Entries in Ron Paul (189)


Ron Paul Clarifies ‘By the Sword’ Tweet on Sniper’s Death

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ron Paul is blaming foreign wars for the death of ex-Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

Never one to hold his tongue about U.S. military policy, the former congressman and presidential candidate caused a bit of controversy this week by tweeting that Kyle, who was shot and killed at a gun range in Texas, had lived “by the sword” and died by it.

"Chris Kyle’s death seems to confirm that 'he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.'  Treating PTSD at a firing range doesn’t make sense," tweeted Paul (@RonPaul) on Monday.

Kyle was shot and killed Sunday, allegedly by a 25-year-old Iraq veteran.  Kyle was the author of American Sniper and, with more than 150 kills, was the deadliest sniper in U.S. history when he left the military in 2009.

After receiving some criticism on Twitter, Paul, 77, later clarified his comment on Facebook, posing Kyle’s death as an unintended consequence of “unconstitutional and unnecessary wars.”  On Monday evening, Paul posted the following note:

"As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend’s violence and killing of Chris Kyle were a tragic and sad event.  My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Kyle’s family.  Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars have endless unintended consequences.  A policy of non-violence, as Christ preached, would have prevented this and similar tragedies. -REP"

Paul has vocally opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as unwarranted and unconstitutional.  In his two recent presidential runs, Paul warned repeatedly of the consequences of America’s wars and global military presence, citing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as blowback from U.S. foreign intervention.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Sen. Rand Paul's Son Arrested at North Carolina Airport

Courtesy Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., Police Department(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The 19-year-old son of Sen. Rand Paul and grandson of former presidential candidate Ron Paul was arrested on Saturday morning for allegedly being intoxicated at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.

William Hilton Paul arrived in Charlotte, N.C., on a U.S. Airways flight from Lexington, Ky., where his father is a U.S. senator.

According to Lt. Blake Hollar with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Paul was intoxicated when he arrived at the airport and said "he was possibly served alcohol on the flight."

The teenager was arrested by police and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail, charged with three misdemeanors: underage consumption, disorderly conduct, and being intoxicated and disruptive.

While in the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office, reports say William Hilton Paul identified himself as the son of Sen. Rand Paul.

On Sunday evening, Rand Paul's Communications Director Moira Bagley released a statement to ABC News asking for "privacy and respect" regarding the incident.

"Sen. Paul is a national public figure and subject to scrutiny in the public arena, however, as many parents with teenagers would understand, his family should be afforded the privacy and respect they deserve in a situation such as this," the statement said.

The senator, who was recently appointed to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was scheduled to travel to Israel Sunday evening for meetings with Israeli officials.

William Hilton Paul posted the $750 bond on Saturday and was released from Mecklenburg County Jail.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


‘Our Constitution Has Failed,’ Says Departing Rep. Ron Paul

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Ron Paul, the iconic libertarian congressman from Texas, has delivered what will most likely be his final address to Congress.

In a sprawling, 52-minute speech to the House chamber, Paul lambasted U.S. government, politicians and special interests, declaring that the U.S. people must return to virtue before the government allows them to be free, and that the Constitution has failed to limit the scope of an authoritarian bureaucracy.

“Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed,” Paul said. “The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified.”

For the retiring Republican, 77, the “current crisis” isn’t quite what it is for other members of Congress, who routinely use that word to describe the economic recession that followed the 2008 financial crash. To the Texas Republican, that’s part of it, but the causes are deeper, and it’s also a crisis of governmental authoritarianism and the vanishing of personal liberty.

“If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis, we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties,” said Dr. Paul, an obstetrician-gynecologist by training.

The problem isn’t just government’s size, but its use of force, both in starting preemptive wars and as it coerces U.S. citizens with police power, he says. To Paul, this is the fault of Americans who no longer prioritize liberty, and it will lead to the unraveling of orderly society unless people change.

“Restraining aggressive behavior is one thing, but legalizing a government monopoly for initiating aggression can only lead to exhausting liberty associated with chaos, anger and the breakdown of civil society,” Paul said. “We now have a standing army of armed bureaucrats in the TSA, CIA, FBI, Fish and Wildlife, FEMA, IRS, Corp of Engineers, etc., numbering over 100,000 civil society.”

