Ron Paul On The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer, Rudy Needs To Read The 9/11 Report

I know this sounds like an endorsement of the 9/11 Report, but it's not. The fact of the matter is, a lot of people hate the United States specifically because of our policies in the Middle East. I think Ron Paul was citing the report as if to say, "Rudy, you're contradicting the 9/11 Report. Do you have a conspiracy theory or something?" - Jon


BLITZER: Another Congressman may be a long shot, but he gave it his best shot last night in the latest Republican debate, going toe- to-toe with the Republican frontrunner.

And joining us now from Capitol Hill, Congressman Ron Paul, Republican of Texas.

He's a candidate for president of the United States.

Congressman, you had quite a little testy exchange there with Rudy Giuliani last night.

Let me run this little clip to remind our viewers what happened.


PAUL: They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years.

RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack of September 11th, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don't think I've ever heard that before and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11th.


BLITZER: He really had some supporters in that auditorium.

Are you ready to back away from the implication of what you were saying last night?

Because certainly when you were given the chance last night you didn't.

PAUL: No. There's no reason to. I think he's going to have to back away from his statement pretty soon, because I found two very clear quotes in the 9/11 Commission report that says that very thing, that our foreign policy has a very great deal to do with their willingness and desire to commit suicide terrorism.

So, I would suggest that he read the 9/11 Commission report.

BLITZER: Well, but the impression that I got from what you were saying is that the U.S. monitoring in the no-fly zones in Iraq for 10 years before the war, that that was -- that was responsible for Al Qaeda coming to the United States and blowing up the World Trade Center?

PAUL: No. I said that was part of it. And part of it was the fact that we had troops in Saudi Arabia, which is considered holy land. And this is what -- this is backed up by the 9/11 Commission report.

So I think he needs to read that, because that's policy. And the CIA does not deny this. This is what they found when they went into deep investigations.

So here he is, mayor of the city, and brags about all this security and he hasn't even read the report. So, I think he needs to read that report.

BLITZER: But you were saying specifically that the U.S. had been bombing Iraq for 10 years. You didn't mention the Saudi Arabian element last night.

PAUL: Well -- well, you know -- you know, Wolf, you know, in 30 seconds, sometimes you don't get to make a full explanation. But that's what the case has been. Yes, we did bomb.

I mean how many times did Clinton bomb?

And how many times did Bush bomb?

And it was not infrequent. I'll bet you we didn't go one year where we didn't bomb it. Besides, we had sanctions. They also cited sanctions where, literally, hundred of thousands of people died from the sanctions, from loss of medicine and food, due to our sanctions.

I mean if somebody did that to us, would we be angry?

BLITZER: But that...

PAUL: That's -- that's my question.

BLITZER: I guess the bottom line question, though, is that a lot of viewers came away saying here's Ron Paul. He's a Republican who wants to be president. He's blaming the United States, in effect, for 9/11...


BLITZER: I wonder if you want to -- if you want to revise that impression?

PAUL: No. No. They -- they need to understand history. They need to understand that he's hiding behind patriotism, because what they're saying is I'm un-American because I'm challenging policy.

I am an American because I have a right and an obligation to challenge policy. If policy is detrimental and has blowback, then we should change it. But to say that we have to accept this policy without any question, I think is the wrong thing to do. And this is what they expect. And if you don't do it, they say oh, you're blaming America. You're unpatriotic. And I think that's foolish.

I think somebody that does not allow dissent and discussion and arguments about why this policy is good or bad -- the American people -- see, he wants to say -- put words in my mouth and say that the American people caused this. I blamed the American people.

No. I blame bad policy. And bad policy can have consequences, unintended. The CIA recognize it. The 9/11 Commission recognize it.

So, to me, this sounds very logical.

I think he needs to back down and I think he needs to read the report and come back and apologize to me.

BLITZER: If he is the Republican nominee -- and he is the frontrunner right now could you support him...

PAUL: It would be...

BLITZER: ... for president?

PAUL: That would be pretty difficult.

It depends -- if he changed his foreign policy, I might consider it.

But, no. He's not very Republican and he -- he faced a lot of challenges in the debate, too, you know, on abortion and gun rights and -- and a lot of other issues that fiscal conservatives, you know, challenged him on.

So, I mean he has a ways to go. And I -- I take it as a compliment that he did what he did, because, you know, if you're at the bottom of the wrung of the ladder, you know, you don't get attacked like that.

So evidently he considers me a threat. And in the polling last night, on Fox, of all places, I outbeat him. You know, I won the polling over -- over Giuliani.

So why do people not talk about that?

BLITZER: We're almost out of time, Congressman.

But if you were president, what would you do about the Al Qaeda threat?

Forget about Iraq right now. The Al Qaeda threat, Osama bin Laden -- he's still on the loose.

What would you do about that threat to the United States?

PAUL: Well, I'd go after him. I voted for the authority. I wish they had done it. We voted for the money and yet we ignored it. So this is my complaint, that we didn't do what we were supposed to do and we went and started a war that we shouldn't have.

And here we have Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. They have a nuclear weapon. They have a military dictatorship. They overthrew an elected government.

And what do we do when they get nuclear weapons, not following the NPT Treaty?

We reward them. We give them money.

So I'm saying don't reward people who get nuclear weapons. Then they'll want to get them. That's why Saddam Hussein pretended he had one, because he thought if he had one maybe we'd leave him alone.

So it's natural for people like Iran -- the leadership in Iran -- to want to get a nuclear weapon, because we respect people that have power and we disrespect people that we think we can run over them and run roughshod over their countries, invade them preemptively and change their regimes.

I think it's a bad foreign policy. It's not Republican. It's not conservative and it's not constitutional.

BLITZER: Congressman Paul, thanks very much for joining us here in the in THE SITUATION ROOM.

PAUL: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: I think you're have a long wait if you really expect Rudy Giuliani to apologize to you for that last night.

PAUL: Well, ask him, please.

BLITZER: All right.

The next time I interview him, I'll ask him.

Thanks, Congressman.


Call me when the shuttle lands

Paul is at least on planet earth, Blitzer and Guiliani and somewhere on Pluto. This is just a debate in a virtual reality. Bin Laden stated repeatedly that some of his main motivations for attacking the US were US actions towards Iraq and other countries in the Middle East, for example Lebanon, and stationing troops in the Arabian peninsula. Guiliani and Blitzer seem to be buying the "they hate our freedoms" BS. Paul, doesn't go anywhere near far enough for my liking, but at least he's not a complete moron.