This morning on radio, Glenn spoke with Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky. How does he think libertarians will influence the race? And does he think Republicans are being underestimated in the polls? Check out the full interview from radio in the clip above.
Full transcript of the interview is below:
GLENN: We want to talk to Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky. I’ve heard a lot of people, pollsters, generally say that there are a lot of people that are sitting this one out that are libertarian and they’re saying I’m not going to do it because neither of these guys are my guy. I understand that. Neither of these guys were are my guy, either, but I found enough in somebody that I can support because we are at a critical juncture with our country. And you’ve got to make a choice. You can’t just say let it spiral out of control. That’s ‑‑ that is the act of a mad man.
We have Senator Rand Paul on to talk a little bit about this and specifically to Missouri because if I understand right, there’s a guy running in Missouri who’s like been in and out of jail and is running as a libertarian and really not a good choice. Hello, Rand, how are you, sir?
RAND PAUL: The way I look at it is if you want the perfect candidate, the candidate that agrees with you 100% of the time, the only one is if you run yourself. So if you’re not actually running, you have to make a little bit of compromise with who you’re going to support.
RAND PAUL: When I look at, you know, the difference between Romney and Obama, it’s a stark difference, and neither one of them are libertarian but I would say on economic freedom and pro business attitude, smaller government, it’s night and day that Romney would really support smaller government, particularly in the economic freedoms. So I find it not really that difficult of a choice.
But you’re right, and I’ve had promise Democrats come up to me and say that they guarantee a libertarian runs in every race, every year because they see them as a spoiler. Right now the Democrats have actually plowed $500,000 into a libertarian running for Senate in Montana. It’s also happening in Missouri. So the Democrats are actually funding libertarian candidates because they see it as a way to get two or three points in a close election.
GLENN: I will tell you that part of me says good, we’re using their money to further libertarian causes, but they would never ‑‑ if there was close ‑‑ if it was close and that libertarian was ever going to have power, they wouldn’t like it that much. So they wouldn’t fund that one.
RAND PAUL: The problem is we’ve been ‑‑ for 40 years the libertarians have been trying to form a party and try to get more than 1 or 2% of the vote, but it hasn’t happened. Some of it’s because there are legal impediments, some of it’s because they don’t get in the debates. But some of it is that I don’t think we’ll get a third party unless there were some sort of chaotic situation. You know, we got the Republican Party when slavery was a big issue. We don’t have an issue that really rises to that level probably. So ‑‑
GLENN: May I give you the scenario and see what ‑‑ how likely you think this is: I think the one that will create the Libertarian Party or a new party and destroy the Republican Party is if they get control ‑‑ if the Republicans get control of the House and the Senate and the White House and then they, in two years, they don’t repeal ObamaCare, they don’t roll things back, they aren’t serious about cutting. They go into the Karl Rove style Republican, I really, truly believe ‑‑ I know I will never pull the lever of a Republican again if they betray us this time.
RAND PAUL: Well, and I think a lot of people remember the last time we controlled all three branches and they were disappointed by that. And you do lose a certain percentage of people. They either quit voting or they go and vote libertarian just to protest and so you do have to show that we honestly will do the right thing. I also think time is running short that we can’t continue to be big government Republicans in adding new programs because really the debt threatens us all.
GLENN: Tell me about the guy who’s running in Missouri. Do you know anything about him?
RAND PAUL: I don’t know much about him but, you know, I’ve spent some money trying to get people know that Todd Akin is a small government guy, he’s been one of the most conservative, most frugal. And also really to tell you the truth when we have Republicans who lack spine, who are afraid to cut spending, I think if he’s elected in the Senate, he will cut spending.
GLENN: That is really good news. How do you feel today going into things?
RAND PAUL: I think the polls still underestimate Republican strength. I think the polls are still taking into account 2008 too much and ignoring 2010. 2010 was an enormous election. The TEA Party movement I think is the biggest movement in the last 40 years in American politics, and I think it’s still heading in that direction. I don’t think we went to 2010 and now we’re headed back to 2008. I just can’t believe that ‑‑ I think the polls are going to underestimate. So part of me sees like Dick Morris’ predictions or George Will’s prediction with Romney getting 300 votes ‑‑ 300 electoral votes or more as being possible. Because I think really the momentum and the enthusiasm is still with us.
