Watched Ron Paul’s interview this morning on Meet The ‘Press’…
That was ‘interesting’ – I’ve never seen the bullfrog (Russert) quite so determined to destroy anything.
He did not refer to Paul as a ‘dark horse’ or even a ‘long shot’ – but he did try to use Paul’s very long record of public service to try and destroy Paul’s credibility.
Russert didn’t smile, didn’t look into the camera, just read his little digs into the interview in rapid fire-succession. Mostly, Paul was not allowed to even finish his own sentences – the exact opposite of Russert’s interviews with insiders…where Russert finishes their sentences for them with a huge grin.
Still, Ron held his own, and then some. … Russet went back to the 1980’s for “background” on Paul’s positions (fully half of which were either outright lies or bruising half-truths) – something no other candidate will ever be threatened with, much less have to explain. …
MR. TIM RUSSERT: Our issues this Sunday: Our Meet the Candidates 2008 series continues, an exclusive interview with Republican Ron Paul. He has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 18 years. In 1988 he was the Libertarian Party candidate for president. Since October he has raised nearly $19 million. That is more than any other Republican candidate for president. Our guest, Dr. Ron Paul.
MR. RUSSERT: Would you replace the income tax with anything else?
REP. PAUL: Not if I could help it. You know, there are some proposals where probably almost anything would be better than income tax. But there’s a lot of shortcomings with the, with the sales tax. But it would probably be slightly better than the income tax–it would be an improvement. But the goal is to cut the spending, get back to a sensible-size government.
MR. RUSSERT: But if you had a flat tax, 30 percent consumption tax [Huckabee’s proposal – jeff fenske], that would be very, very punishing to the poor and middle class.
REP. PAUL: Well, I know. That’s why I don’t want it.
MR. RUSSERT: So you have nothing?
REP. PAUL: I want to cut spending. I want to get a–use the Constitution as our guide, and you wouldn’t need the income tax.
REP. PAUL: We’re going bankrupt. All empires end because the countries go bankrupt, and the, and the currency crashes. That’s what happening. And we need to come out of this sensibly rather than waiting for a financial crisis.
MR. RUSSERT: … How have we, the United States, provoked al-Qaeda?
REP. PAUL: Well, read what the lead–the ringleader says. Read what Osama bin Laden said. We had, we had a base, you know, in Saudi Arabia that was an affront to their religion, that was blasphemy as far as they were concerned. We were bombing Iraq for 10 years, we were–we’ve interfered in Iran since 1953. Our CIA’s been involved in the overthrow of their governments. We’re bought right now in the process of overthrowing that nation. We side more with Israel and Pakistan, and, and they get annoyed with this. How would we react if we were on their land–if they were on our land? We would be very annoyed, and we’d be fighting mad. …
MR. RUSSERT: It sounds like you think that the problem is al-Qaeda–the problem is the United States, not al-Qaeda.
REP. PAUL: No, it’s both. It’s both–al-Qaeda becomes the violent. It’s sort of like if you step in a snake pit and you get bit, you know, who caused the trouble? Because you stepped in the snake pit or because snakes bite you? So I think you have to understand both. But why, why produce the incentive for these violent, vicious thugs to want to come here and kill us.
MR. RUSSERT: Do you think there’s an ideological struggle that Islamic fascists want to take over the world?
REP. PAUL: Oh, I think some, just like the West is wanting to do that all the time. Look at the way they look at us. I mean, we’re in a, we’re in a 130 countries. We have 700 bases. How do you think they proposed that to their people, saying “What does America want to do? Are they over here to be nice to us and teach us how to be good Democrats?” …
REP. PAUL: The president himself has changed the policy. You know, I mean, he ran–I liked the program he ran on. That’s what I defend. And–but all of a sudden–and it didn’t change after 9/11, it changed the first meeting of the Cabinet according to Paul O’Neal. He says immediately it was on the table. When, when were we going to attack Iraq?
MR. RUSSERT: And Social Security? You’re OK with Social Security now?
REP. PAUL: …right now Social Security beneficiaries are getting 2 percent raises, their cost of living is going up 10 percent. A dollar crisis is going to wipe them all out. That’s my point.
MR. RUSSERT: You say you’re a strict constructionist of the Constitution, and yet you want to amend the Constitution to say that children born here should not automatically be U.S. citizens.
REP. PAUL: Well, amending the Constitution is constitutional. What’s a–what’s the contradiction there?
MR. RUSSERT: So in the Constitution as written, you want to amend?
REP. PAUL: Well, that’s constitutional, to do it. Besides, it was the 14th Amendment. It wasn’t in the original Constitution. And there’s a, there’s a confusion on interpretation. In the early years, it was never interpreted that way, and it’s still confusing because people–individuals are supposed to have birthright citizenship if they’re under the jurisdiction of the government. And somebody who illegally comes in this country as a drug dealer, is he under the jurisdiction and their children deserve citizenship? I think it’s awfully, awfully confusing, and, and I, I–matter of fact, I have a bill to change that as well as a Constitutional amendment to clarify it.
MR. RUSSERT: I was intrigued by your comments about Abe Lincoln. “According to Paul, Abe Lincoln should never have gone to war; there were better ways of getting rid of slavery.”
REP. PAUL: Absolutely. Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war. No, he shouldn’t have gone, gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic. I mean, it was the–that iron, iron fist..
MR. RUSSERT: We’d still have slavery.
REP. PAUL: Oh, come on, Tim. Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world. And the way I’m advising that it should have been done is do like the British empire did. You, you buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where it lingered for 100 years? I mean, the hatred and all that existed. So every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war. I mean, that doesn’t sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach.
REP. PAUL: No. But I think this country, a movement in the last 100 years, is moving toward fascism. Fascism today, the softer term, because people have different definition of fascism, is corporatism when the military industrial complex runs the show, when the–in the name of security pay–pass the Patriot Act. You don’t vote for it, you know, you’re not patriotic America. If you don’t support the troops and you don’t support–if you don’t support the war you don’t support the troops. It’s that kind of antagonism. But we have more corporatism and more abuse of our civil liberties, more loss of our privacy, national ID cards, all this stuff coming has a fascist tone to it. And the country’s moving in that direction. That’s what I’m thinking about. This was not personalized. I never even used my opponents names if you, if you notice.
MR. RUSSERT: So you think we’re close to fascism?
REP. PAUL: I think we’re approaching it very close. One–there’s one, there’s one documentary that’s been put out recently that has generated a lot of interest called “Freedom to Fascism.” And we’re moving in that direction. Were not moving toward Hitler-type fascism, but we’re moving toward a softer fascism. Loss of civil liberties, corporations running the show, big government in bed with big business. So you have the military industrial complex, you have the medical industrial complex, you have the financial industry, you have the communications industry. They go to Washington and spend hundreds of millions of dollars. That’s where the control is. I call that a soft form of fascism, something that is very dangerous.
Ron Paul after “Meet the Press” 12/23/07
transcribed by jeff fenske
Supporter: “Please take good care of your health.”
Paul: “…I take my vitamins in the morning and walk at night.”
Paul: “He [Russert] stayed away Iraq. I got to bring it up a few times, but he stayed away from foreign policy and monetary policy, two of the things we talk about the most.”
Supporter: “How did you feel about the energy [inaudible]?”
Paul: “I’m used to pessimism. I used to be very reluctant [inaudible] to do well. But today I felt good, so I hope I’m on the right track.”