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Meet the Press transcript for October 23, this morning, our Meet the Candidates series continues with Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Ron Mott, Secy. of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Joy-Ann Reid, David NBC News - Meet the Press“” .. when I think about yourself or Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan, why do you feel it's your wing. Click on a link below for information on Meet the Press shows. Ron Paul (R-TX) , John Harwood and Chuck Todd | Guests & topics | Transcript | Netcast Dec.
Martin Luther King Jr. Kennedy October 16, After this interview, then-Senator John F. Kennedy calls Meet the Press the nation's "fifty-first state. After the interview, Hoffa was furious about being asked whether his insistence on dealing only in cash and keeping few records gave the appearance of impropriety.
The potential Senate candidate was coached by his older brother, President John F. On the day of the program, President Kennedy delayed his departure from Palm Beach in order to watch the show, but later told his brother that he was almost too nervous to watch. Ronald Reagan, making his first bid for public office, appears on "Meet the Press" with his Democratic opponent for the governorship of California, the incumbent Gov.
Reagan appeared on "Meet the Press" seven times -- all before he was elected president. Kennedy makes his ninth -- and final -- appearance on "Meet the Press" with Lawrence E. Kennedy was assassinated in California less than 3 months later -- shortly after claiming victory in that state's Democratic presidential primary.
He was 42 years old. But I don't, as a president, have the authority to go. If our, if our national security is threatened, then you do it properly. This president now has gone in there on his own. He has flaunted the responsibility to go to the Congress. He doesn't get permission. And, and we went over--it, it wouldn't have happened without our money and our drones and our missiles and all.
And it happened, so we're responsible for the chaos and the Do you think the drone war that this administration is waging is illegal? It's illegal under international law. And there's no authority in our Constitution that we can just willy-nilly drop bombs on anybody that we want.
We kill innocent people this way. Why do you think people hate us? Because there's so much collateral damage. You see, "Oh, this is a bad guy.
We'll drop a bomb on him and kill him. We might miss him. We might hit another car, and then you kill 10 other people. What would we do if they did that to us, David? We, we would be a little upset if China did that to us, wouldn't we? You said in that the, the prospect of Iran attacking Israel was like the prospect that it would invade Mars. I didn't use those words, but essentially that might be the No, you actually did. I looked at the transcript, yeah. And the reality is that the biggest existential threat that Israel faces is from Iran.
I--they wouldn't, they wouldn't need to. Israel has nuclear weapons and missiles. The odds are so remote. Iran can't even make enough gasoline for themselves. They have to import gasoline. So they don't have intercontinental ballistic missiles. They, they don't have a nuclear weapon. There's a big discussion going on on how far along they are. And I was in the service, and lived through the '60s.
The Soviets had 30, of them, and they were going to bury us, and we survived that. So for us to plan to go to war against Iran under these conditions scares a lot of Americans. It certainly scares the young people of the world, the people I talk to, because they're going to bear this burden financially, and also they may be required to fight these wars Let me, let me ask you about the role of government.
You've said about taxation, in a way that doesn't minces words, the following: Would you scrap the tax code altogether? That would be a pretty good idea, a pretty good start. I, I can qualify it if I'm allowed. Taxation is theft when you take money from one group to give it to, to another, when you, when you transfer the wealth. Now, taxation could be accomplished with user fees and, you know, highway fees and gasoline taxes and import taxes. But the income tax is based on the assumption that the government owns you, owns all of your income and provides the conditions on which they allow you to keep a certain percentage.
That, to me, is immoral, and the founders didn't like it. That's why the Constitution had to be amended in Social Security, you talk in your plan about allowing young people to opt out.
I, I think it--there is a much better chance that it would be solvent. It's totally insolvent now. But my plan explicitly protects the elderly and the sick in the transition to be taken care of. The young get out, but the only way we can guarantee that the elderly will be taken care of is cutting spending.
That's why offer a trillion dollars. So the elderly now are reassured.
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He's not going to waste all this money overseas and all this foreign aid and expenses. But you--so you cut benefits? Eventually, would you have to do that? Not, not if you If young people are opting out and not paying in. I would balance--I would balance the budget. There would be no inflation, no reason for increase in cost of living increase.
And, in time, I think you could raise this age. Mine was 25 and under, but it should--the only complaint I've gotten so far is somebody came up to me and says, "I'm Why don't you let me get out? Let me, let me And, and I think that's what the move will be because they want to--people want to assume responsibility for themselves. Let me ask you about politics in this primary fight. You said you were disgusted by some of the debates that you've been engaged in now. What's turned you off?
Well, I guess it's the uselessness of some of this rhetoric. I mean, arguing over who mows Mitt Romney's lawn? I mean, in the midst of a crisis, a sovereign debt worldwide crisis, the biggest in the history of the world, and the financial system of the world is about to collapse? We're about to have another devaluation of our--not our currency, but our credit rating? And no control on the spending? I mean, we're going to have to get a handle on this. We have to quit worrying about who's mowing Mitt Romney's yard.
