WHAS11's Joe Arnold interviewed Rand Paul, US Senate candidate, and his father Texas Congressman Ron Paul in an exclusive one-on-one Sunday, January 31.
See the entire, unedited interview in the video above.
On Tea Parties and the state of the Republican Party:
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX): That is the big issue right now because you hear about Tea Parties and other kind of parties and independents and all that, but I think the Republicans are going through a transition on trying to define themselves because the Republican party had a tough time a couple of years ago. Because they sort of didn't do the job they were hired to do when they got control of the House and the Senate and the Presidency. And so they are struggling now to get their credibilty back and find themselves. And one thing I've noticed in Washington is when they're out of office they're real good conservatives. It's the problem -- and people know this when we get in office -- then we don't have the determination to do what we promised the people. And that's what the American people are after now; they want people to go into office, say what they believe in and expect them to do it.
This is where we are today and people aren;t going to buy into the Democrat label or the Republican label. If you think about Massachusetts, here we have a Republican up there. So, I think we have an interesting time but I think all of us whether you've been in the Republican party a short time or a long time, you're participating in defining that particular party.
(The December 16, 2007 Tea Party $6 million moneybomb) was spontaneous, not organized.
I think (the Tea Party movement) has morphed into something different. I don't think anybody knows what it is, except for one fact, that there's a lot of people in this country who are sick and tired of the status quo, conventional Republicans, conventional Democrats, conventional spending.....
Ron Paul added that the Tea Partiers will have "a lot of variations on foreign policy."
Rand Paul: The first of the wave that began, it is a big movement, and I've met with a lot of the Tea Party folks in Kentucky, and we think we'll get a lot of them to support us.
On Mitch McConnell's leadership:
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX): Well first thing I've never met him. and I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other.
Rand Paul: I think in some ways he's been very good at being a minority leader. In some ways we've been very good at opposing Obamacare, now maybe we have a chance at stopping that, reintroducing the health reform that we'd like to. And so I think he has done a good job of that. I try to compliment him on areas where we agree, but Kentucky wants two senators not one senator, (it) shows we as a party are big enough to disagree.
Even though he isn't being particularly helpful in my primary, I will ask him for his support after the primary.
I think I'm a big enough person that we're going to win the primary and when the primary is over I want to work with the whole party not just part of the party.
Where do you think the Republican party has failed the most?
Rand Paul: Well, I say our platform is wonderful. We don't bail out private businesses. Our platform says we don't have government ownership of business. But, we voted for the bank bailout.
We're saying stop. wait a minute. read the bills
Is (Rand Paul) a chip off the old block?
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX): I don't know he sounds better than I do. So he must have learned well, plus some others.
Ron Paul says Rand Paul's opthamologist career proves he's done something other than politics
Do you think Rand Paul has an opportunity to be an even bigger leader than you (Ron Paul - for libertarian ideals), if elected to the U.S. Senate?
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX): Oh, I think so, because I still am a little bit bewildered about the amount of attention I've gotten. Because after you've been saying it for 30 years, and nobody listens, you figure well, nobody is ever going to listen. But all of a sudden the last couple of years, that events have changed, and that's why he has a tremendous opportunity. The people have a tremendous opportunity to look at these issues.
Because if you talk about - for instance - a Federal Reserve system nobody cares, nobody understands it and all of a sudden you have a financial crisis and the Federal Reserve is involved, all of a sudden, what you have been talking about becomes very very important.
Rand Paul: Because I've been part of that movement, I've helped him, I've become well known within the movement that he started. It definitely helps. But I also tell people there are a lot of kids of candidates who never win and I may be one of them, but the only way I win is on my own two feet and being able to present the message and I have a great deal of respect and owe him so much but I can't win it just on his coattails. I have to do it on my own.
Was there any reticence on your part not to come here today, just because of that danger of overshadowing your son?
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX): Yes, as a matter of fact, I would say that if other people judge what I've done so far, (they would say,) 'why haven't you done more?'
Was 9/11 America's fault?
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX): Americans, you and I, aren't at fault, but policies have consequences. ideas have consequences.
As an institution, as a government, do you think that the American government is in part responsible for 9/11?
