The Campaign Spot

When Ron Paul Met Jay Leno

Going to the Tonight Show the night before the big vote seemed to work wonders for Mike Huckabee. Will it work wonders for Ron Paul?

Perhaps the most interesting part was that neither Jay nor Paul felt afraid to go into perhaps Paul’s most controversial area, his conention that U.S. policies in the Middle East spur terrorism.

JAY LENO:  Let me ask you something about this terrorist thing, and clear this up, because you hear things secondhand.  You said that we were to blame?
RON PAUL:  No, no, not really.
JAY LENO:  Okay.
RON PAUL:  Our policies have a lot to do with it.  The people who are to blame are the thugs.
JAY LENO:  You’re not talking about 9/11?
RON PAUL:  Yeah, I’m talking about 9/11.  The thugs that killed our people, that came over here, they’re a hundred percent to blame.  But that’s sort of like saying if somebody gets murdered, the murderer is a hundred percent responsible.  But people always look for motives.  If you’re looking for the murderer, you have to know motives.  So we have to look for the motives of these people who go insane to try to kill us.  And the motives are related to the fact that we occupy their countries.  Even before 9/11, we were plenty — a lot involved in the Middle East.  That is very significant.  I do not believe for a minute that they come here only because we’re free and prosperous.That isn’t the case.  There may be a few, but you can’t motivate a people to do that.  So you and I, the American people, they’re not responsible.  But some of our bad policies in the Middle East now for 50, 60 years — we used our CIA to install the shah in Iran. If somebody did that to us, we’d be pretty annoyed. Or if the Chinese had military bases on our land or said that they came here to protect their oil, the American people would be pretty outraged.  The Republicans and Democrats would be joined together. They would be really very annoyed.

The transcript of Ron Paul on the Tonight Show, below the fold. (It’s long.)
#more#

JAY LENO:  All right.  My first guest, running for President of the United States among the Republicans, he’s considered a long-shot maverick, but he’s the number one GOP fundraiser right now, and he’s moved up to number three in many of the latest polls.  And don’t forget, Huckabee was unknown.  Remember he came here the night before Iowa?  Won the next day.  The power of this show, ladies and gentlemen.  Please welcome Ron Paul.

(Applause.)

 

         Hey, thanks for coming on such short notice.

 

         RON PAUL:  Thank you.  Nice to be here.

 

         JAY LENO:  Now, I got to ask you.  This seemed really

         unfair to me.  You were excluded from the debate last

         night, and I’m trying to figure out why FOX News chose

         not to put you on.  What do you –

 

         RON PAUL:  You know, we tried to find that out.  That

         was a natural tendency of ours, to try to figure this

         out.  But they didn’t return our call.

 

         JAY LENO:  I mean, did you show up and they go, “No,

         no”?

 

         RON PAUL:  No, it didn’t go that far.  You know, I

         realized that they really had some property rights

         ability there, and I wasn’t going to crash the party.

         But I’ve been trying to figure out what to do.  And I

         thought, “Well, maybe I ought to sue them.”  And then

         I thought, “What am I going to sue them on?”  I’ve

         decided what to sue them over, and that is for fraud,

         because of this fair and balanced idea, you know.

         So –

 

         (Applause.)

 

         — I just –

 

         JAY LENO:  Let me ask you.  Here’s something

         interesting.  I found out about this sort of on my

         own.  We went, “Hey, where’s Ron Paul?”  And then we

         made some phone calls.  You weren’t — I saw you

         interviewed with Wolf Blitzer on CNN.  It wasn’t

         mentioned.  I don’t think — I don’t want to be

         unfair.  I didn’t see it on MSNBC or any of the other

         cable channels.  It seems like a big story:  One of

         the major candidates or certainly major in terms of –

         you have as much prestige as anybody else in

         fundraising — is left out.  Why was this not a story?

 

         RON PAUL:  You know, I don’t know.  I can speculate.

         If I qualified, as you point out, that I had the

         qualification, it must be they didn’t want to hear the

         message.  Maybe they’re intimidated.  Maybe they’re

         frightened.  Maybe they don’t want to hear the truth.

         Who knows?  We’ll have to figure that out.

 

         JAY LENO:  Okay.  I mean, what do you do?  Do you call

         FOX News at this point and go, “I want to know why I

         was excluded”?

