Ron Paul on Staying in the Presidential Race

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," May 6, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, all of this as we have got this great debate going right now on whether to lift federal gas taxes or not this summer.

Ron Paul, who is still an active presidential candidate, joins me right now.

Congressman, what do you think, first off, of this idea that, hey, give everyone a gas tax holiday this summer?

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REP. RON PAUL, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it's a pretty good idea. I think it's foolish, though, if you don't talk about cutting an equal amount of spending. I think you should cut the spending some place, and get rid of all the taxes.

Just getting rid of the taxes, I'm for, but it's a second choice to cutting spending elsewhere. And I could find places where we could cut spending and make up for the loss of revenue from the gas tax.

CAVUTO: Congressman, Hillary Clinton favors paying for this by having the oil companies pay for it with a windfall profits tax.

PAUL: Well, I don't like to tax profits. I like to encourage people to make profits. You know, that's what they wanted to do in the '70s, I remember, but then, shortly afterwards, in the mid-'80s, you know, the oil companies — the oil went from $40 down to $10. The oil companies were in big trouble.

So, sometimes, they make profits and, sometimes, they don't. But the principle of taxing profits isn't a very capitalistic idea. That's sort of a Keynesian, socialist idea of saying that we want to punish people who make money.

CAVUTO: Well, what I worry about — I don't know if you share this, Congressman — this idea that today it's the oil industry. Who is next?

Now, people rightly point out that, you know, Apple makes a lot of money, but they remind me, Neil, we don't desperately need iPods and iTouches and this sort of stuff. We desperately need oil, and there is a difference.

My issue, though, Congressman, is that I don't think politicians distinguish. And I think that one industry's profits one year are another industry's the next.

PAUL: Yes, that's it.

It's the principle that's very important. And even though they're not attacking right now a company that maybe makes cell phones or computers — because they have done a pretty good job of giving us a good product in spite of the monetary inflation. Those prices stay stable or go down...


PAUL: ... which shows that government has a lot to do with which segment of the economy suffers from the rising prices.

CAVUTO: Let me ask you, are you still running for president?

PAUL: I'm still in the race, and I'm — I'm a candidate. We only have a couple more primaries left. And we want to maximize our influence in the Republican Party. Hopefully...

CAVUTO: But it is over, right?

PAUL: Well...

CAVUTO: John McCain's the nominee?

PAUL: Well, yes, he has the votes, so it's — in that way, it is, but it's not over until it's over. And maybe there are still a few conservatives out there that would like to vote for somebody who believes in limited government, and the Constitution, and less taxes, a different foreign policy.

And we're still getting large crowds out. I was out in Indiana last night, in Fort Wayne, and we had 1,200, 1,400 young people show up.


CAVUTO: But if you lose — and it looks like John McCain wins, you have got John McCain, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton. Of those three, would you support John McCain?

PAUL: No, I wouldn't be able to do that...

CAVUTO: Really?

PAUL: ... unless he, you know, changed his views, because...

CAVUTO: So, you would support...


CAVUTO: I'm sorry, sir.

You would support Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton over John McCain?

PAUL: No, not necessarily, because I don't think they're any better, either. Their rhetoric is slightly better, but I don't think I could trust them.

CAVUTO: So, what would you do? What would you do?

PAUL: I would have to think about alternatives.

And maybe — maybe John McCain will have an epiphany and say, "Well, I agree with Ron Paul and I want to get rid of the Federal Reserve, the income tax, and bring our troops home, and make our country prosperous again."

CAVUTO: Well, he's not going to do that. He's not going to do that.

PAUL: No, no, I have been encouraging him.

And, I mean, there's a lot of Republicans who believe we should have a change in policy.


PAUL: And I'm appealing to them.

CAVUTO: Interesting.

All right, Congressman, thank you very much.

PAUL: Thank you.

CAVUTO: All right.

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