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Honest Questions with Ron Paul
Aired December 18, 2007 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Presidential candidate Ron Paul. Veteran, doctor, congressman, and author of books on everything from pregnancy to why our freedom is under siege.
REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our national sovereignty is under threat.
BECK: He`s come under fire for his candor on Iraq and his position on America`s foreign policy.
PAUL: Our foreign policy is designed to protect our oil interests.
BECK: Paul`s mantra of personal liberty, small government, and a return to the Constitution have ignited the passions of many.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you, Dr. Paul.
BECK: Ron Paul supporters complain that the mainstream media distorts their candidate`s views. Or worse, ignores him altogether. Well, that ends tonight. Presidential contender Ron Paul for a full hour of honest questions.
BECK: Well, hello America. I`m sure we have quite a few new people watching the show tonight, but for those of you that have watched or listened to me on the radio for a while, you know that I am actually a libertarian at heart. I believe so deeply in our Constitution I believe the free market system is the answer. We, the people, are really the answer to almost every problem we face.
If you watch this program often, you probably also know that I believe our country is in deep, deep trouble. Our enemies are both foreign and domestic. And they are circling like sharks just waiting to attack.
Meanwhile, we continue to give up our sovereignty to international treaties and world bodies, talk global warming and higher taxes. Our constitutional rights are slipping away, and our government seems to be hell-bent on ushering in the Great Depression Deux.
All of that is why I`ve wanted to sit down for so long now with the congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. By speaking out on the issues that virtually no one else wants to touch, has struck a nerve with the disenfranchised American who is sick and tired of the same old rhetoric from the same old people.
But he has also struck a nerve with people who believe that a small- government, free-market-at-all-costs approach is impractical, outdated and, in some cases, dangerous. I`ll have you know on the outset, I`m in both of those camps.
Tonight, we`re going to explore both sides, and it is my hope that Dr. Paul will finally have the time he needs to fully explain his positions on the things that cannot be addressed in 30-second sound bites like, "Let`s abolish the FBI."
Congressman Paul, welcome to the program, sir.
PAUL: Thank you, Glenn. Nice to be with you.
BECK: OK. You`re on the campaign trail, which is the reason why you`re not in the studio now. And I want to get to some of your more controversial positions later on in the program.
But I thought we would start on a few of the things that I -- I almost never see anybody talk about with you. The real things that most conservatives do agree with you on. I want to start by playing a clip of something you said just last week in the debate in Iowa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Re-read the oath of office, take it seriously. Obey the Constitution. We can -- we are well-defended against all enemies foreign. We should be much more careful about defending against the enemies domestic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Who, sir, do you...
BECK: Who do you believe are the enemies domestic?
PAUL: I don`t see them as individuals or personalities. I see it as a philosophic danger endorsed by the status quo. Most members of Congress, most members who have been in the executive branch over the years, the undermining of our personal economic liberties, our personal liberties, our privacy. There`s been a special erosion of these privacy issues since 9/11.
So it is something that`s been engrained in our system. You know, economic liberty is very, very important, but that`s been undermined, you know, for 70 or 80 years since the Depression. See I see it as in philosophic terms rather than in personality terms.
BECK: I -- let me go to the U.N. You say the U.N. shouldn`t even exist.
PAUL: Well, I don`t have any -- any saying about whether they should exist or not. I just am arguing that it`s not in our best interest to be in the U.N.
The very first thing that the U.N. did after World War II was they took us to war. I mean, Truman went to war and didn`t even tell the Congress. And you know, we`re still in Korea.
And you know, the Constitution is very clear. Only Congress can declare war. A lot of men died over there. So I don`t like going to war under the U.N. banner.
BECK: You say the choice is very clear: we either follow the constitution or submit to U.N. global government. I happen to agree with you, sir. I mean, I see the LOST treaty, I see the issue of global warming as nothing but trying to entangle us and the rest of the world into one world government. Would you agree or disagree with that?
PAUL: No. No, I agree with it. I think our trade agreements do the same thing, you know, whether it`s the WTO or, you know, the World Bank or the IMF or NAFTA or CAFTA. These are taking away our -- our sovereignty.
Even today, the WTO today was telling us that we shouldn`t pass this agricultural bill. I`ll probably, you know, not go for the agriculture bill, but should I do it because the WTO tells me not to? So I don`t -- I don`t like this undermining of our national sovereignty.
