DES MOINES, Iowa - Latest polls show Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, could come in second in Iowa. Of all the candidates, Paul's proposals would be some of the most radical change modern America has seen. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley spoke with him Tuesday about how he would govern.
Pelley asked Paul how he would have handled the financial crisis.
A transcript of their conversation is below.
Rep. Ron Paul: The most important thing that should've been done is no bailouts. Absolutely no bailouts. The worst thing that could have happened is what we did.
Scott Pelley: There are many people who believe that if the Federal Reserve hadn't acted and the government hadn't acted, instead of a terrible recession, we would've had the Great Depression II.
Paul: It would've been for the big guys that made all the money, yeah, they would've gotten a depression, but the depression ended up with the people.
Pelley: How do you create jobs in this country?
Paul: You just get the government out of the way and produce an environment where business people would invest again. This is why I proposed a $1 trillion cut.
That's a $1 trillion cut in the federal budget. Paul proposes the trillion would come from eliminating federal departments such as Energy and Commerce. But half of it, $500 billion, would come from cuts in the Departments of Defense and State.
Paul opposes military entanglements. When asked if it would be worth war to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon he said we should do what we can.
Pelley: When you say do what we can, does that include using military force to prevent a nuclear weapon in Iran?
Paul: No, absolutely not. I mean, we were able to contain the Soviets and they had 30,000. What I worry about is people who shoot from the hip and don't think through things and start another war. Just think of how we got into Iraq.
Pelley: And what is our role in Afghanistan?
Paul: We don't have a legitimate reason to be in Afghanistan. Ten years is too long.
Pelley: You would immediately withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan?
Paul: Sure. Sure. We've wasted ten years, and too many lives and too much money. ... the whole thing just doesn't make any sense ... that's what the American people are so tired of.
Pelley: You advocate the end of all foreign aid.
Paul: Sure. Except the voluntary kind. Most people vote for foreign aid because they think they're going to help poor people in another country. It really doesn't happen that way. It props up dictators is what happens.
Pauls said that because of his foreign policy, some of his opponents have described him as a dangerous man.
Paul: Well, that's how desperate they are.
Pelley: What do you think when you hear yourself described as a dangerous man?
Paul: I laugh at 'em. I laugh at 'em. That, you know, if you defend individual liberty, if you defend sound money, balanced budget, the Constitution, and a foreign policy that's sensible, 'oh, he's a dangerous man.'
You know what is a danger is somebody liable to go over and start a war against Iran with no clear intent. That is indeed a real danger.