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Ron Paul appears on CNN's Situation Room to respond to Lindsey Graham's Verbal Attack

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(SUBTITLES BEGIN AT 00:10) BLITZER: Republican Party family feud. Republican Congressman Ron Paul is being criticized by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. Congressman Paul, he's here in THE SITUATION ROOM. And Arianna Huffington with an eye-popping message for the vice president, Joe Biden. Wait until you hear what she is now urging him to do. Arianna is here in THE SITUATION ROOM. BLITZER: Let's talk about that and more with our senior political analyst, Gloria Borger, Republican strategist Kevin Madden, our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, Arianna Huffington of, and Republican Congressman Ron Paul. He's here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Congressman, thanks very much for joining us and the entire panel. I'm going to play the little clip of Lindsey Graham. He was in South Carolina, Congressman Paul. He was heckled by some of your supporters. And this was the exchange. It's hard to hear, but we have got the words up on the screen as well. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, right. GRAHAM: We're not going to be a party of angry white guys. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ron Paul will grow it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ron Paul. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ron Paul will grow it. (END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: All right, you got the gist of that, Congressman. He says he doesn't want to be the party of the -- "We're not going on the Ron Paul party" was what he said at the very end. I wonder if you want to react to your colleague, Lindsey Graham? REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: Well, my first reaction would be what does he have against the constitution and the supporters I have support me because I'm a traditional conservative and I defend the constitution. And I place every vote I can depending on the constitution. Somebody should ask him what does he have against that and why does he vote for TARP funds and the bailout funds and -- and Kerry (ph) taxes and all the big government things? Why -- why does he support Obama in expanding the war? Why does he support The Patriot Act? These are the things that constitutional conservatives don't support and we want to hold the Republicans to their -- what -- the things they think they believe in or say they believe in. They believe -- they claim they believe in limited government and that's what we're all about. BLITZER: Congressman, I -- I want everyone on the panel to -- to weigh in, as well, and ask you a question. But you don't want your supporters out there to be heckling a senator like Lindsey Graham in the midst of his presentation, do you? PAUL: No. I think that goes against the grain. But for him to turn that in and say that -- that everybody who's upset with the government and upset with his type of voting record are angry white people or white men, that is -- that is preposterous. That's a -- that's a real insult. But let me tell you, if anybody comes to our rallies -- and I continue to hold them -- we get thousands of people out and there's a lot of angry people there. But I'll -- I'll tell you what, it's very diverse. And anybody who wants to challenge me on that should come to our rallies. But to try to paint our group into that corner, it's just wrong. But you're right, I think decorum is very important and I try to protect against that and urge not to participate in it. GLORIA BORGER: Congressman, it's Gloria Borger here. Do you think you represent the Republican Party more than Lindsey Graham? PAUL: Well, if you did a statistical vote today, probably not. But that isn't necessarily the right question. The right question is what should the Republican Party believe in? Should the Republican Party follow through on their promises and their platforms... ... of limited government and personal liberties, a strong national defense without perpetual war and without, you know, an unconstitutional Patriot Act. Just because you get a majority vote doesn't mean that you should give up on your rights and your constitution. So I have no idea how it would come out. But I'll tell you what, I'll bet you the vote would come out a lot closer right now if you compared the supporters of Lindsey Graham to Ron Paul than it was two or three years ago, because in the Republican Party, they're angry and upset and they want changes. And there's quite a few. And the one thing that nobody seems to pay attention to is that why should they run us off? We're the ones who reach the college kids, the young people. How many Republicans really reach the teenagers and the college kids? Those are the people that are gathering at our rallies and, you know, they have to ask why. What are they going to do with the -- with pandering to the old country club Republicans and acting like Democrats and bailing -- and bailout funds and TARP funds. And these kinds of things just won't -- won't hold up for the Republican Party. That's why the Republican Party has been losing. And we're suggesting that they -- that they live up to what they profess to believe in. CROWLEY: Congressman Paul, it's Candy Crowley. I think the larger issue here is, if you take the personalities out of it, that politics, as you know, is a lot about image. And here we are in a time when the economy is terrible and people are in real need. We are in two wars with American lives at stake. And that requires the federal government to take some action and spend some money. Does it not look and has the Republican Party now -- yourself and others -- not become vulnerable to the imagery -- the imagery, at least, of the party