Bob Schieffer: Senator Paul, your dad obviously has a shot at winning Iowa now, but the pollsters out there seem to think that Rick Santorum has really caught the momentum and he’s been closing fast here in the last two days. They say if you measure just the last two days, he’s actually in second place. What do you think happened? I thought your dad was the darling of the evangelical Christian vote, which is such a big vote out there, and a lot of conservatives. What’s happening?
Rand Paul: Well, I think if you look at it, we’ve had several frontrunners, we’ve had several people surge to the top, and I think this is the best time to be surging to the top. And Ron Paul has surged probably as much as anyone in the last two or three weeks. And has been the frontrunner, or near being the frontrunner in Iowa, he’s closing the gap in New Hampshire. So I think he’s surging at precisely the right time.
Bob Schieffer: Well, if Rick Santorum does wind up either winning out there or running ahead of your dad, will he be the sort of “anybody-but-Romney” candidate going into New Hampshire?
Rand Paul: I think he has a lot of things to overcome, in his last election he was defeated by over 20 points, he was a big supporter of Arlen Specter, against pat Toomey, he’s really been a big government type of moderate, and a lot of people don’t know that, because he hasn’t surged to the top yet, so he hasn’t had much scrutiny. When he has the scrutiny, I think he’s going to have some of the same problems that some of the other fair-weather conservatives have had.
Bob Schieffer: Let me ask you this, I mean, your father is a very polite and decent man, he’s very nice to deal with, everybody seems to like him. But I don’t know a single impartial observer who thinks that he could wind up getting the nomination, let alone winning in a general election. Does he think he could win?
Rand Paul: You know, the interesting thing is when people say that, when you actually look at the numbers and the polls, who’s scoring the best with independents and Democrats among Republicans? Ron Paul is the only one getting significant independent votes and Democrat votes. And every year I watch the elections and people say, “You need independent votes to win the election, you can’t win with just Republicans”. So I actually see Ron Paul as the one Republican who could reach across the boundaries of party, collect a lot of people who don’t vote normally, and really energize the party. Look at the crowds, he says he’s crowds are growing by the hundreds, and then you interview someone like Santorum who’s got 5 people and they’re telling him to be quite because they’re watching the football game. So, I mean, Ron Paul is having these big huge crowds in Iowa and is really exciting a lot of young people and new people, so I think there is a lot of momentum and I think he could win by bringing in independents.
Bob Schieffer: But you would have to concede he is far beyond the mainstream in the Republican Party, is he even Republican or is he a libertarian?
Rand Paul: I would say he’s different in the sense that he believes with foreign policy we should only go to war if Congress declares war. And because he believes that way, he has a reluctance to go to war. But I think for a lot of Americans who are tired after 10 years, we lost 5000 soldiers, or nearly 5000 soldiers in Iraq. The rest of the Republican field is beating the drums and jumping up and down and saying, “Oh no, I’ll bomb Iran first”. Beginning a new war should be something that is done very reluctantly and in consultation with Congress. And I think we don’t want people who are eager to go to war, and I think many Republicans also understand that, and that’s why his crowds are growing. But also you’re seeing Democrats and independents want someone who is wise, who is not reckless, someone who will control our nuclear weapons should not be someone who is trigger happy and wants to start a war every moment.
Bob Schieffer: Alright.
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