Former congressman Dr. Ron Paul spoke with RT to offer his non-interventionist perspective on both Donald Trump’s nomination acceptance speech and his foreign policy. Despite Trump’s rhetoric, Paul believes “he sounds like he would use NATO.”
Paul, who ran for president in 1988 on the Libertarian Party ticket and then as a Republican in 2008 and 2012, spoke with RT’s Manila Chan on Friday, the day following Trump’s big speech at the Republican National Convention.
Considering Paul helped propel a movement favoring non-intervention in foreign affairs and an end to wars and occupations in the Middle East, there has been much speculation as to whether Paul might support the Republican presidential nominee or at least some of his views.
Trump has called NATO, the North American Treaty Organization, “obsolete” and recently said, if he were elected president, the US would not be strictly held to its Article V provisions to militarily defend any allied nation, especially those not paying their fair share.
“I don’t think it’s outlandish to say that [NATO] members pay their dues,” Paul said. “I don’t particularly like NATO at all anyway.”
Paul clarified, however, that Trump “is all over” the issue of NATO.
“He does speak out and make statements that I don’t quite know what he’s talking about, because he says we ought to be out of NATO,” Paul said. “And then at other times, he says, no, I don’t really want to do this.”
“The other day he said that we ought to declare war after there was the attack in France, and get NATO to fight the battle against ISIS, so he sounds like he would use NATO,” Paul told RT.
“I personally don’t believe that the circumstances, if [Trump] were president, that he would resist the national, international pressure to do what most people expect, that they would react,” the former Texas congressman added.
Paul believes Trump is getting in tune with many Americans growing weary of global government agreements, be they economic or defense-related.
“He throws a bone to the anti-NATO interventionist group, saying if they don’t pay their way, we’re not going to do it.”
That arrangement sounds like a “mercenary business deal,” Paul says, though that position is still “slightly more restrained than the others,” he points out.
What Paul called “more extreme” were those “who want to put more and more weapons and missiles on Russia’s borders.”
“I think interventionism hurts our security,” Paul stressed.
“And if people worry about terrorist attacks, they have to try to understand why terrorism comes about, and it has to do with our policy,” he said, adding, “People, when they get scared, they want safety.”
Asked whether Trump represented any positive change, Paul answered, “I don’t think it’s a healthy sign, because I don’t believe that his policies are any different.”
“I think he wants to make government great again,” Paul chuckled.
Calling Trump “another manager,” the libertarian standard-bearer also showed little mercy to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
Paul said Cruz was pursuing his own “self interest,” like all politicians, when he refused to endorse Trump in a speech at the Republican National Convention, in which he was nearly booed off stage.
“If conditions get worse, and Trump does not thrive, I’m sure that Ted Cruz will be around to say, ‘Told you so, let me do the managing. If Trump can’t manage it, I bet I can.’”