PAUL: And we`ve allowed this to happen.
BECK: You have said, though, that this is not some, if I may quote you, "It is not as much a sinister conspiracy. The knowledge is out there. If you just look for it, you realize that our national sovereignty under threat."
But I have to tell you, and we`re going to get into economics here in a few minutes. But when you look at both parties, you will see them. I mean, look at the budget that has recently come out. You`ll see that they are almost intentionally sabotaging us every step of the way.
How else could you explain some of the things that are going on at the border, with the LOST treaty, with your budget, our monetary policies. I mean, how do you say it`s not a sinister conspiracy?
PAUL: Yes, I guess -- I guess that it may be semantics that we`re dealing with. What I see is a conspiracy in the sense that some people believe in globalism. Some people believe in the North American Union. I don`t.
It used to be more secretive. You know, the new world order that was talked about 30, 40 years ago, and nobody would say it out and open.
PAUL: Now they`re talking about the new world order. So it`s not as secretive and it`s not as conspiratorial as it was 50 or 60 years ago. People believe in internationalism. And I think people they`re very sincere. They think the world would be better off if we had one world government.
BECK: Yes. Right.
PAUL: I don`t. I mean, I don`t even like the size of our federal government, let alone the one-world government. I want government to be local.
BECK: I -- I`ve tried to explain this in a chapter, the last chapter of a book that I have out, on Mexico. And say that I don`t believe that these people are intentionally -- I think if I sat down with the people who are messing with our sovereignty down south of the border, I believe they would tell you, "Glenn, this is in the best interest of the country." But they -- but they are not shooting straight.
Let`s talk a little bit about the NAFTA super highway, where you have an opinion that this is part of the, you know, joining of Mexico and Canada and the United States under one kind of E.U.-style government. They`ll deny it. They`ll say that`s not true. You`re crazy if you believe that.
PAUL: I saw a major editorial today against me for being concerned that there could be a North American Union in our future. I don`t think it`s next month or next year, but you know, they probably talked 50 years about the European Union. And I think that plans are definitely there.
I think that`s why they`re very weak on border protection and very weak on the immigration issue, because the leadership of both Republicans and Democrats aren`t that concerned about borders. They`re more interested in a North American Union.
BECK: You say you don`t think that that would happen, yet I find that hard to believe if you`re sincere on this belief. If you`ve done your homework, you know that the ambassador to the U.N. from Mexico says it has to happen before our Social Security and Baby Boomers start to retire. That`s just a few years away.
PAUL: Well -- well, let me clarify that. I`m concerned about it, and I`m fighting it. I just don`t think it`s going to happen next month or next year. But I think the plans are being laid there.
Sometimes individuals who promote world government are very, very patient. And we`re very -- our side is very easy to forget or let our guard down. And what I`m trying to do is alert the American people that they ought to be alarmed about what`s happening. And hopefully, we can stop it.
I think we`ve made progress there. Quite a few states have, you know, written some resolutions and objections. Texas has done this. It`s not like we`ve thought this up. If the -- if everybody in Texas` legislature can vote and say, "Let`s put a moratorium on these plans for a super highway coming through," there must be something to it.
BECK: The American people, and you must know this, because you are -- you are probably the lightning rod for the most disenfranchised in America. You are probably the one who -- I know -- I have to tell you. I listen to your radio commercials. And I hear your radio commercials and I`m like, yes, that`s how I feel.
I have voted for Ronald Reagan. I have been a Republican, but I`ve -- you know, I`ve never registered as a Republican. But generally speaking. But I think most Americans now say neither side. They`re both selling us out.
How do you propose to -- how do you propose to stop this? And what advice do you give to the American people when they say, "Wait a minute. Nobody in Washington is listening to me. If I elected you, how are you going to stop this?"
PAUL: Well, one person can`t do it. But the fact that our movement is so big, much bigger than I ever dreamed, you know, the way they raise funds and the way they join us. And we get 25,000 new supporters in one single day. So there is a great deal of discontent in the country.
So it takes an army of people who believe a certain way, who`s willing to look at this in an objective manner. And I think we`re further along. I think this is the first time in history where a grassroots-type candidate, an independent-minded person, has been able to compete with the special interests.
I think that is the message of what`s happening here. We`ve been able to raise enough funds. We don`t have as much money as others, but we get their attention. You know, raising $6 million in one day is a special event.
