Seven Highlights from Ron Paul’s reddit AMA

The former presidential candidate drops in to visit with his fans.

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Mark Makela / Reuters

Former U.S. Republican presidential candidate, Congressman Ron Paul, departs after holding a rally outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 22, 2012.

Former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-The Internet) dropped by Reddit yesterday to visit with some ardent fans and plug his new subscription-based video series. While many of the questions in the “Ask Me Anything” session were predictably pillow-soft, Paul made several interesting remarks:

On why, as a medical doctor, he opposes mandatory vaccinations, which have proven scientific benefits:

I reject coercion. I reject the power of the government to coerce us to do anything…what it comes down to is: who’s responsible for making these decisions – the government or the parents? I come down on the side of the parents.

On Bradley Manning:

He should have been punished because he confessed to breaking the law and he did practice Civil Disobedience. So he deserves some punishment, but he has already received (in my estimation) excessive amounts of punishment…I think he should be released now, that he has done us a great service by letting the people know the truth, he’s a whistleblower in my estimation.

On his favorite members of the 113th Congress: 

I know a senator from Kentucky that I’m related to that would have to be one of my favorites, but there are so many in the House now – there might be 6 or 8 or 10. The one individual who is one of my closest friends in Congress is Walter Jones from North Carolina because he has become very anti-war. Jimmy Duncan from Tennessee is a close friend, and Dustin [sic] Amash, and Thomas Massie are some others.

On the origin and fate of the Tea Party: 

The Tea Party was actually started during the Ron Paul presidential campaign in 2007 when there was a spontaneous moneybomb that was done on the anniversary of the original tea party…What happened after that was that a lot of people came onboard – including Republicans – who watered down some of the beliefs, and certainly changed the opinion of some on foreign policy so that the original Tea Party movement was taken over by the Republican Party.

On his plan to speak next month at a conference the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as “perhaps the single largest gathering of hard-core anti-Semites in North America”: 

I received the invitation from my speaker’s bureau about this group that was strongly anti-war and they wanted me to speak to a Conservative Catholic Group about non-interventionist foreign policy and I said “wow, that sounds right up my alley.” … The article that came out yesterday is disturbing, and I have not read it yet, but the question is raised – exactly who is making the allegations. I have not yet sorted it out, and it makes me uneasy, but frequently the opposition uses tactics which are pure demagoguery and falsehoods.

On his favorite historical figures:

Most of the pictures I had in my Congressional office were pictures of economists, which included [Ludwig] Von Mises…I had a picture of one president who was my favorite (Grover Cleveland).

On his favorite color and favorite movie: 

Green…”The Sound of Music.”

Click here to read the full AMA on reddit.