Ron Paul on Strauss-Kahn's arrest: 'These are the kinds of people who are running the IMF'
The newest announced Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul, wasted no time inserting himself into the international scandal involving the arrest of the head of the International Monetary Fund on sexual assault charges.
The 12-term Texas Republican representative is no friend of large financial institutions, be it the IMF or the Federal Reserve. Appearing on "Fox News Sunday" 48 hours after announcing his candidacy, Paul sought to paint the removal of Dominique Strauss-Kahn from a departing international flight and his arrest on suspicion of attempted rape of a Manhattan hotel maid as the kinds of high-handed things to be expected of such authorities.
"These are the kinds of people who are running the IMF," Paul told Chris Wallace, "and we want to turn the world's finances and the control of the money supply [over] to them?"
Paul added he hoped the incident "should awaken everybody to the fact they ought to look into the IMF and find out why we shouldn't be sacrificing more sovereignty to an organization like that and individuals like he was." Watch Paul's full interview on the Fox News video below.
"I would like to go to a sound American currency," Paul warned, "but others want to go to a world currency. They want to use the IMF."
Straus-Kahn, 62, appeared likely to win the French Socialist Party's nomination for president later this year, with a good chance of defeating the increasingly unpopular Nicolas Sarkozy in the spring of 2012. But all that was put in question over the weekend after the 32-year-old maid said he had confronted her while naked and assaulted her sexually.
Soon after, Straus-Kahn was removed from a departing Air France flight Saturday at Kennedy International Airport and faces arraignment today. As our colleagues Geraldine Baum and Kim Willsher note here:
"With his political connections and past experience as French finance minister, Strauss-Kahn also has played an important role in plans by the IMF and European Union to rescue the Greek, Irish and Portuguese economies."
The 76-year-old Paul said his job qualifications are different from others. "I don't want to run peoples' lives and run the world and run the economy," he said.
"To brag that I could run things, I don't do that," he said, "because that's not what a president's supposed to do. A president is supposed to guarantee and work for the protection of liberty and allow people to take care of their problems."
Paul's third bid for the White House (2008 as a Republican and 1988 as a Libertarian) has attracted more attention this time because of his proven money-raising abilities and the fact that many of his standard issues -- such as over-spending, the size of the federal government and opposition to foreign wars -- have emerged as major concerns in the minds of millions, including many backers of the "tea party."
As we noted here Friday, Paul seems unlikely to win the GOP's nomination, but the issues he champions are driving the party's debate right now and seem likely to continue.
Paul said his energetic supporters "want to stand up and say No to spending, No to our foreign policy and Yes to liberty and Yes to our Constitution. When we have that, we'll have reform and we will have the true revolution that we need."
-- Andrew Malcolm
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Photo: Mike Segar / Reuters (the IMF chief in New York police custody Sunday); Brian Snyder / Reuters (Paul greets New Hampshire supporters, May 13).