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CBS "Face the Nation" - Transcript


Location: Unknown


BOB SCHIEFFER: Thank you. We're going to go now to Clute, Texas, to hear from another Republican contender, Congressman Ron Paul. Mister Paul, welcome to FACE THE NATION. Let me talk to you first little bit about what the Vice President said about Afghanistan, because basically what he said is-- we're going to stay the course there. Now, I know a lot of people in your party don't particularly agree with you on foreign policy, but has Afghanistan been worth our time and treasure?

REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL (Republican Presidential Candidate/R-Texas): No, ab-- absolutely not. We went in there improperly. It was a waste. There's not going to be a happy ending. And I think the Republicans have dug a hole for themselves because they're trying to out militarize. The President says we should do more. He has seventy-five percent of the American people said, we have had enough. It's cost us too much money. It's time to come home, but-- but this was Obama's cherished position. He says, this is the good war, and now we have been there ten years. It's a sad state of affairs. And I think it's when you see innocent people dying. When you see all of the collateral damage, you see sixteen people getting murdered. That's a tragedy. But with thousands of innocent people are dying and they just call them collateral damage because we endlessly drop these bombs around and all of the people who died in Iraq. Now, it-- it's time to change the policy and this is my argument, is the American people want it changed. They're tired of it. It's costing us too much money, but we're not offering anything differently. And so, if this is to be an issue, the other Republican candidates offer nothing more than a continuation of the status quo, or actually, increasing the militarism that we have around the world. So, I think that's a losing position.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What are your plans now-- I mean, it seems clear to me and you can tell me I'm wrong. But it seems clear to me that there's no way you're going to get the nomination now. Do you intend to continue hanging around?

REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL: Obviously, yes. You know, the conventional wisdom is there's no guarantee. And those you were talking earlier on about Romney being the-- the-- the candidate but that's the conventional wisdom and I would admit that, but, no, the votes haven't been counted. There's quite a few states right now, there are six or seven states that we're doing quite well through the delegate process that we don't even know who-- who is getting what so far and who knows what will happen on the first vote at-- at the convention. So, I-- I would say that it's very encouraging, because I am talking to a whole generation, which is expanding, you know, as far as age goes, but when I can get fifty-two hundred people out on a college campus as wildly enthusiastic to hear the message of liberty and freedom and less wars and cu-- and curtailing the Federal Reserve, there's no way I'm going to quit speaking out on this. And there's no way I'm going to give up on the effort to get the Republican back to their roots. You know, in some-- probably, in some ways they say, well, why don't you give up and-- and this will help the Republican Party. The truth is, I'm trying to save the Republican Party from themselves, because they want perpetual wars. They-- they don't care about Presidents who assassinate American citizens. They don't care about searching our houses without search warrants, and these are the kind of things that people care with about, and if the Republicans would take a different position, they may save themselves, but right now, I-- I-- I see they're going to be in big trouble. What about the deficit? Sure the Democrats spend too much money, but the Republicans said, well, our proposal was to balance the budget in thirty years. I mean, people are laughing at that, so I say cut the budget by a trillion dollars. This idea that you have a debt crisis the worst in the history of the world and we won't cut spending, we have a problem.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You know, I must say, hearing you this morning, you sound like somebody that might not support even the Republican candidate come the fall. Is there any way or any chance, are you thinking about maybe heading up a third party effort after the Republican convention?

REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL: No, no, I don't have any plans for that. I didn't-- I didn't hear Gingrich mention that he was thinking about it either. But, no, no, I have no plans to do that. I'm-- I'm trying to win the nomination. The votes haven't been counted. I think that the views I hold are very, very popular. I think we're in the-- we represent the future. The other candidates represent the past, the President represents the past. We represent the future about what freedom really brings us, free markets and sound money and civil liberties and a sensible foreign policy and this idea-- they're living with their head in the sand to think that there's not a debt crisis. There is a debt crisis and have to cut spending. This idea that you need to spend more money and print more money when you get into trouble, I mean, is absolutely bizarre. And I think common sense tells us that you just can't keep spending. This is why you talked a little bit about this discord between a Republican and Democrat. It's because they refuse to admit there's nothing left in the treasury and they're fighting before we were very rich. The middle class was rich and the revenues came in. But there-- there's nothing there, and that's why this is why this conflict is going to get much worse until we admit the truth.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you this quickly. Some-- I-- I think I heard somebody say, you-- you have publicly said that you'd like to be on the ticket with Mitt Romney if he gets it. Would you?

REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL: I haven't said anything like that, and I don't see how that would happen. There's too many disagreements. I like Mitt Romney as a person. I think he is a dignified person and I-- I-- I-- you know, I-- I have no common ground on e-- on economics. I mean, he doesn't-- he isn't worried about the Federal Reserve. And he isn't worried about the foreign policy. He doesn't talk about civil liberties.


REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL: So I have a hard time to expect him ever to invite me to campaign with him.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Would you vote for him or would you support him?

REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL: Well, I-- I haven't made that decision yet. I'm still campaigning.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You haven't made the decision on whether you would support Mitt Romney if he gets the nomination?


BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, Mister Paul, thank you very much for being with us this morning. Always a pleasure.



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