, I think we have to have open discussion. And I do take the television interviews with the hope that I can get information out and persuade people that the founders were right, that we shouldn’t have entangling alliances and we shouldn’t be the policeman of the world, and we can’t afford it. And I think our side is making some progress. I think a lot of people in this country agree with that issue. But policies aren’t really changing; whether it’s Republican or Democrat. I think the most important thing is discussion. But unfortunately even though I would say there was a net benefit to going on Larry King and having that so-called discussion with Ben Stein, I think we should have more than that. I’d like to see a real debate. Matter of fact, I’d be very pleased to debate Ben Stein. I’d like to see if he would. That way we could have a balanced time, have a good moderator, and really seriously discuss this issue. So I think somebody like Bob Schieffer would be just a great moderator to do something like that. Or maybe some school or somebody do it. But this would be a challenge not only to me and to those who believe as I do, but it would be a challenge to Ben Stein and the neoconservatives who think that we should have this massive presence around the world and that we should be bombing these countries in the name of national defense. So I hereby challenge Ben Stein. Would you like to debate? If you do, I’ll meet you.
Jesse Benton: I don’t know about you folks, but I sure think a Ron Paul – Ben Stein debate would be pretty cool.