of no -- no. No money for this no money for that, no money for that? And how do you change that image? PAUL: Well, we'd have to change your questioning. This idea that we're a party of no or we represent no, we represent free markets, sound money. Take, for instance, our bill that we have pushed and I've introduced to audit the Fed to get to the bottom of this. This idea that you prefaced your question by saying the government -- the Congress has to do something. Well, it's because the government has been spending too much, borrowing too much, printing too much, interfering too much, regulating too much. So maybe we -- the government ought to be doing a lot less. But I have every single Republican in the House of Representatives supporting my bill. And there are 30 senators who also support this bill. And 125 Democrats in the House support this bill. I would say that is doing something -- getting to the heart of the matter... ... trillions of dollars by the Fed being spent and there's no auditing. BLITZER: Arianna, hold your thought for a second. Arianna is going to come into this conversation in a moment. Congressman Paul, don't go away. Kevin Madden is here, as well. We'll continue our conversation. We're just getting started with Congressman Ron Paul and the best political team on television. We'll be right back. BLITZER: We're back with the best political team on television and Congressman Paul of Texas. Arianna Huffington is here, as well, from HuffingtonPost. com. Arianna, I want you to get into this conversation with Congressman Paul. This is your chance to ask him a question. You've heard his point. And he makes some really passionate arguments. HUFFINGTON: Yes. Congressman Paul, you mentioned the bill that you have co-sponsored with Congressman Alan Grayson, a liberal Democrat. Also, in Afghanistan, you are basically in agreement with another liberal Democrat, Senator Russ Feingold. So do you think that it's becoming obsolete to keep looking at American politics through this filter of right versus left when, on so many critical issues, there are many strange bedfellows these days? PAUL: Oh, I think you're absolutely right. I try to avoid it all the time. I sometimes resent it when they call me a right-winger or somebody else goes and calls somebody else a left-winger. I look at intervention or non-intervention as a general principle, whether it's overseas, in our personal lives or in the economy. But the thing that should bring us together is our constitution. And -- and the constitution does. If you believe in the constitution and follow it, lo and behold, you believe in civil liberties. You don't want to run people's lives. You don't have the authority to police the world and run the world. And you don't have the authority to run the economy. So, this, to me, is the rallying point. And if we have disagreements, then we change the constitution. But no, there -- I work in the Congress just like I demonstrated, you know, with my bill to audit the Fed -- progressives and liberals and socialists and libertarians and conservatives all say yes, we should have oversight. We should find out what they're doing. And we can bring together -- freedom brings people together as long as we're not judgmental and tell people how to run their lives or what their religious values ought to be. And we certainly don't need to be doing this around the world. And right now, I really am disturbed by the support that the Republicans give to Obama's war in Afghanistan. He wants to expand it and people like Lindsey Graham are urging him on to do more and more. And we have no right to be there. We need to bring our troops home. We don't need that kind of brush up. BLITZER: Kevin Madden is a Republican strategist. He's here and he'd like to weigh in, as well. Go ahead, Kevin. KEVIN MADDEN: Well, Congressman, as a party, we always flourish when we talk about what we're for and we talk about a more modernized agenda that we for the American public. Don't you think that we need to do more to talk about what unifies us as a party and not talk about our limitations and what we disagree on in the party? PAUL: Well, do you think you should maybe pass that message on to -- over to Lindsey (Graham), who said something about it, because he hasn't exactly welcomed us in. In some -- some places, they do. They invite us in. And I think you're absolutely right. And -- and that's why I'm such a strong defender of individual liberty and the constitution, because it isn't a negative thing. It's very, very positive. And you find your answers, whether it's monetary policy or foreign policy or domestic policy. And I just think that that is an absolute good piece of advice that we should do. We should try to bring people together, discuss the issue and show what we're for. And I am strongly for the principles I think the Republican Party have claimed they're for -- for freedom and individualism and free markets and sound money, no -- no special interests and Eisenhower said no military-industrial complex. So I think these are things that I'm for -- strongly for. But the real principle that we have to be for is individual liberty. BLITZER: Congressman, I know you've got to go. You've got other activities up on Capitol Hill. We're going to let you go. But everyone else is staying, because we have a lot more to discuss, especially, Congressman, you'll be interested in this, What she wrote about the vice president today is fascinating material. It's going to be a source of good discussion here.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 23 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: KramerDSP
Director: KramerDSP
Views: 181
Posted by: kramerdsp on Oct 15, 2009

Ron Paul responds to Lindsey Graham's comment that the GOP "will not be hijacked by Ron Paul".

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