But now we can compete, and this scares those people who are controlling government for so many years. Whether it`s the banking interests, the military industrial complex, whether it`s the medical industry. So many people have so much control in Washington, and yet we`re able to compete with them. And think that`s very encouraging. And this invites even more people in, because I`m convinced we`re the majority.
If you take the base of the Republican Party and the base of the Democratic Party, I think you`re down to about 30 percent of the people. So many people have dropped out or never joined in, and now they`re joining our campaign.
BECK: Ramos and Compean, the border guards. If you were president of the United States, what would you do?
PAUL: I`m for pardoning them. Especially now after, you know, they`ve served one year and they tacked on this ten years of mandatory sentencing, which I disagree with. As a matter of fact, I`ve joined Bill Delahunt to recommend that as sense of Congress resolution. So I think -- I think they should be pardoned.
BECK: I`ve only got 30 seconds. Johnny Sutton, do you believe Johnny Sutton -- something doesn`t smell right there to me. Would you -- would you investigate what was going on with this administration and Johnny Sutton and everything in between?
PAUL: Can I confess that you`ll have to tell mea little bit more? I hate to have to confess I don`t know.
BECK: That`s all right. He`s the -- he`s the prosecutor in the -- in the case.
PAUL: Oh, OK.
BECK: It seems pretty -- it seems pretty nefarious.
PAUL: Yes, yes. And that is part of my reason for wanting the pardon, because I think there are a lot of questions...
PAUL: ... raised on how that case was carried out. So yes. Yes, I agree with that.
BECK: We`ll be back in just a second. I want to talk to Ron Paul and get his thoughts on the real reason he says our economy is in so much trouble. Next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: There`s been one main thing that we have done wrong, and one main thing that we do right solves that. We should just follow the Constitution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: This is an ideological battle. Some people believe in globalism. Others believe in national sovereignty. And there is a move on towards a North American Union, just like early on, there was a move on for a European Union. And it eventually ended up.
So we had NAFTA and moving toward a NAFTA highway. These are real things. It`s not somebody made these up. It`s not a conspiracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Back with presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul.
One of the places that I think you and I agree on probably the most is economy and our government spending. We`re spending ourselves right back to 1929, if we`re lucky, I believe. And, boy, there`s just some bad things that are popping up that nobody seems to want to look at.
Seventy percent of the real gross domestic product in our country, 70 percent, is just from people spending money. How did we get to this point? And more importantly, as president of the United States, what would you do to get us out of it?
PAUL: Well, we`ve got to -- we have to stop the spending. We have to bring our budget under control. We can`t raise taxes to cut the deficit. We have to cut spending.
Of course, where I want to cut spending might not be where you would like to have cut spending, but I want to cut the spending overseas. I don`t think we can maintain our empire and we can get control of our budget. Mainly for political reasons, as much as anything else, because you can`t go after health care here in this country and say you`re going to balance the budget.
But we have to take the pressure off the Fed to create money. You know, we spend and then we tax and then we borrow, and we still don`t have enough money. So we have this ridiculous monetary system where we go to the Federal Reserve and say, "Buy these treasury bills," and they buy the treasury bills out of the clear -- out of the clear blue, out of thin air. And this is causing the inflation.
The cost of living for our retired people now are going up probably 10 percent a year, and they`re getting cost of living increases of 2 percent. This is why so many people are unhappy.
So we have to deal with the budget. To me, it is the most critical thing. And if we don`t, we`re going to have a financial crisis and a dollar collapse. It`s going to be a lot worse than it was in 1979 and 1980 when we saved the dollar with interest rates at 21 percent.
BECK: Hang on. You say that you want to cut it in -- in foreign spending. And we`re going to get to that here in just a little bit.
But you know and I know in the last four years we had a -- we had a real deficit of $26 trillion. You know, I`m a little loose on the numbers, but it was about $26 trillion just in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and, I think, the Railroad Union or retirement fund.
BECK: And now just in four years, just because of interest and everything else we`re piling on top, now that real deficit is $46 trillion. Did I hear you right that you would not take that on?
PAUL: Oh, no. We have to. And those are future obligations.
But what I was talking about was tomorrow`s budget. We have to immediately change the tune, the tone of it so that we don`t have these huge deficits and we continue to increase it.
But, you know, the Republicans were elected to do something about that. So what did we do? We passed doubling the size of the Department of Education and had prescription drug programs increase these entitlements, and they can`t be paid.
