ABC News’ Teddy Davis reports:
Former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has recorded a YouTube video warning libertarian-minded Americans that Barack Obama’s inaugural address amounted to an effort to camouflage his big government ambitions.
"If you are honest with oneself," said Paul, "you have to say, ‘I’m for more government.’ Or: ‘I’m for less government.’ But he would like to avoid trying to be blunt and saying, ‘I’m for a lot more government.’"
Watch it here.
Paul, a Texas congressman who raised $35 million during last year’s presidential run, says that if Obama’s views on government are not "socialism," they are "fascistic."
During Tuesday’s inaugural address, Obama entered a long-running debate over the role of government in American life by attempting to position himself between a view held on the right that "government is the problem" and a leftist view that "government is the answer."
"The question we ask today," said Obama, "is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end."
Paul’s video says that Obama’s pledge to move past old dogmas masks his own dogmatic views about the capacity of government to create prosperity.
"They talk about getting rid of the ideologues and people who believe strongly in something," said Paul. "But they themselves believe in something very strongly. They believe in government, and though it is camouflaged by his saying whether government might be too big or too small, we know what is coming: it is ideological.
"It is a strong ideological position," he continued, "to believe that government can run things, because if it isn’t socialism, it’s fascistic and it’s inflationary and it’s control and it’s loss of liberty.
"So, we should not be feeling reassured," he added, "by any fancy words that we heard today in the inaugural address."
Paul’s video was recorded Tuesday in Texas. The YouTube link was distributed by Jesse Benton, the senior vice president of Paul’s Campaign for Liberty, who encouraged reporters to "turn the volume to max" due to "a small glitch in our microphone."
ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf contributed to this report.