 

         RON PAUL:  Yeah.

 

         JAY LENO:  You seem like a gentleman.  You don’t seem

         like that type.  But it seems like you should be

         kicking somebody’s ass right now.

 

         (Laughter.)

 

         (Applause.)

 

         I mean, you’re being extremely polite for something I

         think you got screwed over, quite — you know, I mean, I

         might not necessarily agree with you, but I think, as an

         American, we like to see everybody get an equal shot,

         especially someone who deserves an equal shot.  And it

         seems like –

 

         RON PAUL:  You know –

 

         (Applause.)

 

         — the American people believe that way too.  And I think

         you’ve tapped into the sentiment of what America thinks.

 

         But you know, even the Republican party in New Hampshire

         came to bat.  They withdrew support for the parties –

         for that debate, so we give them credit.  But I think

         there are others in the Republican party that might just

         not as well hear my comments because, you know, I’m a

         strict Constitutionalist, and I believe that our platform

         should have meaning, that if I vote that way or support

         that position, it contradicts what we’re doing, you know,

         is sort of like waving a flag, and they don’t like that.

         I think that’s part of it.  And FOX, I think, is tied

         pretty close to some of the national policy issues.  And

         I think –

 

         JAY LENO:  But you’re a Republican.

 

         RON PAUL:  Yeah, but they don’t — they’re not.

 

         (Laughter.)

 

         That’s the problem.

 

         (Applause.)

 

         JAY LENO:  Okay.

 

         RON PAUL:  See, if I follow the platform and they

         don’t and then I get on the stage with all the others

         who are following — you know, doing that and then I’m

         saying, “Hey, I actually believe in the Constitution.

         I believe what we’re supposed to be doing, and I

         believe my promises,” and they’re not doing it, then

         that’s pointing this out to them.  And I think there’s

         a little bit of embarrassment there.

 

         And I think the war has a lot to do with the issue

         too, because I strongly opposed the war before we went

         in there, and I think there are some who think it’s

         very important that we be over there.  There’s some

         who actually think we should be there for a hundred

         years.  I don’t think that’s the right thing to do.

 

         JAY LENO:  Okay.  Now, everybody seems to be going

         after Romney.  Nobody seems to like Romney these days

         what’s the problem with him?

 

         RON PAUL:  I guess they figured he was the

         frontrunner, but he’s coming down now.  But you know,

         one thing I’m a little bit afraid of is that they

         might be doing that for religious reasons, and I don’t

         like that.  I disagree with Romney on some of the

         issues, and he’s gone after me on the stage, but that

         shouldn’t be the reason that he doesn’t do well.

 

         JAY LENO:  Do you think that’s the reason?

 

         RON PAUL:  I think subtly there is a little bit of

         that.  And I don’t think that’s right.  But yeah, they

         were after him.  But I think he’s invited some of it

         too, some of the flip-flopping.  You know, he did

         something when he was in Massachusetts, and now the

         positions — and now –

 

         JAY LENO:  Yeah.  See, I grew up in Massachusetts.

         Seems to be a totally different guy than what –

         Massachusetts, he and Ted Kennedy were fighting for

         the most liberal guy, it seemed.

 

         RON PAUL:  Yeah.  And then when he was running for the

         Senate, he said some things that he doesn’t say

         anymore.

 

         JAY LENO:  Right.

 

         RON PAUL:  And the politicians, some of them — I

         guess you’ve noticed over the years, sometimes they’ll

         say one thing to one crowd and something to another

         crowd.  I think that’s something that nobody’s ever

         accused me of doing.  I say the same thing, no matter

         which ear it is and which crowd it is.

 

         JAY LENO:  And you’re tied with Giuliani in

         New Hampshire.  Is that about right?  You’re –

 

         RON PAUL:  That’s right, essentially tied.

 

         JAY LENO:  You’re in the same place.

 

         RON PAUL:  Of course, you know, he had 4 percent in

         Iowa, and I had 10.  And that didn’t give me

         qualification.

 

         (Applause.)

 

         JAY LENO:  I find this fascinating.  I mean, I know

         Mitt Romney spends his own money.  He’s got quite a

         personal fortune.

 

         RON PAUL:  Yeah.  He has more than I do.