You wrote, you wrote in your book "Liberty Defined" about the fact that politics doesn't really offer a lot of choices. This is what you said, "When it comes to any significant differences on foreign policy, economic intervention, the Federal Reserve, a strong executive branch, a welfarism mixed with corporatism, both parties are very much alike. The major arguments in hotly contested presidential races are mostly for public consumption to convince the people they actually have a choice.
Well, you could probably figure out some choices, but you have to figure out which position that we're looking at with Mitt Romney. You know, it changes. But my point is, would there be a change in foreign policy? No, there would not. Would either one of them work on a true audit of the Fed and a change in monetary policy that the Federal Reserve can't monetize debt? Would they address the entitlement system? Would they ever address, either one, that we should have concern about our debt and cut something like a trillion dollars because we're on the road to fiscal insanity and a breakdown of the world financial market?
There would not be a significant difference between the two, although on the edges, maybe. I think Mitt Romney now is probably very sincere about his right to life issue. And probably on the tax issues there would be some differences, but the big issues, the big policies, regardless, I mean, Obama was elected as a peace candidate and he expanded the war. And he goes into war without any congressional approval. I mean, when, when the Republicans get in, and they're against, you know, regulations, they give you No Child Left Behind, prescription drug programs, and Sarbanes-Oxley.
The regulatory system, the spending, the deficits, the printing of money, they stay the same. And that's what the streets are telling us. Whether it's the occupiers or whether it's the tea party people, they're saying, "Enough is enough.
Paul, we'll leave it there. And coming up, President Obama comes under fire from Republicans criticizing his decision to withdraw troops from Iraq. This after the president scored a foreign policy victory with the death of Libya's defiant dictator Moammar Khaddafy.
Do the two events this week signal a shift in U. Plus, the jobs crisis. What will it take to get America working again? Our political roundtable weighs in. Our roundtable coming up after this break.
And we're back with our roundtable discussion. Welcome to all of you. Jack, great to have you here for the first time. Let's talk about foreign policy, Andrea Mitchell. The president in his weekly radio address tried to frame the events of this week in a way that really went to this leadership moment for him.
This is what he said. This week we had two powerful reminders of how we've renewed American leadership in the world.
I was proud to announce that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of this year. And in Libya, the death of Moammar Khaddafy showed that our role in protecting the Libyan people and helping them break free from a tyrant was the right thing to do.
Is this a big moment for him and does it last? It's a big moment. Whether it lasts is another question. I don't think he's vulnerable on Libya because that could dissolve into tribal warfare, civil war. We've seen human rights abuses already. So there's no civil society. There's no justice system. But they--it's very hard to blame Barack Obama for that. People will credit him for an in--relatively inexpensive military engagement. And leading from behind turned out to be really smart. On Iraq, I think there are pitfalls ahead.
He is correct that this was George Bush's timetable to get out. This was an agreement signed with the Iraqis. He can be criticized for failing to negotiate an extension, which the military did want. But, at the same time, if everything goes well in Iraq, I think this is a victory and it's certainly appealing to the Democratic base.
The problem will be if civil war erupts. Then we cannot re-engage. I was intrigued by your comments about Abe Lincoln. Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war. No, he shouldn't have gone, gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic. I mean, it was the--that iron, iron fist. We'd still have slavery. Oh, come on, Tim. Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world.
And the way I'm advising that it should have been done is do like the British empire did. You, you buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killingAmericans and where it lingered for years? I mean, the hatred and all that existed. So every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war.
I mean, that doesn't sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach. You're running as a Republican. In your--on your Web site, in your brochures, you make this claim: Ron was also one of only four Republican Congressmen to endorse Ronald Reagan for president against Gerald Ford in" ' There's a photograph of you, Ronald Reagan on the right, heralding your support of Ronald Reagan.
And yet you divorced yourself from Ronald Reagan. Well, I'll bet you any money I didn't use the word traitor. I'll bet you that's somebody else, so I think that's misleading. But a failure, yes, in, in many ways.
The government didn't shrink. Ultimately, after he got in office, he said, "All I want to do is reduce the rate of increase in size of government. My goal is to reduce our government to a constitutional size.
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I think that--matter of fact, he admitted in his memoirs that he had a total failure in Lebanon, and he said he relearned the Middle East because of that failure. And so there--he--you know, he But if he's a total failure, why are you using, using his picture in your brochure?
Well, because he, he ran on a good program, and his, his idea was a limited government. Get rid of the Department of Education, a strong national defense. I wasn't convinced he was a conservative. Because I represent what Republicanism used to be. I represent the group that wanted to get rid of the Department of Education, the part, that part of the Republican Party that used to be non-interventionists overseas.
There was a time when the Republicans defended individual liberty and the Constitution and decreased spending.
