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Reporter: Have you been shafted?
Ron Paul: I don’t know what the word is, but if somebody else volunteers that term, I’m not going to argue with them. But something strange went on, all of a sudden I got less than I usually had, because a second place would seem like a reversal had occurred. I’ve always argued that it’s not that much and it’s not exactly like the candidates’ won, but I thought I had been treated pretty fairly and all, you know, over the years and even in the last year, even since the campaign has being going on. But it was a bit strange about what happened on the weekend, and I had been asked, “Was I shocked that it happened?” Not really, it wasn’t totally unexpected, but I’ve been asked whether I was disappointed. Yea, I’m disappointed because most of us like to see ourselves get credit for some achievements. And I personally believe that we did have an achievement, that reflected good organization, and most important to me is I like to think that it reflects that more and more people are accepting some of my arguments. That’s, of course, why I’m in this, which is to make sure people vote for significant change and philosophical change that will have a real impact, both on our foreign policy and on our economy, which I believe is the only way we can get our jobs back.
Reporter: You were less than 1% behind Bachmann.
Ron Paul: Yea, it was 152 votes, that’s pretty close. But we got a big charge out of the headlines that said, “Bachmann first place, Pawlenty in third”. They essentially just forgot about us, I mean, what’s going on. When somebody asked me that, and it’s normal for you to ask a question like that, but I keep thinking, maybe I should be asking the media the question, but nevertheless…
Reporter: How much of that do you think had to do with the weekend entry of another Texan into the race?
Ron Paul: Hardly any, because if that would have been the case, Bachmann would have had a lot less. I mean, I don’t think Perry was on interviews, I don’t think he was interviewed by five major networks, and yet she was. It probably had a little impact, but I don’t think that would have justified an exclusion, it might justify a dilution. But if the event was worth anything, I should have been asked a few questions. If the event was worth nothing, then Bachman shouldn’t have been on five stations, and me on none.
Reporter: Because some say it is the most meaningless things that have the biggest impact: the straw poll. It doesn’t mean anything in terms of electoral votes, but it gives you a good idea where your campaign stands.
Ron Paul: There’s no doubt about it, it’s talking about the message, its’ talking about the messenger, it’s talking about your organization, it talks about fund raising, and it is a reflection of all those things. So it’s not a guarantee, doing well doesn’t mean there is a guarantee, but doing lousy is an indication that you might not have the organization that you need.
Reporter: You finished second in the straw poll, last quarter you were second only to Romney in fundraising. And yet some people still seem to question your electability, are you electable?
Ron Paul: Well, obviously I think so, otherwise I wouldn’t run. So it’s interesting that when even some of the major networks question my electability, when they do the polling and they pick up a candidate and do a poll against Obama, I do pretty darn well, I’m either first or second on that. And that’s really all that counts, and most of the time, political parties are looking for the individual who can win, to a degree: “don’t overly challenge the status quo”, and this is one thing that I think I can compete with any of them. I’m convinced personally that the views I express are the views that the majority of the American people want and that the other candidates can’t quite say it, they can’t come down hard on our useless expansionary militarism around the world, and all the money we’re wasting there. They don’t talk about the Federal Reserve, they don’t have a full expression of personal liberties, and what’s happening at airports, invasion of our privacy and searches without search warrants. They don’t address any of that, and that’s what the American people are really tired of. So in many ways, it is my position on those views that can challenge Obama much better than any of the other candidates.
Reporter: When you ran 4 years ago, the night that you got out of the race, you did an interview with us in which you said it’s not over, and thus the Campaign for Liberty began within 24 hours almost.
Ron Paul: Right.
Reporter: And at that time there wasn’t a Tea Party to speak of. Do you feel like the explosion of the Tea Party has opened more people to what you have been talking about for years?
