Ron Paul in the Debate

Those of my readers who didn’t catch tonight’s Republican candidates’ debate may be wondering what Ron Paul said. I imagine there’ll be a transcript online soon, but in the meantime here’s a quick summary. (Keep in mind that with ten candidates on the stage, each answer could only be a few seconds.)

1. (For Paul specifically.) Paul was asked to explain why his fellow Republicans are wrong on the war. Noting that 70% of the American people also oppose the war, Paul said that noninterventionism was the traditional American position; that it had worked politically for Republicans with Eisenhower ending the Korean War, Nixon ending the Vietnam War, and Bush defending a humble, anti-nation-building foreign policy; and that if the country does go to war it should be with a Constitutionally-mandated declaration of war and not for political reasons.

Ron Paul 2. (For everyone.) Should the Constitution be amended to allow non-native-born citizens to be President? No.

3. (For Paul specifically.) Should the IRS be phased out? Yes, immediately; and to do it we need to cut back on spending and policy; no more policing the world.

4. (For everyone.) Should Roe v. Wade be repealed? Yes.

5. (For Paul specifically.) How can the small-government Goldwater side of conservatism be reconciled with its big-government aspects? Paul said we need to be consistently pro-liberty and that overdoing military aggressiveness actually weakens our national defense; we won the Cold War but now we’re worried about third-world countries with no real military.

6. (For Paul specifically.) Do you have any experience making important decisions in crucial situations? Paul said yes, but in medicine more than in politics; his most important political decision has been opposing the war.

7. (For everyone.) What’s your stand on stem cell research? Paul said this is one of the many areas where people think the federal government should either prohibit it or subsidise it, but the Constitution authorises neither.

8. (For everyone.) Name a tax you’d repeal. Paul said since he’d already repealed the income tax he’d now focus on the inflation tax: by increasing the money supply the government transfers money from the poor and middle class to Wall Street; the solution is sound money.

9. (For everyone.) Do you believe in evolution? This was by show of hands, and I couldn’t see whether Paul was one of the ones who raised his hand no or not.

10. (For Paul specifically.) Do you trust the mainstream media? Paul said he trusted some of them but trusted the internet more, and that government should not interfere at all with the internet or with freedom of expression generally.

11. (For everyone.) Do you favour a national ID card? Paul opposed it as inconsistent with a free society; the government is supposed to protect our privacy from itself and not vice versa.

12. (For everyone.) Should Scooter Libby be pardoned? No; he was instrumental in the campaign of misinformation that led to war.

13. (For everyone.) In the Terri Schiavo case, should Congress have acted or let the family decide? Although this question was for everyone, responses were cut off before Paul had a chance to answer.

14. (For everyone.) Would it be good for America to have Bill Clinton back in the White House? Paul said no, he voted to impeach him the first time.

15. (For everyone.) I missed what this question was, but it seemed to be about what further general policies the candidates would follow as president. Paul said he favoured the traditional noninterventionist foreign policy of Robert Taft; that he would protect privacy and oppose warrantless searches; and that he would oppose any violation of habeas corpus.

The best one-liner of the night, albeit unintentionally so, was from John McCain, who said (with regard to hunting down bin Laden): “I will follow him to the gates of Hell.” I believe it – and they’ll walk in together.

11 Responses to Ron Paul in the Debate

  1. John W. Payne May 3, 2007 at 9:15 pm #

    The last question was along the lines of “What would you do differently from George W. Bush if you were president.” Also, I don’t think Paul raised his hand (i.e. he believes in evolution), but I can’t say that with 100% certainty.

  2. Administrator May 3, 2007 at 9:31 pm #

    He should have said: “I believe the human race was instantaneously created at a point far in the future and has gradually been devolving backward in time so that prehistoric primates are actually our distant backward-in-time descendants, thus creating the illusion of evolution to those who mistakenly read the biological record forwards instead of backwards.” That should satisfy both sides.

  3. Ray May 3, 2007 at 10:15 pm #

    As I watched the MSNBC post debate analysis, I can definitely say there is no such thing as forward human evolution.
    Rod, your theory seems much more plausible.

    Don’t forget to vote in the MSNBC poll.

  4. Geoffrey Allan Plauche May 5, 2007 at 11:51 pm #

    8) Ron Paul repealed the income tax already?

  5. Dennis Shoup May 6, 2007 at 8:21 pm #

    Ron Paul did not raise his hand on the evolution question, I think he looked down in shame that it was even asked, and that three of his fellow debaters raised their hands, I mean the guy is an MD, I think he understands science well enough to hold that evolution occurs.

  6. Joshua Lyle May 16, 2007 at 10:07 pm #

    I think it is implied in item 3.

  7. HerbSewell December 18, 2007 at 9:25 pm #

    @Dennis Shoup
    Actually, Ron Paul recently admitted to disbelieving in evolution, saying he “think[s] there is a theory, the theory of evolution and [he] doesn’t accept it.”


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