Texas Rep. Ron Paul is known to at times have opinions on foreign policy that are out of step with the party he is campaigning to represent in the general election for President. On Sunday's Face the Nation, Paul got into a tense discussion with CBS host Bob Schieffer in regards to the candidate's foreign policy beliefs:
As Paul gains more support and is taken seriously as a contender for the Republican nomination for president, his beliefs are examined under a microscope to see how he differs from the other candidates. As Paul grows in popularity, more questions have been asked about his foreign policy positions.
As Schieffer pressed Paul Sunday in regards to past statements on 9/11, the candidate clarified his opinion that flawed U.S. policy "contributed" to the causes that led to the terrorist attacks on. Paul however stopped short of saying the attacks were America's "fault."
"To argue the case that they want to do us harm, because we are free and prosperous, I think is a very very dangerous notion because it's not true," said Paul.
Pointing to statements made by the Department of Defense and in the 9/11 Commission, Paul said that there is a connection between U.S. policies and what caused the 9/11 attacks, while emphasizing, "that's a far cry from blaming America."
The discussion shifted to U.S. policy towards Iran, where Paul believes the U.S. could extend greater diplomatic efforts rather than military action, similar to the way that the U.S. handled the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Paul emphasized that "Iran doesn't have a bomb, there is no proof," and that he is fearful the U.S. will "overreact."
"Mr. Paul, may I interrupt you for a second," Schieffer said in a harsher tone. "No one has suggested in the U.S. government that we are going to bomb Iran," but pose very tough sanctions. Paul said he opposes sanctions because they are "the initial steps to war." As for Schieffer's claim that no one is suggesting "bombing" Iran, Paul advised the television host to "listen to the debates."
Before moving on, Paul clarified that he meant Republican candidates are contemplating bombing Iran and that the White House has made the implication that"nothing is off the table."
When asked if American troops need to be on bases at any place in the world, Paul answered that "a submarine is a very worthwhile weapon," and confirmed he would bring troops home from all countries and bases, like Japan and South Korea.
"We can't afford it any longer."