And this is why the young people are frightened by what`s happening. I think it`s one of the reasons young people are coming to our campaign, is that I want them to get out of the system. I want them to get out of Social Security, if they want. And I want us to live within our means and cut back.
But we need -- we need to cut these domestic programs. Ronald Reagan, you recall when he ran on getting rid of the Department of Education. You know, I still believe that we should do that. I don`t think it helps education and spends all this money.
Either we have to do something or we will have a crisis.
BECK: You -- you say you want to cut all of these things, and you want people out. And so do I. You want to go back to more of a libertarian kind of life, and that`s really where we started. We were libertarians at the beginning.
But I have to tell you, sir, if you read the Founding Fathers` words, and I know you do, you`ve got to be a religious and moral people. Well, we`re, generally speaking, not necessarily religious and moral people. There are people that will not do for themselves.
How do you finally say to people, "You know what? You don`t have a right to health care. You don`t have a right to all of the things that we`ve given"?
Bloomberg just today is starting to pay people for showing up to go to free school. How do you get off of that?
PAUL: Yes -- no. Well, I think you just deny them the benefits. And we will be denying the benefits when we run out of money and the system collapses. All I want to do is make sure we start before we have the financial crisis.
But the -- we are an immoral national, but the immorality is through our government. You know, Bastiat, when he wrote the law, he made this very clearly the point. He says, if you and I can`t steal from our neighbors, we don`t have the moral right to ask our neighbor -- our government to do the same thing.
So it is the moral aspect of the law. And we have become an immoral nation, because we think that, if you transfer wealth through the government force, that it`s legitimate, it`s an entitlement, and they have a right to it. As long as we have that, no. There`s no way. You and I will probably agree with that. There`s no way we can solve our problem.
But if you feed the system and allow people...
PAUL: ... to get these benefits and perpetuate the welfare state, it never will reverse. So I stay start reversing it and start cutting the spending.
BECK: Back in a second with presidential candidate Ron Paul.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: We`ve spent too much. We tax too much. We borrow too much, and we print too much. When a country spends way beyond its means, eventually it will destroy the currency, and we`re in the midst of a currency crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: We`re with presidential candidate Ron Paul.
And, boy, there`s something that nobody else says. Nobody on Wall Street will say that. And it only makes common sense that we are destroying our own currency.
One of the things that I think attracts me to libertarians is the idea of getting back to the gold standard and abolishing the IRS. Is it true -- I believe I have read that you say if you don`t pay your taxes, you are in the category of civil disobedience akin with Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
PAUL: Well, I -- I think it`s practicing the same principle, yes, because the income tax, the way it`s collected is unconstitutional. And if you believe that, and you practice civil disobedience, you to suffer the consequences.
I chose to try to change the law. I haven`t chosen that method.
But people who sincerely believe that it`s unconstitutional to be guilty until you prove yourself innocent and you be your own -- you have to testify against yourself, I think they have a legitimate cause. And I think it`s a libertarian principle to practice civil disobedience. It`s non-violent.
BECK: How do you...
PAUL: So I think it`s a good way of doing it.
BECK: How do you change the tax code? I mean, we`ve been saying -- every American knows this doesn`t work. I don`t need a book this big to show me how to pay my taxes.
When you`ve got former communist countries going to a flat tax and they`re getting more money, how are you going to change this? How are you going to abolish the IRS or go to a flat tax? Or what is your proposal?
PAUL: Well, mine is to get rid of the IRS but not replace it with anything by cutting a lot of spending. Because we lived without an income tax before 1913. So I`m not interested in the flat tax or the -- or the sales tax. You know? Although anything would -- anything would be better.
BECK: Yes. Just what you`re saying, I mean, you`re speaking -- I mean, you know, if we weren`t both men, you know, I might have to French kiss you on the whole abolishing the IRS thing. You had me at hello. You did. No, you did.
So -- so you want to replace it with -- with a -- with some sort of a sales tax?
PAUL: No, nothing.
BECK: Nothing. How...
PAUL: I want to replace it with freedom. I want to replace it with freedom and less spending.
BECK: OK. But wait a minute. Hang on just a second.
PAUL: But you`re right. Yes, OK.
BECK: I mean, I love you. Don`t get me wrong. How do we pay for the things we do have to pay for?
PAUL: Well, you know, if you didn`t have the income tax right now, you`d have the same amount of revenue as you had 10 years ago. So that`s not all that bad. And we didn`t have an income tax before 1913. They used -- they used tariffs and they used user fee types and different things like that.