More than coercive, to Paul the government is also corrupt: “All branches of our government today are controlled by individuals who use their power to undermine liberty and enhance the welfare/warfare state-and frequently their own wealth and power,” he said.

Throughout his speech, Paul questioned not only the fundamental health of America’s social compact, but specifics like fiat money, the power of the Federal Reserve, the PATRIOT Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act modifications, undeclared war, the illegalization of medical marijuana, mandatory sentencing requirements for drug crimes, the illegalization of hemp, TSA searches, federal debt and borrowing, the White House’s authority to assassinate those it declares terrorists, the legalization of detaining U.S. citizens for national-security purposes, the political power of AIPAC, and the regulation of light bulbs and toilets in people’s homes.

For Paul, the list of grievances is long, and he might not have accomplished much in Congress: “In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little,” he said. “No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways, thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without congressional declaration.”

In thinking about the champions of liberty, his lesson is a bitter one: “History has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled,” but his prescription is hopeful.

Paul left the podium, for the last time, offering an “answer” to all of these problems: that people should choose liberty and limit government, and seek change within themselves.

“The number one responsibility for each of us is to change ourselves with hope that others will follow,” Paul said, urging an end to two motives that have hindered U.S. society: envy and intolerance.

“I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out the plain truth of things. The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people worldwide, is to pursue the cause of liberty. If you find this to be a worthwhile message, spread it throughout the land.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitch McConnell Hires Ron Paul’s Campaign Manager

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- The Ron Paul campaign team is being swallowed up by the mainstream Republican Party, one staffer at a time.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has hired Paul’s campaign manager, Jesse Bentonm, to run his 2014 re-election campaign, the senator announced Thursday.

This follows the Republican National Committee’s hiring of Paul’s former spokesman, Gary Howard, in late June.

“We’re committed to running a presidential-level campaign in Kentucky and that starts with a presidential campaign manager,” McConnell said in a prepared statement. “Jesse is literally the best in the business at building and organizing conservative grassroots movements and I’m thrilled he’s chosen to return to Kentucky to lead my campaign.”

“It is a real honor to join Senator McConnell’s team. I look forward to playing my part in re- electing a great leader who can truly unite a broad coalition of Americans and get out country back on track,” Benton said in a statement, provided by McConnell’s staff.

This won’t be Benton’s first Kentucky Senate campaign. After serving as communications director for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in 2008, Benton joined Sen. Rand Paul’s first campaign in 2010, signing on as campaign manager after a staff shakeup.

By hiring Benton, McConnell may head off the chances of a tea-party challenge in 2014, after conservatives displayed some fearlessness in challenging the two longest-tenured GOP senators in 2012, mounting challenges against Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. Hatch avoided defeat, but Lugar lost his primary to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in May.

A challenger to McConnell has not yet materialized, though some divisions remained among Kentucky Republicans after McConnell backed Trey Grayson, Rand Paul’s opponent, in the 2010 primary. McConnell, Rand Paul, and their two staffs have a good working relationship, according to a Senate aide.

Senate leaders can expect tough races against the opposing party these days. In 2008, McConnell was given a brief scare by self-funded Democrat Bruce Lunsford. In 2012, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid escaped a threatening challenge from tea-partier Sharron Angle.

McConnell sought a manager who could weather the intensity of a high-profile campaign, who could unite the at-times disparate elements under the Republican tent, and who had run and won a campaign in Kentucky, the Senate aide said. On all three counts, Benton fit the bill.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rand Paul to Campaign for Romney While Dad Won’t Endorse

United States Senate(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Former GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul has declined to endorse Mitt Romney, but his son Sen. Rand Paul will soon hit the campaign trail to support the newly-minted Republican nominee.

“We are hoping to help Gov. Romney get elected,” Rand Paul told ABC News’ Jon Karl after wrapping up his speech at the GOP convention Wednesday night.

The younger Paul said he is working out the logistics of appearing at campaign events for Romney between now and November.

“They’ve asked me to go places and I’m happy to,” he said.

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During a convention aimed at uniting Republicans and stoking enthusiasm leading into the last two months of the election, a rift seems still to exist within the party between a small but vocal group of ardent Ron Paul fans and the larger crowd of Romney supporters.

Shortly after Rand Paul wrapped up his speech, a boisterous group of about 100 Ron Paul supporters marched through the second floor of the convention hall shouting “So Maine goes, so goes the nation.”