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX): For a long time, I think we've gotten off base on it. Just the same as I talk about monetary policy started in 1913, I talk about tax policy. Foreign policy shifted. So, I'd like to talk about thinking about what the old right used to talk about, is foreign policy and that is sort of what George Bush talked about in the year 2000 when he was running, he said, maybe we shouldn't be doing all this nation building, and playing policeman of the world, because he was criticizing Clinton.
And I just stay consistent with that message and I think the American People like that message
Rand Paul: I think there's a danger sometimes, and people misinterpret my father, I think is that, they think somehow it is blaming America. And it's not. We are not to blame for people attacking us. It is their fault and they did something horrendous and that's how the conversation needs to begin. But then we say why in the global scheme of things are these happening? And the interersting thing is, while many people say we don't look at this, in Saudi Arabia (the United States) had bases and we no longer have bases.
Osama Bin Laden wanted us to leave Saudi Arabia. did we appease,him? Well it was the George W. Bush adminstration that left Saudi Arabia. Maybe it was time that we left Saudi Arabia, but did we do that because we were attacked? Then, it's 'you're appeasing terrorists.' which we don't want to ever do.
But at the same time, do we want to have bases in Saudi Arabia? We have chosen now, not to. We no longer have bases there and we have gone to a friendleier country.
And then there are questions we have. The questions we have are, are we everywhere all the time to everyone? Or, are we nowhere and always here at home? And maybe we've gone too far in one extreme that we are everywhere all the time. And so I do think we need to be concerned with our borders. For example with national security, I talk a lot about the fact that 16 of the 19 hijackers came here on legal visas.
I would end all travel visas to terrorist nations right now and stop them until we have a better idea and understanding of how to regulate and police our own visa system.
Rand Paul suggest a frequent flyer program that would pre-screen frequent flyers and not waste time on people who are not going to attack the United States. He adds that Homeland Security appropriations are full of pork.
So, U.S. policies alienated the U.S. from some of the world - and provided terrorists a motive to attack on 9-11?
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX): I think that is important and nobody wants to talk about the motive, but it's out there, it's layed on a platter. You know, bin Laden writes, he wrote of it all the time, and he has a very strong motive. And as bad a guy as he is, he's not known to be a liar. So somebody should read that and find out exactly what the motive is and that affects our foreign policy, and if we ignore that, I think we'll have more terrorism.
Rand Paul adds that foreign policy can be wrong - that the U.S. once provided weapons to bin Laden and Saddam Hussein
On U.S. support of Israel:
Rand Paul: The problem is, we give $6 billion to Israel's enemies that are all around her and we give Israel $4 billion. One, we have to ask the question, where is the money coming from? We have a massive debt and we're out of money. And two, is it wise to sell $200 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, what if next year they are overthrown and then they are a big threat to Israel?
So we may not be helping Israel by funding both sides of the arms race.
We fund Israels's side, but we also fund all of the Islamic allies. People who are somewhat opposed to Israel, we give them money too. We give everybody money, and that, I think is the problem.
I think financially we have to look at what we are doing as a country, but I'm not saying we have no relationship with Israel, or that we never sell anything to Israel. I'm saying right now we give $6 bilion to all of their enemies and give 4 bilion to them, and we are a country that is facing bankruptcy and approaching a defict that is unmanageable. So I do think we have to rethink what we are doing on those. It's not to say that there's not going to be exchanges or sale of weapons to Israel, it's just to say we've gone too far in a direction where we give everything to eveyone and we have reevaluate what's going on.
Should Gitmo be closed?
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul:
Shut down GITMO, prisoners would go into court system.
Defending the rule of law is probably one of the most important things any of us can do, because someday we might like to be protected by the rule of law.
Rand Paul: I don't think we should close down GITMO until we decide what to do with the prisoners. I think there is a form of due process thru the military trials.
Because you say would insist upon a declaration of war before warlike acts, does that mean you would not support the war in Afghanistan if the Congress does not declare war?
Rand Paul: I think that's a tricky wicket to go through and I haven't made a conclusion with regards to that in the sense that I think we have to ask questions. I think there needs to be a debate in the sense that we have to ask is our national security threatened? usually, that quesiton is asked in the very beginning when you declare a war. Now we're in the middle of it, does it makes sense to declarte war after 10 years and who do you declare war against to bring up the question?