Rep. Ron Paul, who's candidacy for president has revolved around the elimination of large amounts of government spending, admitted Sunday he sponsored dozens of federal earmarks for his Congressional district in Texas.
On Meet The Press, Paul explained while he sponsored the earmarks, he did not ultimately vote for them.
Moderator Tim Russert cited an October Houston Chronicle story that reported Paul's district draws a substantial amount of federal flood insurance payments. The Wall Street Journal noted 65 earmark-targeted projects that Paul inserted into bills.
"I've never voted for an earmark in my life," Paul responded to Russert. "I put them in the bill because I represent people who are asking for some of their money back," he said.
Basically, Paul made the case that he is against the system, but won't penalize his own constituents for that failed spending system. "It's like taking a tax credit, if you have a tax credit, I'm against the tax system but I take all my tax credits. I want to get all the money back for the people," Paul said. "That's like saying people shouldn't take their Social Security money," he said.
"The whole process is corrupt. I vote against everything. I vote against it, so I don't endorse the system," Paul said.
MORE FROM PAUL on MTP:
- He would abolish the I.R.S., eliminate the income tax and make up the TRILLION dollar loss by restoring a "sensible foreign policy." That includes bringing home troops from around the world, including Japan, Europe and Korea. "All empires end because the country goes bankrupt," he said. Foreign policy, he said, is the most reasonable place to start saving federal dollars.
- Paul has legislation and a constitutional amendment to say that children born here should not automatically be considered U.S. citizens. "Someone who illegally comes in this country as a drug dealer, is he under the jurisdiction, and their children deserve citizenship?."
- He believes all drugs should be decriminalized. If you want to regulate drugs, it should be at the state level, he said. The federal government should have no role, Paul argued. "Prescription drugs are a greater danger than hard drugs," Paul said.
- Paul said he has no intention to run as an independent candidate in 2008. "I have no intention to do that," he said. Russert responded, "No intention's a wiggle word." Paul: "I deserve one wiggle now and then Tim."