Ron Paul: Oh, absolutely, and actually even before that campaign ended, you know, in the middle of that campaign was when people started calling themselves the Tea Party people. The big fund raising day was a spontaneous group of people around the country just getting together and saying, “Let’s just have a Tea Party” to make the point, and that was the time they raised 6 million dollars in one day, and that was a grassroots effort. I think that was really the beginning. But then it continued and it grew, it became more amorphous; there were a lot of different people coming in, and they were brought together mainly because the government wasn’t the answer, the government was too big, they spent too much money, the debt was a danger. But in the specifics then there were some discussions going on, and they continued to go on. But the disenchantment with the status quo of both Republicans and Democrats is very, very strong. You take a state like New Hampshire, which is an important early primary state, they more registered independents than there are Republicans or Democrats. I mean, that’s a fertile field for a candidate like myself because there are a lot of votes in the Republican primary. I believe the majority of the American people today, you know, if you take the hardcore Democratic base that won’t do anything other than vote for a democrat, and the hardcore Republican base; I bet you’re talking about 25% or 30% on each side, and the rest are up for grabs. And those are the really independent minded people who are looking for different answers to our problems and different explanations, because so far they’ve been wrong. I mean, it’s such a wonderful opportunity for us who defend personal liberty and free markets, the American tradition and sound money. We see it as a fantastic opportunity to sway people into once again believing in what made America great, and that is our freedoms.
Reporter: So how are you different from any of the democrats in leadership right now, or the President, and the Republicans who want to be president?
Ron Paul: I think on these several issues, I’m different than the leadership of both parties, because both parties endorse the wars, both parties endorse the Patriot Act, invasion of our privacy, destruction of the 4th Amendment, both parties support the Federal Reserve System. But that’s not the whole party, because the grassroots of the Democrats and Republican Party and the independents all want transparency of the Federal Reserve. But leadership wise, and those people who are running for office, they don’t want to rock the boat on any of these issues, there’s too much invested in the military-industrial complex. And I think that’s pretty significant.
Reporter: You talk about what the American people want – transparency with the Federal Reserve – the American people also seem to want in-polling(?) for both parties to stop the gamesmanship and work together and figure out the problems. With you as president, could that happen?
Ron Paul: I think more so than any other candidate that might be President, because sometimes when they want to work for other side, they say, “Well, we want to do that, and we have to sacrifice and we have to compromise our principles”. I don’t say that, I want to work with the other side, but I want to bring people together from the left and the right who agree with these basic principles. For instance, I get half my support from people who believe in civil liberties where a lot of Republicans are very weak on. And being against this war that’s going on, and the Democratic base, the Progressives, are the ones who are sick and tired of Obama’s wars and expanding the war. So bringing those people over on to a side where I can work with conservatives who say the spending is too big and we need less taxes and we need a freer market and sound money. So I think bringing people together like that, and nobody has to sacrifice any principles, they just have to work in coalitions. So coalition building is really what I’ve strived to do over the many years, and the best example of achieving that was to get the House to at least pass the Audit the Federal Reserve Bill last year. And that was not done by Republicans; matter of fact, the only place it was passed was in a Democratic House. And that, to me, is rather astounding and it even surprised me and amazed me that we were able to get that far to being passed. But the whole country now, the whole world now, knows that monetary reform is on our doorstep. The only question is, will it conform to our constitution, or will monetary reform include the IMF and the World Bank trying to take over the problems that we have, and have their own other currency. That’s really what’s going on right now.
Reporter: The debt ceiling crisis had a lot of people worried. As a result, the American people like Congress less than they’ve ever liked them, at 13% according to Gallup. What do you think about what just transpired over the last month?
Ron Paul: I think it reflects the fact that we’re bankrupt, and nobody likes it and nobody wants to quit spending. But they have to talk a lot about it and recognize there is a problem; but they have no answers because they don’t understand how serious the problem is, they don’t understand how we got to this, so they do a lot of bickering. They’re not about to change what you have to change. And this has to do with the people, too, we have to decide as a people, whether we’re going to continues with this appetite for entitlements; but they’re not sustainable. We have to decide whether or not we’re going to be the policemen of the world, they’re not addressing that, but they’re out of money. And the more they try to solve our problems by doing exactly what got us into the problems, the worse things get. So they say, “Well, Congress can’t solve it, so we’re going to have 12 people out of the Congress and appoint them, and they’re going to come up with the answer”. That’s preposterous, and it’s so blatantly unconstitutional to say that Congress no longer can amend and decide what to do. So I think it reflects the fact that we’re bankrupt and they don’t want to admit it and they don’t want to change their appetite for big government.
