Conspiracy

Ron Paul on 9/11 and Eric Dondero

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Right after that Ron Paul interview session I followed Paul to ask about his encounter with 9/11 "Truth" campaigners and Eric Dondero's planned primary challenge.

Reason: What did you mean when you told the Scholars that "the [9/11] investigation is an investigation in which there were government cover-ups"?

Paul: I do think there were cover-ups, and I think it was mainly to cover up who was blamed, who's inept. See, they had the information. The FBI had an agent who was very much aware of the terrorists getting flight lessons but obviously not training to be pilots. He reported it 70 times or whatever and it was totally ignored. We were spending $40 billion a year on intelligence. It wasn't a lack of money or a lack of intelligence, it was a lack of the ability to put the intelligence together. Even the administration had been forewarned that something was coming, the CIA had been forewarned. So it was a cover up of who to blame. I see it more that way.

Reason: The position of the Student Scholars is that 9/11 was executed by the U.S. government. Do you agree or disagree with that?

Paul: I'd say there's no evidence of that.

Reason: So what did you mean when you told Student Scholars you'd be open to a new 9/11 investigation?

Paul: Well, I think the more we know about what we went on is good. But I don't think there's any evidence of [an inside job] and I don't believe that. The blame goes to bad policy. And a lot of times bad policy is well-motivated. The people who believe in a one world government are well motivated, but they disagree with me.

Reason: Your former staffer Eric Dondero is challenging you for your House seat in 2008.

Paul: He's a disgruntled former employee who was fired.

Reason: But he says he's running because of your debate performance. So is this presidential campaign weakening your standing in your district?

Paul: Well, if it affects my standing in my district then I wouldn't be a very good candidate for the presidency. If these views are popular, and I think they're popular enough, then they should be popular in my home district. They've been hearing me saying this for a lot of years and I keep getting re-elected rather easily. I think politicians are always concerned about how they're doing in their district, but right now, if Eric Dondero is the only thing I have to worry about, then I don't have a lot to worry about.

Reason: What Dondero's said is that "there are essentially two Ron Pauls. There's the national liberal media (and libertarian blogosphere) Ron Paul. And then there's the South Texas good hometown doctor, red, white, and blue Ron Paul." And he's said you talk a good game about supporting veterans but they don't know your positions.

Paul: All one would have to do is go to the veterans part of my website. I win so many awards; we have so many people who call us from around the country because of the work we do for veterans. My biggest beef is that the veterans get shortchanged because of our war spending, and we end up with Walter Reed problems. So that statement makes zero sense.

There you go.

UPDATE: Ryan Sager posts part of a McCain conference call transcript where the senator's asked about Paul and trutherism. He's notably easier on Paul than he is on Romney, moving the McCain-Paul unity ticket from "unlikely" to "inevitable."