The protesters, most of which were wearing Ron Paul shirts and buttons, said they were upset the Republican National Committee stripped Ron Paul’s Maine delegates of their convention seats.

Ron Paul was not given a speaking spot at the convention, as his fellow former GOP candidate Rick Santorum was, but Paul was the only Romney rival who was honored in a tribute video, which played directly before his son Rand took the stage. One of the largest applause lines during Rand Paul’s speech came when he mentioned his dad.

Ron Paul did not watch the video from the forum or anywhere in Tampa for that matter. The campaign said last week that the congressman would stay for both his video, originally scheduled for Tuesday, and for a speech by his son, but instead chose to skip out and head back to Texas.

The three-minute video featured clips of Paul, his wife Carol, and son Rand, and included several of his colleagues giving testimony to his “principles and his dedication to America.”

“The longer we go and the deeper in debt we get, the more apparent it is that Ron Paul was right all those years,” says Sen. Jim DeMint in the video adding that he thought Paul “was nuts” when they first met.

“Whether people want to admit it or not, Ron Paul changed the conversation,” adds Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Convention planners approved the video as an olive branch to the more than 300 Paul delegates that the congressman collected during his long primary battle with Mitt Romney.

“Congressman Paul’s people came to us and said we’d like to do a short tribute to him, and we said absolutely,” Mitt Romney campaign strategist Russ Schriefer told reporters last week.

Schriefer said that while Romney and Paul “certainly disagree on many issues,” the one time rivals had “a lot of mutual respect” for each other.

The Romney campaign still has some appeasing to do. Earlier this week, Paul supporters stormed out of the convention because of the dispute over the Maine delegation. His supporters were also upset about new rules that would allow the party establishment to reject certain delegates and to make rule changes with a supermajority of votes. The concern: Republican Party leaders are taking power from the grass roots.

Ron Paul told ABC News last week that it is a “possibility” that his son Rand would take his place as a leader of the supporters who have so diligently supported him through this year’s presidential campaign, as well as his two previous White House bids.

“I’m sure he’s the one who will finally make that decision on what he does and how far he goes, but I’m sure he’s interested and very much involved in trying to promote these ideas,” Ron Paul said.

While Rand Paul would not say whether a presidential run was in his future, the senator said after his speech on Wednesday that he does “see myself as part of the national debate.”

“Being in the Senate is part of the national debate,” he said. “If that’s all I do then I’m really pleased to do it. But there may be more. We’ll see.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul Supporters Make Themselves Heard in Convention Hall

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Ron Paul supporters have always been very vocal, and the reconvening of the Republican National Convention Tuesday was no exception.

At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, RNC chairman Reince Priebus gaveled everyone back into the convention, welcoming the delegates back to the 2012 RNC. Just minutes before the gavel came down, however, the floor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum was abuzz with chants for the Texas congressman and two-time presidential candidate.

Paul was on the floor of the space, where he received a rock-star-like welcome. Supporters chanted, “Let him speak” – a reference to the fact that Paul was not given a speaking slot at the RNC (although his son, Rand, will be speaking).

At one point, chants of “Romney” were drowned out by chants of “Ron Paul.” Paul walked around the floor wearing a red, white and blue lei, and he walked through the crowd signing autographs, according to reports from ABC News’ Aaron Katersky. Throughout the hallways of the forum, supporters were easily identified. Ron Paul t-shirts and cowboy hats bearing the representative’s name were sported by various delegates.

The supporters seemed to settle down, at least for the time being, after Priebus came out and banged the gavel, but Paulites definitely made themselves known.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul Rallies Supporters Ahead of GOP Convention

Alex Wong/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Rep. Ron Paul might have fallen short in his bid for the presidency, but on Sunday afternoon the libertarian leaning Texas congressman proclaimed his “liberty movement” was alive and well.

Paul took center stage at his “We Are the Future” rally at the University of South Florida.

Animated and witty, he stuck to the message of limited government, the central theme of his presidential bid and a message he has been delivering all of his life.

“We want to get the government out of the business it’s not supposed to be doing,” Paul said.

In an otherwise highly scripted week for the party, the event on the eve of the kickoff of the Republicans’ nominating convention, was seen as unpredictable.