Reporter: So what’s the answer?
Ron Paul: The answer is well, to simplify it, we got into this trouble because we have had too many people -presidents on down – that have no respect for the constitution, no understanding how freedom really works. So we have to have a restoration, a restoration of a conviction and understanding of how freedom works and how the market works, but also only send people to Washington that are dedicated to the rule of law, that they can’t just say, “Oh, the 4th amendment, that’s no big deal. We can get rid of it because we want to be safe and secure”. We have to have people with firm convictions that the constitution can solve our problems. So if we got into this trouble by not following the constitution, we can solve almost all our problems just by having only people there that will enforce the constitution.
Reporter: That means a lot of spending cuts, essentially.
Ron Paul: Absolutely, a lot spending cuts, but not in an absolute term. Actually there would be more spending, it’s just that the government wouldn’t do the spending. If you have a prosperous economy, there’s a lot more spending, and the people spend it. Now we spend but we have to borrow the money or print the money, so we have to quit that, and that means a lot of cuts. A lot of cuts, and if we did it in a sensible, gradual way, we could work our way out of this. The odds are getting slimmer and slimmer that we’re going to do it that way, but it will have to come when there’s a total economic breakdown and the destruction of the dollar. So I’m not optimistic that it’s going to be easy to get the people to agree on, “Oh yea, cut my check in half, I’ll go along with that”. Everybody’s fighting over a pie that is shrinking. The jobs are going away, the revenues are going down, the demands remain high, and the most basic economic principle today which we don’t adhere to when we run into a recession and a depression, is you have to allow the mal-investment and the debt to be liquidated, and they haven’t done that, they always prop it up. Instead of allowing the bankruptcy, the American people got stuck with the bad deals, you know, the derivatives and all the bad mortgages, so you can’t do it. Japan’s been in the doldrums for 20 years because they’ve done that. It took us 17 years to get out of our depression because we wouldn’t allow the correction, and right now we’re into our 4th year of trying to correct things. The market wants to correct by getting rid of debt, politicians can’t allow that, they have to always prop up the debt and the bad investments. But eventually, the debt is liquidated, so what the government and the politicians want is to liquidate it by bad money. They say, “We’ll pay off all the bills, but we’re going to pay them off with dollars that have no value.” That’s what they’re working on and that just takes a lot longer and it penalizes the middle class. The danger is political chaos, destruction of the middle class, and we see that just in the housing crisis. People are losing their jobs and losing their houses, that’s what we’ve embarked on and it has to be reversed if we want any prosperity in this country again.
Reporter: But given the current state of Congress, even if you were President, could you accomplish any of that?
Ron Paul: I think it would remain to be seen, I would hope that I could build on a consensus as we did on bringing about the importance of the Federal Reserve. And conditions will change rapidly, they’re going to be much worse next summer, and more and more people will say, “Hey, you know, he was right, he was warning us about the housing bubble for all those years and nobody listened”. So yea, the credibility will be my ability, it will be how willing they are to admit that mistakes are made and admit that we don’t need troops around the world. Majority of the American people now think it’s pretty silly about us having all these troops all over the world when we’re flat out broke. You know, what are you doing? So now I think we’re approaching that and it remains to be seen and obviously I’m convinced that that I have something to offer and that this philosophy is the answer to the bad philosophy. And we’ve had a good test for 40 years, and it’s a total failure, and it’s going to be more evident within the next 12 months of the total failure of Keynesian economics, printing press money, massive deficits; that hasn’t worked and anybody who says just more of it is going to fix it, is very foolish.
Reporter: You think it’s going to get worse before it gets better?
Ron Paul: Oh, yes. It will get worse and you will have to accept the fact that if you did what I’m talking about, we could have a bad year, but then it would be all over. If we had done the right thing in 2008, in 2009 we would have been working again like we did in the year 1921. We had to have the correction after the inflation of World War I, we had a depression for a year, a bad depression, but nobody even remembers it because there was liquidation of debt. If an individual can’t get ahead because they have too many credit cards debts and mortgages, if they get all the debt paid up, then they have growth again and their own welfare and their own well being. Sometimes they pay it off and sometimes they declare bankruptcy. And a country has to do that before you get the growth again. So it’s convincing people that they have to accept this whole new concept of liquidation of all the mistakes made over 40 years plus, and that is why it is so crucial. But it will happen, if we don’t do the right things, it’s just last longer and it’s more painful.
