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Piers Morgan Live
Interview with Ron Paul
Aired February 03, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Ron Paul is not going to be our next president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Ron Paul!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: So, why are millions of young people hanging on every word from the 76-year-old Texas congressman?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the federal war on drugs is a total failure.
I think the Patriot Act is unpatriotic because it undermines our liberty.
I don't remember voting on a declared declaration of war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Why is the GOP so afraid of him?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Allowing the people to make their decisions and not get the government involved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Tonight, Ron Paul, one on one, no holds barred.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: I'm willing to challenge any of these gentlemen up here to a 25-mile bike ride any time of the day in the heat of Texas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now, he's already changing the face of the Republican Party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: If you have an irate, tireless minority, you do very well in the caucus state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Ron Paul answers my questions and yours from Twitter tonight.
Piers Morgan interview starts now.
MORGAN: Good evening.
Tonight, the Piers Morgan interview comes to you from Las Vegas, on the eve of the Nevada caucuses. I'm at Koi at Planet Hollywood, talking to Ron Paul.
He's running distant fourth here in Nevada, but his influence to young people is greater than that. His supporters are making him a force to be reckoned in the Republican Party.
And tonight, his formula for keeping America great. That, (INAUDIBLE) a lot of supersize only in America.
But right now, Ron Paul. Welcome.
PAUL: Thank you. Nice to be with you.
MORGAN: Now, this will sound like shameless name-dropping, but last time I dined in this restaurant was with Sylvester Stallone and the parallel to me is clear. You are the Rocky Balboa of this campaign.
How do you feel about that analogy?
PAUL: I have no idea how to respond to that. I hope that's very positive. It sounds like it could be positive.
MORGAN: Well, I guess, I mean, every -- Americans love an underdog. And you remain an underdog despite this continual extraordinary support with young people. People still perceive you as the underdog. Do you believe, like Rocky Balboa, you could surprise everyone and win this race? Do you genuinely believe you could become the nominee?
PAUL: Yes. Obviously so. And I think the record of this campaign, you know, the Republican campaign these last almost 12 months now shows you that a lot of candidates are coming and going. You know, they come in and they peaked out, and all of a sudden, they're gone. We did have nine. We're down to four right now.
One thing characteristic of our campaign is its steady growth. And I saw a clip the other day on the Internet that says once you become a Ron Paul supporter you remain a Ron Paul supporter.
MORGAN: Also, once you have a Ron Paul principle, your supporters say, you stick to the principle. And that is certainly a great plus, I think.
You look at someone like Mitt Romney. Everybody knows he changes his mind on a lot of issues.
I suppose what I would say to you about is it can be a stick to beat you with in the sense that if you never change your mind about anything, is that in itself healthy?
PAUL: Time and history help change your views. I have changed and modified my views on what I think about the death penalty. So, it's not overly rigid. But I see it as a refinement and growth in developing a philosophy that is a defense of liberty.
Liberty -- the concept of liberty has been around for, you know, bits and pieces for thousands of years. And, of course, we've had a grand experiment here. And I'm motivated by the fact that I'd hate to see it lost. And I'd like to refine it, pick up the pieces where we left off a while ago and actually improve upon what we had in the past.
MORGAN: You are the oldest candidate. You have been even when there were nine candidates and yet the one many say has the most energy and you have the biggest youth following.
What do you put this down to? A, where do you get all this energy from?
PAUL: Well, you know, I don't know exactly where does health come from? There's a lot of things. Mental health is important.
MORGAN: Do you have a regime on the campaign?
PAUL: Yes, and it gets interrupted sometimes in the campaign. I can't quite do it. But historically, you know, for 30, 40 years, as long as I can remember, I have had a strict regime. It involves a lot of exercise and also eating habits are very important.
MORGAN: So, what do you do exercise-wise when you have time?
PAUL: OK. When I have time, I would get up in the morning and I want to get outside. I'm sort of -- outside gives me relaxation. So, I don't want to ride an exercycle inside. I ride a bike and I walk. But in the morning, I like to walk between three and four miles. It takes me about an hour or so to do that, and that sort of clears my head, and loosens me up.
And good health habits, I think, can prevent usage of a lot of medications. So I strive for that. And fortunately, but I think my parents may have had a little bit to do with good health. They lived in old age.
MORGAN: What about diet? What do you do for eating and drinking? I mean, do you have a strict regime on that?
PAUL: Not overly strict. I'm not fanatic. But I do watch the white things -- white sugars and -- although I do eat meat. I think fish is better.
But it's not overly radical, you know? But I think fresh vegetables are good. Most of it's probably more common sense than anything I learned in medical school.
