Alan Colmes: I’m Alan Colmes, and I’m always delighted to have with us on the program Congressman Ron Paul. Dr. Paul is leaving Congress after this term, he served during the late 1970s and early 1980s and returned in 1997 to represent the 14th congressional district in Texas. In 1988 he was the Libertarian Party candidate for President, he’s also the author of several books, including The Challenge to Liberty, The Case for Gold, and The Republic. By the way, you’ve done some great cookbooks, too.
Ron Paul: Oh, yea, my wife did those and we kid a lot about that. I always ask, “Why do you want to do such a silly thing as a cookbook”, but then it turns out that she probably got more votes for me than I got for myself.
Alan Colmes: Are you disappointed with the results of this election?
Ron Paul: Well, not in any way, it is probably exactly what I expected. I remember a couple of days before the election I was asked to predict the outcome, and I said the status quo is going to win. So, from my viewpoint, where I want less war and better protection of civil liberties and free markets, we still have the status quo, we still have the deficits, and they’re going to argue for a while longer. So, I guess I wouldn’t say it’s a disappointment. It’s disappointing, I guess, if we don’t ever shift gears, but it wasn’t unexpected.
Alan Colmes: You didn’t think it would make a difference if it if it was Obama or Romney?
Ron Paul: No, not really.
Alan Colmes: Did you vote for Garry Johnson?
Ron Paul: I’m not telling.
Alan Colmes: You haven’t answered that question yet.
Ron Paul: No, I haven’t answered it, and it’s a little bit late now.
Alan Colmes: What do we do about the fiscal cliff, can we avoid it? And I know you’ve said it’s already happened, but what’s the path that should now be taken by the Congress and by the President?
Ron Paul: I think if you’re in a deficit crisis and a debt problem, that you have to cut back on the spending. If you or I got into serious trouble, we would have to say that if we were ethical, we’d want to pay off our debt. And what we would do is we would get two jobs and we would cut back the spending and get out of the mess we’re in. Governments are different, they never do that, they always just keep borrowing more and printing more and making the problems that much worse. So I would get out of it by cutting back. But during the campaign, I emphasized some priorities, and my idea would be to get people to agree on the overseas spending, because our debt, in the last ten years, probably went up over 4 trillion dollars just from the militarism and the wars. And that’s going to be ongoing when you think of all the men who have come back and are suffering and all the seriously wounded; and I think we can save a lot of money. We don’t have to go immediately after the entitlement system or Child Healthcare. Of course, as a libertarian, I don’t think those are good ideas, I think they usually end up the way they are today: they cost too much and services get rationed and people are worse off. And this was the message that I gave and it was well received on the campuses. The young people are inheriting this mess, they know the wars are useless and they know the spending doesn’t make any sense, and they were very open to my views on the Federal Reserve System, too.
Alan Colmes: So it seems, in your view, perhaps, that if we went off the fiscal cliff, that wouldn’t be such a bad idea if no deal were made, right?
Ron Paul: Well, it’s going to be bad if it doesn’t wake us up. If it wakes us up, it’s good. It’s good that the Soviet Union went off the cliff, and they had to retrench, and they went back home and they quit invading these countries. So I think when it’s admitted in the world sense that the United States is broke and they can’t afford it and they’re tired of loaning us money, we’re going to have to come home because we won’t be able to afford it, because I think then they’ll say, “We better take care of the people here at home rather than fighting these senseless wars”. And I think this is one of the things that actually hurt Romney, he wanted to spend 2 trillion dollars more on the military. And I always think that the candidate that sounds like he’s better for peace, wins the election. And even though Obama actually softened his stand, yet his policies aren’t very peaceful.
Alan Colmes: Yes, he had the surge in Afghanistan and he went into Libya, that’s where I differ from the President, and that’s where your messages resonates so much with me in terms of troops. And you’ve talked so often about all these military bases we have based on the geo-politics of World War II around the world, and how many dollars could we save there
Ron Paul: Yes, and also, as soon as you get this war attitude and you end up with carelessness about civil liberties. Now we have a President that can kill and assassinate American citizens and put them in prison without a trial.
Alan Colmes: Anybody can be declared an ‘enemy combatant’. And how about the Defense Authorization Act where the homeland is declared a ‘battlefield’ or smt.
