Friday, May 4, 2007

MSNBC GOP Debate - Ron Paul Transcript

Here is a complete transcript of questions posed to Ron Paul in the debate last night. To view the entire debate transcript, click here.

Moderator: Congressman Paul, you voted against the war. Why are all your fellow Republicans up here wrong?

Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas): That's a very good question. And you might ask the question, why are 70 percent of the American people now wanting us out of there, and why did the Republicans do so poorly last year?

So I would suggest that we should look at foreign policy. I'm suggesting very strongly that we should have a foreign policy of non- intervention, the traditional American foreign policy and the Republican foreign policy.

Throughout the 20th century, the Republican Party benefited from a non-interventionist foreign policy. Think of how Eisenhower came in to stop the Korean War. Think of how Nixon was elected to stop the mess in Vietnam.

How did we win the election in the year 2000? We talked about a humble foreign policy: No nation-building; don't police the world. That's conservative, it's Republican, it's pro-American -- it follows the founding fathers. And, besides, it follows the Constitution.

I tried very hard to solve this problem before we went to war by saying, "Declare war if you want to go to war. Go to war, fight it and win it, but don't get into it for political reasons or to enforce U.N. resolutions or pretend the Iraqis were a national threat to us.


Moderator: OK. Let me ask you a question regarding immigration. One of our prized guests here today, Governor Schwarzenegger -- looking this man in the eye, answer this question -- I'm going to go down the line, starting with Governor Romney. Should we change our Constitution, which we believe is divinely inspired...

(Laughter)

... to allow men like Mel Martinez, the chairman of your party, born in Cuba, great patriot, the senator from Florida, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, to stand here some night?

Paul: I'm a no, because I am a strong supporter of the original intent.



Moderator: Congressman Paul, Pete from Rochester Hills, Michigan wants to ask you this. If you were president, would you work to phase out the IRS?

(Laughter)

Paul: Immediately.

(Laughter)

Moderator: That's what they call a softball.

Paul: And you can only do that if you change our ideas about what the role of government ought to be.

If you think that government has to take care of us, from cradle to grave, and if you think our government should police the world and spend hundreds of billions of dollars on a foreign policy that we cannot manage, you can't (ph) get rid of the IRS; but, if you want to lower taxes and if you want the government to quit printing the money to come up with shortfall and cause all the inflation, you have to change policy.



Moderator: OK, let me go to -- Dr. Paul, how do you reconcile this moral, moral leadership kind of role of conservatism with the very libertarian strain of conservatism -- the Barry Goldwater conservatism that you represent? How do you put together what he just said with what you believe in a unified national purpose?

Paul: Well, you do it by understanding of what the goal of government ought to be. If the goal of government is to be the policeman of the world, you lose liberty. And if the goal is to promote liberty, you can unify all segments. The freedom message brings us together; it doesn't divide us.

I believe that when we overdo our military aggressiveness, it actually weakens our national defense. I mean, we stood up to the Soviets. They had 40,000 nuclear weapons. Now we're fretting day in and day and night about third-world countries that have no army, navy or air force, and we're getting ready to go to war.

But the principle, the moral principle, is that of defending liberty and minimizing the scope of government.



Moderator: Congressman Paul, Bob Hussay (ph) from Minnesota writes that perhaps the most important skill a good president must have is the ability to make good, sound decisions, often in a crisis situation.

Please cite an example when you had to make a decision in crisis.

Paul: I wonder if he's referring to a political decision like running for office, or something like that.

(Laughter)

I guess, in medicine, I made a lot of critical decisions. I mean, you're called upon all the time to make critical, life-saving decisions. But I can't think of any one particular event where I made a critical decision that affected a lot of other people. But I think all our decisions we make in politics are critical.

My major decision, political decision, which was a constitutional decision, was to urge for 5 years that this country not go to war in Iraq.



Moderator: We have to go down the line again. It's always fun to ask these questions down the line. We have Mr. Reagan here. The camera will not focus on her, but I will tell you, it will now focus on you.

Mrs. Reagan wants to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Will that progress under your administration, Governor?



Moderator: Dr. Paul, yes or no on federal funding?

Paul: Programs like this are not authorized under the Constitution. The trouble with issues like this is, in Washington we either prohibit it or subsidize it. And the market should deal with it, and the states should deal with it.

Moderator: OK. That's a no.



Moderator: OK. Let's start with an enjoyable down-the-line, OK? I want each candidate to mention a tax you'd like to cut, in addition to the Bush tax cuts, keeping them in effect.

Paul: Well, in my first week, I already got rid of the income tax.

In my second week, I would get rid of the inflation tax. It's a tax that nobody talks about.

We live way beyond our means, with a foreign policy we can't afford, and an entitlement system that we have encouraged. We print money for it. The value of the money goes down, and poor people pay higher prices.

That is a tax. That's a transfer of wealth from the poor and the middle class to Wall Street. Wall Street's doing quite well, but the inflation tax is eating away at the middle class of this country. We need to get rid of the inflation tax with sound money.



Moderator: Congressman Paul, Carrie from Connecticut asks: Do you trust the mainstream media?

(Laughter)

Paul: Some of them.

(Laughter)

But I trust the Internet a lot more, and I trust the freedom of expression. And that's why we should never interfere with the Internet. That's why I've never voted to regulate the Internet. Even when there's the temptation to put bad things on the Internet, regulation of bad and good on the Internet should be done differently.

But, no, there's every reason to believe that we have enough freedom in this country to have freedom of expression. And that's what is important. And whether or not we trust the mainstream or not, I think you pick and choose. There are some friends, and some aren't so friendly.



Moderator: (What is your position on a national, tamper-proof ID Card?)

Paul: I am absolutely opposed to a national ID card. This is a total contradiction of what a free society is all about. The purpose of government is to protect the secrecy and the privacy of all individuals, not the secrecy of government. We don't need a national ID card.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Man, I am p*ssed! We NEED this man as president and we are NOT going to get him. This is truly a shame.