Rep. Ron Paul: "Liberty Defined"

Rep. Ron Paul: "Liberty Defined"

Twelve-term Congressman Ron Paul is a libertarian Tea Party favorite. The GOP presidential hopeful is pro-small government and a harsh critic of the Federal Reserve. Ron Paul's vision for America.

Congressman Ron Paul is very popular among libertarians and Tea Party conservatives. He recently announced he is forming a campaign exploratory committee and will make an announcement about a possible White House bid by June. The newly elected chairman of the House Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy joins Diane to discuss the meaning of the term "liberty" and how it is the seed of America.


Rep. Ron Paul

physician and twelve-term congressman from Texas

Video Extra

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) says that the U.S.'s killing of Osama bin Laden "raises as many questions as it answers." Paul says that "right now" would be a good time for the U.S. to withdraw forces from Afghanistan and that he believes "the connection between foreign policy and our financial problems is very significant." Paul also believes the government should release some proof of bin Laden's death. "Why does our government invite conspiracy theories all the time?" he said:

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul talks about his views on abortion. "If you don't have high respect for human life, you can't have respect for liberty," he said:

Program Highlights

Rep. Paul on bin Laden's Death

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) spoke with Diane about everything from the U.S's killing of Osama bin Laden to his thoughts on how abortion policy relates to the idea of "liberty" as he defines it.

Paul said that in spite of the pleasure most Americans felt upon hearing of bin Laden's death, the event "raises as many questions as it answers."Paul said that "right now" would be a good time to get out of Afghanistan, emphasizing that one of bin Laden's stated goals was to get the U.S. to bankrupt itself through its involvement in Afghanistan.

Paul also had doubts about the U.S.'s ability to confirm that it was, in fact, bin Laden they had killed. "To my knowledge, I didn't know they could do DNA proof that quickly," he said.

Defining Liberty

"Liberty for me recognizes the fact that each individual has a right to his or her life and that the government is not allowed to coerce them into trying to mold their economic life or their personal life. It's the absence of coercive force by government and a rejection of coercive force by any individuals," Paul said.

Diane asked Rep. Paul about the place of regulatory agencies in protecting the public, especially people like miners who work in dangerous situations. "They don't do a very good job," he replied, citing the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig last year in the Gulf of Mexico.

When Diane suggested that there would be even more disasters if we didn't have such regulatory agencies, Paul responded that "...too often, the government gets in bed with big business, and that's where our tragedy comes from."


"You believe in smaller government, but you think government should put a stop to abortion," Diane said.

"What I'm most interested in is the recognition of the value of human life," Paul said. "If you don't have high respect for human life, you cannot have respect for liberty, and that's what I'm interested in," he said.

Paul added that constitutionally, the federal government is "not supposed to be enforcing any kind of regulations or laws like that."

"There are strong reasons to believe that the unborn has legal rights."

Scaling Back Government

Diane closed the interview by asking Paul which specific parts of the government he would eliminate if he was elected president.

Paul's list includes: the Department of Education; the Department of Energy; the Food and Drug Administration; and deep cuts to the Pentagon's budget.

Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct and Terms of Use before posting your comments.

Our address has changed!

The Diane Rehm Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.