Paul ended active campaigning in June and unlike most of his GOP rivals, hasn’t endorsed Mitt Romney’s candidacy.  He told The New York Times for a story Sunday that he was denied a chance to speak because he refused to let the Romney campaign vet his remarks and give an unconditional endorsement.

Paul didn’t win a single state during his bid for the presidency, but still amassed more than 150 delegates to the convention.  His coalition is made up of anti-war Republicans, people who want stricter government adherence to the Constitution and those who want to dismantle the Federal Reserve.

Paul encouraged his supporters to continue until their views are the GOP mainstream.

“Believe me, we will get in the tent because we will become the tent eventually,” he said.  “With the energy that we have, it seems to me they would be begging and pleading for us to come into the party.”

Paul, 77, is leaving Congress after his 12th term expires at year’s end.  He will be honored Tuesday night in a video tribute at the convention.  The RNC also amended the party’s platform to include policy provisions Paul has advocated for, such as an audit of the Federal Reserve.

Despite the conciliatory gestures, some of Paul’s ardent supports believe the Republican Party is marginalizing him.

“It’s nice they’re doing a tribute, but it doesn’t change my opinion of them,” said Susie Mann, 55, of Columbus, Ohio.  “Let the man speak.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul Strikes Deal with RNC over Delegates

Yoon S. Byun/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul will enter the GOP convention next week with more delegates after a deal was reached, avoiding a potentially embarrassing standoff with Mitt Romney.

The compromise settled a dispute over delegates from Louisiana.

“Paul will be awarded 17 of the state’s 46 delegates in the compromise,” Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton told ABC News in an email. “The rest of the state’s delegates are expected to support Mitt Romney, the party’s presumptive nominee.”

In addition, the RNC will seat an additional Paul delegate from Massachusetts.

Supporters of Paul and Romney clashed at the Louisiana party convention in June and ended up holding dueling conventions, with each group submitting lists of delegates.

The two sides reached the compromise Tuesday in Tampa, Fla., the site of next week’s national convention.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul: I ‘Have Not’ Decided If I’ll Vote for Romney

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Ron Paul, who is still technically running for the Republican nomination, says he has not decided whether or not he’ll vote for Mitt Romney.

“I have not made a decision,” Paul told Fox Business Network’s Liz Claman and David Asman.

When asked what he thinks about Romney as a candidate for president, Paul responded, “Compared to whom? He certainly offers different things than the current president. But the current conditions make it rough for anyone. They are going to have a very though job.”

Paul and Romney reportedly struck up a friendly rapport on the campaign trail, The New York Times noted in February.

While Paul is still a candidate, he announced in May that he would stop campaigning in new states, and his supporters have fallen short of reaching the delegate threshold necessary to make him eligible for the GOP presidential nomination at the party’s national convention in Tampa, but Paul has not officially announced his withdrawal from the race, as other Republican candidates have done.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul: Releasing Tax Returns Would Help Mitt Romney

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Count Ron Paul as the latest Republican who thinks it would behoove Mitt Romney to release his tax returns.

“Politically, I think that would help him,” Paul told Politico’s MJ Lee in an interview. “In the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like releasing tax returns is what the people want.”

Paul agreed with pundits who have called Romney’s tax returns a distraction from more substantial issues in the 2012 campaign.

“It’s a shame,” Paul told Politico. “It’s all a charade, I think it’s all contrived to not have a debate.”

Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton contested Politico’s casting of the story. “Dr. Paul is not calling on Gov. Romney to release his tax returns. This story is the result of some very poor, gotcha journalism by a Politico reporter and does reflect Dr. Paul’s sentiments,” Benton told ABC News. Benton said Paul’s campaign has a “very cordial and respectful” relationship with Romney’s.

During the Republican primary campaign, The New York Times noted that the two candidates had struck up a kind of friendship.

While prominent conservatives from George Will to Bill Kristol to former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele appeared on Sunday talk shows and called on Romney to release more years of his tax returns, two Republican elected officials have now shared their view, while phrasing things less aggressively.

Paul joins Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley on the nascent, tiny list of GOP politicians who have said publicly that Romney should oblige his critics’ requests.

“I just believe in total transparency,” Bentley told ABC News at the National Governors Association conference in Williamsburg, Va., on Saturday. “In fact, I was asked today that question — do you think that Governor Romney should release his tax returns? And I said I do. I said, I release my tax returns.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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