Ron Paul: I Wish We Could Just Debate the Issues


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Neil Cavuto: Well, the jobs news is not good news for Mitt Romney. Here’s another, the Republican frontrunner might not be the frontrunner, at least not now. According to Rasmussen, Newt is the party’s new [frontrunner]. The former Speaker, now the present Republican leader, for now, to a not-so-convinced Ron Paul. The Texas congressman joins me out of Manchester, New Hampshire. Congressman, what do you think of that poll?

Ron Paul: Showing Newt well ahead, well there have been quite a few that jump up in the polls, and they quickly go down, so only time will tell how long he’ll be up there. So you have your doubts as to whether this up again, down again faith of Republican leaders continues?

Ron Paul: Yea, I would have to think so. Any of these polls, in which somebody announces that they’re at the top within a week and then they’re down in three weeks and it’s up and down, they can’t be all that reliable. And I was just talking to some people today that seemed to be pretty knowledgeable about how politics works, and he said, “In reality, people wait till the last couple of weeks and then they really make up their minds”. We’re getting awfully close to that, but there still will be a lot of minds made up yet between now and next month.

Neil Cavuto: You had said – and we’re going to get to this in a second in more detail, Congressman – that you don’t think Newt Gingrich is a true conservative, what did you mean by that?

Ron Paul: Who said he was a true conservative?

Neil Cavuto: You doubted that he was a true conservative.

Ron Paul: Oh, I doubted it, yea. Well, you know, you get into playing these games on semantics. What I think a true conservative is might not be exactly what you think a true conservative is. But what I think about as a true conservative voting in the Congress over the years is, when you have a vote on a conservative issue, you only get 10 or 15 or 20 or maybe 30 voting on what the true conservative position is. And I would say that I never remember thinking that Newt Gingrich was part of that group.

Neil Cavuto: Interesting, because you sort of upped the ante since we have this surge of Newt Gingrich. You have probably led, more than others, the effort to reassess the whole Gingrich presidential candidacy. This ad is what’s striking people’s attention, we got a clip from that right here.

Voice: Gingrich renewed his support for an individual mandate, a key tenant of President Obama’s healthcare law.

Rush Limbaugh: Support for an individual mandate? Folks, don’t ask me to explain this.

Newt Gingrich: And the real question, serious question, seriousness …

Voice: Everything that Gingrich rallied against when he was in the House, he went the other way when he got paid to go the other way.

Man to Gingrich: You are an embarrassment to our party.

Female News Anchor: He’s flipped and flopped based on who’s paying him.

Voice: He’s demonstrating himself to be the very essence of the Washington insider.

Neil Cavuto: Boy, that was a fast spot to get out there. When did you guys put this together?

Ron Paul: That was just a couple of days ago. Matter of fact, that wasn’t too tough, because we didn’t have to be too creative, we just had to get some clips mostly of what he said or somebody else said about him. So we weren’t all that creative, we don’t have any creative language in there that’s me giving an opinion, it was just rather recordings. I really don’t like that part of politics, I wish we could just debate purely the issues. But I think I was a little bit frustrated with the fact that these events weren’t being fully discussed in the media. At the same time, I thought the media was getting out of control when they were dwelling so much time on another candidate, that had nothing to do with his issues and his beliefs, and, of course, you know who I’m talking about.

Neil Cavuto: Are you talking about Herman Cain right now?

Ron Paul: Yea. I mean, how much time should we spend on that? I don’t want to say the media shouldn’t even talk about it, but if you go back and look at the hours spent on that versus the little bit of information talking about the flip-flopping of the candidates and their positions, I just thought it was necessary to get some of that information out.

Neil Cavuto: Alright, so I take it from what you mean, this announcement that Herman Cain is going to make tomorrow, I guess, about whether he’s in or out of the race, you don’t think that this should be the issue that takes him out of the race?

Ron Paul: I would have preferred that it would have been his proposal for a national sales tax and the fact that he was closely connected to the Federal Reserve System, and that he supported the bailouts. That, to me, was much more important than spending the time and energy and the amount of airtime used to talk about something, like I said, was important, but in priorities I would have said that these issues are more important. Whether they’re Herman Cain’s or Newt Gingrich’s position, I think we should talk about where they’ve been and what they do and how often they change their tune, and I think that would be a much better use of time on the air.

Neil Cavuto: So would you feel the same way if some of the same issues that have come up against Herman Cain, fairly or not, Congressman, come up against Newt Gingrich and his prior marriages and handling of relationships, would that also be out be out of bounds?

Ron Paul: Well, I don’t know if I’d use the out-of-bounds stuff, because I think there’s probably no new stuff on Newt. So maybe he has an advantage there, everybody knows about it. And everybody knew about Clinton, and I think we’re a very forgiving nation. It’s when it’s new and it seems like it strikes the fancy and gets the attention of the listening audience, then it must be good TV or they wouldn’t do it. It’s on constantly, so I just don’t think it’s likely to happen to Newt, because I think everybody knows what has happened. He hasn’t denied anything, he’s explained his position on this. So I think that’s a little bit different.

Neil Cavuto: Never the less, given this ad that’s out … and you’re right, you’re quoting and just putting together a bunch of sources from Rush Limbaugh and other commentators and reports and the like. But yet it can do a considerable amount of damage to him in this tip off states. If he is still nominee, could and would you support him?

Ron Paul: Well, you know, if somebody changes their position, that’s one thing, but if a person changes his position and he’s real, real sincere, you shouldn’t be close-minded. And he’s one of the other candidates, although they all talk a little bit more sympathetically about knowing more about the Federal Reserve and leaning towards auditing [the Fed], actually Newt has been one of the best of the other candidates, and he’s been pretty open about it.

Neil Cavuto: So you’d support him?

Ron Paul: Well, I’m telling you that if there was more of that, if there was more of him and I coming to agreements and I can be convinced … but I think there are some issues there that would be quite difficult because he really loves the PATRIOT Act and that means he doesn’t care about the 4th Amendment and these kind of things. So I’d have to be convinced. But he’s sort of opening up my mind to the fact that maybe he is sincere about the Federal Reserve. So that, to me, means I ought to keep an open mind.

Neil Cavuto: Maybe you’re contagious, Congressman. You know, we had your son here, Rand Paul, Kentucky Senator. He said he doesn’t think you would ever entertain running as a third-party candidate. Is he right?

Ron Paul: That’s pretty darn close. I’m not thinking about it. I mean, look, I’m not doing badly right now.

Neil Cavuto: You’re not.

Ron Paul: It seems like we’re very happy with our polls, so why should we even talk about it or think about it. So we concentrate only one on thing: keep moving up in the polls and see how things come out in a month or two.

Neil Cavuto: Alright, we’ll watch closely, you’re polling very well in the mean time, Congressman. Thank you very, very, much. Be well.

Ron Paul: Alright, thank you.