Week of 9.5.08
Interview: Ron Paul on his rally and Election '08
More From NOW: 2008: A Republican Reinvention? | Interview: Erick Erickson | Interview: Ron Paul | Feedback Forum | Transcript
Ron Paul's "Rally for the Republic" stole part of the media spotlight this past week. United under a movement called "Campaign for Liberty," he and his followers claim to be the true agents of political change, but where do they go from here? Below, read our web-exclusive interview with Congressman Paul.
NOW: What are the Campaign for Liberty's political goals now, considering you are no longer running for President?
Ron Paul (RP): The goal of the Campaign for Liberty is to spread the message of the Constitution and limited government, while at the same time organizing at the grassroots level and teaching pro-liberty activists how to run effective campaigns and win elections at every level of government.
NOW: Will you endorse an established candidate for President? What qualities or perspectives do the current candidates lack, in your opinion?
RP: I am very unlikely to endorse a major party candidate this Fall. Both candidates pretend to have real differences, but they are in actuality essentially the same. Neither McCain nor Obama will really cut government spending or address our monetary system. They also have essentially the same foreign policy, one in which the United States has troops spread all around the world.
NOW: Why do you think so many politically diverse Americans were supporting your candidacy, and now your cause?
RP: Because we address the issues that really matter: privacy, liberty, monetary policy and a real change in foreign policy. The message of freedom brings people together. Although the base of our support lies in the old right, the platform of liberty and traditional American principles has tremendous cross-over appeal to liberals, greens and moderates.
NOW: Was your rally meant to complement the Republican convention or compete with it?
RP: Neither, really. It was simply to send a message to Republicans and to the country that there are millions of people hungry for liberty and real change -- not lip service and empty promises.
NOW: Do you think John McCain helped or hurt his campaign by selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate?
RP: Politically, it was very shrewd. I think highly of Sarah Palin and she takes some very good positions on spending and challenging the establishment. Unfortunately, I don't think she will be able to influence a potential McCain White House on perhaps the most important issue, our foreign policy. I doubt she will be able to steer us away from policing the world and wasting trillions of dollars overseas in efforts that actually undermine our security at home.
NOW: Are you hopeful about our country's future, given options in the upcoming election?
RP: The past 18 years have made me very optimistic. And that is because of the response of young people. It was students and people in their 20's and 30's who joined our campaign with the greatest enthusiasm. That bodes well for the future of our movement and a return to Constitutional principles.
NOW: What outcome seems more likely to meet your campaign's goals: a new viable third party, or a complete reformation of the Republican Party?
RP: Both are options. Influencing and steering back the Republican Party to its roots is the most realistic means right now. A third party is extremely difficult, so that will be addressed only the down the road if we can’t steer the GOP back to its traditions.
NOW: Do you feel your campaign will influence voting in the November election, and if so, how?
RP: I certainly hope so. We're making a major announcement on how we plan to do that next week, so stay tuned.
NOW: How do you feel history will reflect your influence on the 2008 election and political campaigning in general?
RP: If we are successful, history will see it as the first step in a major political revolution in American politics, back to the founding principles of our country. But there is much to do. The movement must grow, the message must spread and new leaders must step forward.