BECK: But wouldn`t you create the same...
PAUL: The problem is spending.
BECK: Oh, I agree with you. But wouldn`t you create the same kind of situation if you had user fees? Because then you`d have special interests that were just saying, no, this one should be exempt and this one shouldn`t.
PAUL: Well, I guess so. But anything would be better than the income tax. But, you know, if you -- if we do have a user fee, which we abuse, you have a user fee by paying a national gasoline tax. And that`s supposed to take care of our highways, but they abuse that system, too.
BECK: Yes, yes.
PAUL: They don`t spend it on the highways, and they use it for political boondoggles is what happens.
BECK: Back in a minute with Dr. Paul`s controversial views on foreign policy, the CIA, FBI, the Patriot Act and the war on drugs. He`ll get more than 30 seconds to explain it all. Stick around.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: It`s our foreign policy that I object to. We used to be allies with Osama bin Laden. Now he`s our enemy. We used to be allies with Saddam Hussein. Now he`s our enemy. This on-again, off-again thing is what bothers me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: We are back with presidential candidate Ron Paul. He is with us for a full hour.
If you watch my program quite often, or listen to it, for the last year or so I`ve been on a book that I told American to read, "The Five Thousand Year Leap." It is the words of the founding fathers. If we don`t find our way back to the Constitution soon, we are in real, real trouble.
With that being said, we are facing things our founding fathers could have never, ever imagined, even a 727 I don`t think they could have imagined at the time. I wanted to have Ron Paul on for a full hour because he`s got some pretty controversial things to say on foreign policy, et cetera, et cetera.
But when you state them in 20-second sound bites, you really -- it looks ridiculous. It really does. So I want him to be able to have the time to expand on them.
So, Dr. Paul, let`s start here. I have a problem with us being in bed with dirt bags. I think Saudi Arabia is an evil country run by evil people, and I don`t understand why we -- we embrace the enemy of our enemy as our friend. I think in many ways we`ve taught them we don`t stand for anything.
So why not? However, how do we get out? Your -- if I understand it, your idea is just unplug from the Middle East. How do we do that?
PAUL: We just went in. We should just leave. You know who it was that committed us to Saudi Arabia? It was FDR during World War II because we wanted to secure the oil.
PAUL: But because of that persistence, that was one of the greatest annoyances to Osama bin Laden, our troops in Saudi Arabia. That is what motivated them to really motivate enough people to commit suicide terrorism. And we have to understand that. It`s so important.
BECK: Do you actually believe that if we walk away from the Middle East, that the terrorists will leave us alone? That the people in the extremist regime, let`s just say, in Iran is not serious when they call us "The Great Satan," that we`ll burn in the fire of the Islamic fury? That they`ll just leave Israel alone and not -- not destroy and push them into the sea?
PAUL: Well, yes, I think they will because they`re scared to death of Israel. Israel, it would be more powerful if we weren`t holding them back. I mean, nobody is going to touch Israel. They have 300 nuclear weapons. And we restrain them when they want to settle their disputes when they`re bored and we have restrained them when they want to have peace treaties or deal with the Arab League.
So I would say they`d be much stronger. So...
BECK: So you`re saying that we actually hurt Israel by being their friend? We should have no foreign aid to Israel at all? If Israel asked for our help, should we be involved?
PAUL: Not unless the Congress authorizes, you know, for war or something. But when you say no foreign aid, you say no foreign aid to Israel. And I say, oh, we give foreign aid to the Arabs three times greater than Israel.
BECK: Oh, no, no, no. I`m not...
PAUL: So, we are not only neutralizing things -- so, you know, we really neutralize things much better. Israel is in better shape by no foreign aid to anybody.
PAUL: And so it`s not anti-Israel. It`s just neutral.
You know, we treat Israel like a second-class citizen. You know, you understand the issue at home when you treat people with Welfare, they become dependent on the state. Israel is dependent on us, you know, for economic means.
We send them these billions of dollars and then they depend on us. They say, well, you know, we don`t like Iran. You go fight our battles. You bomb Iran for us. And they become dependent on us.
BECK: Oh, I think we`re holding -- I think you`re mistaken there. I think we`re holding Israel back from bombing Iran.
PAUL: I do.
BECK: I don`t think -- I don`t think...
PAUL: Well, again, that is my point.
