Jay Leno: We got a great show for you tonight. A man not afraid to speak his mind, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is here tonight. You always know where this guy stands, that’s what I like, whether you agree with him or not. And the host of Fear Factor, comedian Joe Rogan will join us, we always know where he stands also. Republican candidates all had their different positions on the Federal Reserve. Ron Paul is anti-Fed; Mitt Romney, of course, is pro-Fed; and Newt Gingrich is over-fed. As you know, Republican candidate Ron Paul is on the show tonight. You know, he’s a gynecologist who has delivered over 4,000 babies. In fact, he has seen almost as many women naked as Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain combined. Almost, I said almost.
Hey, the trailer for the upcoming movie, The Expendables II, is coming out. Are you familiar with the franchise, it’s Stallone’s movie, it’s an action film about a group of older elite mercenaries. Here’s the trailer. Alright, we’ll be right back with my “12 days of Christmas” and Ron Paul.
Alright, I enjoy having this gentleman on, he’s a 12 time congressman from Texas, who’s currently running as a Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States. He has surged in the Iowa polls this week, and whether you agree with him or not, one thing you can’t do is call him a flip-flopper. That’s what I like about this guy, he’s consistent. Please welcome Dr. Paul.
You got a standing ovation.
Ron Paul: Thank you, thank you, very nice.
Jay Leno: If you win, do they all get to come to the inauguration?
Ron Paul: Absolutely.
Jay Leno: There you go. Well, congratulations on your rise in the polls in Iowa. Where do you stand right now today, where are you?
Ron Paul: In the polls?
Jay Leno: Yea.
Ron Paul: Depends on which one.
Jay Leno: Why?
Ron Paul: In Iowa, first or second, depending on which poll you look at.
Jay Leno: First or second, there’s 1% between you and the frontrunner.
Ron Paul: Yea, it’s real close, it’s a statistical tie.
Jay Leno: Do you enjoy the debating, do you like that, is that a forum you like?
Ron Paul: Yes, I enjoy the debating, but I wish it was a real debate and I didn’t have to wait 2 hours to talk for 3 minutes.
Jay Leno: Well, this is your third time running for President, and this is the most momentum of the three campaigns, would you say?
Ron Paul: No doubt.
Jay Leno: Okay, so how do you account for the current success, what do you attribute it to?
Ron Paul: Well, it isn’t because I changed my message, the message has been the same, but the country is changing. I tried to prevent some wars from starting. And now the American people are tired of the wars, we’re in Afghanistan for 10 years. I have talked a lot about economics, that’s what really got me motivated to talk and run for office and there was a lot of handwriting on the wall about financial bubbles and housing bubbles, and now that they have come about, the credibility has built and the people are very worried about the economy. And that’s something I’ve talked about for a long time.
Jay Leno: Now, you’re 76 years old, and young people usually go with the young candidate, whether it was President Kennedy, and certainly Barack Obama. But you seem to be doing the strongest among young voters, young people, what do you attribute that to?
Ron Paul: I don’t have a complete answer for that, but I think my ideas are young and they’re very, very appealing to them.
Jay Leno: Actually, some of them are quite old; the gold standard and the whole deal. Those are old ideas that have come around again, haven’t they?
Ron Paul: Freedom is very appealing, it’s based on principle. They know that I stick to my guns and I follow the constitution. But I think young people don’t have their minds all mixed up after a while. Some people, especially if they go to Washington and then they go to college, they really get their minds mixed up. And I think younger people tend to be more principled and later on retort to blend in and mesh in and go along with the crowed. You certainly notice that in Washington; people go there with high principles, and before you know it, they sort of change their minds.
Jay Leno: So what role should the federal government play in people’s lives?
Ron Paul: Well, it’s very minimal, but we have a document that tells us exactly what it should be; and that’s the constitution. Anybody that did can read, should know. But the most important part of the constitution that tells us exactly what to do is Article 1 Section 8 which lists 20 things that we’re allowed to do. And what we’re not allowed to do is reserved for the people and the states. So basically generally the country was organized and they needed a strong national defense that’s not a state matter. But in general, it’s to preserve liberty, to allow people to run their own lives and spend their own money.
