BILOXI, Mississippi — Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a 2012 presidential candidate and one of state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s big name endorsers over Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), told Breitbart News in a phone interview that he thinks the Washington, D.C., political establishment is “panicking” now that McDaniel may win his runoff on Tuesday.
“They’re panicking, I guess,” Paul said when asked about how the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), at the direction of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), raised more than $800,000 for Cochran in one night, while former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has pumped a quarter million into Mississippi on Cochran’s behalf.
“But I think it’s a sign of what’s happening and how desperate they are,” Paul said. “I don’t think the money does him any good, but I think what happens is when all these people come in like Bloomberg it makes the case for our side because Bloomberg has a tremendous political image.”
Paul added that it “seems like they [Cochran’s campaign] don’t even have good political judgment” by allowing the Bloomberg donation to happen. He points to when he ran for his first term in his second stint in the House after a 12-year break during which he practiced medicine again, and he noted that all the GOP establishment came in for his opponent.
“The more they came, the more I emphasized it,” he said. “Why do you need somebody from Washington, D.C., or out of state to tell you how to vote? So I turned it into a positive and the people resented it. The more the people came [from out of state], the more they resented it. I think that might be what’s happening over there. Why does somebody from New York City think they can tell Mississippi how to vote?”
Paul’s interview with Breitbart News focused on his endorsement of McDaniel and his views of the grassroots as it stands today in America–compared to when he first started fighting decades ago.
“The American people are sick and tired of what’s going on,” Paul said. “Nobody seems to be happy and everybody worries about Washington not getting along and why don’t the Republicans work with the Democrats. I think what the problem is that they’re in denial that we’re not able to do the things that we used to do when wealth was unlimited and we had economic growth and people wanted to come here to produce. Now people want to leave because of our tax code and we have nothing but debt and we’re not growing and our middle class is shrinking. But, they’re not willing to admit this so people get very unhappy.”
Paul said that “all they’re arguing over” among Republicans and Democrats in Washington is “whose special interests get the best deal.”
“Nixon once said ‘we’re all Keynesians now,'” Paul said. “‘We all believe in the same system of economics’ back in the early 1970s. He was absolutely right. The Republicans became Keynesians just like the Democrats. So now it’s changing because Keynesianism doesn’t work. The Fed doesn’t work.”
Paul said he thinks McDaniel is someone who will shake up business as usual in Washington–and that he’s proven himself as a solid candidate on the campaign trail.
“I think people want to hear the truth,” Paul said. “They want the person to stick to their guns. I’ve had so many people over the many years tell me, ‘Well I don’t know Ron, I don’t agree with you on this or that, but I know you’re going to do exactly what you say you’re going to do and I can believe what you say.’ That goes a long way. I think that’s what you need in a candidate: Conviction that they actually believe in something.”
Paul added that the old adage for big government Republicans like Cochran–that they can bring money back to their states, a central theme of Cochran’s campaign–doesn’t work anymore because people can see right through the spin.
“It used to be that all you had to say was ‘I can bring the bacon home. I can deliver the goods. I’ve been there and I have clout and I’m important,'” Paul said. “And the Chamber of Commerce would get behind them, and they’d get the money and the endorsement and nobody cared. But the conditions have changed–they’re so different today. People are suffering. The jobs aren’t there, there’s too much debt and they’re just tired of hearing the cliches and they’re not influenced by these promises because they know the government is bankrupt.”
Paul said career politicians’ “days have passed.”
“The people are moving on,” Paul said. “Really, in my own mind, the only thing up for discussion is what are we going to replace it with? The failure is there. The question is are we going to resort to believing in a dictatorship type of government or more authoritarianism, more NSA and more control and all that? Or are we going to say it’s time to reassert ourselves because we believe in personal liberty and free markets.”
Paul said he thinks this election is about whether voters want more of the status quo in Washington–in which case they’d pick Cochran–or if they want a change and an effort to move back toward the Constitution, they’d pick McDaniel.
“I think this is the reason he [Cochran] is going to lose,” Paul said. “If that message gets out, the people in Mississippi will realize they want a change. It’s time for a change in Washington and this gives them an opportunity to participate in making that change.”