Lawrence O'Donnell interview Rep. Ron Paul, and he was none too happy with Lawrence for asking him questions about his son's positions on term limits and Medicare. Paul’s son Rand, as we all know, is running for the Senate in Kentucky. During his debate with Jack Conway, Rand Paul said this.
PAUL: I think my greatest attribute is that I’ve never held office. I think we have too many people that go and stay for a career.
When O’Donnell asked Ron Paul what he had to teach Rand about the value of his twenty years and his seniority in the Congress, Paul hedged and said that O’Donnell’s staff had told him he would not be asked questions about other candidates and I assume, namely his son.
O’Donnell explained to him that if such an agreement was made, he was not made aware of it and Paul agreed to go ahead and discuss the topic. He countered O’Donnell by saying that even if the “Tea Party” supports term limits, he’s never discussed the issue with any of his supporters from that movement.
When O’Donnell asked him if that meant he did not support term limits, he said he did and had introduced and voted for legislation that would limit politicians' terms in office earlier in his career. He then tried turning that argument around to say that where candidates stand on issues is more important than how many terms they serve in office.
O’Donnell asked him why if he thought term limits were good he didn’t “self impose term limits on himself” and Paul basically admitted he’s switched his position on them and that the voters should be the ones that impose term limits.
O’Donnell then asked him about this statement by Jack Conway during the debate on Medicare.
CONWAY: Rand Paul is against all of these various programs; all of these agencies of the government. The one thing he said that he wouldn’t eliminate is the agency that pays to doctors Medicare because he ‘wants to make a comfortable living.” Well there’s the issue. You pay more. He gets more.
O’Donnell asks Ron Paul why he couldn’t get his son to do what he did and refuse to take Medicare patients “so he could avoid this conflict of interests, this hypocrisy of being against Medicare except when he can make money from it.”
Paul’s defense was to claim that his son’s quote was not accurate and that O’Donnell should check on that. After a lot of hemming and hawing and O’Donnell telling him that the quote was accurate, Paul resorted to saying his son had been taken out of context.
These Libertarians are always long on platitudes and short on real answers when they get forced to defend their "ideals" in terms of real world situations and what some of their ideas would actually mean for everyday Americans if they were actually enacted.
In the later part of the interview, Lawrence O’Donnell asked Ron Paul about his statement that “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not improve race relations or enhance freedom.” Ron Paul did his best to try to revise history and pretend that Martin Luther King Jr. was a libertarian and not a liberal.
Given the Pauls' history with racism and links to white supremacy, I'd say Lawrence O'Donnell took it pretty easy on him.
It was pretty obvious after this exchange that we won't see Ron Paul coming back on Lawrence O'Donnell's show again any time soon. Here's the last part of the interview.