Video: Stewart's advice to Ron Paul: Compromise your principles

May 10, 2011|By Luke Broadwater

On the “The Daily Show” tonight, comedian Jon Stewart offered some advice to U.S. Congressman Ron Paul on his recent performance at the first GOP presidential debate last week.

Stewart noted that Paul had already won several straw polls and could be a favorite for the nomination if he would just compromise his libertarian principles.

Then Stewart played two clips of Paul criticizing the military’s use of secret prisons and of runaway military spending.

“We do not need secret prisons nor do we need the torture that goes on in these secret military prisons,” Paul said. “Maybe we could take care of some people back home if we weren’t spending $1.5 trillion per year on our militarism.”

The camera then cut back to Stewart, who looked incredulous.

“What are you doing?” he asked. “This is a weak Republican field. All you have to do is compromise your libertarian principles a little bit.”

Stewart then played a clip, which I highlighted on this blog last week, in which Fox News’ Chris Wallace challenges Paul on his belief that the federal government shouldn’t ban drug use, prostitution or gay marriage.

“OK, here’s your chance,” Stewart said. “WWJMD. What would John McCain do? The nomination can be yours. All you have to do is take the principles that made you a respected iconoclast and distance yourself from them.”

Instead, as we know, Paul stuck to his guns.  

"How many people here would use heroin if it were legal? I bet nobody would,” he said, earning applause from the crowd.

The camera cut back to Stewart.

“No!” he shouted. “The correct answer is ‘Prayer in Schools.’ What are you doing?! You keep this up and you’ll never end up a shell of your former self.”

At that, a photo of John McCain appeared on the screen.

The implication was clear: McCain sacrificed his principles to earn the Republican nomination. Paul will not, and therefore will have a much more difficult road ahead of him. 

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