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Martha MacCallum: Alright, so let’s head back to America’s election headquarters for a minute here with two potential candidates now out of the GOP ring for 2012 that could have a major impact on the other Republican contenders of course, Mitt Romney leading the pack in our latest Fox News poll, he is followed by Mike Huckabee who now has announced that he will not run, and the end of last month Sarah Palin and Donald Trump were in a dead heat for 3rd and 4th place as you can see in that one, and now Donald Trump is out, so that changes that picture as well, so what does all this mean to another gentleman who joins me now by phone, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who has said he is in the running for the nomination himself, Congressman welcome, good to have you here today.
Ron Paul: Hello, good to be with you.
Martha MacCallum: Hi there, so since the last time you and I spoke which was on Friday, Mike Huckabee is now out, Donald Trump is now out, your thoughts on that.
Ron Paul: Well, it looks like it’s taking a while for this all to sort its way out but with Governor Huckabee leaving, I think that really does in many ways, probably helps me because he was seen as being very conservative and I think with Romney in the front, his biggest problem is that he’s more moderate on the issues, so I would think the economic conservatives that supported the governor may well come my direction.
Martha MacCallum: But in terms of, kind of your Libertarian philosophy and the kind of things that you are sort of continuing to speak out very strongly about with regard to helping flood victims for example on the Mississippi River and you also professed over the weekend that you think that the presidency is a very limited role and a person doesn’t have to be overly prepared for it, because it shouldn’t be as expansive perhaps as it is now, weigh in on some of this for us.
Ron Paul: That is true, I have a lot of respect for the Constitution, I don’t think presidents should be dictators, I don’t think they should go to war with a declaration, maybe we wouldn’t be in so much trouble, I don’t think we should be printing up money just because we need it, so I think it takes more courage to limit one’s power than it is to use it and abuse it, so our president and executive branches think of what the executive branch does, they assume the role of the legislative branch are running all the agencies and writing all these laws, I mean that should never be tolerated and shouldn’t be accepted. So I think the time is ripe for somebody to be in the executive branch and in charge and say “time to back off, it’s time to shrink the size of government, time to turn us back to the states and time to turn this power and privileges back to the individuals” and look at the important role of a president is to guarantee liberty for everybody and have equal justice before the law.
Martha MacCallum: Let’s talk a little bit about Iowa, because Mike Huckabee was expected to do very well in Iowa, his socially conservative message is very strong, now you talked about him as a fiscal conservative, he also was one of the candidates or potential candidates who was very well known for his socially conservative stance on things and that is sort of in many ways the antithesis of what you are about and some people feel it might sort of help Tim Pawlenty for example more in Iowa than it would help you.
Ron Paul: I’d have to have a discussion with you on, I think I heard you say that Iowa is the antithesis of social conservatism…
Martha MacCallum: Why is that wrong? Cause from everything that I’ve talked to you about and read that you have said in the past, you want the government to be completely out of people’s lives, and in some ways…
Ron Paul: That would be very socially conservative, I don’t want the government in there telling people that they can’t have home schooling and private schooling and I don’t want them invading into any of their religious beliefs, I want the government to leave them alone, so that’s very conservative. I believe that the purpose of government is to protect human life, so I’m very strongly pro-life and so there’s nothing that can possibly be antithesis of social conservatism.
Martha MacCallum: Well let me ask you this then, is there any rule, we’re all watching what’s happening along the Mississippi River, do you think that there’s, what is the role of government in that kind of situation? As people desperately need help in terms of what’s happening to their homes and their farms along there, is that maybe potentially the one area where Federal government does have a role to provide some reliefs and compassion and some help.
Ron Paul: Well there is some role because the river runs between the states but it should be done more voluntarily but the whole concept of FEMA isn’t a good principle because this overtaking of this whole concept means that building the levies and channeling the water, now they have this dilemma “which city are we going to flood, are we going to flood the farmers or the city? We don’t have any natural water flow,” and think about how many problems that FEMA gave us after Katrina. FEMA is not very popular in my district and I have 200 miles of coastline and I keep getting reelected because people complain about FEMA coming in and not allowing them to get on their property and not allowing them to do things, FEMA is a typical bureaucracy and it costs a lot money and we lived a long time without FEMA, but that doesn’t mean there is zero involvement for the Federal government because there are some things that the Federal government could be involved in regarding river flow, but they are pretty inept, they don’t have a very good record and the people who have had to deal with them are very much on my side on that issue.
Martha MacCallum: Who do you think, when you look at Iowa for example now in the early stages of the 2012 race which you’re in, who do you think gives you your toughest competition in the early stages of the race?
Ron Paul: I haven’t thought about that, I think the status quo is my toughest competition and so many of the other candidates are pretty typical status quo because they don’t talk about monetary policy, they don’t talk about foreign policy, they tell them exactly how they’re going to cut and what they’re going to do to resolve this economic crisis and how we will deal with the deficit. So that’s pretty much status quo, so I would say that I’m the one that challenges the status quo and comes up with precise answers about what we do and people love it, when I say “well we got into this mess because we didn’t have a precise understanding of the constitution and if we did, we could solve a lot of our problems, so we were meant to be a republic, we were meant to have government that was separate from the big government at least the most government we should be at the local level and this is very popular.
Martha MacCallum: Alright, Ron Paul thank you very much, good to have you weigh in on a day that has seen a lot of changes in the early stages of the GOP race, thanks for calling.
Ron Paul: Thanks Martha, bye bye.
Martha MacCallum: Bye bye.