 

         JAY LENO:  But you have raised more money from

         outside, you know –

 

         RON PAUL:  Yeah, I think we raised the most of anybody

         in the fourth quarter.  Of course, they haven’t

         released all their numbers yet, which means they’re

         not competing.  But we raised almost $20 million.  And

         I say “we.”  It really is “we” because, you know, the

         grass roots do it, these meet-up groups who we have,

         like 1400 meet-up groups around the country.

 

         (Applause.)

 

         And they have fun doing this.  They have a day, and they

         say, “Let’s all send Ron Paul some money on this day.”

         And they go and do it, and they break all kinds of

         records.  Pretty amazing

 

         JAY LENO:  Let’s take a break.  When we come back, I

         want to ask you two things.  I want you to think about

         this.  Don’t tell me now.  When we come back, I want

         to find out — let’s say you get the nomination.

         Which of that field would you pick as your running

         mate?  Don’t tell me now.

 

         RON PAUL:  OK.  I’ll have to think hard about that

         one.

 

         JAY LENO:  What do you think of the Democratic

         candidates?

 

         More with Ron Paul after this.

 

         (Commercial break.)

 

         Welcome back.  We’re here with Presidential candidate Ron

         Paul.

 

         OK, let’s say you win the nomination.  Now, most people

         that win usually pick from the other candidates in the

         field.  Which of the other Republicans do you choose as

         your running mate?

 

         RON PAUL:  Well, the one that agrees with me on all

         the issues.

 

         (Applause.)

 

         But they don’t seem to be very agreeable right now, so I

         would have to talk to them and see if they’ve changed

         their mind, and then I would have to interpret whether

         they’re very sincere about it.

 

         JAY LENO:  But anybody you like?  Anybody that’s kind

         of close but not quite?

 

         RON PAUL:  Well, not yet.  We’re still working on

         that.  You know, when we had a little confrontation

         early on in the debates with Mayor Giuliani when he

         was confused about what causes terrorism –

 

         (Laughter.)

 

         — I sent him some books.  And I said, “Please read these

         books.”  But so far it doesn’t sound like he’s read his

         books.  He hasn’t done his homework.

 

         (Applause.)

 

         JAY LENO:  Let me ask you something about this

         terrorist thing, and clear this up, because you hear

         things secondhand.  You said that we were to blame?

 

         RON PAUL:  No, no, not really.

 

         JAY LENO:  Okay.

 

         RON PAUL:  Our policies have a lot to do with it.  The

         people who are to blame are the thugs.

 

         JAY LENO:  You’re not talking about 9/11?

 

         RON PAUL:  Yeah, I’m talking about 9/11.  The thugs

         that killed our people, that came over here, they’re a

         hundred percent to blame.  But that’s sort of like

         saying if somebody gets murdered, the murderer is a

         hundred percent responsible.  But people always look

         for motives.  If you’re looking for the murderer, you

         have to know motives.  So we have to look for the

         motives of these people who go insane to try to kill

         us.  And the motives are related to the fact that we

         occupy their countries.  Even before 9/11, we were

         plenty — a lot involved in the Middle East.  That is

         very significant.  I do not believe for a minute that

         they come here only because we’re free and prosperous.

         That isn’t the case.  There may be a few, but you

         can’t motivate a people to do that.  So you and I, the

         American people, they’re not responsible.  But some of

         our bad policies in the Middle East now for 50, 60

         years — we used our CIA to install the shah in Iran.

         If somebody did that to us, we’d be pretty annoyed.

         Or if the Chinese had military bases on our land or

         said that they came here to protect their oil, the

         American people would be pretty outraged.  The

         Republicans and Democrats would be joined together.

         They would be really very annoyed.

 

         JAY LENO:  We have their toys at least.  We have the

         Chinese toys.

 

         RON PAUL:  That’s it.  That’s better than –

 

         JAY LENO:  You don’t support the surge?

 

         RON PAUL:  No, I didn’t vote for the surge.  Hopefully

         the surge had something to do with it; there’s less

         violence.  But I’m afraid what happened is that we

         lost the south.  The south now is all controlled by

         the Shiites, and they’re aligned with the Iranians.

         And the British left.  So we more or less lost the

         south, and there’s more peace there and less killing.

