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Interviewer: Congressman Paul, thank you for joining us. So you’ve taken off in Iowa now, you’re now tied for second or are in second place a little bit ahead of Mitt Romney. What’s going on out there?
Ron Paul: Well, it looks like a lot of votes are coming our way. And we’ve been working hard out there, we’ve spent a lot of money and spent a lot of time out there. And the country is a different place than it was 4 years ago, because it’s easy to compare what I’m doing now to 4 years ago. But, economically, the conditions are different, and people have changed their minds about all the war activity overseas and they’re agreeing now that we should come home, not only because the wars are prolonged, but also because it’s costing us a lot of money and it’s related to the problems that we’re having here at home economically.
Interviewer: You’ve watched about everybody else have a chance to be the guy that takes on Mitt Romney. I mean, are you about to, can you be the next to surge?
Ron Paul: Well, I want steady, solid growth. Surges mean sometimes you can drop off rather quickly. What have we had, 3 or 4 that have surged up and then they dropped off? I don’t think that’s likely to happen in my case. But I think we can keep going because we’re accelerating, we’re [having] steady growth, and in this last month, we’ve gone from low double-digits to high double-digits. So I think our campaign is coming together quite well right now, but I don’t suspect all of a sudden we’re going to surge 20 points and then drop off thirty points, I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Interviewer: Okay, so you clearly know Newt Gingrich well. I mean, you’ve served in Congress with Gingrich back in the 1980s. So what’s your sense of this guy, is he the kind of person that can be the President of the United States, does he have the leadership qualities to be a good President?
Ron Paul: He has qualities where he can devise some strategies, but sometimes when those strategies come to fruition, he falls short on leadership. That’s more or less what happened. I don’t think anybody can deny giving him some credit for what happened in 1994, he had a strategy and the Republicans finally took over the House after 4 years. But then things for him went downhill, and when he had to leave, it wasn’t under the best of circumstances.
Interviewer: What’s your sense, I mean, you’ve been really critical of him as a flip-flopper, basically, saying that he’s a guy that hasn’t been consistent. He’s not usually the candidate that most people think of when you bring up the issue of flip-flopping, what is it about Gingrich?
Ron Paul: Well, he’s been on a lot of different sides on all the issues and actually that little ad that we did, which was a video for the internet, was mainly using other people’s assessment of what he’s done; either working with Pelosi on global warming or his position on medical care and these different things. So he’s had definitely different positions on many of these policies.
Interviewer: What does that say about him?
Ron Paul: It means that he might be the opposite of what I’ve been doing for 30 years, my positions haven’t changed all that much.
Interviewer: I guess nobody has really attacked you as a flip-flopper at this point. Mr. Consistent.
Ron Paul: So far so good.
Interviewer: Okay, so the ultimate question here: who is a bigger flip-flopper, Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich?
Ron Paul: You know, I get questions like that all the time.
Interviewer: Common, give us an answer.
Ron Paul: No, they ask me about the different candidates, “What do you think of the other candidates?” I put them all into one category. So it’s pretty easy on the flip-flopping, you can put Newt and Mitt together.
Interviewer: So you think there’s not much of a difference between Romney and Gingrich?
Ron Paul: Philosophically probably not, I don’t think so. I mean, where would the difference be on foreign policy? They’re both very, very aggressive on what they would do overseas, and they’re not ready to really change monetary policy, and I doubt if either one of them would say that we have to get rid of the Department of Education, you know, a few things like that.
Interviewer: Which one of them has been more consistent, I mean, it’s still a way of asking you … ?
Ron Paul: They’re both very consistently inconsistent.
Interviewer: Both, Gingrich and Romney?
Ron Paul: Yea, they’re consistently inconsistent.
Interviewer: So you know the wrap on Ron Paul, the wrap is that you’ve got positions that are outside the mainstream of the Republican Party.
Ron Paul: I’ve heard that.
Interviewer: And you fall in with some disputes with the leadership of this party, whether it be on foreign policy or on some other issues. How do you get beyond what you’ve managed to get, which is 15% or so, how do you get beyond that?
Ron Paul: Well, we’re doing that. 5 or 6 months ago we were probably half way where we are today. We were 8% and 9%, and now we’re 18%, 19%. And I just keep saying the same thing. And about being out of the mainstream, that’s a trick question, because I think the country is out of the mainstream, I think the Republican Party is out of the mainstream Republican tradition. Because they claim they’re for individual liberties and limited government and balanced budgets, what’s their record? I mean, where are the balanced budgets, what have they done? We had a President and the House and the Senate for 6 years, plus 2, partially. The government kept growing at a rapid rate. So I would say that being for balanced budgets and taking the oath of office seriously, having a strong national defense and sound money doesn’t sound too out of the mainstream as far as I’m concerned. It sounds like what Republicans are supposed to be standing for.
Interviewer: Because Gingrich has said that he is more conservative, he is the true conservative compared to Mitt Romney.
Ron Paul: Well, I guess he can say whatever he wants.
Interviewer: Is he going to have a hard time making that case?
Ron Paul: Well, he may be able to make the case, but I don’t think he has the evidence.
Interviewer: What do you mean by that, he doesn’t have the evidence, you don’t think he’s truly a conservative?
Ron Paul: No, we can go back and compare all his policies and all his statements and all his votes and everything he’s ever said in his career. He is pretty much for big government, there’s no doubt about it. Early on in his career, he wasn’t even bashful about it, he ran on a big Republican government platform.
Interviewer: So Newt Gingrich is a big government advocate?
Ron Paul: His policies have been big government.
Interviewer: Alright, Ron Paul, thank you.
Ron Paul: Very good.