A look at Ron Paul and his supporters
RON PAUL: By saying, well, he doesn’t qualify, so we’re going to keep him out of the debates, but what that does is give us more attention. You know, I mean, we’re at a point, really, now, that we don’t need the debate. But we get more benefit by exposing them for what they are, saying we’re going to exclude him because we fear those ideas and we fear people—return to the Constitution? What kind of people are they?
REPORTER 1: Excluding your campaign, all of the other candidates for the most part have stopped discussing foreign policy and stopped discussing Iraq because the fatalities and the murders have gone down. What are your thoughts about that? Are you the only one discussing this war?
PAUL: It’s pretty amazing. We had the worst year ever since the war started. We lost, actually, it was over a thousand, because to me it’s all one war in the Middle East—Afghanistan is nation building for the same purpose as we are in Iraq. Over a thousand people killed. It’s the worst year we’ve had. So for them to either ignore it or turn that around and say, oh, what a wonderful year we had, you know, it’s preposterous.
REPORTER 1: As a lifelong Republican, are you embarrassed by this president’s policies and this administration?
PAUL: I’m disappointed, for sure, to put it mildly.
TODD FERSON: Todd Ferson.
MATTHEW PALEVSKY: And where are you from in Iowa?
FERSON: From Des Moines.
REPORTER: So Ron Paul would be the first person you’ve caucused for in your life, right?
FERSON: Oh, yes. That’s a fact.
PALEVSKY: What about him is so different than anyone who’s run for president before?
MAN: He doesn’t have, like, a repertoire, like, a vault of lies like everybody else does just to answer questions. You know, he’s the most honest.
FERSON: Ron Paul is the only guy I’ve seen talk about how to fix the system. The system is broken. Our health care system is broken—at least parts of it are broken. And parts of our democracy are broken. And it needs to be fixed. And he’s talking about how to do it.
PAUL: Too many Americans have come to the conclusion that we’ve been on the wrong path, that we do not have the strength that we had at one time. We are not a strong America in what we stand for. But something has happened along the way that we’ve interpreted our strength as that of being a military powerhouse that bullies ourselves around the world. That is not strength. Strength is to believe in freedom and liberty and setting a good example to the world.
TIM CALVERT: Tim Calvert.
PALEVSKY: And where are you from?
CALVERT: I’m from Norwalk. Here to support Ron Paul. I’ve liked a lot of what I’ve heard from him so far. I like his philosophy on limited government.
PAUL: People pay lip service to limited government and to balanced budgets, but nothing ever seems to happen. And yet today the American people are sick and tired of what is happening. They’ve been told one thing, and they get something else. But what is happening today is the American people are waking up and starting to realize that we’re probably in worse shape than a lot of people in the government tries to tell us. They tell us that the economy is sound, there’s no unemployment, and there’s no inflation. I mean, what type of a PhD do you need to realize that inflation is a real problem in this country and we ought to stop it?
PAUL: Bankruptcy’s at our doorstep. That’s why the dollar’s going down. That’s why oil’s over a hundred dollars. And if we don’t wise up, there’s not going to be much left for this generation, and that’s why this generation’s out there trying to fight for these principles.
WOMAN: My name’s [inaudible] and I’m from Altoona, so I’m not too far from here.
PALEVSKY: And are you going to be caucusing this year?
WOMAN: Yes, I am, tomorrow night.
PALEVSKY: For Ron Paul?
PALEVSKY: And why Ron Paul? What brings you out for him?
WOMAN: I’m a really big fan of smaller government. That’s really what motivated me to vote for him.
PALEVSKY: And what policies has he put forward that interest you, that make you vote for him?
WOMAN: I really like his foreign policy, that he wants to bring our troops back home, not from just Iraq but from, like, everywhere. That was cool.
PAUL: And what we’re doing today is not viable. We cannot remain strong as a vibrant nation if we continue to spend beyond our means and if we continue to think that we can police the world. We cannot do it. It’s time we brought our troops home from around the world. We need to come home from Korea, we need to come home from Japan, and we need to come home from Europe. We need to spend all that money here in this country.
DOUG RUFFIN: Doug Ruffin.
PALEVSKY: And what brought you out to listen to Ron Paul today?
RUFFIN: Well, I like his platform. I like what he stands for. I like his voting record. He wants out of the UN. He wants to do something about the immigration, the illegal immigrants, cut off their support for them.
Meet the Press
December 23, 2007
PAUL: I remember I got into trouble with the libertarians because I said there may well be a time when immigration is like an invasion, we have to treat it differently. And I think in one sense, with the welfare state out of control—see, my approach to immigration is somewhat different than the others. Mine is you deal with it economically. We’re in worse shape now because we subsidize immigration. We give food stamps, social security, free medical care, free education, and amnesty. So you subsidize it, and you have a mess. Our hospitals are being closed. Conditions have changed. And I think that we should have. And 9/11’s occurred. Why shouldn’t we be looking at people coming in? So this means that we should look at immigration differently. It’s an economic issue more than anything. If our economy was in good health, believe me, I don’t think there would be an immigration problem. We’d be looking for workers, and we’d be very generous.
REPORTER: But you advocate, for example, if an illegal has a kid in this country, you’re not willing to give that kid any rights.
PAUL: Well, I don’t think he should be a citizen, you know, because what if it’s a drug dealer that came from Mexico with his wife and then he steps over the line and has a baby?
REPORTER: But isn’t that the law today?
PAUL: People have an argument over the law, because that’s the Fourteenth Amendment. Before the Fourteenth Amendment it wasn’t and there’s differing interpretations. That has only happened by court rulings, probably in the 1960s or something or 70s, and that’s why I say we ought to clarify the ruling.
PHIL: My name is Phil [inaudible]. I’m from Kansas City, Missouri, attending the University of Texas in Austin. I also serve in the air force reserves. And I’m just down here as a student volunteer on my Christmas vacation rallying for Ron Paul. He believes in a constitutional [inaudible] you know, follow the Constitution, the president has to go to Congress to declare war. That’s the way it’s set up to be, and that’s the way it should be. And if we followed that policy, I think we’d have a better world for our country and all countries around the world.
PAUL: You know, after 9/11 it was said that this gave us an opportunity to go after Iraq. The plans had been in place for a good many years, in fact more than a decade, to go in and have regime change in Iraq. And yet 9/11 had nothing to do with it, and there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq, and there were no weapons of mass destruction. But the hype built into the media and through the politicians and drumbeats of war said that we have to go to war. And then the worst part of all that is we went to on the wrong set of circumstances. Why don’t we as a nation demand that we look to the Constitution and never go to war unless it’s declared by the people through their members of Congress?
PAUL: And I think this country, our movement in the last hundred years is moving toward fascism. Fascism today, the softer term—because people have different definitions of fascism—is corporatism, when the military-industrial complex runs the show, when they in the name of security pass the Patriot Act. You don’t vote for it, you know, you’re not a patriotic American. If you don’t support the war, you don’t support the troops. It’s that kind of antagonism. But we have more corporatism, and more abuse of our civil liberties, more loss of our privacy, national ID cards, all this stuff to come in has a fascist tone to it. And the country’s moving in that direction. That’s what I’m thinking about. We’re not moving toward Hitler-type fascism, but we’re moving toward a softer fascism: loss of civil liberties, corporations running the show, big government in bed with big business. So you have the military-industrial complex, you have the medical-industrial complex, you have the financial industry, you have the communications industry—they go to Washington and spend hundreds of millions of dollars. That’s where the control is. I call that a soft form of fascism, something that is very dangerous.
Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.