So the radicals, the ones who really don't belong in the Republican Party and why the Republican Party is shrinking, why the base is so small, is because they don't stand for these ideals any more. So I stand for the ideals of the Republican Party. I've been elected 10 times as Republican. I've been a Republican all my life except for that one year that I ran as a Libertarian. But, no, I represent the Republican ideals, I think, much more so that the individuals running for the party right now.
If, if you do not win the Republican nomination for president, will you run as an independent in ? I have no intention to do that. I have no intention of doing that. Well, but no intention's a wiggle word.
Well, OK, I deserve one wiggle now and then, Tim. I mean, what the devil So no--so no Shermanesque statement. Well, I can be pretty darned sure that I have no intention, no plans of doing it, and that's about I don't like people who are such absolutists, "I will never do this, or I will win, I'm going to come in first. But the door's open a little bit. We haven't even had a race, we have February 5th coming up.
We have a campaign to run. Why--do you ask all the other--how many other candidates have you asked, "Are you going to run as a third party candidate if you don't win? Well, if someone has a history of running as a third party candidate, sure. You ran in '88 as a Libertarian. Yeah, well, I know It's a logical question.
So I--ask them, too. Before you go, Mike Huckabee, Republican candidate for president, ran this commercial for Christmas and many thought that the shelf in the back looked like a cross.
You were asked about it on CNN and this is what you said. It reminds me of what Sinclair Lewis once says. He said when fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross. What does that mean? Fascism or the definition of fascism? Do you believe that Mike Huckabee is Oh, I didn't say that. I said it reminded me--as a matter of fact they caught me completely cold on that.
I had not seen the ad, and they just said there was a cross there. And, you know, it was an instantaneous reflex because I knew of Sinclair Lewis about being cautious, because, you know, I--what prompts this is things like the Patriot Act.
Let me go back If you're not a patriot But let me go back to this ad. You do not believe that Mike Huckabee, that ad commercial represents the potential of fascism in the form of a cross. But I think this country, a movement in the last years, is moving toward fascism. Fascism today, the softer term, because people have different definition of fascism, is corporatism when the military industrial complex runs the show, when the--in the name of security pay--pass the Patriot Act.
You don't vote for it, you know, you're not patriotic America. If you don't support the troops and you don't support--if you don't support the war you don't support the troops. It's that kind of antagonism. But we have more corporatism and more abuse of our civil liberties, more loss of our privacy, national ID cards, all this stuff coming has a fascist tone to it. And the country's moving in that direction. That's what I'm thinking about.
This was not personalized. I never even used my opponents names if you, if you notice. So you think we're close to fascism? I think we're approaching it very close. One--there's one, there's one documentary that's been put out recently that has generated a lot of interest called "Freedom to Fascism. Were not moving toward Hitler-type fascism, but we're moving toward a softer fascism.
Loss of civil liberties, corporations running the show, big government in bed with big business. So you have the military industrial complex, you have the medical industrial complex, you have the financial industry, you have the communications industry. They go to Washington and spend hundreds of millions of dollars. That's where the control is. I call that a soft form of fascism, something that is very dangerous. For the record, the Sinclair Lewis Society said that Mr.
Lewis never uttered that quote. But others refuted that and put them down and said that--and they found the exact quote where it came from. Ron Paul, be safe on the campaign trail. Thanks for sharing your views. Nice to be here. As part of our Meet the Candidates series, we've invited candidates for president to appear here for in-depth interviews.
In addition, Democratic candidate, Senator Barack Obama, he'll be right here to talk about his campaign. We're also archiving the transcripts and videos of the entire series on our Web site, mtp.
Coming next, the very latest polls, strategies and commercials. We have just 11 days to go to the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd, 16 days to New Hampshire primary on January 8th. The very latest from Iowa and New Hampshire. Our political roundtable--John Harwood, Chuck Todd--after this station break. Let's go right to the polling numbers. The national numbers, look at that.
Rudy Giuliani is now at 20, down 13 points in a month. Giuliani, what caused the decline? But let's go to the states, because this is what really counts. Huckabee is ahead in both polls, 33 to 25 over Romney, 35 to 27 in other, the rest of the lineup there. Let's go to New Hampshire, some new numbers out today. Three points between McCain and Romney. An earlier poll had it a 7 point race.
Chuck Todd, what does it all tell you? Well, there's no Republican front-runner, and until we find out how badly Mitt Romney wins--loses Iowa, and I think that that's the assumption they're under at this point, that, that they're You called it already?
They know that--they're worried they're going to lose Iowa, but they're trying to close the gap.
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They're trying to close this gap so that they look like they at least have a running start to salvage New Hampshire. Because their bigger fear right now, the Romney people are absolutely petrified of John McCain. He is on the rise. He's done if he loses both of those. What they're hoping, as Chuck said, is that they either win--and I wouldn't, given how unpredictable this race is, I wouldn't rule out Romney and his organization pulling out a victory, but if he doesn't win, he needs to be strong in New Hampshire.