Ron Paul Says He Wouldn't Have Ordered Bin Laden Raid

Add it to the list of principled stands that make him unelectable

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Well here's a great way to kickoff your 2012 presidential campaign. Adding to the list of stances that make Ron Paul both iconoclastic and unelectable, the Texas congressman said he would not have authorized the raid on Osama bin Laden. The unpopular stance was voiced on the heels of his bid to run for the White House, which Politico reports will be announced tomorrow. In an interview with Iowa radio station WHO, the likely GOP presidential candidate said "things could have been done somewhat differently."

"I don't think it was necessary, no. It absolutely was not necessary," he said, citing the rules of international law regarding respect for national sovereignty. "I would suggest the way they got Khalid [Sheikh] Mohammed. We went and cooperated with Pakistan. They arrested him, actually, and turned him over to us, and he's been in prison. Why can't we work with the government?"

It's positions like these that infuriate Republican hardliners who must endure Paul's orating at events like CPAC (where he won the straw poll vote in 2011 and 2010) and watch his fundraising machine often outpace more mainstream Republicans. We can now add not ordering the raid on bin Laden's compound to the list of other Ron Paul positions that make him unelectable. By our count that includes:

  • eliminating the Department of Education (and most federal agencies for that matter) 
  • immediately withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan (that won't fly in a GOP primary)
  • withdrawing from NATO and the UN
  • opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • eliminating the Federal Reserve System (maybe not an unelectable position but a tough sell).

But the fact that Paul consistently says what he believes and acts on it, has its own appeal for his supporters. So buckle up Republicans, we're expecting plenty more moments like this as he takes off on the campaign trail. He'll make the announcement on ABC's Good Morning America at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow. Here's the tape from the radio interview:

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.