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Fox News "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace" - Transcript

Interview

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he following is a rush transcript of the November 6, 2011, edition of "Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace." This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.

With controversy surrounding several GOP presidential contender, one candidate looks to make a move.

He has the money to compete with the front runners, but does he have the message to reach the voters? We'll talk with Congressman Ron Paul as we continue our series of 2012 one on one interviews. It's a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive.

And then, a large bipartisan group of congressmen is urging the super committee to go big in cutting the deficit. We'll talk to the leaders of the group of 100: North Carolina Democrat Heath Shuler and Idaho Republican Mike Simpson.

Plus, sexual harassment allegations rock Herman Cain's campaign. We'll ask our Sunday panel if Cain can survive the charges and keep his candidacy alive.

And our power player of the week plays a key player every four years in the election of the president.

All right now on "Fox News Sunday."

And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

The Republican presidential race intensified this week. But for all of the ups and downs, one candidate has held steady, raising millions and staying within striking distance with the leaders.

Continuing our 2012 one on one series of interviews, we are joined by Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

And, Congressman, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

TEXAS REP. RON PAUL, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Nice to be here.

WALLACE: Let's start with the campaign because the voting -- and this is remarkably -- has now less than two months away. I want to put a couple of recent polls.

In the last Des Moines Register poll, you are running third in Iowa, but 10 points behind Cain and Romney. In the latest TIME poll, you're running third in South Carolina by about the same margin.

Now, we should point out you won the Iowa straw poll yesterday and congratulations on that, sir.

PAUL: Thank you.

WALLACE: But how do you expand your support? How do you go from being a respectable third to actually win it?

PAUL: Well, the one thing is, not by changing my message because I've had a message that's been the same. But the message becomes more appropriate every day because I have talked about, you know, our monetary system, our spending, our debt. And we are in the midst now of a sea change in the world because of this expansion of debt worldwide and we are on the hook for it because we have a dollar reserve standard and the American taxpayer is on the hook.

And it's moving in this direction. This is in the news every single day. We spend too much and my message is cut spending. Not raise taxes. Change the opinion of what government should do.

In my proposal, I say real spending cuts not like the others, tinkering on the edges. I want a trillion dollar cut in the first year to show that it's spending that is the problem.

WALLACE: We're going to get to that in a minute and I should point out, of course, it was the Illinois straw poll. The Iowa straw poll was back in August in Ames.

PAUL: I'll talk both of them.

WALLACE: There you go. You almost won the Iowa straw poll.

PAUL: Yes.

WALLACE: Many conservatives say they like your views on less spending and smaller government and adhering to the Constitution. But the problem they have, the bridge too far is foreign policy. They are upset with what they view is isolationist views when it comes to fighting the war on terror.

PAUL: Yes. And I think that is a false charge about isolationism. Isolationism is when you put on tariffs and protectionism and you don't want to trade with people and you don't want to travel.

And mine is the opposite. Mine is really very open. But I don't want troops around the world because I think it hurts our national defense. By having too many troops, it helps to bankrupt our country, the wars that we have been fighting, that were undeclared -- and from view point is unconstitutional and illegal.

But in the last 10 years, this foreign expenditure around the world has contributed about $4 trillion worth of our debt. We can't change that.

But I think we're better off serve -- our national security is better off by a different foreign policy. That's my argument.

WALLACE: But for instance, drones. A lot of people say that they are terrifically affected. They've taken out a lot of the al Qaeda leadership, it doesn't involve putting troops on the ground and it's cheap. It -- you know, as I say, it doesn't involve a lot of manpower and it does strike, it's been very deadly in its effectiveness. So, why are you against drone strikes.

PAUL: Because I don't agree with that assessment, because I think it makes it worse, because if you have one bad guy and you go after him and say, you know, he's the one -- he's the al Qaeda leader, let's kill them. Sometimes they miss. Sometimes there is collateral damage. And every time we do that, we develop more enemies.

Take for instance, we are dropping a lot of drone missile bombs in Pakistan and claim we killed so many. How about the innocent people who died? Nobody hears about that.

This is why the people of Pakistan can't stand our guts and why they disapprove of their own government. So, we are bombing Pakistan and try to kill some people, making a lot of mistakes, building up our enemies. At the same time, we are giving billions to the government of Pakistan and we are more or less inciting a civil war there.

So, I think that makes us less safer. Everyone you kill you probably create 10 new people who hate our guts and would like to do us harm.

WALLACE: Do you think allegations against Herman Cain are relevant in this campaign?

PAUL: The allegations against his program, he's liking, you know, the Federal Reserve and his national sales tax -- yes, they are very legitimate and his support for bailouts, those allegations are very legitimate.

Those other allegations, these problems that he had -- no, I don't think, I think the media blew this way out of proportion. I think there are a thousand stories out on there and I think that dilutes the real debates, because his views on foreign policy for instance are dramatically different than mine.

I mean, he wants to expand on these. And he believes in the bailouts and the Federal Reserve and all this. I think that's what we should be talking about. And I don't like the distractions. So, I don't agree with all of the concentrations on that.

WALLACE: Let me ask you one question more about distractions, though. Just speaking as a practical politician, do you think that they help you? Do you think that may get some of his supporters to take a second look at you?

PAUL: Oh, I think there is a cycle going on here and I don't think that in particular. I think we have seen sudden surges of candidates and then they fall again. I think all of that is all helpful to me, but not specifically because there's been these challenges.

But I think when people get to know what Herman stands for, I think that helps me because they are not going to say, oh, he's not really for any cuts and he's for adding this national sales tax. So, yes, that helps me a lot. WALLACE: All right. Let's talk about what Ron Paul stands for and specifically your new plan to restore American. And let's drill a little bit into it. Here it is.