MORGAN: You look good. Is this part of the reason you think the youth are energized by you? They look at you as a role model and also, they like the fact that you are a guy who sticks to his principles.
PAUL: I think that is it. I think sometimes they will translate to he sticks to his principles about health habits.
But I think it's the principles of liberty that are so inviting to young people. I think their minds are more open. I don't think their minds have been cluttered. I don't think they have been forced to accept things and accept the status quo.
And besides, we live in an era today where the failure of government programs is so blatant. And although I have been doing this for a long time and we have had a lot of interest in the last five to 10 years, it really came to life once the financial crisis which many of us who have been involved in Austrian economics predicted would come and sort of confirm it. And people are very uneasy about the future whether here or in Europe, of course, we are all interconnected now with global trade and global banking.
So, I think that has, you know, energized the people because I have been talking and warning about things.
MORGAN: Does it help also that you were a child of the Great Depression? You know, you grew up to the depression. You came out the other end and saw what it took, I think, to do that. I was fascinated to read the sheer volume of jobs you did when you were a younger man.
I mean, you did all sorts of stuff. You worked with your father on the dairy, but you did countless jobs. You worked very, very hard.
Do you see that kind hard work ethic now in America? And if the answer is no, is that one of the fundamental problems that the work ethic has evolved over the years?
PAUL: I think that's a big issue. People ask about how my parents might have had influence on politics. They were conservative Republicans, but they were more Republicans than anything else.
But I think where they contributed a lot to my thinks was a work ethic -- Depression and World War II. As a matter of fact, the Depression didn't end until after World War II, because -- I remember World War II better than the Depression and actually, things got worse because there was rationing and there were no new cars and all. So, the work ethic was very, very important. I think that had a large impact on me. At the same time, I worked it into a philosophy.
But I think -- and I talk a lot about it at my speeches, especially on the college campuses of not depending on the government. They're not there. They're bankrupt. They tried to give everybody a free house. And now, they don't have jobs and they don't have their houses.
So, therefore, you have to assume responsibility for yourself.
MORGAN: But how far do you take it? Because although I agree with you to a certain degree, I think I take issue when it comes to something like health care where you've got quite provocative views here. I mean, your belief is that if you can't afford the insurance for Medicare or whatever it may be, then you've got to fend for yourself somehow, or get your local community to bail you out. Am I misrepresenting you? Was that basically how you feel?
PAUL: Yes, but it's a lot more compassionate than the way, you know, it might sound.
MORGAN: Is it, though?
PAUL: Yes, really because if you see the extent of total socialism, it's not very compassionate. People end up with no care at all. I mean, what happened at the end of the Soviet system, everybody had free care but they were Soviet system. They were totally bankrupt because they had an empire that failed.
And today, nobody -- we have had -- I was in medicine when we had no government. And I don't remember the problems as badly as I remember the problems now.
MORGAN: Well, what about -- what about as we have in Britain, the basic right to health care for every citizen? What is wrong with that as a principle, an ambition to aspire to?
PAUL: Well, I think the basic principle is wrong in that you don't have a right to somebody else's life or money. You have a right to your life and you have a right to your liberty. You have a right to keep what you earn, but you don't have a right to take food from somebody else.
You say, well, I'm not going to take it. The government is going to take the food.
You don't have a right to somebody else's house. Oh, yes, but the government will take the house for me.
So, we who believe in the freedom philosophy believe that you can't use violence to get what you want, but you can't use the government to use violence and force.
MORGAN: But what if you don't have the ability to get your own health care? You have no means to do that. What do the people that Mitt Romney was dismissive of the other day -- and we'll come to that -- what do those people do, absolutely the most vulnerable parts of society? What do they do?
PAUL: Well --
MORGAN: Under your presidency, what would they do to get health care?
PAUL: You have to understand the difference between interventionist economy and a socialist economy. If you really want to produce the best medical care and the best prosperity, the largest middle class, you have to do it through freedom.
If you do it through redistribution of wealth you reduce the availability.
MORGAN: Let's take a little break. I want to come back and talk to you more about the economy. Also about how you keep America great through tough times like this and what you think of today's jobless figures, whichever way you look at it -- pretty good news for Barack Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FROM RONPAUL.COM)
ANNOUNCER: What's up with these sorry politicians? Lots of bark, but when it's showtime, whimpering like little Shih Tzu's. You want big cuts? Ron Paul has been screaming it for years. Budget crisis? No problem. Cut a trillion bucks year one. That's trillion with a T.
Department of Education -- gone. Interior, Energy, HUD, Commerce -- gone. Later, bureaucrats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was a campaign ad for Ron Paul.
