When are the neocons and the hawks going to stop getting us into more trouble, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked Ron Paul during an appearance on Hardball. “Well I wish they’d look at reason and look at what is happening,” replied Paul, but “I think it’s unfortunately going to stop when we go broke and there’s nothing left and then the people will find out that it is a total failure.”
Rand Paul: I never could have done any of this, though, without the help of my parents, who are here today. Thank you for joining me, mom and dad.
Chris Matthews: Going back to [inaudible] where he declared his candidacy for president, Senator Rand Paul looked well positioned to build upon the legacy of his father, U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, who attracted strong libertarian support in the Republican primaries in 2008 and 2012. With the 2016 campaigns well underway now, Paul has struggled at a crowded field, dogged by lackluster fundraising and slipping poll numbers. A year ago, Rand Paul led all his 2016 rivals, according to a National Quinnipiac University poll last summer. Now, the same poll shows him tied with Marco Rubio and Ben Carson in 4th place, well behind Trump, Walker, and Bush. According to a piece in the Washington Post today, titled “As debate looms, Rand Paul seeks a chance to be the GOP dove. Paul intends to contrast himself and his rivals on foreign policy [inaudible]. Paul vowed that he will ask his Republican presidential rivals, face to face, whether they ‘Want to always intervene in every civil war around the world’ I want to be known as the candidate who is not eager for war, who thinks war is the last resort. The libertarian wing of the Republican Party has been waiting and waiting and waiting for Paul to do that”.
I’m joined right now by former U.S. Congress Ron Paul, who has authored his new book, “Swords into Ploughshares: a life in wartime and a future of peace and prosperity”. Congressman, thank you for joining us, because I do support what you’re trying to do and what your son is certainly trying to do. Then, Norman Podhoretz, of all people, the king of the neo-cons, last week had the gal to come out and say, “We have to bomb Iran. No more deals, no more nuclear agreements, no more containment.” We must go to war again. We’ve toppled Libya, we’ve tried to topple Syria, we’ve toppled Egypt, we’re toppled Iraq, and we’re tried to topple Iran. When are the neo-cons and a hawks and the Republican Party going to stop getting us into more trouble, your thoughts?
Ron Paul: Well, I wish they had listened to reason and just looked at what’s happening. Unfortunately, I think it’s going to stop when we go broke and there’s nothing left and the people will find out that it was a total failure. Just as the Soviet System collapsed, it wasn’t because they decided to be peaceniks, it’s because they went broke and I think that’s what’s going to happen to us. Right now, in the midst of all this, we’re doing all the bombing that you demonstrated. They say, “War is the health of the state”, and when you have wars going on, and a constant war like the war against terrorism, the war is turned against the American people, and that’s why we have the attack on civil liberties. So I think there is going to be a serious serious problem in this country, both in our liberties and our economic policies. But the foreign policy is something that I concentrate on in the book, because I think these wars are needless, they’re immoral, they’re unconstitutional, and they hurt us, and we ought to stop them. And I think that’s what Rand Paul’s message is going to be on this Thursday, he has to try to challenge these other individuals because he’s the only one anywhere close to that position, so I expect that he will follow through.
Chris Matthews: Unfortunately, the bugle blowers in your party are like the guys in the beginning of Gone With The Wind, they were so thrilled that civil war has begin and they’re all going to die. Let’s look at the exchange you had with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani on the issue of national security in an early debt in 2008, let’s watch.
Ron Paul: Have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we’ve been over there, we’ve been bombing Iraq for ten years.
Brit Hume: Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attacks, sir?
Ron Paul: I’m suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it.
Brit Hume: Would you like to comment on that?
Rudy Giuliani: That’s truly an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attacks of 9/11, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don’t think I have ever heard that before, and I’ve heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11.
Chris Matthews: You know, I think that was very cute by Rudy, and, of course, it was very jingoistic and very nationalistic. But the fact is that you were right, you were on to something, and if you had listened to what the people were talking about, it was the fact that we sent over 10,000 troops thanks to Dick Cheney in their holy land, and sat in there all the way from the beginning of the Gulf War all the way through 9/11. We were the ones that defiled their religion, humiliated it, and that was the reason whether we like it or not. There is such a thing as motive and you have to live with it, and they don’t want to think that there might be a motive. Sirhan Sirhan killed Bobby Kennedy because of political motives. You’ve got to at least know what you’re up against. Anyway, I don’t understand this defiance of truth.
Ron Paul: More people are recognizing this, I think Giuliani lost that little debate we ha there. I remember after that somebody said, “Well, I guess you’ll have to quit”, and it was only the beginning. That was early on in 2007 I think when that happened, and Giuliani never went anywhere and that time people were really negative about the war.
Chris Matthews: You’re with the President on the nuclear deal with Iran, right? That’s containment, as far as you’re concerned, rather than war?
Ron Paul: Right, I’ve always supported that and made the point that Kennedy talked to Khrushchev and Reagan talked to the Russians and they were bad people and evil people who had a lot of weapons, yet we still talked to them. But this deal and this agreement that we’ve worked out with Iran is far from perfect and is nothing like how I would do it, but it’s better than threatening them with bombs. They never want to take anything off the table, and I think that is just immoral to say, “If you don’t go our way, we’re allowed to bomb you with a nuclear weapon, because that’s what some of them would do”.
Chris Matthews: To the people watching right now, I like the way this man is thinking, and I certainly agree with him on foreign policy. the name of his book is “Swords into Plowshares”, and it is exactly what he is talking about tonight. Former U.S. Congress Ron Paul, sir, thank you for coming on this show with a philosophical difference with jingoist and the trumpet blowers of the Republican Party. Up next, the restless herds, we’re looking at why members of both parties right now are uncertain about their current frontrunners, what is so restive and spooking the herd of both parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, out there. You’re watching the Hardball, the place for politics is right here on The Hardball.