BECK: Oh, OK.
PAUL: If Iran wants to do it -- if Iran wants to -- if Israel wants to do it, we hold them back. So they lose their sovereignty to us because they become dependent on us. And just like I don`t like to lose our sovereignty to the United Nations, Israel has become subservient to us, and I think we should protect their sovereignty and respect their sovereignty as much as I want our sovereignty to be respected.
BECK: But there is a -- there is a global movement within Islam that would like to see -- I mean, I`ll show you the pictures of it. I`ve -- you know, I`ve met with the people here in New York City. And, you know, I`ve -- I detailed them in a book that I just put out where I show the pictures of the Islamic jihadist flag flying over the White House in, you know, in a Web site. They have every intention of taking this country and turning it over to Sharia law.
Are you really serious? Do you believe that this is just about us being over in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East?
PAUL: No. Yes, I think that`s a motivating factor. But I think everything you said is true. But you`ve got to put it in perspective.
You`re talks about several hundred people. Maybe now thousands since we`ve been over there. Al Qaeda has been recruiting much better.
BECK: Well, it only took 19 to take two down of the biggest towers in the world.
PAUL: That is the reason, because we have to put that in perspective. You know, we stood down the Soviets. They had 40,000 nuclear weapons. We had Khrushchev pounding on the desk saying we will bury you. He was capable of doing it.
The al Qaeda does not have an army, they don`t have a Navy, they don`t have intercontinental ballistic missiles, they don`t have weapons of mass destruction, they don`t have a country. They`re very, very weak people in that sense.
But they have determination. The determination comes from being provoked. And they have to have some reason to galvanize enough hatred to come here and do what they have done.
So, no, it`s not going to be -- if I bring the troops home overnight, it`s not going to eliminate what has been going on for quite a few decades. But I`ll tell you what, it`s going it be a lot better. And if we think that they only come here because we`re free and prosperous, we will never solve this problem.
We are going to be under threat because if we -- let`s say the fighting quits in Iraq and we keep those 14 bases and an embassy as big as the Vatican and think that won`t annoy people? It will be a thorn in their side and we will be under as much threat.
We are an easy target over there and they`re quite satisfied for killing Americans in Iraq.
PAUL: But if we`re no longer an easy target, they`ll come back here. That is what my fear is.
BECK: All right. So, Dr. Paul, honestly, before September 11th, I didn`t care about the Middle East. They`ve been fighting for 5,000 years. They could have fallen into a giant sinkhole. I don`t care.
However, things are different now because of, honestly, a lot of the -- you know, this ridiculous oil argument that we have that we can`t get the oil and the energy from our own property and take the oil and the energy and make even nuclear power that we need here in the United States. So we`re finding ourselves dependent on these people.
So if you can`t drill it here, if you can`t find it here, if you can`t, you k now, create your own energy because it`s so bad for the environment, what choice do we have?
PAUL: Well, do what you think is a good idea. Become energy-independent by drilling here and taking care of our own fuel problems and have alternative fuels.
BECK: Would you drill in the...
PAUL: I think...
BECK: Would you drill in the ANWR?
PAUL: Sure. I voted for that. And I think...
BECK: Would you drill off shore if we had to?
PAUL: Yes, but I would do this with cooperation with the States because the States should have something to say about this.
PAUL: And in federal water, along Texas, we drill a lot down there. And it`s great fishing grounds.
BECK: Would you as the federal government -- because everybody is freaked -- would you say, you know what? I`m going to back your -- I`m going to give you a loan guarantee if the United States government starts to make hurdles that you can`t pass? If you`re a power company that says I want to build a nuclear power plant, but I don`t trust you guys, I`m going to put all this money out and then you`re going to change all the rules on me and then I`m going to be stuck for the money, would you give a loan guarantee to those power companies so they would be willing to put out all that money?
PAUL: No, no loan guarantees. That`s a distortion. That would cause malinvestment.
What you want to do is get the government out of the way and let the market work. When the price goes up, alternative fuels will come in.
If you let the bureaucrats give loan guarantees, then you might end up subsidizing some fuel that is not most efficient. So you`ve got to believe the market will pick and choose.
You know, if oil prices go sky high, well cut back on our usage, but somebody else is going to come up with another fuel. Maybe we`d use nuclear. We need to get out of the way for nuclear. Maybe we`d have electric cars for all we know. Government and politicians don`t know what the best source is.
