Congressman Paul talks with Wolf Blitzer ahead of the State of the Union Address
Wolf Blitzer: Some Republicans are deeply concerned that their party won’t be speaking in one voice tonight in response to the President’s State of the Union Address. Let’s talk about that and more with outspoken Republican Congressman, former presidential candidate, Ron Paul of Texas. He’s joining us from Capitol Hill. Congressman, thanks very much!
Ron Paul: Good to be with you, Wolf.
Wolf Blitzer: Should there be two Republican in effect, responses-two Republicans responding on television tonight to the President as Michele Bachmann is joining Paul Ryan in separate responses. Is that a good idea?
Ron Paul: Well, there’s going to be a lot of people doing a lot of talking. I’ll be talking about it afterwards too for a fairly long time, but it won’t be in competition. So, I don’t make too much of that. It’s certainly something people can do if they want to do it. I haven’t heard that many people worrying about it but I do think it does symbolize that we’re doing what we’re trying to do, and that is to get this budget under control. It’s no easy task. You’re not going to have unanimous agreement immediately on exactly what to do and when. I mean, it took us about 40 years to get into this mess. It’s not going to take one election to get us out of it.
Wolf Blitzer: How pleased or not pleased are you by the President’s apparent move to the center since the mid-term election, bringing in big business leaders like Bill Daley and others, and willing to compromise on taxes? How pleased are you by that?
Ron Paul: Well, it’s better than being more argumentative. It signs that I don’t think it’s going to do any good. Sometimes, when I see them bringing in CEOs in certain companies that are very much involved in the military-industrial complex in big government, that suggests to me that corporatism is alive in both the Republicans and the Democrats. Just bringing business people in doesn’t satisfy me. I want less government. I want more freedom. They talk so much about the budget and balancing the budget, that’s very, very important and I’ve never voted for an appropriation. I don’t vote for this budget. But, more importantly is the size of the government. If we care about our freedoms and our policies, we have to have a smaller government. We shouldn’t over-concentrate on a balanced budget. If we could cut our budget in half and it wasn’t balanced, it would be better than having today’s budget balanced because that would mean we’d have to raise a lot of taxes. So, I try my best to make sure we understand what we’re talking about and get the semantics correct.
Wolf Blitzer: Are you going to be sitting tonight with a Democrat or a Republican or in other words, do you have a date?
Ron Paul: No, I do not. I haven’t made a decision on that.
Wolf Blitzer: Why not? Everybody else seems to be making decisions on that. Do you think it’s a good idea that they’ve divided up-they used to divide up the Democrats on one side, the Republicans on the other side. This year, a lot of people, after Tucson, they want to sit together.
Ron Paul: I think it’s a bunch of fluff.
Wolf Blitzer: A bunch of what?
Ron Paul: Fluff! I don’t think it has a lot of meaning, but I sit with Dennis Kucinich and other progressive Democrats when we want to talk about civil liberties and foreign policy. We do that routinely in the middle of the auditorium-middle of the House. So, I think that’s the only thing that counts. I think sitting together tonight because the media has gotten ahold of this and is making a big deal out of it. I’m not against it. I hope it does a lot of good but I still think it’s a lot of fluff.
Wolf Blitzer: A lot of fluff. Alright, one final question. I know you’re living at least in Washington with your son, the newly elected Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul. He’s going to be joining us tomorrow. How’s that working out sharing a house with your son?
Ron Paul: It’s still pretty new and on your program once I said I wasn’t going to be the cook and now, I’m trying to decide on what the chores will have to be but no, it’s working fine. We’ll be fine and I think, he’ll have a decision to make in about six months or so-what he’ll do with his family and where he’ll have a more permanent places to stay. This is going to work out fine. It works for his schedule and fits my schedule okay as well.
Wolf Blitzer: He’s lucky to have his dad in Washington. Lucky in more ways than just that.
Ron Paul: Thank you.
Wolf Blitzer: Congressman, thank you very much.
Ron Paul: I appreciate it, Wolf.