It's really interesting to me, because I follow what you say about how you get out of tough times and it's probably completely opposite to how Barack Obama is doing it. Yet, today, we saw jobless figures which are the best since he became president.
Do you give him credit for that? Do you think he's doing a good job reducing jobless figures? Or how would you summarize your feelings?
PAUL: I wouldn't give him too much credit. Of course, everybody should be pleased that there are more jobs now than there were a month ago. But they are pretty puny to what we should be doing.
But if you look at those figures and dissect them out there, they are not that glamorous because during that last month -- 1.2 million people dropped out of the workforce. So, if you get 200,000 new jobs and 1.2 dropped out, you still lost a million jobs. So, if you take that into consideration, you can't turn these people into non-people. You can't fudge the figures. And that's what politicians do.
MORGAN: I understand.
PAUL: Let me try to finish that. If you do that actually the unemployment rate is 11 percent, not 8.5. It went up, rather than gone down, if you count those people.
MORGAN: Is that the problem here though that if all the Republicans keep dumping on what are apparently good figures, then the momentum, the positivity that America needs to get itself out of recession gets stymied a bit. I'm going to read you a quote here --
PAUL: Can I answer that?
MORGAN: Well, let me read you this quote. This is from Jeb Hensarling, who's a Republican representative. He said, "Today is an indication of another failure of this president's policies -- 36 months in a row with 8 percent plus unemployment." Which is a ludicrous way of spinning it.
How can you say this is another example of a president getting things wrong on a day when actually the official figures, any way you dress them up, are positive? Isn't it better? Isn't it a better thing that the more credible position for Republicans to say, is to say, I am encouraged by this, but he should have gone further?
PAUL: To me, it's more important to admit the truth. So, if I'm speaking the truth, so we might have to compare figures. But let's assume for a second that I'm speaking the truth and the 200,000 jobs was a net benefit. But what I'm saying is, we quit counting people, we disavowed them.
So, if I'm speaking the truth, the most important thing is we know the truth. Not the politics.
As a matter of fact, you'll probably have a hard time -- you probably haven't heard me in a speech. I do talk about the president a little bit mainly on attacks on civil liberties and maybe not doing enough about the wars. So, I'm not in the same people that said, well, the president didn't do enough, it's all the president's fault, because it isn't.
He hasn't done anything to come in my direction of going back to a market economy or looking at the balancing the budget. Nobody, Republicans or Democrats don't want to cut anything.
MORGAN: What about Mitt Romney's comment that he's not concerned about the poor? Let's just play this, and then I'll get your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it.
It was a misstatement. I misspoke. I've said something that is similar to that but quite acceptable for a long time. And, you know, when you do I don't know how many thousand of interviews, now and then you get it wrong. And I misspoke.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: And then he says now it was a misstatement, but he didn't say that immediately. And it just sounded awful, that, didn't it, for somebody aiming to be president to talk about the poor in that way?
MORGAN: It seemed callous at best.
PAUL: The way I (INAUDIBLE). I don't have probably any agreements with Mitt on policies -- foreign policy, monetary policy, spending policy, bailout policy. But, you know, I think this is a big issue because of politics, because of the opposition, the demagoguing, the media jumping on this.
And actually, I think I end up defending him more than he defended himself, because I don't believe that for a minute that if Mitt Romney was sitting here, that if he release everything in his heart. He says, you know what? The truth is I really don't care about poor people. That is -- I don't believe that.
MORGAN: But what he did say unequivocally is that they wouldn't be a priority. And I found it extraordinary. If I was president, which I'll never be because I'm British, the poor would be my absolute priority.
MORGAN: Would they be yours?
PAUL: If that's your number one priority, if you listen to what I have been talking about and understood free market economics, you would say the most important thing you can do is give them a sound currency, limited government, free markets, contract rights.
Don't bail out anybody. No privileged classes. And that's when the poor would get the benefits. That's when the jobs would come.
But this whole fallacy of saying that we have -- see, I'm concerned about the poor more than anybody or as much as anybody. But I don't think robbing one group and giving more money to the poor and saying, well, you can have your house, just pay the bills but he can't do it.
So, it's a failed policy.
MORGAN: But when you have --
PAUL: It's a good intention, but the good intentions don't solve our problems.
MORGAN: When you have someone like Warren Buffett, one of the richest, most successful men in history begging to be taxed more, publically saying, tax me, tax me. Give the money to those who don't have it.
What is wrong with that?
PAUL: Well, let him pay. Remember going around --
MORGAN: What is wrong with having a tax system which just taxes people like him more?
PAUL: It destroys the economy if you just --
MORGAN: He says it doesn't.