BECK: Why do you believe this has happened? Why is it?
Is it -- is it global corporations? Is it evil big business? Is it evil government? What is it?
Why are we -- why do we find ourselves -- here we are the most powerful nation on the planet when we choose to be, we have done -- we have brought -- we`ve brought the 5,000-year leap for mankind. How is it we find ourselves in this situation?
PAUL: Well, we`ve lost our way. We don`t believe in the Constitution anymore. We don`t believe in markets. We have to have safety nets for the poor, we have to have a safety net for the rich and the corporations and the bankers.
You know, we have a mortgage bubble crash. We had to bail out the mortgage companies. Everybody gets bailed out.
So, yes, we just lost our confidence and our understanding. It`s a remnant of mercantilism, that you have to protect your supplies, your national resources. And that`s why we`re over in the Middle East. You know, it has to do with oil.
BECK: Help people understand, because you talk safety nets and everybody will say, well, you`re just evil. Because I believe true libertarian thought requires people to step over a homeless man, as opposed to having the government bail them out. And I don`t think most people will do that.
They don`t want to help, but they want somebody else to help. And if you`re truly free, you have to help. Not the government.
PAUL: Yes, and it should be more charitable. But if you`re a humanitarian, you have to be a constitutionalist and believe in the free markets, because if you look at how we`ve eradicated famine off and on, until the government gets back involved again, true famine was eradicated with capitalism and free markets.
So if a person is humanitarian and cares about the poor and the sick, you have to believe in freedom because socialism and welfarism and corporatism, all of this stuff, it doesn`t work. You create more poor people and more people that are hungry.
It isn`t so much stepping over people, as saying that there will be so few of them. And we`ll have so much more prosperity. We`ll have more charity.
We`d go back to the times when the churches ran the hospitals rather than governments. And then we get government mandates and the hospitals have to close because they have to take care of people by federal government mandates. So we`ve messed it up because we`ve lost our confidence in the Constitution.
BECK: OK. Dr. Paul, I`m going to take a break. And in the break, I`m going to feed something down to your location that I`m not going to show on the air.
My life has been threatened. I`ve had to wear a vest and have securities. I`ve had an S.W.A.T. team watch my family because of people who say they support you.
I want to show you something that is out on the Internet about me and from people that say they support you. And I want to get your thoughts on this, and let`s set to rest some things when we come back. Shall we?
BECK: We`re back with Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who is joining us tonight for a full hour.
I want to make this very clear. I believe that Ron Paul, in general, the group of supporters, some of whom I`ve met while I was on the road, are amazing people. Without any help from the official campaign, Ron Paul supporters have coined the term "The Ron Paul Revolution." They developed the concept for the Guy Fawkes Day money bomb back on November 5th which raised over $4 million.
They hired a blimp to fly over New Hampshire to promote the Ron Paul campaign. Last Sunday, they held a tea party, where they broke John Kerry`s single day primary fundraising record by collecting another $6 million.
But the downside is, when you have rabid supporters, some of them believe they can speak to their own agendas using the candidate`s name. And I just in the break showed Dr. Paul just a clip, a very small part of a five- minute video that is on the Internet where I am named a traitor and traitors should be executed.
Can you -- would you like to address that at all, sir?
PAUL: Well, I can only in general. I have no idea who the people are. I`ve never heard about this. I haven`t seen this before. But all I can do is address the subject of violence.
I`m committed to nonviolence, no initiation of aggression. These are my political viewpoints. I believe in political change coming about in the mode of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, through nonviolence.
I happen to believe that we should practice these principles both domestically against individuals, as well as other countries. This is the reason I don`t use aggression against other countries to bring about changes.
Everyone initiates aggression. This is what is in our Constitution, and so I reject anybody that would use violence, because, you know, in the same stance, our supporters have coined the words "love" in the revolution and "peace" and "hope."
So that is the tone that I know about. That is the tone that I hear. And that`s the only thing I hear at our rallies. So I don`t endorse -- I don`t have to endorse what they do and what they -- if they try to get away with attaching my name to what they do, it`s wrong.
BECK: OK. Here`s what the people who are -- at least the ones that I have met and received tons of mail -- and I could read them to you if you want, sir, where they`re calling for my death -- they say that I am part of a 9/11 conspiracy. And I have watched the interviews with you.
