He’s on for the full hour. He’s on for a half hour.

Watch it if you can.

9:02:
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.

9:03:
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.

9:07:
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.

9:10:
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.

9:14:
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.

9:16:
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.

9:20:
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.

9:21:
Russert is suggesting that amending the Constitution is unconstitutional? Huh? Boooo. What a BS question.

9:23:
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.

9:24:
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….

9:28:
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.

9:29:
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.

9:31:
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.

9:33
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.

UPDATE:
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.

Also, MSNBC has posted their transcript.

Home Politics Ron Paul/Meet The Press Liveblog

14 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

    He can’t. Why? They don’t exist. Many of his positions sound good to a certain kind of person but just aren’t backed up by the facts. I’ve linked to articles before that show a much more factual and nuanced view on his gold bug beliefs but his supporters have paid no attention to these facts.

    How many people really want to completely eliminate every social program, transition period or not? What makes Ron Paul and his supporters believe that people making minimum wage or just a few dollars above it would be able to save enough for retirement, especially given they can’t even afford health care? It’s an ideological position completely divorced from the reality of many Americans. How can anyone believe in it and claim to care about their fellow citizens? Simple. By making them lesser human beings in their minds and hearts by making false assertions about how things work and sweeping assumptions about the people involved. It’s entirely their fault because there are enough jobs in this country that pay enough money and offer health care but those people are just too lazy to do what it takes to get them. Or claim that they all make bad decisions in their choice of lifestyle and that’s why they need so much health care. Heck, there are “conservatives” who make claims that completely ignore the welfare reforms of 1996 and the limits it placed on benefits. Reality has nothing to do with Ron Paul or many of the people who support him.

  2. As usual an excellent interview with no dodging the questions. What I would like to know is how come they do fluff pieces on Rudy and Romney? To the above poster, kindly show me where in the Constitution it says that the government has to supply you healthcare, welfare, foodstamps, social security, medicare and even an education. Dr. Paul answered everything on point. I myself do not want anything mentioned above. I prefer eliminating the income tax and social security so I can invest it myself. Your statement made no sense as far as people not wanting those things. I know many a people making a little over minimum wage and what hurts them the most is the taxes. Even this candidate has no baggage compared to either candidates on both sides of the isles. No thanks, but I’ll take my chances with Dr. Paul and not some slimey flip-flopping lawyer or nanny state director!

  3. Jim, you can have as many social programs as you want to in a Paul administration. It would be left to the state and all you have to do is make it happen. If enough people in your state think Social Security provided by government is good. Create it and vote it in for the citizens of your state. State run Social Security. If he wins I’m sure a lot of states might look at something like that. But therein also lies the problem. In order for all of those things to happen you would have to lift a finger to make them happen instead of just complaining that the government isn’t doing enough for you.

  4. Thank you for proving my points, Alx and Paul.

    Alx lied about what affects people who don’t make much above minimum wage as though the cost of gas (Even before taxes.) and other inflationary forces that keep going up faster than their wages don’t exist. In addition he made the claim in this way:

    I prefer eliminating the income tax and social security so I can invest it myself. Your statement made no sense as far as people not wanting those things. I know many a people making a little over minimum wage and what hurts them the most is the taxes.

    First he apparently missed this part of the blogging of Paul’s interview.

    9:02:
    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.

    You cannot eliminate the income tax and not put something in it’s place. Contrary to the claims of Ron Paul, the only way to save that kind of money would not only be his planned cutbacks but further ones that would reduce the size of our military forces to point of uselessness for a nation our size. In addition the plain truth is that the taxes Alx claims hurt the poor are almost all local taxes. These taxes would only go up in a Ron Paul world where there is no help coming from the federal government for anything. Admittedly Alx also probably agrees with Ron Paul about the elimination of all public education so he is counting on the elimination of all taxes to support that evil socialist institution.

    Paul knows that the only reason I believe in those programs is that I want them for me. THis of course proves my point about what Ron Paul supporters think of other people and how they justify their positions. He also either doesn’t consider the fact that there are times when the resources of one state aren’t enough or doesn’t care.

    Neither one of them comprehends what the 18th Century was compared to the 21st or that their concept of the Constitution is frozen in time, incapable of the flexibility required for the rate of change we currently live with or the modern economic and political environment we live in. They worship a document that was never meant to do what they think it does.

    And above all else, they prove that many supporters of Ron Paul are self-righteous, egotistical pissants who alienate anyone who isn’t a blindly loyal Follower of the Paul.

  5. “9:10: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.

    Dondero left a few drive-by comments on my blog, and I I was compelled to do a little digging on him a few months ago when he declared (sort-of) for Ron Paul’s congressional seat. Surprised we have not seen him here, he is quite a prolific commenter. At this point, I must admit – I find Eric Dondero to be enormously entertaining. I think he is personally responsible for more belly laughs (both his comments and the even funnier reactions in the libertarian blogosphere) than anyone else this electoral season. We all owe him a debt of gratitude, but I can’t believe that Russert actually quoted him. Stunning, and one more sign that End Times are upon us.

  6. Alx and Paul have proven my point. Their facts are wrong and they show that ignorance, name-calling, and a self righteousness sense of their own superiority is the primary defining characteristic of Ron Paul supporters.

    People who make just over minimum wage are affected most by local taxes, not the federal income tax. It takes no effort to discover this. Alx also apparently missed this part of the blogging of Ron Paul’s interview

    9:02:
    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.