         But there’s more killing over there.  It’s still very,

         very disruptive.  I’m scared to death that we’re going

         to be in Pakistan before it’s over.  And we still

         haven’t taken off the table any option to go into

         Iran.  We don’t need that.  The American people don’t

         need a bigger war.  Besides, we’re broke.  We don’t

         have any money to afford this anyway.

 

         JAY LENO:  Do you find it weird that people are more

         concerned about the economy now than they are about

         the war?  The economy seems to beat out the war.

 

         RON PAUL:  Absolutely.  The economy has become a big

         issue just in this last year since I’ve been running,

         but it should have been expected.  But it is connected

         to the war.  The other night when they asked the

         question, “Well, if we can afford a trillion dollars

         fighting this war in Iraq, we can afford a trillion

         dollars for medical care for the people,” yes, that’s

         where our money is.  The trillion dollars went to the

         war.  It should be here taking care of our people here

         at home.

 

         (Applause.)

 

         JAY LENO:  And you say also we need to stop printing

         dollars.  What was that all about?

 

         RON PAUL:  Well, it’s very clear — you know, they

         make fun of the fact that I refer to the Constitution,

         that only gold and silver should be legal tender.  And

         the founders understood what runaway inflation was all

         about.

 

         JAY LENO:  Well, it used to be; right?

 

         RON PAUL:  Yeah, sure, up until 1971.  But the

         founders had runaway inflation with the continental

         dollar, and they say, “No more bills of credit,” which

         is paper money.  And people make fun of what I say

         about “Have something solidly behind the currency so

         governments can’t print it.”  But I think the silly

         notion is that when government, the politicians –

         trust them?  When they need a little bit of money, let

         me print it?  They tend to do that.  Then they wonder

         why does the value of the dollar go down?  They don’t

         talk about printing money.  They talk about, “We have

         to do something about the value of the dollar.  The

         Canadian dollar now is worth more than the American

         dollar.”  It’s related to the fact that we allow the

         politicians to print money when they want to.  So we

         have to deal with monetary policy.  We can’t escape

         it.  It’s coming.

 

         JAY LENO:  Do you think Americans really want change?

         Because everybody says, “Oh” — every candidate’s got

         change.  I’ve heard the word “change” more than

         anything else, yet we still seem to keep doing the

         same things.  We don’t really want that much change,

         do we?

 

         RON PAUL:  You know, I think it’s a mixed bag.  I

         think the American people want change.

 

         (Applause.)

 

         And the politicians know that, so everybody gets up and

         says, “I’m for change.  I’m for change.”  But the whole

         thing is, is what kind of change?  You know, right now

         whether you like Republicans or Democrats, does foreign

         policy change?  No.  Does monetary policy change, and are

         they going to even talk about it?  Does fiscal policy

         change?  No.  We elect the conservative Republicans, and

         they make the deficit worse than the rest.  Yeah, the

         American people are tired of that.  They want real

         change.  And to me, that means the only significant

         change we ought to have is get enough people in

         Washington that read the Constitution, obey the

         Constitution, do only the things that we’re allowed to

         do.

 

         (Applause.)

 

         JAY LENO:  Let’s say you’re not running for President.

         You’re sitting home in Texas.  You’re not in either

         party.  Which of the Democrats do you like?  Which is

         closest to –

 

         RON PAUL:  Closest to it.  Well, that doesn’t mean I

         have to vote for them.

 

         JAY LENO:  I’m just saying which — if you had to pick

         someone from the Democratic field, who do you like?

 

         RON PAUL:  Well, a good friend of mine that I talk to

         all the time on foreign policy is Dennis, Dennis

         Kucinich, because he understands civil liberties.  He

         understands a lot about foreign policy.  And sometimes

         when there’s only two of us that will vote in the

         House against expanding our war in the Middle East, he

         and I will be voting together.  So I have a lot of

         respect for him, but we would disagree on economic

         policy.  But it’s good that you have allies on both

         sides of the aisle.      

 JAY LENO:  Now, I know you’ve got to go back to

         New Hampshire tonight; right?

 

         RON PAUL:  That is correct.

 

         JAY LENO:  Well, thanks for coming.  I just wanted to

         clear up that thing.  I thought it was blatantly

         unfair, and thanks for coming by and giving us a

         little –

 

         RON PAUL:  Thank you.

 

         JAY LENO:  Ron Paul.  We’ll be right back.

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