Ron Paul tweaks Michael Moore on capitalism, still agrees with him
Speaking to veteran CNN interviewer Larry King on Sunday, Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul argued that he is just as upset with America’s economic system as activist filmmaker Michael Moore — except the longtime doctor does not believe the illness is purely based on capitalism.
“We have lost our faith and confidence and understanding in how free markets work,” he said. “We turned it upside-down by saying that any time corporations get benefits, we call it capitalism and freedom, and it’s corporatism. It’s the military industrial complex. It’s all the special interests.”
Paul continued: “This is where Michael Moore gets it all wrong. He believes diligently in free markets because he believes in the First Amendment. He believes in making films. He doesn’t believe in prior restraints. So, why should he condemn capitalism? He’s condemning corporatism. I condemn it too. Special privileges for corporations is a big problem.”
King, calling the difference “maybe just semantics,” played a clip of Moore explaining that in today’s America, “the wealthiest one percent now have more wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined.”
“[Capitalism] is a really good system for a few people,” Moore concluded.
Paul retorted: “I think I complain about it as much as he does, but I think I understand it differently. When a country embarks on deficit financing and inflationism, you wipe out the middle class and wealth is transferred from the poor and middle class to the rich. When we get into trouble, the corporations — once again, who are in control — they come for their bailout and they get the benefits and the little people don’t.”
The libertarian-leaning Texas congressman, who staged a surprising, high-profile campaign for the Republican nomination to the presidency last year, is rumored to be preparing for another bid in 2012.
This video is from CNN’s Larry King Live, re-broadcast Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. The original clip appeared Friday, Oct. 30, 2009.
An original version of this story said King’s interview with Paul took place on Sunday.