News Anchor: Congressman Paul thank you for joining us, first of all, you think the president does not have the right to engage the U.S. in the NATO led effort in Libya without Congress’s approval. Today in his press conference, the president made clear that he believes the law does allow him to make this commitment on his own, listen to this for a moment if you would.
Barack Obama: I’m not a Supreme Court Justice, so I’m not going to put my constitutional wall professor head on here, do I think that our actions in any way violate the war powers resolution? The answer is no. So I don’t even have to get to the constitutional question.
News Anchor: Simply sir, what’s your reaction?
Ron Paul: That’s a horrible statement, no he should get the constitution, he doesn’t have to be a constitutional lawyer, you take an oath of office to obey the constitution, if we don’t know what it says, how can we take the oath? The constitution is very clear, you don’t go to war without a declaration. I agree there’s some confusion with the war powers resolution because technically it legalized war rather than prevented war. So I don’t particularly like that bill, but even it’s a law of the land, even that he has violated, because he can’t go to war by talking to the United Nations and NATO and refusing to talk to the Congress, I think this is so sad and the kind of thing that I have been fighting with both parties for decades now, I think it’s taken one step worse because he’s been a little bit more aggressive in declaring that he is the unitary president, that he can do what he wants, he doesn’t have to tell the Congress, so I find it rather sad, that he has taken that position.
News Anchor: We’ll get back to the question of consulting Congress, but first I want to ask you about a point Senator John Kerry raised, as you know he is the chair of the foreign relations committee in the Senate, and he raised the point that if Congress wanted a say in this, they actually had a chance, listen to this…
John Kerry: You’re saying the president violated the process here and didn’t come to the Congress. He did come to the Congress, he sent us a letter requesting us to do the authorization and we didn’t do it, that’s the simple fact here.
News Anchor: He’s saying that Congress dropped the ball at the very beginning, do you acknowledge that Congress could have done something and didn’t?
Ron Paul: They could have done a lot more a lot sooner that is true, they shouldn’t have waited for more than 90 days, they should have immediately let the president know that he was violating war powers resolution and the constitution. But I don’t know what he’s talking about on the appropriations, he has no explicit appropriations for this war, so he doesn’t have the money and he doesn’t have the authority and we’re slipping into another war, and nobody can even count the wars, nobody knows whether this is number four or number five. With a country that’s flat out broke and we allow our presidents to do this, this just means that the constitutional process and the economic situation this country is totally out of control.
News Anchor: Foreign relations, today the president said, you raised the question of consultation, today the president said that the criticism he has not sufficiently consulted with Congress is actually just partisan politics. He says he has consulted with Congress repeatedly had people in repeatedly addressed this issue repeatedly, so are you using this issue simply to score political points?
Ron Paul: He hasn’t called me and he hasn’t come to the Congress and the Congress is everybody and if you follow the laws, the law says, the constitution says if you go to war you have to have a declaration and you can’t replace that with saying “Well we had a UN resolution, we went to NATO.” Many years ago after World War II when NATO was set up, Mr. Republican Robert Taff said “Don’t get into NATO because before you know it, we’ll use NATO for having us slip into these wars” and his predictions were exactly right. The sovereignty of this nation depends on us and not the UN and the constitution is the law of the land, and we don’t have to be constitutional lawyers to understand that, we don’t need lawyers to tell us what to do and not to do, because we shouldn’t be in office if we don’t understand what the constitution says, it’s plain and simple. But he’s not the first, it’s been going on for so long, matter of fact Truman was the first one to do it, he went in under the UN resolution, I’m sure if I’d have been in Congress back in 1940 well 1950 I’d have been as outraged as I am now. But that’s a slippery slope and unfortunately, it’s a large participant in our bankruptcy, right now it’s estimated that wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the new estimates will be over $4 trillion, it’s so hard to estimate at a time when we can’t even pay for medical care for people in this country.