Jesse Watters Confronts Ron Paul About Avoiding 'The Factor'

'Factor' producer questions the GOP presidential candidate about Iran and gold since he won't come on the show


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 7, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Watters' World" segment tonight: Congressman Ron Paul from Texas continues his quest to be president even though most polls have him around 10 percent. On his website, Mr. Paul was complaining that the media was ignoring him. We don't like to see that. Mr. Paul deserves some recognition, so we invited him on "The Factor." Unfortunately, he turned us down. So we sent producer Jesse Watters to see him in New Hampshire.


JESSE WATTERS, "FACTOR" PRODUCER: Jesse Watters with Fox News. How are you?

PAUL: I'm good. How are you?

WATTERS: Just a few questions for you.


WATTERS: Why wouldn't you come on "The O'Reilly Factor"? We were all pretty surprised. It's pretty good exposure.

PAUL: You know, I never remember getting a precise invitation other than I -- the only thing I heard was he was sort of ranting on the TV and I -- I probably had other things to do and maybe better things. Who knows?

WATTERS: Well, you're saying that the media was ignoring you and, you know, it's a pretty big show. O'Reilly was pretty disappointed because he remembered you guys had quite a spark the last time.

PAUL: Well, he isn't exactly a journalist. If he had been more journalistic I might have considered it. But he -- he doesn't come across as being journalistic.

WATTERS: Well, I'll be the journalist. Bill sent me. I know I'm a little shorter than he is, so this is the no spin zone. And I just have a few questions for you.


WATTERS: Are you OK with Iran developing a nuclear weapon?

PAUL: All they're saying is, aren't we entitled to one? As a matter of fact, there is no evidence for sure that they have because so far the evidence whether our -- with our CIA or the United Nations, they do not have concrete evidence that they are on the verge of having a nuclear weapon.

WATTERS: So if you were president, you wouldn't do anything to stop Iran from nuking up?

PAUL: Well, what my policies would do would probably give them less incentive. I would probably talk to them. I'd probably remove the blockade and not threaten them. They -- they want weapons -- see, you know, the Libyans had a nuclear weapon program and we talked them out of it. So once they got rid of their nuclear program, what did we do? We went in there and did and you know took them out. So I would say that if -- if -- if we could see a little bit how other people think, you know, see -- treat people like we might want to be treated, so, no, I am not -- I don't think it would be the end of the world.

WATTERS: And you're a big gold guy. You talk about gold a lot. Bill thinks this is fascinating, but it's a little confusing. What do you want to do with gold?

PAUL: Well, I want to just obey the Constitution. The Constitution says only gold and silver can be legal tender. And Bill has a little problem with economic understanding. Have you noticed that? He doesn't pronounce, you know, the words quite correctly, and he admits it that he doesn't know much about it.

WATTERS: Well, enlighten us. What is your idea of what we should do with gold? Is it all in Fort Knox? Should we start digging it up?

PAUL: I just said we should obey the Constitution and make gold and silver legal tender. Why doesn't he care or anybody care about the Constitution? Right now, nobody legalized paper money. Where did that come from? They just ignore it. They talk about the Constitution when it pleases them. But when it doesn't please them, like going to war without a declaration. Go bomb -- go bomb Iran, they might get a nuclear weapon. Well, is there a declaration of war? Why is it that some people, you know, think we should obey the Constitution sometimes and not other times.

WATTERS: So that wasn't so bad. You didn't want to explain that to O'Reilly?

PAUL: Well, he wouldn't have understood it.

WATTERS: Thank you very much.


O'REILLY: All right. Here now is Jesse Watters. Now, I have read the Constitution, and it doesn't say anything about gold and silver. What is he talking about?

WATTERS: No, he is misreading the Constitution. And this theory of his has been around for quite some time. It's just not taken very seriously in most circles. Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution says Congress has the ability to coin money and regulate the currency and doesn't say anything about gold or silver.

O'REILLY: Gold or silver, right.

WATTERS: And what I think he is saying is that Article 10 does not allow the states to print money. And that's just because you don't want to have Massachusetts having one currency and New York having another.

O'REILLY: Right.

WATTERS: That's chaos.

O'REILLY: Right.

WATTERS: And he's misinterpreting that.

O'REILLY: OK. And also there is a part of that in the states thing that says if they are going to have any coinage at all that has to be simpatico with the United States, they have to use gold or silver. They can't use, you know, mutton to do that.

WATTERS: Right. Right.

O'REILLY: All right, so, I know that according to him I don't understand economics but I think I understand the Constitution a little bit because in 1971 we went off the gold standard under President Nixon into the Federal Reserve notes because we were a worldwide currency. And remember, everybody, before that, you could redeem your money for gold and silver. And governments simply couldn't do it, couldn't do it now.

So what are we to think of Ron Paul? I mean, is he a loon? I mean, what are we to think of him when he -- when he comes up with this kind of stuff? I don't really know.

WATTERS: Well, he has a very large following. And I expected him to be a little nicer to you. But he was very curmudgeony.

O'REILLY: Right, he doesn't like me.

WATTERS: No. He doesn't like you and then afterwards he said to me, you know, Bill wouldn't let me talk but you would, Jesse. So thank you.

O'REILLY: Well, you know, you are a much nicer guy than I am. But see, when he was on here he kind of wandered into "Lawrence of Arabia." And then, you know, it's only an hour show. If we had a telethon we might be able to do it. No, I'm not being disrespectful to Mr. Paul. He is entitled to his opinion. Dr. Paul, by the way. He's a medical doctor. But I do think he's pretty far out there.

All right. Jesse, good work, as always. It's not Snooki, it wasn't "Jersey Shore," but you did you a good job. We appreciate it.

WATTERS: No, upgrade.

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