Unfortunately, Ron Paul isn’t running for President in 2016. But, we will always have these clips of Ron Paul’s debate performances to look back on with pride. If the 2016 debates turn out to be disappointing now that they’re in the hands of the GOP we’ll probably dig up a lot more of these gems. This one comes from the 2008 GOP Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
While it’s too bad Ron isn’t running it is a good thing that two of the clowns that Ron Paul schooled on that debate stage aren’t running. John McCain thankfully never ran for President again after his 2008 whipping and Mitt Romney is probably not going to run again after his 2012 repeat. At least libertarians can be thankful for that even if the third neo-con Mike Huckabee is running again.
It’s regrettable that Mike Huckabee didn’t stay in 2008 where his policies belong. Support for the Iraq War was still relatively high even then and more so within the Republican party. Ron Paul was an extreme outlier back then even though after five years of war the tide of public opinion was starting to turn. That change in popular approval was what gave him an opening into the Republican Presidential race and a great way to distinguish himself in a field of warmongers.
In this debate Ron Paul did just that. Mitt Romney and John McCain were squabbling over he-said-she-said nonsense and Ron Paul called them out on it. They were “arguing technicalities of a policy they both agree with”, i.e. the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Then Ron Paul pleaded “we should be debating foreign policy” and that’s when you really feel for him. He’s sitting on a stage with warmongering triplets arguing over political points instead of policy. The real debate needed to be over “whether we should have interventionism or non-interventionism”. That’s the debate that the American people deserved and the debate Ron Paul wanted to provide.
Ron Paul got the most applause when he cemented his argument by lamenting “the dollar is crashing and you’re talking about these technicalities?”. There were more important things for the candidates to be talking about and the crowd supported Ron Paul for making that point.
In his final statement Ron Paul declared “it’s time to debate foreign policy, and why we don’t follow the Constitution, and only go to war with a declaration of war”. That statement received even more applause than his previous one. It’s an example that Republicans should follow since they claim to love the Constitution so much. Hopefully, it’s also an argument that will be made again in this year’s Republican debates.