Ron Paul discusses third parties on the Daily Show

Last night Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul appeared on John Stewart’s Daily Show. You can watch here. Third parties were among the subjects discussed. The following is not a verbatim transcript, just my paraphrase for those who can’t access the video:

“I ran in 1988 as a Libertarian but I have served ten terms in Congress as a Republicans. We’re overseas spreading the message of democracy, but in America as a third party candidate you spend all your time trying to get on the ballot. You have to be a Ross Perot to get on the ballot. The two parties control the process and exclude individuals who don’t fit their mold.”

17 Responses to “Ron Paul discusses third parties on the Daily Show

  1. Tom Gellhaus Says:

    I have seen the video, and you pretty much have it correct. It seems clear to me, someone who voted for him in 1988, that he personally would not mind being on a third party ticket, but the issues and his message would get ignored completely - and that is why he is running for the Republican nomination.

  2. Tom Gellhaus Says:

    Oh, one quick thing. Ron said “terms”, not “years”. He has served a total of ten TERMS in congress, not all consecutive (some before 1988).

  3. Brad Winthrop Says:

    Thanks Tom. I corrected it.

  4. Sean Scallon Says:

    And he’s absolutly right. He would not be on that stage unless he was a Republican. If that’s the rules of the game, then lets play that way then, consequences be damnned.

  5. rj Says:

    The current process certainly makes an argument for entryism. The only problem is then you do get on that stage and Fox News ask you twice in the same debate “Are you running for the nomination of the correct party?” (angry face)

    I think entryism actually isn’t all that bad a strategy for establishing a permanent third party force. Run all your members as Democrats or Republicans while keeping true to another group, then one day when you get sufficiently large enough, all members split off.

  6. Fred C. Says:

    “I think entryism actually isn’t all that bad a strategy for establishing a permanent third party force. Run all your members as Democrats or Republicans while keeping true to another group, then one day when you get sufficiently large enough, all members split off.”

    I believe that strategy is the most likely to eventually bring down the two party system - which should be priority #1 for the whole of the third party movement.

  7. Richard Winger Says:

    That’s how the Republican Party got so big, so fast, in the summer and autumn of 1854. Northern Whigs, including members of Congress and state legislators, changed their loyalty from the Whig Party to the Republican Party. That’s how the Republican Party won more seats in the US House in fall 1854 elections than any other party, even though the party was only 6 months old. When people say Abraham Lincoln was a third-party president, they are wrong. The Republican Party was a major party before it was one year old.

  8. Jeff Becker Says:

    Yeah, if you haven’t seen the video of this yet, you need to, it was great. Stewart’s support is helping get America’s young-at-heart behind Dr. Paul. I’m sure looking forward to him using John’s zingers tonight… at least the one about Giuiliani. Wanna bet Rudy hasn’t finished (or even started) his reading assignment?

    FANTASTIC SLOGAN: “Say Yes to Dr. No.”

  9. Sean Scallon Says:

    You’re exactly right Mr. Winger. The GOP was never a “third party”, it grew out the ashes of the Whig Party and many prominent Whigs were a part of it, almost all from the North.

    What I would like to see is something like the Canadian political system where federal and provincial politics are two seperate entities altogether. The Greens, CP and LP should organize and run and win races on the local level that are non-partisan or convince such officials to switch parties. On the state and national level, the such party members should infiltrate the national parties, forming alliances and backing candidates that support their interests.

  10. Devious David Says:

    Entryism is exactly what I have been an advocate of lately… I just didn’t know that there was a term for it. Good show!

    I believe that Dr. Paul and libertarians in general draw from Democrats and Republicans and ESPECIALLY disenchanted centrists and non-voters. The only thing that matters anyway is the movement. Not some dumb partisan label, contrary to what some of the LP partisan hacks might say. Dr. Paul understands this and has courageously accepted his role in the movement for the movement’s sake.

    It’s abundantly clear that Dr. Paul is advocating IDEAS. Ideas that are contrary to mainstream GOP BS business as usual. In fact, he’s talking about something completely different altogether. And that message is being spread far and wide. We all need to keep the momentum going after the GOP nomination, win or lose.

    Those dumb Republicans can’t figure out that Dr. Paul’s obviously POWERFUL support base will disappear overnight if he doesn’t win that nomination. This time around, they can’t win without such a thing. They need everything they can get and he’s got something unique and disproportionately powerful than Fred McRomney 911. If the other candidates are so great, where is the support base? All those losers have is big corporate money and crickets and that DOESN’T win elections.

  11. Gene Berkman Says:

    If anybody has not seen Ron Paul on the Daily Show, the youtube video is up @ and numerous other sites, including Reason Hit & Run, Ballot Access News etc.

    Additionally, there are more than 10,000 Ron Paul videos on Youtube, with only Barack Obama having a similar number. Rudy Giuliani has 2500 Youtube videos, of which more than 200 feature Rudy vs Ron Paul.

  12. Robert Milnes Says:

    Devious David, Sorry, but I disagree. If anything it’s the opposite. The ds& rs draw from the libertarians (& greens) i.e progressives. Obviously, if The Libertarian Vote is 20%, (7% coming from the left) yet only 1% vote libertarian/green, where are those other 19%? Off to the republicans. About the same for the greens>democrats. Yet their combined vote of 40% could be a winning plurality. Ron Paul-a third party has to be a Ross Perot (Or Bloomberg). No, the libs have nearly 100% ballot access; the candidate doesn’t have to concentrate on ballot access. The greens also have enough ballot access to win theoretically. If there was a Progressive Party, problem solved.-unless some fools split off into libs & greens. Since the libs & greens are here & aren’t going away, an alliance is needed.

  13. Robert Milnes Says:

    The enthusiasm for Ron Paul is based on the pent up frustration from libertarians always losing & hope that if he would get the gop nomination, he could possibly beat the democrat. Well, he won’t get the gop nomination & even if he did, leftist progressives would rather vote democrat than support RP & his overturn Roe v Wade. Entryism=loser.

  14. Carl Says:

    Robert: Democrats supported a pro-life candidate for Congress in my district in order to regain Congress. Paul’s stance on abortion is not a universal deal-killer with the left.

  15. Robert Milnes Says:

    Carl, right. When one’s choice’s are extremely limited, such awkward choices must be made.

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