This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 30, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: The death of Awlaki marks another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates. Furthermore, the success is a tribute to our intelligence community and to the efforts of Yemen and its security forces, who have worked closely with the United States over the course of several years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: So, Awlaki no more. Another big terror guy goes down.
And Ron Paul says praising it goes too far. The Republican presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul on the phone with me right now.
Congressman, what is your view on this? Terror bad guy taken out. What do you think of that?
REP. RON PAUL, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, it’s probably a net positive. No one likes these kind of people, but I also like the rule of law and I like our Constitution. I like the Fifth Amendment that you don’t just target people and assassinating somebody someone who has not been charged and you have no proof of anything.
So if we want to protect American citizens from that type of justice, we have to be more cautious. This has never been done before. This announced policy was about a year-and-a-half ago by our administration that said that American citizens can now be targeted for assassination.
This is very, very dangerous. You know, who knows what the future will bring. Maybe just dissenters would be potential terrorists. Already, it doesn’t take a whole lot to be a potential terrorist. Somebody who tried to institute sound money was charged with being a terrorist. That was one of the charges made. So I would say that we should be more cautious. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t deal with this problem and go after these people and deal with it, but just to do this casually or celebrate it, I consider that very dangerous.
CAVUTO: Did you feel the same about taking out Osama bin Laden?
PAUL: Yes, essentially that. You know, that was somewhat different, because I voted for that authority. Bin Laden had bragged about how he participated in it. And I voted for the authority to go after him. The disgusting part about bin Laden...
CAVUTO: Well, so had Awlaki, though, right? It wasn’t as if the two were totally disconnected.
The authority was given to go after the people who participated in the planning and the carrying out of 9/11. And that is not what Awlaki’s charges are. As a matter of fact,, he wasn’t involved at all.
CAVUTO: Well, we do know that he was instrumental behind the Fort Hood attacks. We do know -- and many others.
CAVUTO: But let’s just focus on that for a second. Would a President Ron Paul then just disband this policy? Because the fear would be that a President Ron Paul would sort of let terrorists do their thing.
PAUL: No, I would take seriously the oath of office to the Constitution and say that we should follow the law.
CAVUTO: These guys don’t care about the oath of office or our Constitution.
PAUL: I strongly object to the president institutionalizing a policy that explicitly says that he has the authority to target American citizens because he believes they are bad people.
You don’t protect bad people because they deserve it. You protect bad people and go through the process because you think a lot about innocent American people never being treated in this manner. This is something that is -- this is major in many ways about following the rule of law. So, I think...
CAVUTO: You might be right on the rule of law then. Let’s leave it aside for a second that people who make a mockery of our rules of law, and then they would see under a President Ron Paul that, wait a minute, he is so strictly following the rule of law that we can walk all over this guy, kill his people, he will be waiting...
PAUL: No, come on. Come on, Neil.
PAUL: You’re getting carried away.
CAVUTO: No, no, no. I’m asking, do you see where this could potentially go, that you are trying to do the right thing, honor the Constitution, while these guys are literally blowing it up?
PAUL: Well, maybe we wouldn’t be involved in this kind of stuff. Maybe we wouldn’t precipitate the efforts to commit suicide terrorism against us. That is the main -- the number one problem that we are facing. How many innocent people do you think we have killed in the meantime of trying to assassinate this American citizen?
Let’s say, for instance, we have killed 100 innocent people trying to hit him with all our drones. How many new dedicated al Qaeda are now out there?
This is a -- you know, a great recruitment way, to kill innocent people.
CAVUTO: I understand where you’re coming from.
I do want to ask real quickly, Ron, if I can, don’t mind reverting back to politics for a second, we have seen a Democratic-leaning polling group finding you within a percentage point of President Obama among Florida voters.