PAUL: Let him pay.
PAUL: He can send more money to the Treasury.
MORGAN: Yes. But there is little evidence that raising taxation for the very rich ever destroys an economy. It doesn't.
PAUL: Well, that I disagree with.
MORGAN: Historically, it hasn't.
PAUL: That I disagree with because government -- what are they going to do with the money? Are they going to subsidize the housing industry again and have that thing blow -- are they going to start another war? That's why they need the money.
MORGAN: The problem with the housing wasn't that poor people got housing. It was that greedy bankers and financial institutions brought in the subprime mortgage scams which preyed on people who didn't understand the system. That's what happened.
PAUL: But where would the speculation come from if you didn't have easy credit? Where did the money come from? If it had come from savings, they wouldn't have done it.
MORGAN: Yes. I agree with personal responsibility and all the middle classes people are rushing to support I think over maxed credit cards, spent money they didn't have, and they are trying to absolve themselves in many cases --
MORGAN: -- from personal responsibility.
But I come back to this. When Mitt Romney said what he said about I'm not concerned with the poor, I really felt offended for everybody in America. You've got to have a president. PAUL: I think you --
MORGAN: -- you got to have a president who prioritizes the poor, haven't you?
PAUL: OK. Now, if I had been confronted with that, the answer would have been different. But the answer would have been different than your answer. But you would want more government and more spending. I would have said that is my deep concern.
If you are a true humanitarian, if you care about the poor people and if you care about not shrinking the middle class, like it's going on right now, we are getting more poor and shrinking of the middle class, you cannot do it without looking at that monetary policy. If you don't do anything else, exclude everything else but you just depreciate the currency, the middle class gets wiped out.
If you're on the receiving end, the banks, and the corporations, military industrial complex, they got tremendous benefit. The wealth is automatically transferred from the middle class. The poor get poorer and the wealthier get wealthier.
Then when the bailouts come, they even benefit more and the bad debt which should have been liquidated is dumped on the people.
MORGAN: The flip side to the bailout argument is when you look at the car industry, Barack Obama did bail out the car industry and now they are doing very well. So, bailouts can work, indisputably.
PAUL: But you're making an assumption it was going to work with honest bailouts. It's not an honest bailout.
MORGAN: You don't know. It's chicken and the egg, isn't it? But the point is --
PAUL: No, you don't know it isn't. If you had an honest bailout, the people who owned those bonds would have been protected. But he turned ownership over to the unions. So, that is not fair. He used force to transfer -- he was wrong to break the contract.
Governments are there to enforce contracts, not to adjust the contracts to benefit of their constituency.
MORGAN: Even if it works?
PAUL: Oh, especially if it works. I mean, if a criminal robs a bank and it works, you don't justify robbing the bank.
MORGAN: Let's take a break and come back and talk foreign policy, and specifically the threat of war with Iran.
MORGAN: Right now my special guest Ron Paul.
Let me ask you this -- you have lived through many American military conflicts in your lifetime, since the early part of last century. How many of them do you believe were justified?
PAUL: Well, justified plus legal --
MORGAN: People assume you are a pacifist. I don't get the feeling you are a pacifist.
PAUL: No, I'm not a pacifist.
MORGAN: I think you believe in military action where it is legitimate.
MORGAN: But how many of the major conflicts have been legitimate?
PAUL: Well, from a constitutional viewpoint I don't want to fight any wars that aren't declared. So, that means since World War II, nothing has been justified because we didn't go through the proper process. But when you look back --
MORGAN: Do you support the conflict in Afghanistan?
PAUL: I did, but that's to go after only those responsible for 9/11. Not going into nation-building, not going in, you know, into Iraq.
MORGAN: But it was war, wasn't it?
PAUL: To go after al Qaeda, it was like going after criminals. As a matter of fact, at the time, what I did was --
MORGAN: Was it constitutional?
PAUL: Yes, to a degree because it was limited. But what I introduced was a resolution to clarify this. Don't turn it into an excuse to go into countries and occupy countries and take over countries and go into nation-building. I said, look to our history about the Letter of Marque and Reprisal -- when you are attacked, say, at Pearl Harbor, declared war, that's certainly legitimate.
Even though we had a declaration of war in World War I, it was a constitutional war but it was a very foolish venture.
MORGAN: What is beyond the ideological difference between being attacked in Pearl Harbor or being attacked at the World Trade Center? I mean, if you are under --
PAUL: But a country didn't attack -- I mean, a bunch of thugs attacked us, not a country. So, there is a big difference.
