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CNN "Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees" - Transcript


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You're right. Congressman Ron Paul is with me.

And, Congressman, at the end of the debate tonight, you said the greatest misconception was that people think maybe you can't win. You are the only candidate on the stage tonight who has yet to get a win. Came pretty close in Maine, but when you look at the arena, Arizona and Michigan next, Wyoming and Washington State, then 10 states on Super Tuesday, to prove your point, doesn't Congressman Paul need to get a win?

REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It would be nice, but we haven't finished counting all those votes in Maine yet.

So, when we count up our delegates, I'm in second place, the absolute allocation of delegates. So the delegates is the name of the game. But I can expand on this whole thing about the polling. When I'm polled against the Democrats and the independents, I do better than the rest.

And the Republican Party claims they want somebody to win. And, of course, you understand why I have appeal to somebody outside of the Republican Party, because the foreign policy is different, I have concern about civil liberties, and I'm a fiscal conservative. So I have a broad base of appeal.

So that sort of goes by the way. And of course I have to fight to get that message out.

KING: What was your sense tonight from your perspective of the most interesting or the most significant policy disagreement or confrontation or discussion?

PAUL: Well, I think the most disagreement that is clear-cut is probably what you were able to point out.

Three guys here, they say they want to go and fight Iran and go into war. And I have a different position, which is very legitimate and very important, important to me. And some people sometimes kid me and they say, you know, Ron, if you change your foreign policy, you might get more support.

But the young people that come to see me, that's their biggest issue, is the war and the spending. And I work this in, the war and spending and overseas and the crisis that we have.

And I had a chance, you gave me a chance to mention that tonight. I think that's key. But it definitely is a different policy. But when I can further explain it, I can show where I am closer to Eisenhower, because he was restrained. He got rid of the war in Korea. He didn't get involved with troops in Vietnam. He didn't get involved in the Formosa Strait.

And I remember very well '56, he would not fight, go to war over the Suez Canal. So I really like it. And he was a military man. And I have been in the military, the others haven't. So I think in many ways, I would follow some of the advice of how Eisenhower, as well as our founders.

KING: Well, let me bring you back to the very first question of the debate, the gentlemen's concern about the debt, which is something you have talked about for some time.

As you know, there are even many of those who say debt and deficit reduction two different things, should be a big goal. At this moment, 8 percent unemployment, 8.7 percent in this state right now, many say, at this moment, though, take it easy and go more slowly because if you pull too much money back, you might hurt the economy too much.

You say cut a trillion dollars in your first year. Do you worry that could have a negative economic impact?


PAUL: No, because it's a myth to say that if the government doesn't spend the money, it won't get spent.

We're just talking about who should spend the money. When government spends the money, they make malinvestment and they take care of their friends. When the people get their trillion dollars back and they spend, they're going to spend it by making economic decisions.

After World War II, 10 million men and women came home and we cut the budget by 60 percent and we cut taxes by 30 percent, and the Depression finally ended, proving my point that the government shouldn't be spending money; the people should be spending the money.

KING: Congressman Paul, appreciate your time tonight. We will see you on the campaign in the days ahead.

And, Anderson, you hear a very consistent message from Congressman Ron Paul. He does make the point he is second in delegates right now. As we move on to a more crowded calendar, the big question before us is, can he win a state? And we will know much better on that front in 10 days or so, Anderson.

COOPER: And I believe consistent was the one word he used to describe himself, to answer your question, John, which you asked to all the candidates.


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