He’s on for the full hour. He’s on for a half hour.
Watch it if you can.
Get rid of the income tax. What would you replace it with? Paul doesn’t really know. He’d cut spending and bring troops home. It would save hundred of billions.
He’s not very specific and I think that’s hurting him.
Paul doesn’t know how many troops are overseas. He really should. Especially if he’s talking about bringing all of them home. Russert knows. 572,000 apparently.
People in Israel want us to bomb Iran. Who? Paul says it’s in the papers. Again, not very specific and it makes him sound like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Eric Dondero is quoted and there’s a picture of him. That’s odd. He says that Paul’s reaction after 9/11 was he thought there was going to be more government. Paul doesn’t back down and defends himself. Says he was pessimistic, but he has been surprised since then to see that people still respond to the freedom message.
On Social Security, he makes a good point that he has been the only one to spend none of the SS money on anything. Even though he wants to get rid of it, he talks about a transition period.
Paul’s district reports $4 billion of earmarks a year. Russert is bringing out his big guns. He says he’s not going to just leave the money there. Paul puts requests in the bills and then votes against them. He’s coming off as a little disingenuous.
On immigration, Russert quotes a 1988 position where he’d welcome people into the country. Paul points out that the welfare state is creating a mess now, conditions have changed and we need to look at it differently.
Russert is suggesting that amending the Constitution is unconstitutional? Huh? Boooo. What a BS question.
On drugs, Paul points out that alcohol is the deadliest drug. Well said. He wants the federal government out of drug regulation. Talks about cancer patients getting arrested for using marijuana. He’d leave it up to the states.
On the Civil Rights Act on 1964, Paul sticks to his guns about not voting for it if he had the chance because of the way the bill was written concerning property rights.
His points on slavery are interesting. We went to war while all other countries bought the slaves back from their owners and immediately set them free to solve that problem. Is this true? If so, he makes an interesting point on the necessity of the Civil War. But wouldn’t that be the federal government meddling in state affairs? Hmmm….
Russert: Why are you running as a Republican for President if you wanted to withdraw from your party back in 1987? I wonder why too. He says that he’s running for the old ideals of the Republican party, but seriously folks.
Will you run as an independent? Paul won’t say no, but I’m becoming more convinced that his heart just isn’t in it.
On the Mike Huckabee ad, Paul sidesteps the question and talks about fascism. Making a lot of good points here. Paul says we’re getting very close. Mentions Freedom to Fascism documentary.
Okay, I guess it wasn’t a full hour then. All in all, I don’t think it was a good interview for Paul, but he did get a chance to talk about his core issue at the very end.
Honestly, the biggest thing that Paul needs to focus on are facts. If he can cite extremely specific points to back up his positions, then he’s going to carry a lot more weight with Republicans and Independents. If not, he leaves himself open to being easily dismissed by the left and the right.
Reason liveblogged it too…
It was a good, tough, fair interview. No asking to counter smears, just prying into decades of Paul’s statements that the average, non-Reason-subscribing voter would blanche at, and that he’s not often asked to explain again. Apart from foreign policy and earmark issues I think Paul acquitted himself well. But on those issues… as usual, Paul talks coldly and theoretically about terrorism, an issue where politicians are expected to bit their lips and hum “Have You Forgotten?” On earmarks, he just didn’t bring together Fact A and Fact B in a convincing manner, and he lucked out in Russert’s frenzy to move to the next question. His answers on the Civil Rights Act and Lincoln were rough, but those are the sorts of things you can be esoteric about.