(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, hit on many of the regular themes of his candidacy during his appearance Monday at the Palmetto Freedom Forum.
The event featured five GOP presidential contenders taking questions individually from a panel comprised of GOP Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa, and Professor Robert George of the American Principles Project. Before the questioning, each candidate was given the opportunity to speak about the country's founding principles.
"I understand that we're supposed to address the subject of first principles," Paul told the audience, "I've been trying to do that for about 35 to 40 years. I welcome the opportunity to talk about first principles because that is what America's all about. And the first principle for American should be liberty and I think we've forgotten about that."
From there, Paul used his appearance to hit on the major policies that define his 2012 White House bid.
Questioned by DeMint about the number of responsibilities the federal government currently has and what Paul would eliminate or downsize if elected to the Oval Office, the Texas Republican responded "Well, that's a difficult question because that's a long list. I'd rather you give me the list of the things we should keep. That would be a short list."
Paul reiterated his belief that the Federal Reserve plays a crucial role in the business cycle and in the boom-to-bust cycles that have defined the American economy over the decades. "It has to be reined in," Paul said of the central bank. "We have to take the Fed on because it does cause the business cycle. If you want to understand recessions and depressions, you have to understand the Federal Reserve System."
Asked what his jobs plan would be, Paul responded, "Well, what you have to do is repeal about 70 years of bad economic policy." The outspoken lawmaker followed up with a critique of Keynesian economic theory.
Paul added that he would encourage the repatriation of capital that has gone overseas because the U.S. dollar is both weak and is the reserve currency for the rest of the world. He also said he'd eliminate the capital gains tax and the federal income tax.
And Paul linked U.S. monetary and fiscal policy with U.S. foreign policy. "All great nations fail because they spread themselves too widely around the world and we've done it as well," he told DeMint.
Paul also said Monday that he supports the idea of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. And Paul engaged in a spirited debate with George about the meanings of the Fourteenth and Tenth Amendment – specifically, whether the federal government could utilize the Fourteenth Amendment to compel states to protect life, liberty, and process in accordance with due process of law.
Ron Paul 2012! That was a GREAT question session. Props to you both; Mr. Ron Paul and Mr. DeMint.
God Bless America
don't let them select who we must elect
Vote for the Honest candidate this time.
Paul is the only saying anything new. He is 76 and he makes the rest of the candidates look like old fogies. The rest of the candidates have doubled-down on more air and land wars in Asia, and they honestly think that the Federal bureaucracy needs cosmetic changes, strategic reductions.
He has some good idea's, but he is too radical. I would vote him over Perry.
Paul's opening statements was fantastic and refreshing. I'm going to support Ron Paul this time around in the primaries.
It don't matter. The Media will tell Americans who to vote for in the primaries, which at this point corporations and media favor Romney and Perry. You will vote for them because Americans like to be told that everything will be okay if you listen to them. We can't handle People Like Ron Paul because he tells the truth and of course that scares us (It Scares Me). We as Americans can"t handle the truth because we may actually have to roll up our sleeves and help put the country back on track. Just a quick fact about governments, they historically do not make it past 250 years and we are getting close. Take the time to research all the candidates and do your own due diligence. Please help protect our American Heritage and YOUR Constitution !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anarchist. Telling everybody what you don"t like is the easiest form of politics. Real ideas that deal with the complex problems of a diverse and dynamic world... well that's too hard for every Republican candidate except possibly Huntsman.
As it should more power should be brought to the people on the state level. Read the Record-Ron Paul. We are taking this bitch back in 2012.
Ron Paul is my MAN! Lets not repeat history like what happened to Rome.
Ron Paul 2012!
Paul's vision of government sounds like something they have in Somalia right now, usually called anarchy.
Ron Paul sure gave a spirited performance. Listening to him, it's hard not to think that he's the modern day Thomas Jefferson, and I hope people come around to him in time for the election. He's the most honest and PRINCIPLED guy to run for US Presidency in a long time. He's the one to speak the truth, regardless if it's politically convenient or popular. Truth is what you get with him.
Also keep in mind that when Ron says he'd do away with income tax, the Fed, and various departments - he implies that this wouldn't all happen in one day, and a lot of those things aren't even up to the President. If you watch his interviews, he makes a point that those things aren't done right away, but it's the GOAL, and you get there in steps.
What IS up to the President is to end the wars and bring all the troops home, and that's a mighty large step in the right direction.
Looking forward to Ron's appearance in the Sep. 7 debate. Bet we'll see him constant on these issues again. There's no doubt that America's going to question if they really want Perry or Obama for president. Ron Paul has real principles for peace, liberty, and wealth, and I'm glad I read his book "Liberty Defined" so I could see what he supported. He has my vote.
I thought Ron Paul showed his knowledge and understanding of the Constitution, fiscal and monetary policy, and was specific on how to improve our economy. Actually I thought all the candidates did well, the difference for me is that I truly believe Ron Paul will fulfill his promises. Plus I am in complete agremment with his foreign policy.
He makes too much sense doesn't he?
The fact that Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate advocating for peace and to bring our troops home gains my vote without question!
cnn starting to get it. Story about Ron Paul get tons of hits on website.
Ron Paul is the equivalence of that girl with the bangin' Body Supreme, a drop dead gorgeous face, degrees from USC and Stanford grad school but the chick is CRAZY.
Just like her, Ron Paul is good for some aspects but she is not the total package.
Paul is as fucked up in the head as those,two want be women. We should go back to school.his thinking is as old as his old group:the KKK
Finally, a real person running for President!