Texas GOP Rep. Ron Paul says he will announce in Iowa Tuesday that he is forming an exploratory committee, moving closer to a decision to enter the 2012 presidential race. Paul also told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday that a balanced budget amendment would not be enough for him to vote to raise the debt ceiling.
“We’re going to announce that I'm going to start an exploratory committee,” he said. “I’ll stop by in Iowa on my way home, and that might lead to the next decision. It depends on what kind of reception I get on your show tonight — you know, if I get booed or something, I'll say, well, maybe I shouldn’t do it.”
Hannity noted that the Texas congressman’s son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, has said a balanced budget amendment could make him lean to voting to raise the debt.
“I guess I probably would have a little disagreement on that,” Ron Paul said. “I would, you know, vote for that, but that wouldn’t make me satisfied to raise the debt, because when are you going to get the amendment passed?
“You have to pass it through the House and the Senate and pass it through the states, five or 10 years from now — that is what is wrong with all these budget proposals — it does nothing until, you know, many years out,” he said. “But the amount of deficit difference, national debt difference in 2016 between Republican and Democrats, is 19 trillion for the Republicans and 20 trillion for the Democrats. I mean, that's all fiction — it doesn't mean anything.”
Hannity said he does not believe Republican lawmakers fought hard enough for spending cuts in the 2011 budget agreement and he would have preferred if the government had shut down.
“I’m with you on that — but still, you know, it is not easy to vote against the budget when all the Republicans are voting, you know, for a budget,” Ron Paul said. “But I agree with you — I think it should close down — it should have closed down a long time ago. But I thought it should have been closed down 15 or 20 years ago and change our ways.
“But because of this system and the monetary system and the desire for entitlements, I mean, it is sort of endless.”
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