Ron Paul on 'Glenn Beck': Rift Between Libertarians and GOP?

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," November 6, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, GUEST HOST: Libertarians and Republicans joined forces this year at the tea parties, town halls and 9/12 rallies to protest big government interfering in our lives. But the parties differ on so many key issues. Can the alliance remain or is now the time for a third party to emerge?

Joining us now is Texas Congressman Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul. Rand is running for Senate in Kentucky next year.

Rand, first to you: You are an unabashed right-down-the-line libertarian, yet you are running in the Republican primary for the United States Senate, and leading, I might say, in the latest polls. Why the Republican Party?

RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY SENATE CANDIDATE: We're doing quite well, but I like to call myself a constitutional conservative. And I think that resonates in the Republican primary. I think what we're finding is as we get our message out -- is that the message is actually popular.

I think there is a disconnect between the Republican primary voter who does believe, like myself, in limited constitutional government, in our leaders who have sometimes let us down. It is like the bank bailout. I said I have yet to meet a Republican primary voter who would have voted for it.

And yet our leaders did vote for it. So I think there is a disconnect between leadership and the primary voter. But I think the primary voter and the platform in the Republican Party are very conservative. And I think as we get our message out, and as we're rising in the polls, it shows that the message is popular in the Republican primary

NAPOLITANO: Congressman Paul, we just witnessed a third-party candidate running for Congress in upstate New York. He was a conservative. He had a lot of strong libertarian leanings. The Republican was a moderate. She withdrew from the race and endorsed the Democrat who won.

Yet, this conservative conservative/libertarian got 45 percent of the vote. Question - there is his picture, Doug Hoffman. Question - will this spawn more and similar efforts by third party, as your son calls them, constitutionalist Republicans, around the country?

REP. RON PAUL, R-TEXAS: Well, I think there will be a lot more, but I think it really makes Rand's point that the leadership is at fault so often. It was the leadership that handpicked their candidate that finally dropped out of the race and became a Democrat. So that makes a very strong point.

So hopefully, they will get their act together and get the strong candidates that believe in limited government and believe that what they say ought to be followed through with policy. That's where the real problem is. I just don't see in the near future a third party taking over, not because it wouldn't be advantageous, but mainly because the laws are so biased and the credibility in the media.

It just doesn't happen. So the two major parties, which very often aren't a whole lot different, make it very difficult to compete. You can't get in the debate. You can't participate. So I think the battle will be fought in the two parties.

And that means if you're for limited government, you have to pick and choose and decide which candidate you're going to support.

NAPOLITANO: Rand, your dad is one of the few people in all of government today who, when he says he is for limited government, truly means it.

Are you running for the Republican nomination for the Senate in Kentucky on a similar platform, that your goal is to shrink the federal government back down to the confines that the Constitution put around it?

RAND PAUL: Absolutely. I think if we operated under the enumerated powers of the Constitution, we would have a balanced budget. But I think we need reform. I don't think the politicians are trustworthy.

And I think there has to be a rule requiring them to balance the budget because I don't think they will ever do it on their own. In Kentucky, we have to balance the budget by statute. I think we need the same kind of rules in Washington.

NAPOLITANO: We can't even get rules in Washington that require members of Congress to read the laws or point to the part of the Constitution that authorizes the laws. Congressman Paul, I'm very disturbed at Lindsey Graham, but it turns out he has been attacking you a long time.

But last week he said the following, quote, "I'm going to grow this party. I'm not going to let it be hijacked by Ron Paul." What is he afraid of? Small government? Maximum individual liberty? Lower taxes?

RON PAUL: Well, I don't know, but he seemed to give me a lot of credibility as if I have control over growing or shrinking the Republican Party. But maybe he wants to give me more credibility than I have.

Certainly, I think he probably wants to grow the Republican Party. I do, too, and everybody, I assume, who is in the Republican Party would like to be in the majority. The big issue is, what do you believe in? You know, do you believe in more government?

But if you start off with saying, "Well, we'll do this by being half of a Democrat -- oh, we don't want to be a whole Democrat. We'll be half of a Democrat. Give up half of what the Republicans believe in."

I don't buy into that. I can't work under those conditions. And the country has been working under those conditions for 100 years. They always sacrifice a portion of their liberties thinking it is a compromise, but it really doesn't work.

It's a sacrifice of so much liberty and you end up with a mess. You end up with bankruptcy and you end up with a bureaucracy you can't control. And you end up with a financial crisis. So I would say that type of compromise isn't worthwhile.

NAPOLITANO: Congressman Ron Paul, Dr. Rand Paul, thanks for joining us.

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