Ron Paul in 2011 Republican primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley California


On Budget & Economy: 1980s had huge deficits, despite Reagan's message

PERRY: You wrote a letter to Ronald Reagan and said I'm going to quit the party because of the things you believe in.

PAUL: I strongly supported Ronald Reagan. I was one of four members of Congress from Texas that supported Reagan in '76. And I supported him all along, and I supported all his issues and all his programs. But in the 1980s, we spent too much, we taxed too much, we built up our deficits, and it was a bad scene. Therefore, I support the message of Ronald Reagan. The message was great. But the consequence, we have to be honest with ourselves. It was not all that great. Huge deficits during the 1980s, and that is what my criticism was for, not for Ronald Reagan's message. His message is a great message.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

On Drugs: Our drug war is driving our immigration policy

We need to remove the incentive--easy road to citizenship. Nobody has mentioned the fact that they qualify for welfare benefits. The state of Texas shouldn't be forced to provide free health care and free education.

But there is a mess down there, and it's a big mess. And it's the drug war that's going on there. And our drug laws are driving this. So now we're killing thousands and thousands of people. That makes it much more complicated.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

On Energy & Oil: I can get you a gallon of gas for a silver dime

BACHMANN: [to Paul]: The day that Pres. Obama took office, gasoline was $1.79 a gallon. Let's have a goal of bringing it down.

Q: Everybody would like $2 gas, but is it realistic for a president to promise that?

PAUL: I do want to address the subject of $2 oil or gasoline, because I can do it much better than that. I can get you a gallon of gasoline for a dime. You can buy a gallon of gasoline today for a silver dime. A silver dime is worth $3.50. It's all about inflation and too many regulations.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

On Government Reform: I believe in market regulation, but not federal regulation

Q: You're known as the absolutist in the bunch, someone who has consistently opposed federal government from having any role that isn't explicitly laid out in the Constitution. So this makes people curious: Where do you draw the line? Does this include things like making cars safe, making medicine safe, air traffic control?

A: In theory, if you understood the free market in a free society, you don't need government to do that. We live in a society where we have been adapted to this, and you can't just drop it all at once, but you can transition away from it. On regulations, no, I don't believe in any of these federal regulations, but that doesn't mean I don't believe in regulations. The regulation of the marketplace takes care of it. So the marke would dictate it. You can't commit fraud. If you need detailed regulations, you can do it at the state level. But the federal government is not authorized to nitpick every little transaction. The way they use the interstate commerce clause is outrageous.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

On Government Reform: Everything government does is a mandate

Q: Do you advocate getting rid of the minimum wage? Would that create more jobs?

PAUL: Absolutely. And it would help the poor, the people who need a job. The minimum wage is a mandate. We're against mandates, so why should we have it? No, it would be very beneficial. But mandates, that's what the whole society is about. That's what we do all the time. That's what government does: mandate, mandate, mandate. And we talk so much about the ObamaCare mandate, which is very important, but what about Medicare? Isn't that a mandate? Everything we do is a mandate. So this is why you have to look at this at the cause of liberty. We don't need the government running our lives.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

On Government Reform: Don't use Executive Orders for controversial laws

Q: [to Paul]: Your campaign put out a statement accusing Gov. Perry of pushing for bailout money, supporting welfare for illegal immigrants, and trying to forcibly vaccinate 12-year-old girls against sexually transmitted diseases.?

PAUL: Forcing 12-year-old girls to take an inoculation to prevent STDs is not good medicine. It's not good social policy. But one of the worst parts about that was the way it was done. You know, the governorship in Texas traditionally is supposed to be a weak governorship. I didn't even know they could pass laws by writing an executive order. He did it with an executive order, passed it. The state was furious, and the legislature, overwhelmingly, 90%, repealed this. But I think it's the way it was passed, which was so bad. I think it's a bad piece of legislation. But I don't like the idea of executive orders. I, as president, will not use the executive order to write laws.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

On Government Reform: FEMA just conditioned people to build where they shouldn't

Q: Regarding FEMA: if you object to how it's run, your position is to remove it, take it away, abolish it. What happens in its absence?

PAUL: Well, what happened before 1979? We didn't have FEMA. FEMA just conditioned people to build where they shouldn't be building. We lose the market effect of that. But, yeah, my position is, we should have never had it. There's a much better way of doing it. I mean, this whole idea that the federal government can deal with weather and anything in the world, just got to throw a government there? FEMA's broke. They're $20 billion in debt. But I'm not for saying tomorrow close it down. A lot of people pay the insurance. I work real hard to make it work, and I did that in my district, too. But I'll tell you how we should do it. We're spending $20 billion a year for air conditioning in Afghanistan and Iraq. Cut that $20 billion out, bring in--take $10 off the debt, and put $10 into FEMA or whoever else needs it.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

On Health Care: Markets instead of lobbyists writing drug laws

Q: You say you'd leave regulation to the market. Would you then put it on the drug companies to say, "No, we're bringing this to market, trust us, it's a fantastic drug"?