GLENN: I ‑‑ you know what? For exactly the same reason I’ve been saying 321. That Romney’s going to walk away with 321. Because I think this is 2010. Aren’t you a 2010 baby?
RAND PAUL: Yeah, and I still think so. I still hear the same thing when I talk to people. People are worried. People are concerned that our government’s not paying attention to the Constitution. But they’re also harkening to the dangers of the debt. And I think people realize it. And everywhere I go, I hear the same sort of rhetoric and concern I heard in 2010.
GLENN: So ‑‑
RAND PAUL: I don’t think it’s changed.
GLENN: When you were ‑‑
RAND PAUL: I don’t think we’re going back to 2008.
GLENN: When you were running, wasn’t the press saying the same thing about 2010? They were saying ‑‑ they were dismissing it, the TEA Party’s extremist, it’s not going to play a role, it’s really kind of over, yada, yada. They were dismissing all of these things, were they not?
RAND PAUL: It’s the same rhetoric. And I would say over and over again what is extreme is a trillion dollar deficit each year. What’s extreme is $16 trillion in debt. You know, believing in a balanced budget, for goodness sakes, is not an extreme position.
GLENN: Right. The ‑‑ I’m concerned, let’s just project, let’s ‑‑ Glenn Beck is declaring now Mitt Romney the winner. So let’s project Mitt Romney the winner and let’s fast‑forward 24 hours from now. I believe that you will see John Boehner and the Karl Rove crew all kind of getting together and saying the TEA Party is extremist, the social conservatives, are religious conservatives, they had nothing to do with this; this is a Republican thing and if you want to win, you’re going to have to reach across the aisle to those reasonable Democrats and you’re going to have the John McCain, Lindsey Graham, John Boehner kind of takeover. And if we don’t stand starting tomorrow and put them on notice, we are not going anywhere. You’re going to do these things. They control everybody that we’ve brought in. Agree or disagree?
RAND PAUL: And letting them know and putting them on notice that if they need one vote to pass the budget, they are going to need to work to get my vote because I’m not voting for a Republican budget that doesn’t balance in a reasonable time. To me a reasonable time is five, maybe at the longest eight years. But I’m not voting for any Republican budget that says, oh, in three decades we may value. Because who knows who will even be alive then, who will be elected. We have no control over congresses two decades from now. So unless we have a plan that looks like it would be implemented really within one or two Romney terms, I’m not voting for it. And it’s going to have to eliminate some of government. It’s not going to just slow the growth of government. So they’re going to have to work to get my vote. It’s typically been a “let’s work to get the liberal Republicans’ votes.” I’m going to make them work to get the conservative Republican votes.
RAND PAUL: And we’re going to get a nucleus of House members and Senate members who say it’s going to have to be a budget that balances or we’re not voting for it, even if it’s a Republican budget.
GLENN: Rand, I have to tell you you’ll have the support of this program and our network and also I think majority, vast majority of our listeners because people are sick and tired of hearing something that’s going to happen in ten years. It’s not going to happen in ten years, and I don’t want a five‑year budget where it’s all loaded in the fifth year. If you’re going to do it, it’s balanced in five years, good. We take the pain every single year. Not load it in the fifth year because who those who’s going to be in office in the fifth year.
RAND PAUL: And I think it’s what people fail to realize about the TEA Party movement. I’ve been saying over and over again it’s equal parts chastisement to both parties. We tend to vote more Republican than the TEA Party does but it’s not that they’re happy with all Republicans. They want Republicans to balance the budget. They don’t want Republicans just because their name is Republican. They want small, limited constitutional government with these budgets. And they will ‑‑ I think they will hold Republicans accountable as well.
GLENN: Oh, I know they will. I know they will. Rand, thank you very much. I appreciate your time and appreciate all the hard work you’re doing in Washington. I think assuming Romney wins tomorrow, the hard work has just begun. If you would assume that Obama wins tomorrow, may I recommend moving to Texas.
RAND PAUL: Thanks a lot, Glenn.
GLENN: All right. Bye‑bye.
RAND PAUL: See ya.