'This Week' Transcript: Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann

But I -- I just -- I just think that this -- this whole idea that the government has to take care of everybody doesn't -- doesn't really work. I mean, they try to give us housing and all these things. So it isn't -- it isn't very successful.

And I'm arguing the case that there's a better way of doing it. As a matter of fact, this -- your introduction about my wanting to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid, as a matter of fact, if you look carefully at what I've been saying, I'm the only one that has a way of -- of preserving it in a transitional period.

Yeah, technically these programs aren't constitutional, but at every speech, I talk about a transition. I want to cut $1 trillion, but I have priorities. I want to cut from overseas. I want to stop these wars. I want to get rid of several departments. I want to go back to 2006 budgeting.

At the same time, I say the priorities that I would protect -- Medicare, Social Security, health care for the children -- and the only way you can work out a transition is cutting spending. Otherwise, we're going to continue to erode the purchasing power of the dollar. And the people who are getting these -- these Social Security checks won't have any value. They already know the value of their check is going down.

So, as a matter of fact, I have a much more attractive position now. I have a way of at least not throwing people out in the street. So people who need something that we've conditioned them over decades, I say those are priorities. I say take care of the people here at home before we continue to pretend we can police the world and go on with these long-lasting, undeclared, unwinnable wars. That's where we can save the money, by bringing our troops home.

TAPPER: All right. Congressman, we have a lot of issues to discuss and only a few more minutes left. I do want to ask you about those newsletters published under your name in the '80s and '90s. In the '90s, you defended them. In 2001, you said you did not write them. You now say you did not write them, you did not read them, and you disavow them.

So just if you could give a straight answer on this, who wrote these newsletters? And do you still associate with these people?

PAUL: OK, I -- well, I think your -- your assessment there is mixed up, because the reporting has been bad. I did not -- I wrote a lot of part of the letter. And I've never said I didn't. I wrote some of the -- you know, the economic parts.

I was not the editor. I was the publisher. And there were some very bad sentences put in. I did not write those. I did not review them.

TAPPER: Who wrote them?

PAUL: And that is an error on my part. I condemned -- I condemned them. I don't know exactly who wrote them. It's -- you know, I had eight or nine people working for me back then. And a lot of people wrote a lot of different things. So I've condemned them and -- and did not write them. And I've said this quite a few times.

So I just don't think that that in itself is going to have long legs, because people who know me know exactly what my thoughts are. People know everything about that in my district. It's -- it's never been, you know, a big issue at all.

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