Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul announced on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Monday that he is creating an exploratory committee for a presidential run, a key step that likely indicates the unpredictable libertarian with diehard followers will run for president against President Obama in 2012.
“We’re gonna announce that I’m going to start an exploratory committee,” Paul said about an event planned in Iowa for Tuesday, “that might lead to the next decision. Depends on what kind of reception I get on your show tonight. You know, if I get booed, or something, I’ll think, ‘well maybe I shouldn’t do it.’”
In the interview, Paul showed both why his supporters on the right love him and why he could face major hurdles as a candidate in the general election, voicing agreement with a plan to end popular entitlement spending programs.
“Do you think the country would be ready to say, ‘Ok, we’re gonna give up Social Security and Medicare and all these other things?’ Because I believe you would support that,” Hannity asked.
“Yeah, we would. I don’t think anybody could get that through, because I think we’ll have an economic collapse. And then we’ll have to start over again. That’s a bigger story,” Paul replied.
Paul also said Republicans should have fought harder to cut spending on the recently enacted continuing resolution spending bill, agreeing with Hannity that the GOP should have shut the government down.
“I’m with you on that….I agree with you, I think it should close down. It should have closed down a long time ago. But I thought it should have closed down 15 or 20 years ago, and change our ways,” Paul said.
And he broke with his son Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, on what President Obama must concede in terms of spending cuts for Republicans to raise the debt ceiling in the coming weeks.
“Your son Rand says a balanced budget amendment would do it for him,” Hannity said.
“Yeah, and I guess I probably have a little disagreement on that. I would vote for that, but that wouldn’t make me satisfied to raise the debt. Because when are you gonna get the amendment passed? You have to pass it through the House and the Senate and pass it through those states in five or ten years from now? That’s what’s wrong with all those budget proposals, it does nothing until many years out,” Paul said.