Importance of Being Liked

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," December 19, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: First Hillary Clinton, now the ad rush by all the presidential candidates to show their softer side.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this message.





MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hope that you and your family will have a magnificent Christmas season.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Hillary I know is a funny, warm, genuinely caring person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was just so engaging and so compassionate and so warm.



RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I really hope that all of the presidential candidates can just get along.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was with the right up until that last one.



Well, a warm and fuzzy side, even a funny side. Either you have it, though, or you don't.

So, do these ads do anything to convince people?

With us now, a GOP presidential candidate Texas congressman. He joins us now from Manchester, New Hampshire. And, to the best of my knowledge, the congressman has not run one warm and fuzzy ad.

Congressman, what do you think of this?

REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What do I think of what, Neil? I don't quite get it.

CAVUTO: So, I can't see you doing these type of ads. Do you think they are a waste of time?

PAUL: Well, I have not made a judgment. It seems irrelevant. It seems to me I would rather talk about monetary policy and foreign policy in spending.

So, some of these ads, I — I don't think, are too important. But we have an ad about a merry Christmas ad, and I don't think it is necessarily bad.

CAVUTO: All right, well, because a lot of the people who know you very well, Congressman, say actually you are very funny and that you're a very warm guy yourself.

Now, most people exposed to you on the campaign trail know that you are the guy with the libertarian views and tough positions on taxes and Iraq.

Would it help those who don't you to know that — that warm and fuzzy side of Ron Paul?

PAUL: Well, I would hope so, but I have warm and fuzzy positions.

You know, I believe in freedom and limited government and let the people along. So, that is pretty warm and fuzzy, you know, allowing people to lead their own lives. So, I don't think the ad, just to deal with personalities, is not very necessary.

CAVUTO: Do you think they work, though, that these type — you have been around this before. You have been, you know, in Congress for many years. You have tried this presidential thing before.

Do you think that these type of ads register with people, just as someone who watches the process?


I would say that the people who are joining our campaign by the tens-of-thousands, if not hundreds-of-thousands, and those who are sending the money are not motivated by that. I mean, I think they like to know who I am, and they like — they want to know me and like me and know I'm a grandfather and like kids.

But I think what motivates them are my political beliefs and what I believe in the Constitution and monetary policy. That is what energizes people. But I don't think you can divorce it completely from the personality. But, if you have bad policies, and you think you can overcome bad policy with, you know, these fuzzy ads, and think that personality is going to overcome bad policy, won't work, no way.

But, if you can get good policies and a good personality, then I think it is great.

CAVUTO: Congressman, let me ask you. You talk about the amount of money you have raised over the Internet and for your campaign in general. And it is staggering, last Sunday alone, $6 million-plus.

There are reports, sir, that your campaign has received a $500 campaign donation from a white supremacist in West Palm Beach. And your campaign had indicated you have no intention to return it. What are you going to do with that?

PAUL: It is probably already spent. Why give it back to him and use it for bad purposes?

You know, I don't even know his name. I never heard of it. You know, when you get 57,000 donations a day, are we supposed to screen them and find out their beliefs? He sent the money for my beliefs. And if he is promoting my viewpoints and my attitudes, why give it back to him if he has bad viewpoints?

And I don't endorse anything that he endorses or what anybody endorses. They come to me to endorse freedom and the Constitution and limited government. So, I see no purpose for me to start screening everybody that sends me money. I mean, it is impossible to do it. It is a ridiculous idea that I am supposed to screen these people.

CAVUTO: All right.

So, Congressman, when you find out that it's this Don Black who made the donation, and who ran a site called "Stormfront, White Pride Worldwide," now that you know it, now that you're familiar after the fact, you still would not return it?

PAUL: Well, if I spent his money and I took the money that maybe you might have sent to me and donate it back to him, that does not make any sense to me. Why should I give him money to promote his cause? That doesn't make any sense to me.

CAVUTO: So, what do you think, Congressman, of the candidates who do this? Either they say, ah, we got money from a group now we're aware was - - was kind of sticky; we don't want to give it — Hillary Clinton has had to do this, a number of other candidates have had to do this. Do you think that just is a bad practice?

PAUL: I think it is pandering. I think it is playing the political correctness, so that they — when you quiz them, and then they can say, oh, Neil, yes, I did exactly what you are suggesting I should do, and brag about how pure they are.

You know. I think that is a bit of pandering. There's no way that I'm not going to institute a policy of looking at 100 — 200,000 of these donations and find out. What about the people who get donations, want to get special interests from the military industrial complex? They put in — they raise, bundle their money, and send millions of dollars in there. And they want to rob the taxpayers. That is the real evil.

I mean, it is the evil that buys influence in government. And this is, to me, the corruption that should be corrected, not to pick out one of my donors out of 100,000 donors and say, oh, Ron Paul is not doing the right thing because he has not sent the money back.

I mean, I think you are missing the whole boat — the whole boat, because it is the immorality of government, it's the special interests in government, it's fighting illegal wars...

CAVUTO: All right.

PAUL: ... and financing, and taxing the people, destroying the people through inflation, and undermining this prosperity of the country.


PAUL: Now, there is a moral problem that we should be dealing with. And that should be the responsibility of the government. That is what I stand for.

And, if people send me money and I spend it for that purpose, I feel good about it.

CAVUTO: All right, Congressman.

And, to be fair, your campaign has raised well over $10 million in just a little more a week. Kind of hard to keep track of contributions as little as $500. Thank you very much.

PAUL: People — people believe in our message.

CAVUTO: All right. Thank you. Very good seeing you.


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