Ron Paul has gone Hollywood.
Appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” Friday, the presidential hopeful took a swipe at his GOP rivals telling the crowd that Michele Bachmann “hates Muslims.”
When asked by host Jay Leno what he thought of his rivals, Paul shook his head, slowed his voice and said, “she doesn’t like Muslims, she hates them, she wants to go get ‘em” — in reference to the comments Bachmann has made on the campaign trail over her willingness to attack Iran over its suspected nuclear program.
Bachmann, who is campaigning today in Iowa, rejected Paul’s comments.
“Of course I don’t hate Muslims,” Bachmann told ABC News adding “that’s an absolutely outrageous statement.”
Bachmann then elaborated on her view that Iran is trying to obtain a nuclear weapons program to destroy Israel and the United States.
“With all due respect to my colleague, I think Ron Paul would make a very dangerous president because he doesn’t understand this threat,” Bachmann added.
The comment was especially surprising for Paul, who up until now has shied away from personal attacks.
The comment even left the audience and host Jay Leno momentarily stunned.
In reference to Rick Santorum, Paul said he can’t stop talking about “gay people and Muslims.”
When asked what he thought of Mitt Romney, Paul thought for a second and replied, “he was governor of Massachusetts?”
The answer generated laughs from the audience and Paul responded, “that’s where he should stay at.”
Paul used the rare late night appearance to elaborate on some of his libertarian leaning positions such as getting rid of federal drug laws in favor of state regulations.
Paul added that the federal government should “protect the right to do with our own body what we want.”
When asked if he was in favor of seat belt laws, Paul quickly shot back “I’m in favor of seat belts, not seat belt laws.”
Paul walked out to a standing ovation by the mainly youthful audience. The fact wasn’t lost on Leno who noted that he drew lots of support from young people.
“Young people are principled,” said Paul adding that “after a while you get mixed up.”
Paul also touched on his ongoing feud with Donald Trump, telling Leno that the New York real estate magnate is “a little offended” he didn’t accept his GOP debate invitation.
Paul said “he thinks I can’t win.”
Leno shot back, “why don’t you remind him you won 12 times.”
The Congressman again said he has “no intention” of running on a third party ticket but added he hasn’t ruled it out.
When asked who his favorite president was, Paul in a nod to his nickname “Dr. No,” responded Grover Cleveland because “he loved to veto bills.”