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Ron Paul: I wouldn't have killed bin Laden

Ron Paul
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), who is poised to launch his presidential campaign tomorrow, said this week he would not have authorized the mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, arguing that killing bin Laden was unnecessary and that he has "respect for the rule of law."

In a radio interview with WHO Newsradio 1040, Paul told radio host Simon Conway that, had he been president, he would have pursued an alternate strategy.

"I think things would be done somewhat differently," Paul said, of how he would have handled the situation, citing "respect for the rule of law and world law and international law."

Paul says that instead of sneaking into Pakistan and killing bin Laden, he would have cooperated with the Pakistani government and put the al Qaeda leader on trial - a strategy, he argues, that has worked for the United States in the past.

"I would suggest ...the way they got Khalid [Sheikh] Mohammed," Paul told Conway. "We went and cooperated with Pakistan. They arrested him, actually, and turned him over to us, and he's been in prison."

"What's wrong with that?" Paul asked. "Why can't we work with the government?"

A Paul source told CBS News on Friday that the longtime Texas lawmaker will formally launch his presidential campaign Friday morning in Exeter, New Hampshire. Paul is known for his unapologetic Libertarian views - which have over the years earned him a passionate, if limited, following -- and has repeatedly demonstrated that he is not afraid to stand by a controversial argument.