The following is the transcript of Ron Paul interview.
BLITZER: Congressman, I can only say congratulations. It’s really an unbelievable thing that you have achieved right now. First of all, how do you attribute it? What do you attribute this amazing financial support within 24 hours?
PAUL: Well, it is amazing, and I don’t claim a whole lot of credit for it.
I think we have a very good platform that’s very appealing to the people who care about what’s happening in the country. I think we’re also tapping into the sense of frustration that people are feeling. I think it’s much more intense than anybody realized, probably more intense than I had expected.
So it’s coming together and people have rallied around. But I think it’s a strong message, strong disaffection of what’s happening here in this country. I happen to be there, and the grassroots have really put this together.
So, it’s a grassroots effort, and I think that makes it even stronger.
BLITZER: In our latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll among registered Republicans nationwide you have gone up to 5 percent, but you’re still way behind the top tier. How do you plan on using this new cash to try to challenge Giuliani, Thompson, McCain, Romney, some of the others?
PAUL: Well, the money was spent to us to be spent, and we will be spending it. We’re started to do that. We’re buying television in the early primaries. We’re doing a lot of direct mail. We’re on the radio. And we’re hiring a few more people.
I know the other campaigns have had huge staffs, but I think they waste a lot of their money. But now we are getting more reasonable staffing positions. And we’re spending the money in many ways in an ordinary way, but we will continue with this grassroots effort that has been going on, that’s been ongoing here on the Internet.
BLITZER: Are you going to support Nancy Pelosi’s new effort to have some partial funding for the war, $50 billion stopgap, to underscore her opposition, a lot of Democrats’ opposition to the war, and trying to get a time line in there? Are you going to support that?
PAUL: No, not really, because I think that’s ducking the issue. As long as you’re funding the war you’re supporting the war, and it’s been going on for all these years. I didn’t support it before the war and I haven’t supported any money for the war.
I support the troops. The troops should come home. And, amazingly, I get more money from the troops than any other candidates…
BLITZER: Let me interrupt you, Congressman. If you support the troops, the administration argues, how can you not give them the funding they need for the body armor, the weapons they need to protect themselves?
PAUL: Well, we have $500 billion, $600 billion in the pipeline. We have all the money we need to bring the troops home, and that’s the best way to protect the troops. They’re not going to run out of money. The money is there. This is all fluff for expanding the war and playing on war, going into Iran, all these things. So, there’s no shortage of funds to get the troops out.
BLITZER: On so many pieces of legislation, you are the only, only member of the House, Democrat or Republican, that’s opposed some legislation, some resolutions.
For example, a bill calling on the League of Arab States to step up efforts to stop genocide in Darfur, the vote was 425-1. You were the one.
A bill calling on Vietnam to release political prisoners, 425-1. You were the one.
Condemning the Robert Mugabe violence against Zimbabwe citizens, 421-1. You were the one.
Awarding a gold medal to Rosa Parks. We could go on.
Why — tell us, explain why you so often have been the sole voice in the U.S. House of Representatives on what everybody else supports and what, to so many people, would seem like a no-brainer?
No, I think maybe I’m the only strict constitutionalist, because I look at that from the Constitution.
It’s not that what I’m against what they’re proposing. But some of those resolutions are just interference, unnecessary.
Carry that to the next step of that resolution between, you know, condemning the Turks about Armenia. Just think of the chaos that created. Getting ourselves involved in some event 100 years ago, it makes no sense at all.
We should deal with our problems here, with our defense, and not pretending that we know what’s best.
So it’s a principle that I defend. I don’t think I have the authority. It’s meddling where we shouldn’t, and it usually leads to trouble.
Of course, the Armenian vote was much more troublesome, and look at the chaos it’s caused between Turkey and the Kurds.
BLITZER: Congressman, I can understand your principled stance on the foreign policy-related issues. But what would be unconstitutional about giving the gold medal to Rosa Parks, the civil rights activist and leader that all of us are quite familiar with?
PAUL: Well, you know, that wasn’t easy for me, because I think she’s a real hero. Because I believe in civil disobedience and I believe peaceful change has come about that way. But I was dealing with the money: Why should I tax you to give her a medal?
I went to my fellow members of Congress, and I said, “I will be glad to give her a medal. Let’s each put in a hundred bucks, and I will put in a hundred bucks, and we could pay for it.”
But to do good by taking money from the people, that is not a precise authorization in the Constitution.
So the principle is that you don’t have this right to do it, but to say something good and to — you know, to honor people like that would be fine. But we ought to do it with our own money, not with your money.
BLITZER: Congressman Ron Paul has become a phenomenon.
Congressman, thanks very much for joining us. we will see you out on the campaign trail.
PAUL: Thank you very much. Source Link : Situation Room Transcripts.