    Alx thinks that eliminating the income tax means that he gets to keep it because we wouldn’t need to replace it with another source of revenue for the federal government (Presumably the corporate income tax would also be eliminated.). But for a President Paul to save that much money the military would in fact have to be cut even more than he is claiming, to the point of severely impacting the security of the country. And cutting back on the amount of federal government activity just means that the local taxes that affect the working poor and lower middle class the most will jump tremendously. But do you agree with Ron Paul’s position on eliminating public schools paid for with taxes? I suppose that would save money for those who don’t educate their children or give them what education they can at home.

  7. Paul proves my point about how the Paulistas denigrate those who disagree with them with this one

    In order for all of those things to happen you would have to lift a finger to make them happen instead of just complaining that the government isn’t doing enough for you.

    Thank you for proving what an ignorant, raging bigot you are. Typical Paul supporter who knows nothing. The plain fact is that systems like this work better the more people you have involved in them. Your concept would basically cripple such systems in small population states, pretty much making them impossible.

    Federalism, like anything, should be practiced in moderation, not taken to ridiculous extremes. Once you take it too far, why bother having a country at all? Why not just have 50 countries that happen to sit on the North American continent? The true history of it is that early in the days of the nation they tried a system as absolutely state oriented as the Paulistas think we should be. It failed miserably.

  8. My apologies for a sort of repetition. After my first comment hadn’t shown up after about 11 hours I assumed it had been lost permanently so I posted something else.

  9. Jim raises good points, though he is a bit too aggressive for my taste.

    I think the real question this boils down to is, for a lot of educated people that think this kind of federalism wouldn’t work:

    Do you think we should still live in the United States? The REAL United States. I’d love to live in a crazy socialist country like Sweden, but that’s not who we are. Right now we are a wolf in sheep’s clothing, masquerading as if we are really who we make ourselves out to be. If you do not believe that the country of the United States of America would work, then change it; but don’t say that we are idiots for our beliefs. The US was an inherently republican and libertarian country, and its ruling guidelines were set in that order. To say that it doesn’t work is to say that the very experiment the United States is, has failed.

    I for one am not ready to give up.

  10. “What makes Ron Paul and his supporters believe that people making minimum wage or just a few dollars above it would be able to save enough for retirement, especially given they can’t even afford health care? ”

    This is quite funny.

    First you steal from people, and put hurdles in their way by regulations so they can not make a living, and then say “they are poor and they need the state”.

    Arguments for the state is, arguments of the parasite. There can not be truth about them. Just rethoric.

  11. kerem,

    Given that the people at the income level I mentioned basically don’t pay income tax who is stealing from them? What regulations stand in their way? You are just another fanatical Paul supporter who proves my points about him and his supporters.

  12. Jim,
    You seem to have a lot of anger bottled up there. In your posts you have called Dr. Paul’s supporters “fanatical,” “ignorant, raging bigot(s),” and (my personal favorite) “self-righteous, egotistical pissants”. That sort of rhetoric will certainly build good will toward the Paul camp, and for that I thank you.

    But let me address just one of your points:
    “You cannot eliminate the income tax and not put something in it’s place. Contrary to the claims of Ron Paul, the only way to save that kind of money would not only be his planned cutbacks but further ones that would reduce the size of our military forces to point of uselessness for a nation our size.”

    I don’t know where you get the facts to back up your assertion, but as Paul has stated time and time again, the US made it into the 20th century (1913, to be exact) without a personal income tax. Even today, personal income taxes account for less than half of the federal government’s income. Social security taxes, corporate income taxes, excise taxes and others make up the balance. If we were to cut federal spending back by 42% (the amount estimated to come from personal income tax), we’d see a government about the size it was in the 1990s. This is all explained on his campaign web site.

    So: Would you be willing to go back to 1990s-era government in trade for no personal income tax? I would.

    Of course Dr. Paul knows that such a huge transition must be an evolution. As he says in this interview:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peBGJwE9NXo
    “Question: Would you work to phase out the IRS?
    Paul: Immediately! But you can only do that if you change your philosophy on what you think the role of government should be. If you think the role of government has to take care of us from cradle to grave, and if you think our government should police the world and spend hundreds of billions of dollars on a policy that we cannot manage, then you can’t get rid of the IRS.”

    Dr. Paul is a revolutionary thinker, proposing some revolutionary solutions to our problems. But they are very doable.

  13. Actually, Kit, nothing will build good will towards the Ron Paul camp except among the ignorant. Ron Paul’s claims about government size and taxes is a perfect example.

    First, I don’t care what the government managed in the 19th Century. That was then and this is now and the two are so radically different that comparisons are invalid. Is pollution a non-issue? Do we really and truly need the EPA to be eliminated? Is drug safety something that can actually be left to the corporations and ad-men so we can also get rid of the FDA as opposed to reforming it if you think it has flaws? It’s the 21st Century, not the 18th or 19th and more things have changed that require different legitimate services from the government than Ron Paul or his supporters comprehend, apparently.

    Eliminating the IRS also eliminates the corporate income tax as well as the personal income tax. In addition Paul claims to believe in completely free trade, which would imply eliminating all tariffs, thereby eliminating another source of government income. Does the claim concerning cutting taxes by 42% to only go back to the ’90s account for inflation? Population increase? What part of the ’90s? If you think there was only one set of figures for the whole decade what gave you that idea?

    Do you truly believe as Dr. Paul does, that everything will be OK for people on the lower parts of the economic ladder once every single government benefit program is eliminated? Why? Do you think that private charities can take care of it all? If so, have you spoken to people involved in those charities to see how well their fund-raising drives have been doing? Our local Salvation Army is running $500,000 behind on meeting their 2007 goal.

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