Reporter: I want to ask you questions couple of questions. I put it on twitter that I was going to be interviewing you, and I asked people if they had some questions. I’m going to read you a couple of questions, they’re not mine.
Ron Paul: You mean, already you got some questions?
Reporter: I did, I did this morning on the way here. A couple them are serious, one is not so serious. “Is Ron Paul worried his isolationist policies might bring greater bloodshed? The U.S. stayed home before World War I and II.”
Ron Paul: Well, he’s reciting a fallacy, you know, I’m not an isolationist, I’m a non-interventionist. Matter of fact, even on the stage one of the candidates once said, “Ron Paul caused World War II”, but that is so foolish. No, intervention causes it, trade barriers cause war. Isolationism and protectionism isn’t good for the world. But non-intervention means that you should trade with people, be friends with people. Just think of the difference of how we get along with Vietnam now, no fighting and killing, and they’ve become westernized without us forcing guns down their throats. China now has become a westernized bank, we can’t exist without China loaning us money, and we’re not fighting and killing each other, like when we were in their backyard stirring up trouble, fighting and killing. So no, it is intervention; we wouldn’t be in the Middle East, I mean, it creates the war. We’re in the Middle East for no good reason, it’s not for our national security, it doesn’t provide security. So exactly the opposite is the case: if you have non intervention, you’re less likely to have wars, if you have intervention and become the policemen of the world, expect the wars to last until you change your policy.
Reporter: Another question: “Mr. Paul, why is the media ignoring you to the extent to not mention you at No.2 in the poll, they mentioned No.1 and No.3, why?”
Ron Paul: Good question, but I don’t know if I have the answer, because we have to ask those who do those kinds of things. I believe, personally, that I am gaining recognition in the campaign and it’s a threat to a lot of people, it’s a threat to the military-industrial complex, it’s a threat to the bankers, the big corporations who get all the benefit, it’s a threat to the people who preach that we have to be in the world and be in all these countries. So I think it’s big banks, big money, big corporations and the people who want to be the warmongers. If our views keep growing in popularity, as they are, it’s a real threat to the establishment. So the establishment is well protected in many of those individuals that control the 5 major networks.
Reporter: Last one: “Does he(you) think Ben Bernanke would get beaten up if he came to Texas?”
Ron Paul: Intellectually, I hope so, but never physically because I am a strong advocate of non-violence, I think this is an intellectual fight. But no, Bernanke is going to get beat up, he’s going to go down in history along with Alan Greenspan as the two individuals most instrumental in both, creating the bubble (that would be Greenspan), and Bernanke for perpetuating the bubble and destroying our currency. History will prove that they were no economic giants whatsoever, and I think intellectually beating up on those views is not a bad idea, but we must first prove that the views of the free market and sound money are the views that will restore prosperity for this country.
Reporter: Anything else you’d like to add.
Ron Paul: I can’t think of anything.
Reporter: I’ll ask you one last question: you’ve run before, you’re getting out of Congress after this, why do want to be President?
Ron Paul: That’s a pretty darn good question, because my main goal is I believe that the views I express and the economist I follow, have answers. I want to do the things I think will help the country. But in a narrow sense of the word, just wanting to be President to be President would be would be silly and foolish, and I think for most of the others, that’s what they want, “Oh yea, I can be President, this is a very important”. But they’re not nearly coming up with something they strongly believe in. “I want to just perpetuate the status quo, I’m going to tinker here, yea maybe we can move our troops from here to here”. They just tinkerers. So I would say that my strong motivation is I am convinced that those individuals I’ve read and studied on the understanding of the concept of liberty, our history in America and what made us great, and the economic policies that we need and how important sound money is and non intervention … believe me, those are the answers to our trouble and I believe I can present them to the people and lead in that way better than the rest of them.