Prior to the Republican debate "Your Money, Your Vote" on Wednesday, Nov. 9, Presidential candidate Ron Paul sat down for an exclusive interview with The Arab American News.
Dr. Paul is a longtime U.S. Congressman from Texas who has gained grassroots popularity through his outspoken criticisms of the Federal Reserve private banking system in the U.S. and his strong anti-war stances, among other viewpoints.
Here is what he had to say leading up to his appearance:
TAAN: Talk about your history in Michigan and campaigning leading up to the election.
RP: I first got in contact with Michigan when I studied medicine here for two years back in the early 60s. We've been in and out over the years, certainly we were here four years ago for the debates and we're back this time as well.
TAAN: How are things shaping up with the campaign so far?
RP: It's a lot different now than it was four years ago even though there was a lot of enthusiasm back then. But some of the things we talked about have come about, you know like the deep recession, the financial situation is much worse, and also the foreign policy has changed a bit because the American people at large, the majority are tired of what we're doing in the Middle East, and they're tired of Afghanistan so we're getting a lot more support in that area.
TAAN: How do you feel like you're being treated by the so-called "mainstream media," do you feel you're getting a fair shake from them?
RP: I don't think I ever get fair shakes, we get a fair number of interviews but we don't get mentioned in the news. We had a rally the other day near Minneapolis and we had 3,000 people come out something like that never would make a national news item but it seems like that could be significant, so a lot of times we're ignored that way but we get a lot of support and enthusiasm from debates as well as the Internet.
TAAN: So do you view these debates as your time to shine because a lot of times your message might not get out there in the general public as much as other candidates?
RP: It's always been helpful from four years ago up until now because after the debates there's always more enthusiasm, more people calling in, more people introduced to what I'm doing and it usually helps fund raising a lot too.
TAAN: You've said a lot about the 'American Empire' in the Middle East and across the world and basically how America can't afford that anymore. Is that something people are getting behind in your campaign?
RP: Well, they're getting closer to my position because they're sick and tired of the failures, the perpetual wars and all the money that's being spent in the bad economy that we have. From studying our history and realizing the failure of our foreign policy ever since I was in the service in the 1960s during the Vietnam era, I've just come to a stronger conclusion all the time that we're in too many places, we can't afford it anymore, it doesn't do us any good and probably does us a lot of harm. I just think that we shouldn't be in these countries and the Constitution doesn't give us the authority to do it, the founders were very wise in advising us to stay out of the internal affairs of other nations and not get involved in these entangling alliances which so often we get involved in and we obligate ourselves. That I think is just a totally failed policy and has to come to an end.