'This Week' Transcript: Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann

But, indeed, nobody can prove anything until we have a real election. And we're going to have a real caucus vote, straw vote on Tuesday night. That's going to tell us a whole lot. And as a matter of fact, our campaign feels pretty good about how things are going.

TAPPER: But certainly, Congressman, you would concede that -- that some of your views, some of the principles you hold in terms of drug legalization, or in terms of -- I don't -- I know you wouldn't call it isolationist, but a non-interventionalist policy in the world, these are views that are not shared by a majority of Americans. And I think the concern among Republicans is, once they are better known, that would hurt you.

PAUL: Well, see, I think that's where the contradiction is. Quite frankly, I don't believe that statistic, because I think the majority are with me. What percent want to come out of Afghanistan? It's like 75 percent, 80 percent. How did George Bush win in the year 2000? He talked about a humble foreign policy, non-intervention, no nation-building, no policing of the world. I mean, Obama was seen as the peace candidate just three years ago.

So I would say the American people are with me more now than ever before. They're with me on cutting spending. Nobody else is proposing cutting spending. I'm cutting -- I want to cut $1 trillion out of the budget. And this support -- gets support from all the Republicans on this.

And I would say that it remains to be seen, but I feel very comfortable with the growing number of people that come out to our rallies and the enthusiasm -- I'll tell you what, I think it's -- it's a mistake if people want to write me off and say that I am not with the -- with the people. As a matter of fact, it's so appealing that we get a lot of independents and a lot of Democrats coming to our rally, and that's what you need in order to win an election.

So I'm pretty optimistic about what's going on. And, of course, I've always been optimistic about the message of liberty and the Constitution, limited government. And I think it's catching on. I think the people have come around to believing that the government fails in their efforts to do good. They want to be a good policeman of the world. They want to provide goods and houses for everybody, and look at what happened to the housing bubble, and look at the prolongation of these wars overseas. So people are looking now more carefully at a constitutional approach to government.

TAPPER: Well, you've proposed ending Social Security and Medicaid. That's an issue I think that a lot of Republicans would be concerned about as a -- as a platform for a nominee. And just to dig a little deeper on that, you've said that seniors and the poor could receive care from charity hospitals that the -- under the Paul administration you would help build these charity hospitals.

But we've called a number of these charity hospitals that exist already, and we've spoken to them. They say they're already overwhelmed and that your proposal doesn't square with the world as it is and charity hospitals as they actually exist. So wouldn't that proposal theoretically put lives at risk, the lives of seniors and the poor?

PAUL: Well -- well, you know, you're comparing what we have today, which is a consequence of 40-some years of government. And I practiced medicine when hospitals did take care of people, and it was quite different, and medical care was -- was very, very cheap.

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