Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul was in town last weekend for the Family Leader’s Thanksgiving Family Forum. Patch sat down with him to ask a few questions.
What are your thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street movement?
I think it’s healthy in the sense that people are upset. They’re upset with the way the bailouts went. and They’re upset with people who are ripping us off, giving them money for the bank’s benefit and corporations.
In the other sense, and why it’s a mixed bag, some are opposed to all corporations who make money. And I don’t think that should be the case. But if you are making money and if you’re making money off the taxpayer, we should express concern about that change the system so it has to be sorted out.
So I think it’s not unusual - whether there’s an Occupation movement, whether there’s a Tea Party movement - you get a lot people coming in and there are a lot of mixed ideas. I don’t think there are a lot of universal ideas. I think the Occupation movement on Wall Street is a mixed bag.
What do you think about the decision by Occupy Wall Street protesters to protest at campaign headquarters?
I have no idea what they’re thinking about and why they’re doing it. I think it probably depends on what they’re looking for and it depends on whose headquarters it is - if the individuals are trying to help them. I don’t know why they’d want to occupy them, but if there’s someone that they see to be hurting them - maybe they voted for the bailouts - that would be quite different.
Can you comment on the Herman Cain allegations?
I don’t really want to talk about that because I don’t know all the details. I think it’s been rehashed in the media pretty thoroughly so somebody else will have to sort all of that out. I’d rather talk about his tax proposals, why he worked for the Federal Reserve. Those issues, to me, are more important.
You’ve been consistently strong in the polls as well as with fundraising, yet few, if any, have given you a chance to win. What do you make of that?
Well, I think that it reflects the fact that some people who are very much involved in disseminating information probably don’t want me to appear like I’m in the top tier.
Frankly, I’m moving my way up there in spite of the exclusions and their ability to try and keep me from debating very much when the national debates are on. I think it’s very obvious that they’re not interested in what I’m saying and they’re the ones who have the problem.
You’ve been very popular among the youth vote. How will it affect your campaign when many of the caucuses are held during winter break, when most students won’t be on campus?
Well, the issue that we have to address, and we are, is that we’re trying to make sure that we’re making a good effort. And most students generally do go to the polls, so it might be helpful. If their voter registration is at home and they’re supposed to be home and they’re at school there’s a problem there too. They know when the caucus is going to be, if they are going to be at home they can make the announcement, and they can vote.
It’s also a challenge to us to make sure that they are reminded and they don’t forget about it.
Recently the price of diesel fuel has spiked, making it difficult for many trucking businesses to make a profit. If elected President what are some things that you would do to help support small businesses?
What you need to do is you need a free market with a lot of competition. You need fewer taxes and if you had a free market in energy there would be more production. There wouldn’t be limits on drilling, and exploration, and refining. There are too many regulations and too much taxes on it so the freeer the market, the cheaper the price is going to be.
Also, we have to stop inflation. Inflation comes from debt that’s monetized, where they print money for it. So as long as you keep doing that, some prices are going to go up much faster than others and sometimes energy is the one.
It’s just like housing prices were soaring, and the NASDAQ is soaring right now. Energy can be volatile to that so you have to look at monetary policy as well to stop that.
You’re back in Iowa again; you were here last week as well. How important is Iowa to your campaign?
Very important, because it’s the first vote that has any significance, and it’s coming up shortly on Jan. 3.
So if we do badly here, it’s a very bad sign. If we do very, very well it’s going to send a strong signal to the media that they won’t be able to ignore us and it’ll help us in New Hampshire.
We’re confident that we’re going to do well, but exactly what position I’m not sure yet.