Show: Dylan Ratigan Show
Host: Eliot Spitzer
Eliot Spitzer: Joining us now is Republican congressman Ron Paul of Texas. He addresses the crowd tomorrow night at the SRLC and could set an upset in the conference straw poll. Congressman Paul is with us via Skype. Congressman, thank you so much. First of all, to go to the biggest news of the day, Justice Steven’s retirement, will the Republicans in the Senate fillibuster the President’s nominee, whomever that may be?
Ron Paul: Oh, I have no idea, I don’t think they would have a rule and say we’re gonna fillibuster no matter who it is, but they certainly have a right to debate it. They shouldn’t just went along to get along and appoint or endorse the guy that was appointed, that wouldn’t be anything. Their job is to investigate, if they don’t like him, they’re supposed to vote against him, I don’t see why there’s such a big deal over that.
Eliot Spitzer: Well, no question that they have the right to inquire and ask good probing questions of course. But let me ask you this, if Justice Stevens were renominated, go back 30 years, if he were 30 years younger, if he were nominated today with his record, do you think the Republicans in the Senate would vote for him?
Ron Paul: I have no idea because I can’t look into their minds. What we should look at is for a man who understands the Constitution, or woman, and somebody that would protect civil liberties, will understand property rights and if they don’t and that’s what you believe in, you’d have an obligation to your constituents not to endorse somebody that you say you disagree with.
Eliot Spitzer: Congressman, let’s jump now to the SRLC, where you’re going to be making your presentation and there will be a straw poll. Will you pull a big upset and win that straw poll just as you did at CPAC?
Ron Paul: I have no idea, I was pretty surprised about CPAC, I didn’t expect that.
Eliot Spitzer: Do you think what Governor Romney is doing where he is apparently, there are reports that he is buying tickets for people only if they were voting for him, is that fair play in this context?
Ron Paul: Well, it’s not fair but I guess it’s legal and I guess that’s the way it’s been done in the past so I’m much more pleased to get enthusiasm and that’s certainly what I have been able to get from the young people, especially the young people in colleges because they are enthusiastic about me arguing the case for civil liberties, a different foreign policy and free markets. That’s what encourages people, so I wouldn’t get much satisfaction. If I were as wealthy as Mitt Romney and I bought some votes, I wouldn’t get any satisfaction.
Eliot Spitzer: Let me jump on to an area where you and I actually agree which may surprise some folks. We have both been intentionally critical of the Fed and the role that the Fed played over the past many years in the creating the bubbles that crashed, caused the cataclysm in our economy. Why when you look at the current bills before the Senate and bills that passed the House, there’s virtually no fundamental governance reform at the Fed. Can that be changed and what would you do to the Fed right now?
Ron Paul: Well, I mean if I had my druthers, I’d just get rid of it, but the first step is to at least know what they’re doing. I have 319 co-sponsors of a bill that would audit the Federal Reserve. The Senate won’t go along with that so we’d have to fight it out in conference. But just to find out what they’re doing, this power that they have to create $2 trillion and are so arrogant, “Oh yeah we can take care of our buddies and we don’t have to answer any questions.”
Eliot Spitzer: Congressman, with the enormous political sway and popularity you have across America, why have you not led the charge to force the Fed to release all the emails that it has with AIG, with Goldman Sachs? Now let’s begin a popular crusade just as you in effect created the tea party on a specific issue of transparency of the Fed, so that we, the taxpayers can understand what the Fed thought, what they did and why they did it. Do you think there’s any possibility of success there?
Ron Paul: Well, I think we’ve actually accomplished that by getting such as strong endorsement for auditing the Fed. But you know when you’re asking for narrow records, I see looking at all the records so I’ve taken a broader brush. I want to know everything about it, I want to know who they loan the money to, like foreign governments and foreign central banks and international financial institutions, all the private things, the things that you mentioned are absolutely right and correct. But I’d [want to] know that plus more. What they’d like you to do is look at some of these lending agencies and they’ll say “Well, I guess we better give you some of that information and that’ll satisfy everybody.” We need much broader investigation.
Eliot Spitzer: Just so it’s clear, I agree with you. I begin sometimes with that specific questions, I think narrowing it so we can begin and get there and then let’s go out broader than that as we work forwards. Thank you so much for joining us, Congressman, and good luck in the straw poll and have a good time down there at SRLC.