"Face the Nation" transcript: March 4, 2012
So when you run into somebody, it gets confusing. You say, well, he cares a whole lot about the issues, he can't care about his power. No, I don't care about power. But I care about influence, and the best way you can influence a nation and move a nation is by translating this into political action that is successful. So, believe me, the people who come and support me are very, very determined to win.
SCHIEFFER: Were you a little bit surprised last week when Rick Santorum said he thought you were just in this because you were in cahoots with Mitt Romney? And some have suggested that what you're trying to do here is create a situation where Romney might ask your son, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, to be his running mate, what did you make of that?
PAUL: Well, it sounds like he's trying to concoct a conspiracy. I didn't know he was into the conspiracy business. No, I think that's all created. But I think the media has fed on that, because, you know, they keep saying, you know, is there a deal, is there a deal? Obviously not. He wouldn't do it, I wouldn't do it.
And I think that's just Santorum trying to talk about something and he didn't have any issues to attack me on, so he had to go after he on something as silly as that.
SCHIEFFER: This whole thing that people down here in the Lower 48 are talking about this morning, this fact that Rush Limbaugh apologized for calling the young woman from Georgetown who testified before Congress a prostitute because she testified in favor of government health care plans paying for birth control pills.
He has apologized. Number one, what do you think about the fact that he apologized? And number two, does it kind of bother you when the campaign kind of wanders off into these social issues?
PAUL: Well, yes, but I don't consider that strictly a social issue. Yes, I think he should have apologized. I had said he used very crude language. And I think he gets over the top at times. But it's in his best interest. That's why he did it. I don't think he's very apologetic. He's doing it because some people were taking their advertisements off his program. It was his bottom line that he was concerned about.
Now I don't see this -- I think when Santorum talks about birth control, he doesn't believe people should have birth control. He gets off into social issues. I, as an OB doctor, certainly endorse the whole idea of birth control.
But this is something different. This is philosophically and politically important because doesn't the government have a mandate to tell insurance what to give? So they're saying that insurance companies should give everybody free birth control pills.
That strikes me as rather odd. What does that mean? That means that somebody who doesn't need birth control pills and they find that using a birth control pill is an offense to them, they have to pay for the birth control pills to give somebody free birth control pills to -- to be used.
I don't see -- I don't see how anybody should accept that. I mean, when I first started buying medical insurance, you had a choice of whether you should have OB care or not.
Why should somebody who's not going to have a baby be forced to pay for the OB care of a younger person?
That's total destruction of the marketplace. It's this mandate; it's this obsession, you know, with Obama on mandating. Of course the Republicans aren't a whole lot better on this, either, but the market deals with these problems differently. There would never be a discussion like this, who is going to be forced to pay for birth control pills.
And since it's so closely related to abortion, it's the same principle. Why should we force people who are strongly right-to-life to pay money for -- you know, for doing abortion? And Planned Parenthood does that. And of course it's ironic that Santorum actually funded Planned Parenthood and he pretends to be the champion of social values. That, to me, is rather bizarre. And that's why I call him a fake conservative.
SCHIEFFER: All right. All right. Well, Congressman, it's always good to talk to you. And thanks again for getting up so early.
We'll be back in a minute.
SCHIEFFER: Finally today, I've never liked it when old people remind us things were better in their day. But here I go.
When I came to Washington back in 1969, things were a mess. The country was divided over Vietnam and a wave of violence had taken the lives of two Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jr. Yet even in those difficult days, the government still functioned and Congress was a much better place. It still passed significant legislation.
The Senate was a place of giants and a blend of all persuasions. Democrat John Stennis of Mississippi was a conservative, Republican Jake Javits of New York a liberal. Washington's "Scoop" Jackson was a hardliner on defense and a liberal on social issues. Democrat Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota was a liberal's liberal and Republican Barry Goldwater was a hardcore conservative.
They came and they went, but none of them left for the reasons given last week by Olympia Snowe, the moderate Maine senator, who said in so many words she was just tired of fooling with it, that the modern Senate with its "my way or the highway" mentality was no longer the place to accomplish anything.
Snowe is not the first to feel that way lately, just the first to say it aloud. The Senate will be the worse for her absence, but it will survive.
But what does it say about the state of our government and politics when serious people conclude that serving in the United States Senate is no longer worth their time and effort? That's the part that should worry the rest of us. Back in a minute.
SCHIEFFER: Well, that's it for us today. Be sure to stay with CBS News for all the latest on the storm damage. Plus, be sure to join us Tuesday for our special Super Tuesday coverage. We'll start with "CBS This Morning," right on through with Scott Pelley and the "Evening News" and special reports throughout the evening as the night unfolds.
Thanks for watching "Face the Nation." We'll see you right here next week.
- AP president blasts "unconstitutional" phone records probe
- Adviser on White House scandals: "Partisan fishing expeditions" won't distract Obama
- May 19: Pfeiffer, Cornyn, Chaffetz & Pruitt
- Bob Schieffer on "dumb and dumber" in Washington
- Face the facts: A fact check on gas prices
- Gates knocks "cartoonish" Benghazi criticism
- Official: We knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack "from the get-go"
- Drones have not "made us any safer," argues Amnesty leader
- Schieffer: "Welcome to dumb and dumber" in Washington
- Face the Nation transcripts May 19, 2013: Pfeiffer, Cornyn, Chaffetz & Pruitt
- Maya Angelou recalls her childhood on Mother's Day
- Face the Nation: Local Listings
- Watergate: "A scandal that brought down the president"
- About Us
- Roberts switched views to uphold health care law