Jay Leno: Now, you’re for returning power to the states. Elaborate on state rights, what should they be able to do, they can’t do, what should they be able to do?
Ron Paul: You know, we all use the words “state’s rights” but, in a way, states don’t have rights, only individuals have rights. But the authority and the power go to the states. But it’s pretty open ended. If you look at the constitution, it says, “If we don’t say what the federal government can do, everything is reserved, the powers and the rights, to the states and to the people”. So, in a way, when you look at that, you give permission to the states to do a lot of things, and sometimes they can mess up. But it’s the states’ business, not the federal government’s, that why we shouldn’t have 100,000 federal bureaucrats telling the states and the people what to do.
Jay Leno: An example would be the EPA. To me, it seems good if the whole country agrees we’re not going to do this; whether it’s coal or oil or whatever. I mean, if one state is allowed to pollute and another state isn’t, and then it blows over. Isn’t it good to have certain things that everybody as a country should agree on?
Ron Paul: Yea, and they have authority to do that because that is involved with interstate commerce and they can do this. But it doesn’t endorse the bureaucratic approach to create an agency of government that preempts with no prior restraint. We don’t want prior restraint in our first amendment, we don’t want prior restraint in the business sector, either. But property rights should be protected, states should do it and states can have agreements, but then if there’s an argument, the federal government should be involved and the government should be involved in environmental issues, especially between national boundaries, you know, like Mexico and Canada. But this is one thing that many conservatives and libertarians slip up on, and that is on the environmental issue. But if you’re a real strict property rights person, environments are protected because its property and you can’t ever damage or pollute your neighbor’s property. So actually it would have been a lot stricter than what happened in the industrial revolution where big business and big government got together and allowed too much pollution to occur.
Jay Leno: Now we’re going to take a break, and when we come back, I want to ask you about legalizing drugs. Is it either your forte, or you’re for states being able to do it? But don’t tell me now, answer that when we come back. We’ll have more with Dr. Paul right after this.
Welcome back, we’re talking to Ron Paul. Now the question I asked right before I went to a break was, are you for legalizing marijuana, or is it the state’s right to legalize marijuana?
Ron Paul: Well, the states certainly have some authority to regulate alcohol and drugs. But as a federal matter, there is nothing that says that the federal government has the authority to do it. As I said before, the role of the federal government is to protect liberty, and that means they should protect our religious liberties to do what we want, and our intellectual liberty. But it also should protect our right to do to our body what we want, what we take into our bodies.
Jay Leno: Even if it’s harmful to people to you?
Ron Paul: That’s right. And really, the government can’t protect us from ourselves if we embark on doing something. Government is totally out of control.
Jay Leno: Would you be again seatbelt laws?
Ron Paul: Yea, sure. I’m for seatbelts, but against seatbelt laws. I mean, it’s a wise thing to do that, it’s a wise thing not to use drugs, too. I have kids and grandkids and I think it’s terrible to use these drugs. But I want the people to make their own minds up. Now the worst part is when the states come to the point where they find out marijuana is helpful for medical reasons, and I believe that is the case, and the state legalizes it, and then you can have the federal government come in and override the state laws. That’s really way over the top. But, quite frankly, I think a lot more people die from, and there is more danger, with the alcohol than there is with the marijuana.
Jay Leno: Now, social issues seem to be coming up in this debate, people have to sign adultery pledges. How about gay marriage, where would that fit in?
Ron Paul: My position on marriage is that the government just ought to just stay out of it totally and completely and quit arguing about it. There was a time when it was a church matter or a secular matter, and in a way this argument becomes semantic. But you can have your religious values and get married in a church or do something else. So I think it would avoid all this argument. I get sort of tired of that, but I have a lot of respect for marriage, of course.
Jay Leno: It’s interesting, in Iowa you’re right up there, you and Newt are pretty much tied, yet you are almost the opposite of him on these social issues, and that’s a conservative place. Yet you seems to be doing well.
Ron Paul: Yea, and there was a poll out this week where I did very well with social conservatives because I recognize the principle of life and liberty. And another thing that is helping is probably the most important social issue today and family issue, which is the economy. You know, the family is threatened by a bad economy.
