Neil Cavuto: This is outside News Corp Headquarters, the parent company, of course, of Fox News Channel, the most important news network in the world. People agree with that, there you go. And we’re just hours away, really, if you think about it, from the big day itself. And where we stand, we’re in a very busy shopping area on 6th Avenue, they call it the Avenue of Americas in midtown Manhattan. And we’re not too far from Radio City Music Hall. We’ve got a lot of stars and pretty big folks coming in and out joining us here throughout the course of the next 45 minutes or so. But, you know, we never keep that far from politics. Last week at this time I was in Iowa for the big debate. Now, the question in that state is whether a revolution could be in the making, and that fellow on the left you see, is the guy who could be bringing it. Ron Paul is the frontrunner right now in the Iowa caucuses, he joins us right now from Texas. Congressman Paul, it’s very good to have you.
Ron Paul: Thank you, Neil, it’s good to be with you.
Neil Cavuto: Are you surprised that not only are you the frontrunner, but you’ve actually been staying the frontrunner for the better part of a week, which is, at least in recent polling history, unusual. A week and a half or so ago, the pressure was on to maintain it, how do you do about that?
Ron Paul: Yea, I guess I’m supposed to say I’m not surprised and I expected it all. But no, I’m a little bit surprised, but, of course, very pleased. I was always convinced that the message would be very popular and very necessary, I wasn’t quite sure that I would be the messenger that could deliver it. So things are going very well and the crowds are growing bigger, not smaller. The enthusiasm is growing and I’m talking to more than just the young people; the college kids, the retired people are coming on. So there’s been a definite shift here in the last month.
Neil Cavuto: Congressman, you probably heard that Terry Branstad, the Republican Governor of Iowa, said that if you were to win the state, he’s telling a lot of people to ignore that and focus on who came in second. What did you think of that?
Ron Paul: Well, I was surprised, because he’s been pretty generous in the past. And I don’t know whether he didn’t mean it to sound the way it did, but it did sound a little bit strange. But if that was a literal translation, and that’s what he meant, I think it diminishes the whole process of democracy and elections; what’s the purpose of doing it? They say, “Well, he gets his supporters out”. Well, that’s what I’m supposed to do. Maybe I solicited and got and approached people who weren’t the ordinary voters; like the independents and maybe young people decide to come out, and people who have been disenchanted. So I would say to dismiss the election wouldn’t be very good, but I don’t think it’s just the Governor, I think there are others who have hinted that this would be a monkey wrench into the electoral process.
Neil Cavuto: You know, you’re right, it’s not just the established Republicans Guard. They’ve been many, and my colleagues at Fox have made note of it, who said that your win would minimize and even trivialize Iowa in future elections. How do you feel when you hear that kind of stuff?
Ron Paul: Well, first you think, “This is terrible” but on second thoughts, sometimes this sort of helps because it certainly helps the supporters and the people who might not have been paying much attention, they might even become more energized. It certainly energizes me because I might be at a steady pace doing the same thing over and over again and not getting any extra excitement. But then you get to the point and say, “Boy, wouldn’t that be neat if you could really beat them and have them eat a little crow”. So I think this has energized the campaign and the fundraising. The other day, when some of this stuff was coming out, somebody called me and said, “You know what, our fundraising has just gone up again, so they want us to be on television”
Neil Cavuto: So the more this comes out, the more the fundraising picks up?
Ron Paul: Yea, that’s what has happened. So it’s sort of ironic that maybe we need a few more people criticizing what’s going on and express the disenchantment of my election, there would be more fundraising and probably more TV and more votes for us.
Neil Cavuto: So, Congressman, when you do get to a frontrunner status – as you have, and are – invariably they start digging more into the pasts. Your name was associated with these newsletters in the 1990s that are seen by many to be racist, they’re saying that you’re a racist. How do you respond to that now?
Ron Paul: Well, I don’t think anybody calls me racist, I think the charge, which could be a correct charge, is that I was pretty negligent as a publisher of a newsletter, not paying more attention. Because it is a bit ironic that as a civil libertarian, I’m the one that really champions civil liberties regardless of race, creed or color. And even CNN has sort of stirred this pot. They did a poll the other day and they took all the candidates, all the Republican candidates, and I came out the best of all of them in appealing to those in the minorities. So would say that maybe what this will do will stir up the defense, because I address the drug war and how the prison system hasn’t worked, how the judicial system is very unfair to minorities. Nobody else would dare touch that. So, in many ways, what they’re trying to portray me as is exactly opposite of what I am. But I don’t think it will stick, I mean, they’ve been trying to do that for years, this is pretty much an old had because those letters were written close to 20 years ago.
Neil Cavuto: You’re right, I think the bigger point is that, leaving aside the racist charge, which I think those who have looked at your record might think otherwise. But I think what they’re trying to say, Congressman, and this is a wrap that you’ve confronted, that you’re detached, you’re aloof, or that you’re not paying attention to these details and sometimes your name or your very person can be dragged into something that you’re not. And that as President, this could be a problem. What do you say to that?
Ron Paul: Well, I would say that maybe that’s part of human nature, because I think Obama was charged with a few associations that he was not very proud of. So no, I think that if somebody thinks I’m perfect, then they’re going to be disappointed. I’ve done a lot of management when it comes to my businesses, my medical profession, and my congressional offices, and we get pretty high marks. But to say that I was never negligent … you know, back in those days, I was practicing medicine and though I was involved with the letters, especially on the economic issues, and wrote about the financial bubbles which you and I have talked about so often, I did participate in that. But to really pay the close attention … and then you also have to see this in context. I’ve been publishing a letter Freedom Report, plus an investment letter since 1976, and I would say percentage wise, this is probably 1/00th of 1% or even less of all the thousands and thousands of pages written. And most people see those letters as being investment letters, they were hard money newsletters. And that’s almost anybody that knew anything about it said, “Oh yea, he had a newsletter, and it was a hard money newsletter”.
Neil Cavuto: Let me switch gears a little bit; Donald Trump announcing he’s an independent now. Many say he’s greasing his skids for a potential independent run for President. What do you make of that?
Ron Paul: Well, to each his own, I don’t know, he may do it. I doubt if he’ll do it, but if he really wanted to be President, why did he walk away, why did he become concerned that he couldn’t do it as a Republican? So I have no idea what he’s going to do, and I don’t think he’ll be calling me for advice. I don’t think he’s going to come and ask for an appointment to come see me to get any advice or any endorsement, I’m not expecting that to happen.
Neil Cavuto: But why have you never kissed his ring like virtually all the other candidates have?
Ron Paul: Well, I just didn’t think it was necessary or appropriate. How could he endorse what I’m doing? I mean, my positions are pretty much opposite of what he talks about. He doesn’t believe in free markets, he likes the Federal Reserve, he’s not a free trader, he likes tariffs. So there’s not much that we have in common.
Neil Cavuto: Alright, so we won’t be seeing you at the Trump Tower anytime soon, Ron Paul.
Ron Paul: Pardon me?
Neil Cavuto: We won’t be seeing you at the Trump Tower anytime soon.
Ron Paul: Oh no, not likely. If he wants to converse, I’ll be glad to take his call.
Neil Cavuto: Very good. Congressman Paul, thank you very, very much. When we come back, we’re going to …