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CNN "The Situation Room" - Transcript

Interview

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RON PAUL, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, it's not going to do any good at all. It's not a lack of taxation that's going on. There's just too much spending. And this doesn't solve the problem. I see no advantage to doing what he's doing.

BLITZER: You know that all the polls show that the majority of cases, in some cases an overwhelming majority of the American people want higher taxes on millionaires and billionaires as the president likes to say. Why are the American people wrong when answering that question?

PAUL: Well, because pure democracy sometimes leads to these ill- advised positions. You know, when there is a war propaganda going on and they draw and beat the war drums and everybody says 75 percent of people want us to go to war.

And then after ten years their sick and tired of it doesn't mean it was right when 75 percent said do something. This is the danger of pure democracy. When you demagogue and you attack somebody and say we have to attack the wealthy.

I don't mind criticizing, you know, the wealthy at times. I criticize the bankers and the bailouts and the corporate people who got all the benefits both when the financial bubble was being built but then when it burst, they got bailed out and then the people suffered.

But that doesn't mean we should attack wealth for the sake of wealth. We should stop all the subsidies to the wealth. Anybody is getting wealthy because they get contracts from the government or because they're on the inside of the program where they get their bailouts.

That's quite a bit different. We should stop that, but not blanketly penalize people who make wealth and who have created wealth and provided great services for the consumer.

BLITZER: Rick Perry, the governor of your home state of Texas, if he were to get the Republican presidential nomination, could you support him?

PAUL: Well, I don't know because his policies have changed and maybe if he came a little closer to what I'm talking about and would agree that troops ought to come home and look into the fed, I'd certainly give it consideration.

BLITZER: What about Mitt Romney? If he were to get the Republican nomination, could you support him?

PAUL: Well, the same answer. None of them are advocating my positions, but they're starting to talk a little bit like I am because I think like Governor Romney actually said we should bring troops home from Afghanistan. So I would have to find out exactly what their positions are and what the platform is that they'll be running on.

BLITZER: Who's better from your perspective right now?

PAUL: I don't choose to pick one of those because I see all the other candidates sort of in one group that is -- and they're all different than what I'm talking about because the foreign policy I advocate neither one of them do and there is tremendous emphasis on that. I have a tremendous emphasis on personal liberty, right to life and liberty and civil liberties. I would put all the other candidates in another category. I think in many ways I'm competing with all of them as one group.

BLITZER: So if the Republican nominee turns out not to be you, Congressman, didn't change his or her positions and didn't come around to where you stand, would you consider running as a third party, perhaps libertarian candidate for the presidency?

PAUL: I haven't talked about it. I have no plans to do that so, no, that wouldn't be in the cards for me.

BLITZER: Not in the cards for you. All right, let me move on and ask you about Newt Gingrich. He's running for the Republican nomination as well.

He was here in THE SITUATION ROOM yesterday and he strongly disagrees with you when it comes to President Obama's decision to order the killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki in Yemen. Listen to what the former speaker told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The fact is Congressman Paul is wrong about the law. He's wrong about the constitution and the president was exactly right legally and he was exactly right morally in killing somebody who was a threat to everybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right, go ahead and respond to Newt Gingrich.

PAUL: I'd ask him to read the Fifth Amendment. It's pretty clear. You can't take a life without due process of law, especially on American citizens. So I would say that he's way off base. This is historic.

We've never had a policy that said that we can put somebody on a assassination list by a secret tribunal, so to speak. We don't even know what the qualification is or the criteria to put somebody on this list. I think this is the most dangerous precedent and respect for the constitution and rule of law that needs to be milked out. I think we lost a lot of it.

I consider this one of the most dangerous things that we have done. And this president has done it. He announced the policy in February of last year. I gave a speech on the House floor shortly thereafter advising how dangerous this was. And this means that we have very much violated the whole concept of the rule of law.

BLITZER: Because Newt Gingrich in defending the president's decision said he was an enemy combatant of the United States. And over all the years of warfare, the U.S. has been able to kill so- called enemy combatants. So what do you make of that argument? PAUL: Well, I would ask him and the president to produce some evidence exactly what he did and why is he an enemy? What are the charges? You know, if we can try Eichmann, the Israelis tried him in 1961. Don't you think we could try somebody like Al-Awlaki or at least, you know, recognize that individual should be captured when possible and tried?

But this enemy combatant, anybody can -- you know, in the -- the word has already been used. He was a threat. I think that was the word, a threat. I'm anti-war. I might go to an anti-war rally and what if the administration said Ron Paul is a threat?

Somebody in the media, he's a threat he's preaching that the government is doing wrong with the foreign policy. This, to me, is a very, very dangerous precedent.

BLITZER: So would you support articles of impeachment against President Obama for this decision?

PAUL: I haven't introduced them, but I think it's an impeachable offense if the mood of the country was such that they want to do it. Yes, I could support that.

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