John Stossel: If only someone who really believed in limited government, someone who respects the dignity of the individual and individual freedom, if only someone like Ron Paul would run for president. Oh, he’s here via satellite. Dr. Paul, why didn’t you run for president?
Ron Paul: Well, John, that’s interesting, because I had a dream once that I actually did, and I had a dream that I was doing very well, and that I won the primary in Iowa. And, boy, I woke up that next morning, I went out and watched the TV, and my name was never mentioned, so I guess it was all just a dream. But I thought about it, so maybe some day I will.
John Stossel: And hence the point of my joking introduction. You were often ignored by, not this program, but many in the media. But you did get more than two million votes in the Republican primary.
Ron Paul: Yes, I was pretty pleased. Of course, you always want to do better, but I was very encouraged by the number of people, especially the young people that showed up when I went to the universities, because that’s where I have become more optimistic. I have to admit that I did watch some of the State of The Union message, and I didn’t come out of watching that very optimistic, that was rather depressing. But, in going to the college campuses, which I will continue to do, there’s reason to be optimistic. A lot of young people know what you and so many others have been talking about, it’s so different than it was when I first got into politics in 1970. A lot of people now do care about individual liberty and limited government.
John Stossel: And you and a few other congressmen didn’t attend the States of the Union, and I don’t blame you. Some of these guys show up 10 hours early to be at the end of the aisle so they can get their faces on TV. It’s a big suck-up fest.
Ron Paul: It was terrible. I watched a little bit of that tonight, and I keep thinking it’s like a circus, a joyous occasion and they’re rushing in there and getting those seats. And they’ll go in there and occupy a seat, they’ll go very early, hours and hours before. But the jumping up and down, and the ritual that they go through … “Should the Republicans get up on this one, or should they sit on their hands?”, “Oh, this is one where everybody gets up and down”, and it sounds like the world has been saved.
If you were locked in just were on that floor, it would be so distorted. But that’s the way Washington is, it’s so distorted. They live in their own little bubble and they don’t know that there’s anybody like you or anybody in your audience that might have questions about what’s going on in this country. And certainly we didn’t get any answers tonight.
John Stossel: And I know that there’s no requirement that they hold these big celebrations, the constitution just says, “The President, from time to time, shall give Congress information on the state of the union”. Thomas Jefferson wrote his, and that’s what happened for a hundred years. George Washington said 800 words, Obama said several thousand years. That depresses me, I’m going to drop that. You have retired, but are there younger members of Congress now who give you hope?
Ron Paul: Oh, yes, certainly. The numbers aren’t great, but there are 6 to 12 that are going to do a very good job, and that’s a lot more than there have been during the many years that I was there, so that’s very encouraging.
John Stossel: Do you endorse the few, like Representative Justin Amash, Senator Ted Cruz, Thomas Massie, Ted Yoho, Kerry Bentivolio and Steve Stockman?
Ron Paul: Yes, and that’s a real good start. We do need a lot more, but the truth is, after listening to a speech like that, I think we should be convinced that this spending isn’t going to quit before we have a calamity, that’s what I think is going to happen. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop trying to change people’s minds. But to think that next year and two years from now we’re going to have more members of Congress and we’re finally going to come to our senses and we’re going to vote against some of these largess for all the special interests and we’re going to bring our troops home and they’re going to repeal and restraint the president from assassinating Americans citizens and repeal his so-called right to do that, that’s not going to happen. There’s going to be a serious economic problem and a crisis here where there will be a decision made by the people, mostly the young people right now that are in college and are getting out of college, on what kind of a system we have. We have an outline, it’s been around, it’s called the Constitution, and if we would go in that direction once again, we could solve some of our problems. But it’s not going to be gradual, I think it’s inevitable that we’re going to have this financial crisis, which is going to be very, very serious.
John Stossel: The answer is in the constitution. I happen to have one here and I’m always struck by how thin it is compared to the laws that we now must obey.
Ron Paul: Right.
John Stossel: You were in Congress for 35 years, did anything get better?
Ron Paul: No, it all got worse. The spending always went up, and government got bigger, and there were more wars and more printing of money and more power to the Fed and more central economic planning. But that’s what you see on the surface, in the 1930s, most of the things you saw on the surface was the defense of liberty, and even Roosevelt ran on a balanced budget and a gold standard in 1932. So I think the reverse is the case now, everything on the surface looks like it’s welfarism and warfarism for ever. But I think underneath there is a smoldering desire that is growing by leaps and bounds that’s saying that a lot of people in this country have had enough of it. And I think tonight he talked a lot about gun control, I don’t think the American people are going to put up with that, and I think this awakening is coming, it’s own its way. So I would like to do my share and try and nourish that awakening.
John Stossel: He did talk a lot about gun control, but he never mentioned the word ‘drone’ once.
Ron Paul: That’s the gun we ought to really control. I think the drone missile and our drone warfare, is one of the most dangerous things. When I left Congress, in my speech I listed ‘An attack on civil liberties’ was our most serious threat. But the other thing was the killing of foreigners in foreign countries, like we’re doing in endless countries, by drones. And civilians get killed and Americans get killed and it’s so over the top, and there’s not enough talk about that. And that, to me, …
John Stossel: They do talk about it, but they do say they are keeping us safe: “Kill them there so they don’t kill us here”.
Ron Paul: Yea, that’s what they say, but every time they kill a civilian over there, you probably get ten more that are dedicated to the principles of what the Al-Qaida stands for: keep foreigners out of our land, and punish those who come here to kill us. And the war fever that is built up … I saw a statistic where we’re actually putting putting troops into probably about 35 countries in Africa because we’re competing with China. Now China has earned some money, we buy their stuff, and they’re going over there and investing in natural resources. So we’re investing by buying more weapons and going over there and putting more troops in Africa, and now they say, “Well, we’ve had this victory in Iraq and Afghanistan, so we’re going to move to the Far East and into Africa and conquer those lands as well”. And it’s going to backfire, because we will go bankrupt, and these things will have to stop and there’s going to be a lot of piling on. This is not the way to win friends and influence people by dropping drone missiles on them constantly.