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Ron Paul: Everybody wants to be a powerful executive and run things. I, as a President, wouldn’t want to run the world, I don’t want to police individual activities and lifestyle, and I don’t want to run the economy. So that’s an entirely different philosophy, but it’s very, very much in our tradition, and in the tradition of our constitution.
Sean Hannity: Welcome back to Sioux City, Iowa. Tonight, the GOP presidential hopefuls took to the stage and they were outlining their visions for getting America back on track. And joining me now is the man you just heard from, that’s Texas Congressman Ron Paul. How are you, it’s good to see you.
Ron Paul: Good, good to see you.
Sean Hannity: Thanks for being with us. I noticed you never gave a full answer to – I think it was Megan Kelly’s question – will you promise, if you don’t win this nomination and if you’re doing very well here in Iowa, that you will support the Republican nominee and not run third party?
Ron Paul: Well, I’ll give the same answer I’ve given about 39 times now, that I have no intention of doing that, I plan to do my very best and see what happens in the next two months. So I’m not making pledges.
Sean Hannity: I don’t want to push you too hard, but when you say “no intention” it leaves the door open.
Ron Paul: Yea.
Ron Paul: So you’re leaving the door open?
Ron Paul: I don’t like absolutes, I don’t like to say, “I absolutely will never do such-and-such”, so I’m just avoiding the absolutes.
Sean Hannity: But you absolutely support the U.S. constitution?
Ron Paul: Yea, that’s true. That’s a little bit different than pledging to politicians.
Sean Hannity: But the thing is, you know that if you ran third party, and I think what people are looking for an answer, you would probably siphon off some of the anti-Obama vote. I don’t think there’s any debt about it.
Ron Paul: But wouldn’t it be fair to ask the moderate Republicans that are competing the same question? John Anderson dropped out and ran and that’s a significant event.
Sean Hannity: But “no intention” means the door is open, so you’re saying tonight that the door is open a little?
Ron Paul: Well, I cannot conceive of it.
Sean Hannity: You can’t conceive of any …
Ron Paul: I cannot conceive it, I have absolutely no plans or thoughts of doing it.
Sean Hannity: Alright, a lot came up tonight and it got very heated on the issue of national security and Iran. Let me ask you this question: with Iran killing Americans in Iraq (you argue we shouldn’t have been there in the first place) but they’re also fighting proxy wars through Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. They were planning an assassination of a Saudi Ambassador on our soil, they clearly have said they want to wipe Israel off the map. Why do you think it wouldn’t be dangerous if they got that nuclear weapon?
Ron Paul: Well, I don’t want them to get the nuclear weapon and it would increase the danger, but I don’t think we should deal with that. But as far as thinking that that should be the whole issues, I think you’re losing the point, because there are a lot of nuclear weapons around the world. And, matter of fact, those quotes about wiping Israel off the map, just as a favor to me, look it up and check the real interpretation. They talk about getting rid of the regime, those people in Jerusalem.
Sean Hannity: I have gone back on numerous occasions, he has said “eliminate the state of Israel, wipe them off the face of the earth”.
Ron Paul: It literally says getting rid of the regime and remove it from the pages of time, it is a lot different than Israel being wiped off the earth.
Sean Hannity: He’s also a holocaust denier.
Ron Paul: Okay. I think they’re acting in self-defense. [Ayud Barack] said that they’re acting logically and they’re acting in their self interest, and if he was an Iranian, he would probably think the same way. So they have a lot to contend with. And [Barack] said they were surrounded by nuclear missiles, why wouldn’t they have a natural … But there is gross distortion that they’re on a verge of a nuclear weapon, there is no evidence that they’re on a verge of a nuclear weapon, and we shouldn’t be ready to start another war.
Sean Hannity: You talk about the declaration of war, I’ve read the constitution, it doesn’t say you have to use any exact words. And George Bush got the authorization for the use of force. If you’re going to use force, that seems, to me, to meet that definition.
Ron Paul: Yea, but it was explicit to go after those responsible for 9/11, and I voted for it, I voted for that.
Sean Hannity: Did I hear you say tonight, and I wrote it down and I wasn’t sure of the context because, I will admit, my attention was diverted, that we killed millions of Iraqis?
Ron Paul: When Albright was asked the subject that when we were bombing during the 1990s, they said that 500,000 Iraqi children died because of our bombing and sanctions and blowing up their water plants and all. And she says, “Well, that’s the price to pay, we have to”. So for 10 years we were bombing them, and don’t you think we would be annoyed if somebody bombed us for 10 years. So in comparison, they can say that we have killed a lot of people. We drop drones on Pakistan, what if they did that to us, wouldn’t we be annoyed? And that’s not self-defense.
Sean Hannity: You know, I’m a believer that no country has shed more blood in defense of freedom for Muslims around the world than the United States, nor has there ever been a country that has accumulated more power and abused it less than us. This came up in 2008 when you ran, and I’ve asked every question to Newt Gingrich involving his background, his controversies, everything. Same with Mitt Romney. And I really admire your fierce supporters, but when I brought up the issue of your newsletters from the early 1990s, and some really outrageous things that have been written in there. And you had gone on record saying you had no idea what was in them. That kind of surprised me. Why do you not take responsibility for the things that were in your individual newsletters?
Ron Paul: In 2002 , the Texas Monthly reviewed that and they wrote a long, long article, and that’s a real liberal newspaper. So you read that and you’ll that I did not write it and I do not support those views and they’re painted as something that maybe I’m racist or something.
Sean Hannity: But there were some pretty racial things in it.
Ron Paul: I’m the greatest defender of civil liberties, especially when it comes to the inequities in our judicial system. With blacks, the imprisonments for the drug wars, the number of blacks to get the death penalty.
Sean Hannity: I got to know, do you know who did write it, and do you repudiate what was in your newsletter?
Ron Paul: No, I do not, and I don’t believe any of that stuff that they’ve quoted. How about tomorrow? Remember, December 16th, the anniversary of the Tea Party, very important day. That was when the Tea Party Movement was started 4 years ago. That’s the modern Tea Party Movement.
Sean Hannity: And for all your supporters, I asked every other candidate questions of controversy as well. It was good to see you, Mr. Paul.
Ron Paul: Thank you.
Sean Hannity: Hang on for one second. And we still have lots more to come tonight as we are live in the spin room. We are in Sioux City, Iowa.