It's -- there were probably people -- I imagine that there weren't even 100 people that knew 9/11 was coming. Maybe there were 50, maybe there were 40 for all we know. So, it was a band of thugs that had a grievance with us and they were trying to get our attention. So, that's entirely different than --
MORGAN: Have you modified your opinion of what the motivation was? You get flak at a time, although a lot of support as well suggesting that the main motivation of the attacks was revenge from what was going on in Iraq. I'm sure a lot of it was.
But you also said that you didn't believe it was an anti-West sentiment, an anti-riches, anti-capitalism. I'm not sure that's true, is it? I mean, certainly, if you were to interview the 9/11 attackers, I'm pretty damn sure they would also say, we are against Western values. We are against capitalism and so on.
PAUL: There is no evidence to that. If you read Robert Pape and Michael Scheuer, you'll find out, they are pretty much the experts on this subject, and that's not their conclusion. But if you look at the 9/11 Commission, if you look at the DOD studies, if you look at the CIA -- even if you look at what Paul Wolfowitz has said, you know, the great neocon, they have come to the conclusion that our presence in the Middle East was the most significant reason on why they wanted to come here and kill us.
MORGAN: And let's assume you become President Ron Paul. If Iran was to strike back at Israel, what would you do?
PAUL: Well, I go and look to the rules. And the rules that if our national security is threatened, you explain it to the people and then you go to Congress and say, is our national security threatened to such a degree that we declare war against a particular country?
MORGAN: If you believe Iran had enough enriched uranium to genuinely launch a nuclear attack against Israel, would that knowledge alone mean you would countenance military action?
PAUL: Well, the one thing that we should set aside is there's our CIA and the Mossad. Israel are now arguing that they have the case. And even Israel said, the leader of the Mossad said, even if they have a weapon, it's not an existential threat to them.
MORGAN: You wouldn't ever countenance any preemptive strike?
PAUL: No, not really. Why should we? That's aggression.
We are not supposed to commit aggression. I mean, that's left for the dictators. But, you know, we now don't do aggression but what we do is preemptive war.
MORGAN: If you have got knowledge --
PAUL: But preemptive war is equivalent to that and I think it's very dangerous.
MORGAN: But they have already said, Ahmadinejad has made it quite clear he believes in wiping out Israel if he got a chance. PAUL: OK.
MORGAN: If you were president of the Second World War, and you had been given knowledge the Japanese were planning Pearl Harbor, you would have preemptively struck, wouldn't you?
PAUL: Well, let me touch your first subject first. And that is quoting Ahmadinejad, because that's a misquote, but 99 percent of the people in the media would misquote it. And everybody in Washington believes it.
What he actually said, on the proper interpretation, was that the regime in charge of Jerusalem should be removed from the pages of time. He did not say that Israel should be wiped from the face of the Earth.
Just think of the difference on that, removing the regime, like getting rid of our administration or something.
MORGAN: You're not seriously defending Ahmadinejad, are you?
PAUL: I'm trying to defend honesty. And I'm trying to defend openness and willingness -- willing to stop a war just --
PAUL: Please let me finish my sentence. Just like John Kennedy was able to talk to Khrushchev. If we can talk to Khrushchev, and he had 30,000 missiles, why can't we talk to a country that doesn't have a nuclear missile, and they're not -- according to the record, they're not on the verge of it either.
MORGAN: There are a lot of Americans who may like -- they may like you personally or whatever. But they think you are weak on this, because of the preemptive issue. I come back to that question I put to you: if you had knowledge and you were president when Pearl Harbor happened, if you had pre-knowledge of that happening, would you have attacked?
PAUL: Imminent attack -- if we're sitting here and we see the planes come over, obviously, yes. An imminent attack --
MORGAN: Intelligence it may happen.
PAUL: An imminent attack is quite different when the planes are coming, versus this fiction. Just we shouldn't have such short memories. Everything they are saying about Iran we said about Iraq. And they were all lies. How many men died? Eighty five hundred Americans died; 44,000 --
PAUL: It's the same principle.
MORGAN: I as a newspaper editor -- as a newspaper editor back in Britain, I opposed the war in Iraq vigorously and loudly.
PAUL: Then you should oppose us going into Iran.
MORGAN: I think Iran is a different situation.
MORGAN: Because I think that they would, if they could, consider attacking Israel. If you're America, you can't let that happen. The Israelis --
PAUL: Why shouldn't they depend on the British? Why doesn't the British take care of them? They used to -- they have a lot of influence over there. Let all the British kid goes over there and die.
I mean, why -- why is it assumed that we are the policemen of the world, that it's our moral obligation? Besides, we're broke.
MORGAN: But aren't there times when you have to be the policeman of the world?
