Anderson Cooper: I spoke to him just a few moments ago. So, Congressman, you’re not willing to support the Boehner Bill at this point, why?
Ron Paul: Well, it raises the debt limit, and I’ve made too many promises I wouldn’t raise the debt limit. I’ve never voted for the appropriation bills, and I’ve been worried about our spending for many, many years, if not decades, so I think it would only encourage people to spend more money. If debt is the problem, raising the debt limit by 2.4 billion dollars, I don’t see how it can be a solution.
Anderson Cooper: You talk about the principles behind your not supporting it. Is part of your thinking, though, also politics and what happens to the bill in the Senate and what happens after that?
Ron Paul: No, I think that’s sort of not much of my concern, that’s what most of what’s going on here is all the politics. I’ve heard that they already know what will finally come out of this, but they have to go up to the last minute to see who gets blamed for whatever and see who can get the best edge. But I think the leaders have more or less agreed on something to raise the debt limit.
Anderson Cooper: Do you think regardless of what you vote, regardless of whether or not the Boehner bill moves forward tonight, that the debt limit will still be raised?
Ron Paul: Yes, one way or the other, yes. They’re going to raise it, they will not default by not paying the bills. Governments our size and in this much debt always default in a different manner. The default has to come, but they’ll default by paying the bills off with bad money. So we’re constantly defaulting and we’ve done this over many, many years.
Anderson Cooper: You talk about the politics that are happening among other people on Capitol Hill right now. For folks who are watching at home, they see this, a lot of people see this as just pure politics going back and forth. Can you explain? I mean, what is happening there right now, what are the politics behind all this?
Ron Paul: Well, I’m not an insider, I don’t know the exact details.
Anderson Cooper: You’re a Congressman, though, you’re pretty much an insider, aren’t you?
Ron Paul: Yeah, but I’m not in John Boehner’s office, he doesn’t ask me my opinion. But what my opinion is, is that they’re trying to find out who’s going to get blamed and who’s going to get credit because they know they have to achieve something.
Anderson Cooper: What do you make of what’s going on with the GOP, though? What does it say about John Boehner, the Speaker of the House? I mean, who’s in charge of the Republican Party, if Boehner, the Speaker of the House, can’t wrangle his own members?
Ron Paul: Well, I think he has a tough job. He has a lot of new members, so even though I disagree with his answers and his programs, I sort of have a bit of sympathy for him for trying to put it all together and get something passed. But just think of what happened to Paul Ryan, he made a proposal and he got bashed pretty badly. So Boehner still has to put up with the Senate and the President, it goes back and forth. In many ways it’s just a power struggle; who’s going to end up with the power in government and who’s going to get blamed. So that’s what I see going on.
But I think Speaker Boehner, under the circumstances, is probably honestly trying to solve this problem, but it’s an insolvable problem because we’re bankrupt. Nobody wants to admit the real problem: we’re bankrupt, and we can’t continue spending and even these temporary proposals won’t address the subject, that we will default. We won’t default by not paying the bills, we will default by more inflation, and that is a serious problem.
Anderson Cooper: I want to play something that I know you’ve heard, I’m sure you’ve heard, John McCain speaking on the floor yesterday. Let’s just play that for our viewers.
John McCain: Republican House has failed to raise the debt ceiling but somehow escaped all the blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the Tea Party hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Murdor. This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees.
Anderson Cooper: He was reading, obviously, from a Wall Street Journal editorial though, but pretty harsh words about the influence of the Tea Party, the effects of the Tea Party right now on this debate. What do you make of what he said?
Ron Paul: He sounds angry. I’m pretty upset and I haven’t had the philosophy of sound money and personal liberty that I desire. But I hope I don’t sound that angry, because I think that we have to change people’s ideas and change people’s attitudes about government and find out what the role of government ought to be. See, nobody talks about… in the midst of all this, we should be talking about why we can’t be the policeman of the world, and why the entitlement system has to be totally revamped.
Anderson Cooper: Do you think the impact of these new members, these Tea Party Members, ideologically you were out in front of a lot of these folks. Do you think it’s been a good influence right now, do you think it is a good positive effect of what’s happening right now? This dissension within the Republican Party, do you think it’s ultimately a good thing?
Ron Paul: Yeah, I think so because it calls attention to our problems. I just hope we can follow through with the right answers. If it’s all anger and screaming and blaming, it won’t work. But if it comes to the conclusion that I’ve come to a long time ago, that we have to change our attitude about what the role of government is, and maybe we ought to just follow the Constitution, because that gives us a pretty good guideline. But we don’t do that. But I think the subject that the younger members bring up, and the pressure is put on dealing with this subject, I think it’s very good because it brings us closer to the day when we decide the real issues.
Anderson Cooper: Congressman Ron Paul, I appreciate your time, thank you.
Ron Paul: Okay, Anderson.