CNN hosts shocked when Republican guest picks Ron Paul
Published: Friday August 24, 2007

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Rick Sanchez and Kiran Chetry appear not to expect the answer they got from a Republican college student on a special "College Week" edition of CNN's American Morning.

Laura Elizabeth Morales, a Republican and a junior at the University of Texas appears with Rachel Moore, Democrat and a senior at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania.

On being asked who she thinks the GOP candidate will be for the 2008 Presidential election, Morales puts her support behind Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

"I really think he's a sound traditional conservative," says Morales. "I really think he really sticks to the Constitution, and really stands for what conservatives believe in."

A surprised Sanchez asks: "What are you trying to say?"

Chetry follows up to ask if there is any, as she puts it, 'top tier' GOP candidate that Morales would support because, she says, "if I was a betting woman I'd say Ron Paul doesn't have a chance, unfortunately for you."

Chetry asks if there is a "lack of enthusiasm" over the 'top tier' GOP candidate.

"Having been the idealistic betting candidate," says Morales, "I'd say Ron Paul's got the chance. Idealistically. As far as the 'top tier' candidates, I don't really think they stand for what traditional conservatives believe in.

You've got Giuliani out there, who's really an anti-gun Republican who's going to lose a strong base, especially here in the South. And then Mitt Romney kind of flip-flops on his issues. John McCain, I think, is pretty much just 'out,' but we really need a strong, solid conservative..."

Democrat Rachel Moore weighs in for her side: "It doesn't really matter who gets the ticket because anybody could be a better president than President Bush at this point, and let's focus on just a Democrat winning in 2008, and put aside everything pre-primary politics."

"That's not the question," interjects Sanchez. "If you had to pick somebody, who would you pick?"

"I'd pick a Democrat," responds Moore, to the hosts' amazement. "Let's face it..."

"You're going to make a great senator one day," quips Sanchez.

"All of the College Democrats," says Moore, "we're so behind just winning a Democrat in 2008. If you look at all the Republican candidates -- the Democrats are such a diverse group, and all the Republican candidates -- every one of them, they've said they'd commute Scooter Libby, they said they would stay in Iraq and turn it into the next Korea..."

Sanchz follows up: "If it was Porky Pig, would you vote for him just because he's a Democrat?"

"Now, that's taking it a little far," says Moore.

Sanchez: "So you do consider who the person is, right?"

"I didn't say that, sir," says Moore.

"It's time for a Democrat to win. Let's focus on that first."

Moving on to the "most important issue," Morales brings up Social Security, saying that her generation stands to be robbed of funds currently being put into the government, and that the issue needs to be at the forefront of the 2008 election.

Moore says she stands with the Democrats on the environment, student aid, and universal health care, "among other things."

"We really can't be pegged to one issue at this point. We're so educated and ready to go."

"You can't nail her down this morning," says Chetry of Moore, citing "interesting perspectives" from the guests.

The following video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast on August 24.