Channel: Fox News
Megyn Kelly: Well, here in this country, there are no delays for the Tea Party Express. Right now, hundreds of rallies taking place across the United States and they come on the biggest day for this young political movement: Tax Day, April 15th. Meantime, a new poll puts one figure popular with Tea Partiers virtually neck and neck with President Obama. Would you look at that? A survey by Rasmussen Reports finds that President Obama has a 1 percentage point edge over Republican Texas Congressman Ron Paul in a hypothetical 2012 race. As you probably know, Congressman Ron Paul ran for the Republican nomination back in 2008. Joining me now is Congressman Paul. Congressman, what do you think of that? Just one point behind the President?
Ron Paul: Well, it’s a small victory I guess, but not too much to think about. We’ll have to wait and see what that means. But I was fascinated with it. It goes to shows that there’s a lot of frustration out there especially with independents, and also some Democrats, because I argue the case for limited government. Even when Obama pretends he’s for limited government, civil liberties and maybe a less aggressive war, he doesn’t pursue those issues. So I think it’s interesting, I hope it has significance, but right now I think it’s a little bit premature to put too much stake on this.
Megyn Kelly: You know, we all watched you during the primary process last presidential election, and you had a libertarian message back then. You believe in limited government and you argued that on virtually every point. And nonetheless, it didn’t seem to resonate that much with the voters at that time. Do you think that given what we’ve seen in this country since then, that you will have a better shot if you decide to give it another go come 2012?
Ron Paul: Well, at least the message is going to have a better shot, because I think the message is spreading. I think the attention that the libertarian message got came about after financial crisis hit, because that’s what I had been talking about the most, was the financial problems that we face and the difficulty we have with this deficit and the bubbles that we have. I thought it probably would fade, any interest in what I was doing after the campaign, but actually the interest has grown. I think it’s the problems that we face and people are realizing that the government is inept, they’re not capable of delivering what they promise. How can the message of freedom not grow in strength? The people need something, they’ve neglected that issue, and now when it’s offered to them, they say “Yes, it makes a whole lot of sense because we can’t depend on borrowing money from China for our prosperity.” They know we’re going to have to go back to work and we’re going to have to pay some of these bills, so I think it’s a very attractive message.
Megyn Kelly: You know, those principles are embodied by the Tea Party movement, and we see those on their signs and when they give interviews, the folks who go out on these rallies. But it’s not just the Tea Partiers who feel this way. You know, we saw on the lead up to the healthcare legislation, the polls repeatedly against that legislation as it was styled, and yet, Congressman Paul, as you know, as the country knows by now, the lawmakers pushed it through. The Democrats were determined to push it through. And so as this movement, the Tea Party movement grows and the push for limited government grows, does it matter if that disconnect between what the people want and what the lawmakers do continues?
Ron Paul: Well, at least we have something we can do about it, and that’s elections. I mean, there’s a lot of frustrations in this country and loss of liberty, but if people want to stand up and do something and work for somebody. I think the election in Massachusetts, who would have ever dreamed of a Republican supported by the Tea Party Movement could win elections in Massachusetts? Something significant is going on. So we still have that option. When the American people speak out, they can bring changes to Washington. Most of the time, they’re speaking out for more government. We’ve been so complacent, we’ve been so rich, we can borrow, but that’s all coming to an end. Now, the people have to speak out, and they are and that’s what this grassroots movement is all about. The Tea Party Movement is one part of it. Like you say, some people outside of the Tea Party Movement are upset, and I think that Rasmussen poll showed that the average independent is looking for something different. So I think we live in very interesting times and I think they’re very healthy. There’s no reason in the world why we can’t present the case for constitutional government, personal liberty, free market economics, and for me, a more sensible foreign policy.
Megyn Kelly: Congressman Paul, do you think, I asked this somebody the other day. Do you think that there’s any getting the tentacles that government has placed into our lives out on a go forward basis? Are we just stuck with these massive entitlement programs that we have now, from Social Security to Medicare and Medicaid, now the healthcare overhaul, government running some of the auto industry, government pushing on the banks and so on. Is that just the way it’s going to be?
Ron Paul: I think so for a while longer, even though the growing resentment is there and something has to be done. But I think we’re going to get more help in the fall. We’re not going to all of a sudden have a majority who’s going to vote and abolish some of these programs, because politically it’s just so difficult. I think what will happen is the bankruptcy will bring it to an end. Just think of the Soviet system, they were a military empire, but it ended without us fighting them. They ended for economic reasons. Our system is not like the Soviet system, but economically it’s deeply flawed, it’s built on a welfare system, fiat money, and debt. And that comes to an end. So when the government can’t take care of the people they promised to take care of, the people will have to act on their own. That’s when I think more independence of the states will occur, that’s why you hear talk about nullification and 10th Amendment movements. That means the people are getting ready “Just leave me alone, I’ll take care of myself.” I think that’s very healthy. So I think it’s going to be the collapse of the dollar system and our bond market and rapid inflation that will drive people to self-reliance saying hopefully we can do that peacefully and have a transition and very simply, all we need to do is follow our Constitution and that’s the kind of government we would have.
Megyn Kelly: What do you think, before I let you go, what is the single most important change you would like to see in this country to get us back on what you consider to be the right track?
Ron Paul: That is to emphasize the issue of liberty. The purpose of all political action should be the protection of liberty. With the confidence that when you have a free society and make free choices, you can have the most prosperous society. If you want to have people strive for excellence, the best way to do that is to get the government out. You can’t improve people’s attitudes and their perspective on society by force. So this is what we need. We need the confidence we once had in a free society where people can take care of themselves. So the goal of all political action should be to promote liberty.
Megyn Kelly: Are we going to see you on the ticket again in 2012 sir?
Ron Paul: No way of knowing that at this moment because I don’t know. No plans made.
Megyn Kelly: All right. We’ll be watching. Congressman Ron Paul, always a pleasure. Thanks for coming on.
Ron Paul: All right. Thank you.