What started out as a light-hearted question toward Mitt Romney, suddenly turned into a contentious exchange between Rick Santorum and Ron Paul.
SANTORUM: Both of those things were supported by the National Rifle Association. I worked with them to craft a bill. This was during the Clinton administration, where I voted against the gun ban, voted against the assault weapons ban, voted — voted 100 percent with the NRA. And this was a piece of legislation that was crafted that they endorsed, they supported, and worked with me to make sure that we could — we’d not have something far worse pass.
SANTORUM (cont): And so sometimes you have to pass something that can get enough votes to be able to satisfy folks that they won’t pass something that’s much worse. And so that’s what you have to do to make sure that rights aren’t taken away.
I’ve been a strong — again, lifetime A-plus record with the NRA, worked with them. They came to me repeatedly when I was in the Senate to help them and — and — and sponsor legislation and work toward making sure in ensuring gun rights.
Contrast that with Congressman Paul. And one of the most important things that we did in — in — in protecting the Second Amendment — and I provided a leadership role on it — was the gun manufacturers’ liability bill. There were a lot of lawyers out there who were trying to sue gun manufacturers and hold them liable for anybody who was harmed as a result of the gun properly functioning.
And we — we went forward and passed, with the NRA’s backing, a bill that put a ban on those types of lawsuits. If that ban had not been passed, if that gun manufacturer’s liability bill, removing them from liability from that, had that not been passed, there would have been no gun industry in this country and there would have de facto been no Second Amendment right.
Congressman Paul voted against that bill. And — and that’s a very big difference between someone who actually works with the gun — Second Amendment groups for — for legislation that can protect that right and someone who says they’re for Second Amendment, has attacked me on my Second Amendment issues, which you just referred to, and here’s a man that would have wiped out the Second Amendment by — if his vote would have been — carried the day.
BAIER: Congressman Paul?
PAUL: Hardly would that wipe out the Second Amendment. But the jurisdiction is obviously with the state. Even when tort law is involved with medical malpractice, which is a real problem, now, our governor worked on and our state has done a little bit on medical liability. I think that’s the way it should be handled.
You don’t have — you don’t have national tort law. That’s not part of the process. That should be at the state level. So to argue the case that that does away with the Second Amendment, when I’m the one that offers all — all the legislation to repeal the gun bans that have been going on (inaudible) everything else.
I mean, I’ve introduced legislation like that. So that’s a bit — a bit of an overstretch to — to say that I’ve done away with the Second Amendment.
SANTORUM: No, I need to respond to that, because the fact is, if we did not have a national liability bill, then people would have been able to go to states like, say, Massachusetts or New York and sue gun manufacturers where they would not pass a gun liability bill. So unless you have a national standard to protect guns — manufacturers of guns, you would create the opportunity for the elimination of guns being manufactured in this country and de facto elimination of the right to bear arms.
PAUL: Well, this is the way — this is the way our Constitution disappears. It’s nibbled away. You say, well, I can give up on this, and therefore, I’ll give that, and so eventually there’s nothing left. But, no, tort law should be a state function, not a federal function.
Paul makes a nifty shift of the goalposts and in doing so, exposes his they type of hypocrisy and inconsistencies which make him just as dangerous to be sitting in the White House as its current occupant.
The shift happens when Paul compares medical tort reform to the assault by lawsuits against gun manufacturers.
The Second Amendment states:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Paul has repeatedly claimed he is the only person willing to do only what is in the Constitution. So why is he willing to allow lawsuits that would infringe on the right to bear arms?
The government has the duty and responsibility to protect the rights of citizens. In this case, Ron Paul is walking away from that protection and trying to compare it to “medical malpractice.”
The difference is, of course, “medical malpractice” is not in the Constitution. The right to bear arms is.
This is simply Ron Paul being Ron Paul. He is unaccountable for his answers and when the position he takes earlier in the hour is contrary to the position he takes later, his followers eat it up because he is saying what they want to hear, rather than remaining on a principle.
Paul’s two face-ness is not only limited to the Second Amendment. He has constantly come out against earmarks, but is only one of four Republicans to make earmark requests in Fiscal Year 2011. The list includes:
$8 million from federal taxpayers for Recreational Fishing Piers.
$2.5 million from taxpayers for “new benches, trash receptacles, bike racks, decorative street lighting.”
$2.5 million from taxpayers to modify medians and sidewalks for an “Economically Disadvantaged” area.
$2.5 million from federal taxpayers for a “Revelation Missionary Baptist Community Outreach Center.”
$38 million in multiple requests for literacy programs to “encourage parents to read aloud to their children.”
$18 million from federal taxpayers for a Commuter Rail Preliminary Engineering Phase (light rail).
$4 million from federal taxpayers for the “Trails and Sidewalks Connectivity Initiative.”
$11 million from federal taxpayers for a “Community-Based Job Training Program.”
$2 million from federal taxpayers for a “Clean Energy” pilot project.
$5 million from federal taxpayers in order to build a parking garage.
$1.2 million for a “Low-income working families Day Care Program”
$4.5 million from federal taxpayers for a new Youth Fair facility.
Ron Paul defends this by saying he never votes for the earmarks he proposes which may be the dumbest excuse we have ever heard until you get to the one where he says that if Congress didn’t spend the money, the President would.
(And here we thought the Congress made approved budgets, not the Executive branch.)
The earmark issue gets very strange when one examines Paul’s position of being against earmarks only to propose them. To propose them only to vote against them. To vote against them and then claim more earmarks – not fewer – are needed.
You just never know what Paul is going to say or back with any consistency. He says he is against illegal immigration, but voted against the establishment of a fence along the border. Paul says he believes the Border Patrol can handle the border and immigration problem but seems to forget the Border Patrol is not enumerated within the Constitution.
Paul says he is against anything that is not in the Constitution so where and how does the Border Patrol fit into his world?
Gun rights, the Border Patrol, and earmarks are just a few of the two-faced positions of Ron Paul.
Paul says something for everyone. Much like Barack Obama, he simply promises what people want to hear and then moves on hoping the so called “intelligent” people that support him won’t notice.
Luckily, people are noticing the two faces of Paul and he is losing the support of true conservatives and Republicans.
It looks like the people aren’t as dumb as Ron Paul thinks.
UPDATE: When we wrote this article the night of the debate, the only transcript we could find was the one at a site called The Hill Buzz. At the time, we knew the transcript was not perfect as the person doing it was doing it live, which is a very difficult thing to do.
We have since found a more accurate transcript at FoxNews, and have inserted the corrected text into the post above.