You call for cutting the federal budget, as you said, by $1 trillion roughly 25 percent of the budget in the first year. You say you would balance the budget in three years, spending would be 15.5 percent GDP by three years. That's the last time it was that low was 1951.

Question -- even the conservative American Enterprise Institute says those kinds of dramatic short term cuts would send this country back into a recession.

PAUL: You know, that's exactly what they said after World War II, and they cut the budget 60 percent and they cut taxes 30 percent, and released 10 million people from the military and we finally had an economic boom for the first time since the 1920s.

So, no, you shouldn't fear freedom and free market and let people spend the money rather than the government. If you take all these resources out of the hands of the government, that doesn't mean the money isn't going to be spent. It means that the individuals are going to be spending it.

Maybe we create an environment where people would start investing and building automobiles and whatever they need to do. But it's where the money that is so spent. It's not like we kicked it away. We put it into productive use.

When I -- government spends this money. It's nonproductive. It goes into bureaucracies. It goes into regulations. It goes into subsidizing corporations that don't deserve to be subsidized.

It goes to bailing people.

No, that's all wasteful spending and that damages the economy. You want the money to be spent by individual and businesspeople, not the government.

WALLACE: But I think we both agree that there are legitimate functions that government can perform and that no one else can. Let me ask you about some of your cuts which maybe more controversial. Again, let's them on the screen.

You would reduce funding for the National Institutes of Health by 22 percent. You would reduce funding for the Centers for Disease Control by 38 percent. What the specific programs would you cut, Congressman.

PAUL: I would try to wean ourselves off because these are functions that are not properly authorized by our government.

WALLACE: Well, wait. Let me just pick up on that. I mean, you don't think that the government has a role in trying to do research, to try to finding answers to new diseases.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Or the -- the Centers for Disease Control if there is an epidemic a world?

PAUL: Well, if it's international, yes. And if it's people coming in yes, we have some responsibility.

But what is R&D and how this money should be spent, unfortunately, it's spent on political reasons rather than market reasons. So, when that happens, the lobbyist come in and line up and special drug companies -- the drug companies are very much in favor of this. But the decisions are made by politicians and bureaucrats rather than the market place.

You want more R&D. You would have much more R&D and it would be better directed if investors and the market makes these decisions, because believe me, the politicians and the bureaucrats aren't smart enough to know what you should be investing in and which immunity. All these decisions are made.

When government makes a mistake, it hurts everybody.

PAUL: If a businessman makes a mistake in R&D, it hurts only that company.

So, it's this reliability on government to make decisions that are made in the economy is what we had for 150 years. We don't have this idea that government has to be the vehicle for making significant economic decisions, this is rather new. And to think that the individuals and corporations that make these decisions, there is nothing wrong with that.

WALLACE: Let's turn to Iran, because there is growing fear around the world, and there's going to be a new IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, report this next week that the country is getting closer to a nuclear break out as it's called, where they have all the element and all the skills to assemble a nuclear weapon.

Would President Paul do anything to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon?

PAUL: Only by a change in foreign policy and treating them differently. One thing I would caution is an overreaction. If you say what is true, but they have been saying that for 10 years or so. So, it may or may not true. They haven't proven it.

But you are saying they might put a weapon together. See, the worst thing could be an overreaction and go to war over this. This week, our international relations committee passed a very, very strong sanctions bill against Iran which means that if any other country, even if an ally does any trading with Iran, we're going to punish them.

So, that is -- when you put on strong sanctions, those are acts of war because we did that in Iraq for 10 years, and little kids died, could get medicines and food. It led to war.

So, I would say treat them differently and it'd be less threatening.

WALLACE: When you say treat them differently --

PAUL: Don't put sanctions.

WALLACE: So, how are we going to persuade them not to pursue a nuclear weapon?

PAUL: Well, maybe offering friendship to them. I mean, didn't we talk to the Soviets, didn't we talk to the Chinese. They have thousands of this weapon, and we work our way through the Cold War.

I was in the military during the '60s and it was dangerous. But we didn't think we have to attack the Soviets. They had capabilities. The Iranians can't make enough gasoline for themselves.

For them to be a threat to us or to anybody in the region I think is just blown out of proportion. People are anxious to use violence against the Iranians. I think it would undermine our security. I think it would be very destructive to Israel because this is going to blow that place up.

It is not like a changeover of government in Egypt or someplace like that, which is always a negative because they are reacting to our foreign policy.

WALLACE: Finally, there is speculation -- and I understand, you are running for the GOP nomination. But there is speculation that if you don't win, you might run as a third party independent candidate.

Can you state flatly that you will support the Republican nominee in the off-chance it isn't Ron Paul?

PAUL: Well, you know, probably not unless I get to talk to them and find out what they believe in. But if they believe on expanding the wars, if they don't believe in looking at the Federal Reserve; if they don't believe in real cuts, if they don't believe in deregulation and better tax system, it would defy everything I believe in.

And so, therefore, I would be reluctant to jump on board and tell all of the supporters that have given me trust and money that all of a sudden, I'd say, we'll we've done is for naught. So, let's support anybody at all because even if they disagree with everything that we do.

WALLACE: So, does that mean that you might then consider an independent run?

PAUL: No, it doesn't mean that at all.

WALLACE: But would you?

PAUL: I have no intention doing that. That doesn't make sense to me to even think about it, let alone plan to do that.

WALLACE: Because?

PAUL: Because I don't want to do it. That's the reason.

(LAUGHTER)

WALLACE: That's a really -- you know you answered it right there.

Congressman Paul, it's always a pleasure to talk with you, sir. Thank you so much. and we'll see you on the campaign trail.

PAUL: Thank you, Chris.

WALLACE: Up next: the two congressmen leading -- I like that. I just don't want to do it.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT


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