PAUL: It is not. We should provide for our national security. We do not have the authority. We do not have the money. And we -- we don't have the moral authority to do this because it leads to trouble.
MORGAN: Let's take a break, come back and talk social issues. I want to talk to you about marriage, gay marriage, abortion. See what you really think.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Newt Gingrich calling Ron Paul totally outside the mainstream. This is the man who wants a moon colony, Mr. Mainstream. Let's talk social issues, because people often say you are a conservative liberal. There aren't many of those around, Ron Paul.
Let me ask you about your view of gay marriage, because I have read differing twists on this. What's your honest opinion about gay marriage?
PAUL: I -- I am totally neutral on the cause of liberty when people want to be married and call it a marriage, it's none of my business. I can set my standards, and then others can decide whether they want to follow me or not. But I would never use force.
MORGAN: You don't believe in abortion under any circumstances. That's something that's driven I think by your time as a doctor. You have delivered many, many babies. I read a heart rending thing you once said, that you once delivered I think a two and a half pound baby that -- as you said, you had to put into a bucket.
PAUL: Not me. I wasn't a participant. I was a very, very casual observer as a student.
MORGAN: But you witnessed this?
PAUL: Yes. I walk in a room and it happened. It was five minutes. It was over. I walked out of the room and thought, wow, what did I just see?
MORGAN: But that clearly scarred you.
PAUL: It was the lack of respect for life that dawned on me.
MORGAN: Here's the dilemma, and it's one I put to Rick Santorum very recently. I was surprised by his answer, although I sort of understood from his belief point of view that he would come up with this.
But it's a dilemma that I am going to put to you. You have two daughters. You have many granddaughters. If one of them was raped -- and I accept it's a very unlikely thing to happen. But if they were, would you honestly look at them in the eye and say they had to have that child if they were impregnated?
PAUL: No. If it's an honest rape, that individual should go immediately to the emergency room. I would give them a shot of estrogen or give them --
MORGAN: You would allow them to abort the baby?
PAUL: It is absolutely in limbo, because an hour after intercourse or a day afterwards, there is no legal or medical problem. If you talk about somebody coming in and they say, well, I was raped and I'm seven months pregnant and I don't want to have anything to do with it, it's a little bit different story.
But somebody arriving in an emergency room saying, I have just been raped and there is no chemical -- there's no medical and there's no legal evidence of a pregnancy --
MORGAN: Life doesn't begin at conception?
PAUL: Life does begin at conception.
MORGAN: Then you would be taking a life.
PAUL: Well, you don't know if you're taking a life either, because this is an area that is -- but to decide everything about abortion and respect for life on this one very, very theoretical condition, where there may have been a life or not a life.
MORGAN: But here's the thing: although it is a hypothetical, it does happen. People do get raped and they do get impregnated. And sometimes they are so ashamed by what's happened that weeks go by before they may even discover they are pregnant.
They have to face this dilemma. And they are going to have a president who has a very, very strong view about this.
PAUL: This is like the proposal that the people who like abortion, endorse abortion because it's the woman's right to her body. You say, well, does that mean one minute before birth, you can kill the baby? I did this on one of the TV programs where some women were opposed to what I was saying.
I said, this nine-pound baby is in the woman. She has the right. She argues her case. I said you would abort this baby because the woman has had unfortunate some circumstances, so the doctor gets paid a handsome fee to kill this nine-pound baby?
Oh, that's not what we're talking about. But that is what they are talking about. They are talking about a human life. So a person immediately after rape, yes. It's a tough one. I won't satisfy everybody there.
But to tell you the truth, what I saw happening in the 1960s and the change in the law and -- no, the change in attitude, people were doing illegal abortions. To me it is a moral problem. It was to change the morality of the '60s, the lack of respect for life, leads to the lack of respect for liberty and all the things that I believe in.
So it was a change in morality that had the Supreme Court change the law. So I don't believe the change in the law is the magic cure. I do believe, though, very sincerely, if we don't have an understanding of life and have a lot of respect for life, I can't defend people on their personal liberties. I can't be as tolerant as I am on how they use liberties.
So that's why I think it's really a moral issue, rather than a legal solution to all these problems. As a physician, as a gynecologist, I have had to face some of these very, very difficult problems. I understand them. Even before Roe versus Wade, many of those problems that existed, where there is no perfect answer, they were taken care of, but it was always done -- they respected the fact that they were dealing with a life.
MORGAN: Finally on this point, do you accept there is a slight contradiction between a candidate who is pro liberty, pro personal choice, pro personal responsibility in almost every other area, but on the specific area says no, you don't have choice?