You don`t leave any room for any doubt on a 9/11 conspiracy. But I`d just like to make it clear and ask you -- I don`t believe these need explanation unless I`ve read your answers wrong elsewhere. But may I just run through these 9/11 conspiracies?
No plane hit the Pentagon on September 11th. Instead, it was a missile fired by elements from inside the American state apparatus.
Yes or no?
PAUL: It`s preposterous.
The planes that hit the World Trade Center towers were remotely controlled?
PAUL: I mean, this is just bizarre.
PAUL: I`ve not even heard of these challenges before.
BECK: I understand. I don`t mean to -- sir, these are the people that -- these -- some of these people speak in your name and they actually say that you will be on this program tonight and you will answer the way you`re answering now because you can`t let on.
They believe that you are part of this -- of a -- of another kind of conspiracy to expose the conspiracy of 9/11 and the World Trade Center. Can you -- I mean, I don`t know how you -- I don`t know how you address people who are so deepy into conspiracy, but can you?
PAUL: I don`t know what I would be supposed to be doing. No. I don`t think there`s any evidence...
BECK: Is there -- is there any evidence or is there any doubt in your mind that the United States government was not involved in the September 11th attacks? That we did not bring down World Trade Center number seven?
PAUL: Well, yes, I absolutely believe that is true. They did not. But the connection may be and where some people get carried away, is if you dig through those $40 billion worth of intelligence-gathering apparatus that we had before 9/11, you know, we dig up information and there was some ineptness.
And sometimes when you find ineptness in government, it`s easy to make this giant leap over into conspiracy, and they do it on purpose. But, you know, we had an FBI agent on 70 different occasions reported that these individuals were flying airplanes and not learning how to land them. And he was totally ignored.
PAUL: I consider this ineptness on government, not a conspiracy that, oh, yes, we know about it, we can`t wait until the towers come down. No, I don`t believe that at all. I think -- I don`t even think I should have to answer questions like that.
BECK: Yes, sir, I do not believe that this is your point of view. And I don`t believe this is the point of view of most of your supporters, the vast, vast majority.
And it`s just -- you know, Rosie O`Donnell, Charlie Sheen have gone down this road, and it is a growing movement. And quite honestly, I think it`s a dangerous movement.
Back in just a second. Final thoughts from Dr. Ron Paul.
I let him control the agenda. Three minutes, his thoughts coming up.
BECK: We are back with presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Dr. Paul, many of your supporters feel that the mainstream media is not fair to you. They don`t either let you talk about the issues that you feel are most important, or worse, they distort your words. That`s why I`ve agreed to let this final segment be up to you.
First of all, fair interview with you tonight, sir?
PAUL: Yes, very much so. And I got a much better interview than I`ve gotten from some other interviewers on other stations. So I am pleased with that. You allowed me to answer the questions.
I want to give you the final -- the final word here. You`ve got about two minutes.
Is there anything that we didn`t cover that you think is important that you -- that you feel is essential or something you want to go back and correct?
PAUL: No, I think we`ve covered everything pretty well. I can just summarize pretty much what we`ve been talking about and why people join us.
And I do talk a lot about the Constitution. And to me, the Constitution is very libertarian. So if you`re a constitutionalist, you`re really a libertarian, which means that you want a lot less government. The Constitution was meant to restrain the government and not restrain the people.
I make a very important point that freedom is a unit. But about 100 years ago or so, for some reason, our country divided into two pieces -- personal liberty and economic liberty. And it should be all one thing.
If you have a right to life and a right to your liberty, you can -- you have a right to lead your lifestyle as you choose. But you also have a right to the fruits of your labor, and that`s why I`m so opposed to the income tax. You should have control of your economic life as well.
But, the big problem is, is that when you give that much freedom to individuals, they have to assume responsibility. And you even indicated before that if you`re not a moral society and you don`t assume this responsibility, it causes problems.
And Franklin, Benjamin Franklin, warned us about that. We have to assume responsibility for ourselves. But, quite frankly, I`ve been talking to a lot of young people, and I believe that they are ready and welcome -- welcoming this message because they`re sick and tired of what they`re getting.
They`re getting a huge debt, a Social Security system that doesn`t work, a flawed foreign policy, and this endless debt. And I think that this country is really ready for some significant change.
I think the large majority of the American people are ready for changes, and that the -- the base of the Republican Party and the base of the Democratic Party is pretty small compared to the people who are disgruntled.
BECK: Dr. Paul, thank you very much.
PAUL: Thank you.