Ron Paul: Yes, and the military can arrest people. But this is why I see that there is too much bipartisanship, both parties endorse this system. If people are honest with themselves, the foreign policy didn’t change from Bush on to Obama, civil liberties were abused by bush, and they’re abused by Obama. About spending, the conservatives have a reputation for cutting, but they never cut. As a matter of fact, they took a position that deficits don’t matter, that was supply-siders. I think deficits do matter, even though in the short run people think they can keep borrowing. But governments eventually get into trouble, and if an individual gets into trouble, the banks quit giving them any more loans and they have to quit. But governments only quit when they ruin the money, and we’re very capable of doing that.
Alan Colmes: We’re talking with Dr. Ron Paul, you obviously still have a lot to say, and you’ve had a very consistent message for a long time now. Any second thoughts about leaving Congress at the end of this term?
Ron Paul: No, matter of fact I’m sort of looking forward to a little bit different schedule, I’ll get to do things that I have been doing and hopefully I can get back to college campuses. I think that’s where the action is, you can’t have revolutionary changes without young people endorsing it, and I believe they are very open to some of the many things that I’ve talked about.
Alan Colmes: But you obviously want to still be part of the political discussion, you want to be part of the dialogue that’s going on.
Ron Paul: Yea, at least on policy. I have a foundation, and the foundation is going to concentrate on foreign policy. I had dinner last night with Dennis Kucinich, and we’re good friends and we’ll be working together trying to show that somebody who’s calls himself a progressive and libertarians can get together (Republican and Democratic) and agree on some of these things.
Alan Colmes: Some of us talk about the Kucinich-Paul ticket 4 years ago, right?
Ron Paul: Yea, some people said that, but I think it’s not likely to happen. But we can still work together since we’ll both be out of Congress.
Alan Colmes: I’ve also been fortunate enough to have your son, Rand, on the program a few times. And is he now carrying the torch of your message going forward, and can you talk about him running as a candidate in 2016?
Ron Paul: Well, we haven’t talked about that, but I hope he basically sticks to the principles of Liberty, and I believe he will, but it has to be more than Ron Paul and Rand Paul. I mean, if this is significant, you have to have literally thousands of people involved and you have to have an intellectual change, and that’s what I’m interested in more than the politics. And that’s probably why I never became a chairman of a major committee, because I was sort of bored with that. But, hopefully, a few people got to thinking about monetary policy and foreign policy.
Alan Colmes: Let me ask you about the secession movement, and you’re belief is that it’s patriotic. In fact, and it’s called for in our founding documents that states that we certainly have the right to speak up. But are you surprised by the number of people who have signed petitions on the White House website since the election?
Ron Paul: Yes, a little bit, it just seemed like that popped out of nowhere, but many of us have believed that if people read the history honestly, it was sort of understood. But the numbers of people signing up sort of surprised me. But those people who tried to paint us as a little bit off the wall by saying , “Yes, the principle of secession should be there, we should be able to leave”, wonder what they would say about if Greece wanted to leave the European Union, do we say that the European Union ought to invade Greece and destroy them and kill them all because they’re leaving?
Alan Colmes: Do you have empathy or sympathy, at least, for those who want to secede?
Ron Paul: Oh yea, I think the principle is a very good principle. But one thing where I get hesitant about it – because I don’t take the position that Texas should secede, I’m not going to believe that – is because you have to look at what the states are doing. Maybe the state officials are going to abuse the system just like the federal government, so you have to know what you’re substituting it for. So, for me, it’s more important to understand free market principles and why we don’t need these wars and why we should have a government that protects civil liberties. And, you know, the states can be very abusive, too.
Alan Colmes: I only have a moment left, let me take a quick call here for Ron Paul. Rob in San Jose, go ahead quickly.
Rob: Hi, first of all I would just like to say that I so wish that Dr. Paul would have been the nominee. Actually I wish he would have been the third party nominee, which leads me to my question: what can we do to get a viable third party in this country, because the two parties are just …
Alan Colmes: Okay, we only have about 30 seconds left, but let’s try to get an answer, go ahead, Ron.
Ron Paul: Yes, that would be nice, and I’ve worked in that area and have tried to change the rules, but it’s not going to happen in the near future because the Republicans and the Democrats write all the rules. Guess who runs the debates, it’s the Republican and Democratic Parties. So it’s very biased, you can’t get on the ballots and you don’t get recognized by the media.
Alan Colmes: And that was Gary Johnson’s frustration, I’m sure.
Ron Paul: Yea, we go over and send kids overseas and get killed trying to promote democracy, and there are a lot of shortcomings here in this country, that’s my argument, we ought to clean up our mess.
Alan Colmes: Dr. Paul, I appreciate having you on, thank you so much for being with us tonight.