PAUL: See, I don't see the inconsistency because I see the nine- pound baby that's still within the mother as deserving some protection, too. Who deserves protection? That fetus has rights, because if I do harm to him, I get sued. If you have a car accident and kill a fetus, there are legal right there. But to say that it's only the mother, it's very, very unique.
If you carry your argument to the -- all the way through, we have a right to our homes. Shouldn't we have the privacy of our homes? Do we have a right to kill the baby one minute after birth? No. Everybody say -- as a matter of fact, this is what happens: we can kill the baby before it's born and a doctor is paid. One minute after birth, if the woman who was unfortunate enough to have this baby -- if she throws the baby away, she gets arrested for a homicide.
To me, the one minute before birth and one minute after birth isn't a whole lot different.
MORGAN: You understand that to a lot of people with serious religious conviction, it is. They say life begins at conception.
PAUL: Life does begin at conception.
MORGAN: So it's a moral maze. Let's have a break. Let's come back and talk about your family, because you have an incredible family. You have five children. How many grandchildren?
MORGAN: How many great grandchildren?
MORGAN: Amazing. Let's come back and talk about your extraordinary family and your wife.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: We have been on a pretty extensive tour. And my wife's been with me. She didn't make it this morning because this was her day -- I said that she could sleep in. And I provided her breakfast for her this morning, because it's our 55th wedding anniversary day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Ron Paul on how he and his wife Carol celebrated their 55th anniversary this week. Congratulations.
PAUL: Thank you.
MORGAN: An amazing achievement. What's the secret to a long lasting marriage, do you think?
PAUL: I think a lot is respect and acceptance of both of our shortcomings. And I just think that if you have respect for other people and reject the whole idea that you force people, either intimidate or -- you know, I don't like it in politics. I don't like it in interpersonal relationships; you do it my way or else. I think people get into trouble when they try to force their way on others.
And certainly in a good marriage, you shouldn't be using intimidation and force to try to get along. There must be a better way.
MORGAN: If Carol was here, what would she say your shortcomings are?
PAUL: She'd probably be pretty generous, you know.
MORGAN: What do you think they are? If you were being self- critical?
PAUL: Well, I can get upset. Most people don't realize that I do get upset. Unfortunately she gets on the receiving end. You know, if I get tired in the campaign, if I complain about the campaign, I usually don't go to the campaign manager. I complain to her.
But I think that's been part of it. You know, if she has a problem, if she's not feeling well or she has something, she's allowed to come to me. So maybe part of that -- a good marriage is being a sounding board for the other person.
MORGAN: What do you believe about discipline with children? Were you a spanker when you were young?
PAUL: No, not really. But I wasn't spanked, you know, when I was growing up. Our kids didn't get spanked. There would be a time, you know, you might have to give them a little tap or something to remind them.
MORGAN: Do you believe parents should still have that right to give their kids a little tap?
PAUL: Oh, yeah, as long as they're not practicing severe child abuse.
PAUL: Boy, I'll tell you, I would work real hard to promote an understanding that you don't achieve a lot -- you don't achieve a whole lot by using force and intimidation. Just like in politics, you know, I reject the use of force telling other countries what to do and what to do with your personal behavior and all.
So raising kids would be the same way. I can remember growing up, we had certain real strong beliefs and I thought back, I wonder when my parents ever talked to me about behavior, drinking or anything. They never did. It was sort of through osmosis that you know what the standards are.
And fortunately we have had five wonderful children. And I think there must have been a little bit of osmosis there, because I certainly wasn't a lecturer on exactly what they had to do.
MORGAN: What were the most important values your parents instilled in you, do you think? We discussed hard work, but what else?
PAUL: I think it's hard work. They had a lot of respect for religious values. We did go to church routinely. I was raised in a Lutheran Church. And confirmation in the church was a major event. When we were old enough to decide we wanted to be confirmed in a church, that became a bigger event than any birthday party or any other kind of celebration. That was pretty important.
MORGAN: I want to end with two things that have happened this week. One is about to happen, one has already happened, which, in many ways, sum up the very best of America, in my view. One is the Facebook situation, where you have a young kid who has a brilliant idea, and it turns into a hundred million dollar idea, and he creates a thousand millionaires.
Is that a good think? When you look at that, do you see any negatives? Or do you think that's what the American dream, at its purest, is about?
PAUL: I think it is. And I think you picked a good example, even though I don't know all the details, because he provided a service. And he didn't make money as much as he knew something that he anticipated people might like.
He became wealthy because he gave a service. The consumer voted him to have this. Now there are many in society today -- so I'm sort of on the side of Occupy Wall Street when they complain about the one percent. But I separate the two. If you made your money because you provided a service and the people bought it and they didn't get subsidies from the government or benefits, say, from an inflationary system, and they didn't get bailouts and all these things, that to me is entirely different.