Jay Leno: So tell us about taxes. Anytime anybody says they’re going to do away with the IRS, well, that’s going to get cheers anyway. How real is that? I mention that because President Obama said, “If I get elected, I’m going to do this healthcare thing”, and boy, that just looked like boom, boom, fighting, fighting. How hard would that be to do that?
Ron Paul: It would be difficult, but it’s getting easier all the time. Sometimes they complain, “The lower half income people don’t pay any income tax, what are we going to do about that?” I say, “We’re half way there”
Jay Leno: So what would our main source of revenue be?
Ron Paul: Where it came from before 1913. But nothing can happen on the tax code … tax collection is a symptom of an appetite for big government. So the people have to change their mind, if the people want us to be the policeman of the world and have welfare from cradle to grave, no you can’t get rid of taxation and we’ll continue on until we’re totally bankrupt and our currency fails. But if you want a constitutional government, a limited government, you really don’t have to have any income tax. But the people have to make up their mind, one person in Washington can’t change the whole tax code.
Jay Leno: Now, you’re for lowering the corporate tax rate and, of course, everybody feels “Oh, Evil Corporation, blah”. What would you lower it to, and why?
Ron Paul: Well, my goal would always be to get it as low as problems, certainly lowering the taxes on the corporations that have money overseas. We chase capital overseas because of our regulations and our tax codes. But I would like to get rid of all of that, but if you can’t get rid of it, [get the corporate tax to] 5%, 10%, 15%, get is as low as you can to invite capital back. But you’d have to do other things too. I mean, the regulations would have to be changed and some of the tediousness of getting a permit to start a business in this country has to change. It takes three years sometimes to open a new business. So you have to change a lot of things, but you have to get the economy growing again, and that means you have to cut spending, and that’s why I proposed in the first year I’d like to cut spending by 1 trillion dollars.
Jay Leno: Now when we come back, one area where most of your fellow Republicans seem to disagree with you is on foreign affairs. And we’ll come back and talk more with Dr. Paul right after this.
Welcome, we’re talking to Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul. You’re sort of a lone wolf on this foreign policy thing. I was watching you the other night, they were all kind of going after you there. Tell me about that, you think we went to war too easily with Iraq?
Jay Leno: Absolutely. On that stage I’m a lone wolf, but I’m not a lone wolf with the people, because the people are sick and tired of the wars. I’m on the International Relations, and we had the big debate before we went to war, and actually I assumed we’d go to war in 1998 and I talked out and gave a lot of speeches about why we shouldn’t do it. And, it is, as far as I’m concerned, a disaster. And the founders had giving us the way to prevent these kinds of wars. They said, “You’re not supposed to go to war unless you declare the war by the Congress which is endorsed by the people”. That would have prevented it.
Jay Leno: Now, this whole thing about Iran having a nuclear weapon, tell me, you don’t believe that they do?
Ron Paul: Oh, they don’t and they’re not on the verge of it, the evidence does not verify this. But I don’t want them to get a weapon.
Jay Leno: But didn’t they have a reactor that …
Ron Paul: They have reactors, they’re one of the few countries in the regions that belongs to the non-proliferation treaty, and they’re allowed to develop nuclear power and there’s no evidence that they’ve ever enriched or transferred it to weaponry. So there’s a lot of propaganda going on, it’s very similar to the propaganda that led up to Iraq and we should be very, very cautious not to be motivated to go to war.
Jay Leno: You’re for cutting foreign aid as well, tell me about that, how much would you cut?
Ron Paul: All of it.
Jay Leno: All of it?
Ron Paul: Because foreign aid has no proper authority. And I argue that, for the most part, foreign aid takes money from the poor people of this country and gives it to the rich people in the poor countries, because it becomes a political tool.
Jay Leno: Yea. Let me ask you about Israel, here we got this little tiny thing here surrounded by all these people that just hate them. And we Americans don’t like to see the little guy being picked on. And they’re our friend and it seems like we should be helping them.