A: Theoretically, it could be privatized, but who ends up doing the regulations on the drugs? They do as much harm as good. They don't take good care of us. Who gets--who gets to write the regulations? The bureaucrats write the regulations, but who writes the laws? The lobbyists have control, so lobbyists from the drug industry has control of writing the regulations, so you turn it over to the bureaucracy. But you would have private institutions that could become credible. And, I mean, do we need the federal government to tell us whether we buy a safe car? I say the consumers of America are smart enough to decide what kind of car they can buy and whether it's safe or not, and they don't need the federal government hounding them and putting so much regulations on that our car industry has gone overseas.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

On Health Care: Vaccinating 12-year-olds against HPV is bad medicine

Q: [to Paul]: Your campaign put out a statement accusing Gov. Perry of trying to forcibly vaccinate 12-year-old girls against sexually transmitted diseases?

PAUL: Just take the HPV [human papiloma virus]. Forcing 12-year-old girls to take an inoculatio to prevent this sexually transmitted disease, this is not good medicine, I do not believe. I think it's social misfit. It's not good social policy. And therefore, I think this is very bad to do this. But one of the worst parts about that was the way it was done. The governorship in Texas traditionally is supposed to be a weak governorship. I didn't even know they could pass laws by writing an executive order. He did it with an executive order, passed it. The state was furious, and the legislature, overwhelmingly, 90%, repealed this. But I think it's the way it was passed, which was so bad. I think it's a bad piece of legislation. But I don't like the idea of executive orders. I, as president, will not use the executive order to write laws.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

On Homeland Security: Abolish the TSA; let airlines establish security

Q: You want to demolish the TSA. What would exist in its place?

PAUL: The airlines that are responsible for carrying their cargo and their passengers. I mean, why should we assume that a bureaucracy can do better? And look at the monstrosity we have at the airports. These TSA agents are abusive. Sometimes they're accused of all kinds of sexual activities on the way they maul people at the airport. So the airlines could do that.

Q: I'll give them your best at LAX tonight.

PAUL: I would think the airlines should treat passengers as well as a company that hauls money around, and they protect their money. They have private guards. [The airlines] could do that. Just remember, 9/11 came about because there was too much government. Government was more or less in charge. They told the pilots they couldn't have guns, and they were told never to resist. They set up the stage for all this. So, no, private markets do a good job in protecting--much better than this bureaucracy called the TSA.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

On Immigration: ID cards and border fences are not the American way

The first choice--sending twelve to fifteen million illegals home--isn't going to happen and should not happen. Neither the determination or the ability to accomplish it exists. Besides, if each case is looked at separately, we would find ourselves splitting up families and deporting some who have lived here for decades, if not their entire life, and who never lived for any length of time in Mexico. The people who want big fences and guns, sure, we can secure the borders--a barbed-wire fence with machine guns, that would do the trick. I don't believe that's what America is all about. I just really don't.

We can enforce our law. If we had a healthy economy, this wouldn't be such a bad deal. People are worrying about jobs. But every time you think about this toughness on the border and I.D. cards and real ideas, think that it's a penalty against the American people, too.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

On War & Peace: Cut $20B in Green Zone air conditioning to force troops home

We're spending--believe it or not, this blew my mind when I read this--$20 billion a year for air conditioning in Afghanistan and Iraq in the tents over there and all the air conditioning. Cut that $20 billion out, bring in--take $10 billion off the debt, and put $10 billion into whoever else needs it. But I'll tell you what, if we did that and took the air conditioning out of the Green Zone, our troops would come home, and that would make me happy.
Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

On Welfare & Poverty: Welfare state isn't in the Constitution

Q: A long time ago, a fellow Texan was horrified to see young kids coming into the classroom hungry. The young student teacher later went on to be Pres. Lyndon Johnson. Providing nutrition at schools for children--is that a role of the federal government

PAUL: Well, I'm sure, when he did that, he did it with local government, and there's no rules against that. That'd be fine. But that doesn't imply that you want to endorse the entire welfare state. No; it isn't authorized in the Constitution for us to run a welfare state. And it doesn't work. All it's filled up with is mandates. But, yes, if there are poor people in Texas, we have a responsibility--I'd like to see it as voluntary as possible--but under our Constitution, our states have that right--if they feel the obligation, they have a perfect right to. This whole idea that there's something wrong with people who don't lavish out free stuff from the federal government somehow aren't compassionate enough. I resist those accusations.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library Sep 7, 2011

The above quotations are from 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library.
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