CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight-Transcript
DOBBS: I strongly believe that most of us want to hear what presidential candidates have to say on the issues and their specific position. And what we're doing is offering a special series on this broadcast. We call it "2008: Time For Answers". And we're giving all the presidential candidates two minutes of uninterrupted airtime to address each critical issue facing this country.
Republican Congressman Ron Paul, of Texas, joins us tonight. He is the first candidate to accept my offer. And Congressman Ron Paul joins us tonight from Capitol Hill. We're delighted to have you here.
REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. It's good to be with you.
DOBBS: Fire at will. The subject is so-called free trade.
PAUL: Free trade. I'm for free trade. Although I'm not for the type of system that we have today because I don't believe it's my concept of free trade. I do not believe that the Congress should ever have the authority to pass this authority to the president. And on things like on fast track and then president devises agreements that serve the interests of the special interests.
So, I positively opposed to this transfer of power just as I am opposed to the Congress transferring power to the president to declare war. So you can be for trade. I follow the admonition of the Founders. They think we're a lot better off if we trade with countries, rather than fight with them.
We fought with Vietnam through the '60s. It did go well. We left. Now we trade with them. I think we do better trading. Where our problem gets into are these managed trade agreements under the WTO and under NAFTA and the plan for a North American Union. These are the kind of movements I think are very detrimental to national sovereignty. I don't think it helps our workers.
And in combination with our monetary policy we are now exporting our jobs due to a flawed trade policy and actually a flawed foreign policy because we have allowed too much power to gravitate to the executive branch, and the Congress won't live up to their responsibilities. The Congress is supposed to be protecting us, protecting and guarding against our liberties.
At the same time, here we are once again in an undeclared war overseas, that's going on endlessly trying to enforce U.N. resolutions, which is very disruptive to our economy. It causes huge deficits. That is more disruptive to our trade policies, as well.
Do I not believe we can solve all our trade problems unless we eventually look at monetary policy. Because when we have the privilege of printing the reserve currency of the world, we abuse this, we print the money and no wonder the jobs go overseas because they take our dollars. That is coming to an end because this war and our financial obligations has nearly bankrupt this country. I think we're in for big trouble.
DOBBS: Congressman, you did it. I mean that's two minutes uninterrupted. We appreciate it. Let me ask you a couple of follow-up questions if I may.
DOBBS: First, let me ask you the question that is often asked of someone taking the position you have on free trade. I want to remind everybody who may be surprised as you speak about free trade you are a candidate for the Republican nomination. Are you a protectionist?
PAUL: No, not really. Only when it becomes national security reasons. But no, I think the more trade that we have, the better. I just don't like privileged trades. I don't like international managed trade. I don't like this NAFTA and WTO managed trade because I don't think the people are served. I think the special interests are served because they have the influence in these organizations.
DOBBS: Would you either rewrite or rescind NAFTA?
PAUL: I'd get rid of NAFTA and WTO, for that matter. I certainly don't want a North American Union and I'm sick of these plans for this highway coming through here that's going to go from Mexico to Canada. That's not my idea of national sovereignty.
DOBBS: The idea that the United States, as Bill Tucker reported tonight, H1B visas being used under the rubric of bringing in bright foreign workers into this country, in point of fact, as our research has demonstrated, more than half of those for low-skilled jobs. What would be your position there?
PAUL: That I would not have as much concern about. But I think it needs monitoring. My big concern are the illegals, I'm concerned about all the enticements we give for the illegals, automatic citizenship by being born here. And then just be here for a while and you get in front of the line. Free medical care, free education. No wonder they bring their families. So I would get rid of all the benefits to the illegals and deal with that and the legal entry, then it needs more monitoring, and looking into these H1B and different categories that we have.
DOBBS: Congressman Ron Paul, we will leave a discussion of illegal immigration to another time for greater examination. We thank for being here tonight.
PAUL: Thank you.
DOBBS: Congressman Ron Paul. Well, as the presidential campaign continues, we'll continue this special series on our broadcast. 2008, definitely it is time for answers. Giving all the presidential candidates who want to take us up on our offer two minutes of uninterrupted airtime to address each critical issue facing this country.