Ron Paul: Right, I do think so. I think we should make sure they have their sovereignty and allow them to defend themselves and they shouldn’t be beholding to us. But when we take them over and they can’t even devise a peace treaty or they can’t decide what to do on their borders without us giving them the permission. But I think all this stuff in the Middle East backfires. Take, for instance, Egypt. We paid Mubarak over 40 billion dollars to be friendly with Israel, and that failed and finally broke down because people resent us being there and they get rid of their dictator. Now the radicals are taking over and they’re in worse shape. And we won’t be able to afford to do this, this is what brought the Soviets down. Usually great empires end through economic reasons, they go bankrupt. And where is Israel going to be? You know, when Israel was started, they had two principles: independence and self-reliance. And even Netanyahu said on the House floor just a few months ago, “We don’t need American troops to defend ourselves, we can take care of ourselves”.
Jay Leno: So the whole Arab Spring thing?
Ron Paul: I think there are a lot of good healthy things there, but it’s not a healthy endorsement of our foreign policy, because part of this is rebelling against dictators that we have propped up. And a lot of what is going on … we’ve interfered in Iran for so long, since 1953 we’ve been involved in messing up their economy and trying to overthrow their government. So these things tend to backfire in the long run, there are too many unintended consequences.
Jay Leno: Give me your thoughts on the other candidates. How about Mitt Romney?
Ron Paul: He used to be Governor of Massachusetts.
Jay Leno: Right, that’s very good.
Ron Paul: Maybe that’s what he should stay at, being Governor. He’s a nice guy.
Jay Leno: How about Newt Gingrich?
Ron Paul: He maybe should run for Speaker of the House again.
Jay Leno: Michelle Bachmann?
Ron Paul: She doesn’t like Muslims, she hates Muslims, she wants to go get them.
Jay Leno: Wow, that’s not good. John Huntsman seems like a reasonable man to me, but he can’t seem to get any traction.
Ron Paul: Yes, he is a nice person and he’s a good diplomat. He knows what diplomacy is all about and he’s a thoughtful person.
Jay Leno: And Rick Santorum, seems like to him Gay people, oh my God, that’s the end of the world. He doesn’t seem to talk about anything else.
Ron Paul: Gay people and Muslims.
Ron Paul: Now let me ask you about Donald Trump, is he a kingmaker? Have you sat with him and broken bread and gone to the hometown buffet?
Ron Paul: No, he was very much offended, so I’m getting a little bit worried.
Jay Leno: Oh, he was offended?
Ron Paul: Oh yea, he said that Ron Paul doesn’t know what he’s going to do, he can’t ever win elections, so he doesn’t know why anybody would ever support Ron Paul. I’m paraphrasing.
Jay Leno: Did you mention that you’ve won 12 times?
Ron Paul: I did, but he wasn’t listening.
Jay Leno: Let me ask you, would you rule out a third-party run?
Ron Paul: I have not ruled it out absolutely, but I have no plans and no intentions to do it. Because when I’m soaring in the polls and I’m up in first and second place, that’s way premature.
Jay Leno: Quick question before we go, one quick question: who’s your favorite president, who have we had that you’ve said, “That’s what I want to do”?
Ron Paul: Grover Cleveland. He was a great president, he was a Democrat, though.
Jay Leno: We just saw the whole crowd go “Grover Cleveland?”.
Ron Paul: He loved to veto bills, and he believed in the gold standard.
Jay Leno: Well, sir, thank you very much, good luck my friend. That was Ron Paul. We”ll be right back with Joe Rogan, right after this.
Please welcome Joe Rogan. Joe! What are the odds you would be wearing that tonight.
Joe Rogan: It’s crazy, perfect timing.
Jay Leno: You’re obviously a Ron Paul fan.
Joe Rogan: Huge Ron Paul fan, I’m honored to be on the show.
Jay Leno: What part of his platform do you like?
Joe Rogan: Every single thing that comes out his mouth. When he talks about the gold standard, when he talks about civil liberties. Everything he says.
Jay Leno: Have you ever seen Fear Factor?
Joe Rogan: Yea, I’m the problem. See, you’re the solution, I’m the part of the problem in this country.
Ron Paul: No, I haven’t seen it, but I’ll be watching it from now on.
Jay Leno: There you go.
Joe Rogan: Ron Paul, ladies and gentlemen, come on.
This is a rush transcript. If you notice any errors please report them using the “Help improve this post” link at the bottom of this post.