CNN "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" - Transcript

Interview

By:  Ron Paul
Date: Feb. 19, 2012
Location: Unknown

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Joining me now from Missouri is a man in need of a breakthrough, our presidential candidate Ron Paul. Congressman, thank you so much for joining us. And I think it's fair to ask at this point, you get great crowds, you have -- you do those money bombs, you get all that money, and yet you don't have a win and it seems almost impossible to envision a presidential nominee that can't win in a state somewhere.

Look ahead for me and tell me where you can win.

REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: Well, it all depends on how you measure winning. If you measure whether or not we're winning the maximum number of delegates in states, we actually have had wins even though the -- you know, the final tally is not win, but that's what really counts.

So some of these straw votes are straw votes and sometimes they get very confused in counting votes.

You know, take Iowa, for instance, we think we're going to have the most delegates out of Iowa. And the same thing probably about Maine. And they are still very confused up there on what is going on with the popular vote. But I know there's a lot of political benefit to that. But the bottom line is who is going to get the delegates and we think we're doing pretty good.

And it seems like our momentum is picking up. I'm actually shocked at the tremendous turnouts that we've had. We've been out on the road and we've had eight functions here in the last three days. We've had 14,000 people have turned out. And the enthusiasm seems to be growing.

I know it's missing the national TV, but if anybody travels with us, they know that something special is going on in the frustration level. So those others who are at the top now, doesn't mean they're going to stay there, not the way this campaign has been going.

CROWLEY: The question, though, is -- and yes, you certainly prove that you can get those enthusiastic crowds. I've seen them. You see them all the time, obviously. But the question is, does Ron Paul have a ceiling because you're line in the polls pretty much steady from September, around 15 percent. It's just hard how you can put together enough delegates to win the nomination. You could perhaps influence the nomination, but in your heart of hearts, do you have a place where you think, if i can't do it here, I'm going to have to rethink this?

PAUL: You don't know until the end. I use the track analogy. I used to run very hard and I wasn't decide any of mine who is going to win and who is going to be in first or second place. I just ran real hard. So that's to be decided later on. But I just think there's every reason to believe that this momentum will continue because it is -- you know, it is relatively early. I know in a week or so there's going to be a big difference. But, no, there's every reason that we're going to believe that we're going to be in a very good position. And we have to be optimistic. We know exactly what the odds are. But, you know, nobody actually knows the future. You know that. CROWLEY: I absolutely know it. Certainly I don't.

Do you foresee yourself taking this all the way into August even if you get to a point where you think, OK, the mathematics don't add up to a nomination for me? Do you foresee yourself taking the delegates you do have and going to the convention in August?

PAUL: Well, yeah, because right now we don't know when the end is, whether it's going to be May, June, July, or August. So I have to assume that it's going to go into August because we're not going to lock it up in May, obviously. So we just have to, you know, wait and see. So that in my mind I anticipate it's going to go on for a while. And that's certainly what the supporters want me to do.

CROWLEY: Let me read something that you told your crowd yesterday. I believe you were in Kansas City last night, where you said we -- meaning the United States -- we're slipping into a fascist system where it's a combination of government and big business and authoritarian rule and the suppression of the individual rights of each and every American citizen.

Thematically, I have heard this before from you. A fascist system is one of those things that's going to catch attention. Do you really think that the U.S. now has a fascist system? And point to me some examples of that.

PAUL: No. well, no, I don't think we do, but I worry about it a lot because we have a system of economics. We don't have socialism. What we have is interventionism. And when interventionists exists, it serves the interests of the power of the special interests. And guess who they are they are the big banks and the very wealthy corporations and they get these benefits.

So interventionism starts off with a combination of partnership between big business and government. And just look at the bailouts. Who got the bailouts? The middle class didn't get it. And you know, did you see that statistic, I think it was CNN. I do my best with the middle class because I understand this.

But no there's a coalition of big business and big government. And why I'm getting more nervous is because fascism is an authoritarian ruthless rule of government, you know and they think of Mussolini and Hitler, but just think of this change in civil liberties that nobody wants to talk about, the arrest of American citizens by the military and held indefinitely without a trial and people aren't concerned about it?

So, yes, if we have economic chaos in something like, was it in Greece or much worse, yes, they could clamp down on us. So, this is why I do worry about it. We don't have this now. And I even mentioned last night in the speech, I said, we're not there. At least we can come and visit and meet and we can have meetings like this and we can change the course because we actually change that bill on online piracy acts. So people can still act out.

So We're not there, but there's reasons why we should not be complacent.

CROWLEY: Let me ask you about a couple of your rivals. Rick Santorum has had quite a ride in the polls. Do you believe from what you see today that Rick Santorum can beat President Obama in November?

PAUL: Well, i don't see how that's possible. And this whole idea about that talking about the social issues and who is going to pay for birth control pills, I'm worried about undermining our civil liberties, the constant wars going on, the debt of $16 trillion and they are worried about birth control pills and here he wants to, you know, control people's social lives. At the same time he voted for Planned Parenthood.

I mean, I don't see how anybody can get away with that inconsistency pretending he's a conservative? And his voting record is, I think from my viewpoint, an atrocious voting record, how liberal he's been in all the things he's voted for over the many years he was in the Senate and in the House.

CROWLEY: Do you -- are you uncomfortable -- certainly Rick Santorum is the one who has been in the forefront of some of this talk on social issues, put there have been others in the race. Are you uncomfortable with this talk about social issues? Do you consider it a winning area for Republicans in November?

PAUL: No. I think it's a losing position. I mean, I talk about it because I have a precise understanding of how difficult problems are to be solved. And they're not to be at the national level. We're not supposed to nationalize these problems. The founders were very clear that problems like this, if there needs to be legislation of sorts, the state has the right to write the legislation that they so choose. And that solves a lot of our problems.

I mean, the whole idea that it's a national issue of who has to pay for birth control pills, but of course that comes from the fact that it's a national mandate that the government controls insurance programs. Insurance -- to have true insurance, you have to have that done in the marketplace. You can't have that done by government.

CROWLEY: And quickly if I could ask you, there's been a lot of talk that you and Mitt Romney seem to have a sort of a mutual truce going on. Can we take that as you believing that Mitt Romney would be, if it's not yourself, is a good Republican nominee for the party?

PAUL: Well, there's not much, you know, on issues that we agree on, whether it's foreign policy or, you know, the personal liberties issue, or the -- probably on taxes we might have agreement.

But, no, I think they are all the same, in the same group. But the only thing that I mention when people sort of press me on that is management style. I think he certainly would have a more, you know, acceptable management style when you consider what I have seen and experienced from the other two candidates, I don't think they would qualify there.

But as far as issues goes, I'm uncomfortable with all three of them. I think they are the status quo and they are not change -- they don't want to really change anything. That's what I'm offering.

CROWLEY: That probably means my guess is we will be talking to you again. Thank you so much, Congressman Ron Paul. Presidential candidate Ron Paul, we appreciate it. See you down the road.

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