MORGAN: Giants or Patriots? Giants or Patriots, Super Bowl?
PAUL: Super Bowl, haven't paid much attention to it. I have been paying attention to Nevada and a few other primaries.
MORGAN: Now, let's talk Nevada very briefly at the end. You're trailing in the polls at the moment. How confident are you of a good performance in Nevada? How important is it that you perform well in Nevada?
PAUL: I think it's very important. But I think -- I don't think it's the end of anything. And I think we are going to do well. Each primary, we have done much, much better than we did four years ago. So that's one thing to compare it to.
And we're down to four candidates right now. And we have a good organization in Nevada.
MORGAN: Will you ever drop out of this race? Or are you here until the bitter end?
PAUL: Yes, I'll drop out if someone gets inaugurated next January? MORGAN: But Nothing will stop you before the convention?
PAUL: I'm not thinking in those terms because I'm thinking in campaigning where the next stop is. Where do I go this evening And I where do I sleep tonight? And how I'm going to encourage all of the workers to get the vote out.
MORGAN: Hypothetically, if you got to a point where you did want to drop out, could you imagine endorsing another candidate? Would you do that? Or are you implacably opposed to doing that just on principle?
PAUL: Well, it would be a real challenge, but I think people change their minds. Some of them change their minds more easily than others. So if they change them favorably and they can convince them, my -- I would certainly be open to that.
MORGAN: Ron Paul, best of luck at Nevada and the rest of the campaign.
PAUL: Thank you.
MORGAN: You certainly have a lot of energy, drive, and I can tell you one thing, we will get more reaction on Twitter and Facebook to this interview than any interview I have done with any other candidate. That is a given.
PAUL: Wonderful. Thank you very much.
MORGAN: That's Ron Paul. When we come back, a sympathized Only in America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Congratulations. How do you feel?
ROBIN LIM, CNN 2011 HERO OF THE YEAR: Full of gratitude.
COOPER: Did you think you might have a chance at winning.
LIM: Of courser not. We have helped so many people since 2005. Almost 113,000 people got free medical care and medicine.
COOPER: What does it feel like to start with one person and then slowly start to build the organization?
LIM: I found that if you have a good idea and you do it with love, a lot of people want to help you.
COOPER: It was a personal loss that got you involved in this.
LIM: My sister died. She was pregnant. This was 21 years ago.
COOPER: What was your sister's name? LIM: Her name is Christine. I feel like she really helps me.
COOPER: You carry her with you still.
LIM: Yeah, and I think I carry her baby, too.
COOPER: What kind of an impact do you think this will have?
LIM: The clinic we have in Achei, in the tsunami zone, that one is really safe. But the clinic in Bali is -- it's falling apart. It's too small for our patient care.
COOPER: You're hoping to maybe rebuild the clinic.
LIM: We have been saving money for years. And we did get a piece of land right in our village. So we're ready to build. And now we have money to begin.
COOPER: You have 250,000 plus 50,000, so 300,000 dollars.
LIM: Yes. Yes. That goes a long way in Indonesia.
COOPER: What keeps you going? I mean, in those dark days when -- when you don't have money and when you don't have support?
LIM: Some days I don't have money, but I always have support. Just when you think, how are we going to pay the electric, there's always an email that says we're sending money. It's just a miracle every day, just like birth.
COOPER: Congratulations. I'm so happy for you and for the work you're going to do and the lives you're going to save. Thank you. Thank you.
LIM: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now it's time for Only in America. As a Brit in this country, there are many imponderables about Super Bowl XLVI. Why the Roman numerals? What is with that funny shaped football, anyway? Will Americans really eat 1.2 billion chicken wings on Sunday? That's four for every man, woman and child in the country. Apparently yes.
But the one question I'm really struggling with is this: when was the last time the halftime entertainer had bigger arms than any of the players?
The other big question, of course, is simply this: Giants or Patriots? Odds makers here in Las Vegas say the Patriots are three- point favorites. But I put the question to some of my recent guests.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Last questions, Super Bowl pick.
SUZE ORMAN, OWN NETWORK: New York.
MORGAN: Giants or Patriots, Wolf?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm a Buffalo Bills fan. So I have to stay neutral in this one.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: All right, I'm standing next to John King, OK, so I have to say the Patriots.
MORGAN: John, I know your allegiance.
Giants or Patriots?
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Neither.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now, as an adopted son of New York, I had just two words myself to say about Sunday's showdown, go Giants. That's all for us tonight.
"AC 360" starts now.