Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) kicked off his third run for the presidency on Good Morning America Friday morning. And in keeping with his role as the Libertarian anomaly of the Republican field, Paul launched his new campaign with some strong opposition to the concept of government assistance.
In response to a question from a viewer, Paul outlined to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos his contention that government aid for victims of natural disasters goes against the foundations of America laid down by its founders.
“Do you think everyone should just be responsible for themselves and if a flood washes your house away no FEMA?” the viewer asked via email. “Sink or swim?”
“I think that’s the way a free society works and that’s what the Constitution mandates,” Paul replied.
Paul’s full answer:
I think that’s the way a free society works and that’s what the Constitution mandates. I’m on the Gulf Coast, I have a house on the beach or had one recently, and I don’t think that somebody in New York or New Hampshire or Iowa has to pay for my flood on the Gulf Coast…Insurance is an old fashioned way of doing it. Buy insurance. If the insurance [company] won’t sell it to you, it means it’s too dangerous. If it’s too dangerous, why dump the responsibility on the taxpayer? You know it doesn’t make economic sense, it doesn’t make good moral sense, it doesn’t make Constitutional sense.
Answers like that are exactly why Paul gets so much support from some segments of the GOP — and exactly why he’s so polarizing to others. Paul’s puritanical version of libertarianism leads to great TV answers like the one he gave about heroin legalization in this month’s South Carolina presidential debate. But it also makes him too hot to handle for most of the mainstream GOP.
Nevertheless, Paul says 2012 is his moment.
“Time has come around to the point where the people are agreeing with much of what I’ve been saying for 30 years,” Paul said when Stephanopoulos asked why he’s running again.
Watch Paul on GMA: