PAUL: I think the Tea Party believes in a strong national defense, that it's a priority for our country, that the Constitution exemplifies and says that national defense is one of our priorities. But, no, primarily the Tea Party is about the debt. It's concerned and worried that we're inheriting or passing along this debt to our kids and our grandkids, is the number one thing of the Tea Party.
AMANPOUR: So, again, to talk about the debt and to talk about taxes, there seems to be, again, just so much sort of generalities, for want of a better word.
AMANPOUR: And, for instance, there are many people...
PAUL: Well, the thing is that you can call it a generality, but what if -- what if I were president and I said to you, "Tomorrow, we're going to have a 5 percent cut across the board in everything"? That's not a generality, but there are thousands of programs. If you say, "Well, what are all the specifics?" There are books written on all the specifics. There's a book by Christopher Edwards, downsizing government, goes through every program. That's what it will take. It's a very detailed analysis. But you need to ask of every program, when we take no program off the table, can it be downsized? Can it be privatized? Can it be made smaller?
AMANPOUR: And what about earmarks? Would you say no to earmarks?
PAUL: No -- no more earmarks.
AMANPOUR: No more? Not even in your state?
PAUL: No. No. But I do tell people within Kentucky is I say, look, I will argue within the committee process for things that are good for Kentucky that they want and also within the context of a balanced budget. Here's what happens. You go to the Transportation Committee and they say, "What do you want?" But it should be, "How much do we have?" No one asks, "How much do we have?" So we just spend it. And then, at the end of the day, if we don't have it, we either print it or borrow it. Those are bad things. There is no restraint, but that's why you need rules. In Kentucky, we have a balanced budget amendment. We have to balance our budget. So they have to be better legislators.
AMANPOUR: One of the emergencies is going to be voting to lift the debt ceiling.
AMANPOUR: Would you do that?
PAUL: I don't believe I will vote to raise the debt ceiling.
AMANPOUR: You won't?
PAUL: No. I think that we need to send a message -- we need to send a strong message that...
AMANPOUR: The government would default, then.
PAUL: Well, only if we won the vote, would they default.
AMANPOUR: So you think it won't pass?
PAUL: You know, I think it's unlikely. There are people who vote against the debt ceiling every time to send a message that adding more debt is wrong. I think we shouldn't add more debt. I think we should immediately start cutting spending. We should have a freezing hire. We should not spend any more of the stimulus money that's unspent, the TARP money that's unspent. You know, we need to get our fiscal house in order. But bigger than the specifics is a rule. Congress does not obey their own rules. This is what -- you want to know where the Tea Party is, why we're unhappy? We're unhappy because they pass pay-as-you-go and, in the first three weeks, they say everything's an emergency and they evade their own rules. That's a problem.