On Friday, after the Ron Paul event, The Inlander and a few other local media outlets got the chance to ask the presidential candidate a few questions. Here’s our sprawling two-question interview with the man:
Cathy McMorris Rodgers [who endorsed Mitt Romney and is chairing his state committee] is our district’s representative here. And yet you won most of the delegates here last time. Do you see a disconnect there?
I don’t know all the intricacies of the politics here, but she does what she has to do, and if I can galvanize supporters for my campaign in her end of the country, that’s the way competitive politics works.
Have your political opinions changed at all in the last 20 years?
Not my political opinions. I’ve always been, you know, a constitutionalist — limited government, personal liberty, non-interventionist foreign policy, monetary policy — all these things have been with me. But I have changed in some degrees.
I would say that when I was in college, I wasn’t very much into politics. I didn’t have strong beliefs about foreign policies when I was drafted in 1962. You know I didn’t have the same views about war. I think that helped mold my positions; I became more anti war. As I modified my stand on the death penalty, because you know with DNA evidence and the mistakes that government made. And so, as a federal official, I do not support a federal death penalty. I just don’t think that’s consistent with what I believe in. But states still have that right to do that, and I wouldn’t interfere with states doing this.
But my personal opinion is that it’s unfairly administered. I mentioned in the talk tonight on how the drug laws are unfairly administered toward minorities. The death penalty is definitely administered unfairly. If you’re a poor black or poor Hispanic, you’re more likely to get the death penalty than if you’re a rich white person, there is no doubt about it. Even if you’re a drug dealer and whatever. Poor people don’t have the same defense rich people do.
And too many people have been found to be innocent. We hear cases where people have been charged of murder and convicted, murder and rape. Then it comes along, 10, 15, 20 years, DNA evidence proves that they’re wrong.
Put them away for life, if they’ve been convicted. Put ‘em away for life. I think you’d save money probably if you think of all that process over there.
And I just don’t enjoy killing people, and that’s what the death penalty’s all about. Even though, in a moral sense, I’m sure plenty of them deserve it.