Ron Paul, the libertarian GOP presidential candidate, has admitted that he collects Social Security benefits, despite the fact that he is a huge opponent of the entitlement program and has called it unconstitutional.
Ron Paul has made a name for himself in large part by framing himself as the small-government, free-market candidate who wants to help you keep your money rather than sending it to the government to pay for programs like Social Security and welfare.
The Texas congressman tried to finesse the remarks, but the damage had already been done, as his opponents will surely use them against him, and it will likely make some of his vociferous supporters stop and scratch their heads, and perhaps even re-evaluate who the candidate they adore really is.
The exchange began during a portion of the show when Paul said, I want young people to opt out of Social Security, but my goal isn't to cut.
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Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein followed that up moments later by asking Ron Paul whether he should opt out of the Social Security program himself to set an example for younger Americans. Ron Paul said he does not believe that he should, then went on to explain:
Just as I use the post office, I use government highways, I use the banks, I use the Federal Reserve system, but that doesn't mean you can't work to remove this in the same way on Social Security, the Texas congressman said. In the same way with Social Security, I am trying to make a transition.
Later on in the show he revisited the topic again, saying, I would preserve Social Security as best I can, but we want to get off.
Click play below to watch a YouTube video of Ron Paul's Social Security remarks and the preceding and ensuing conversation with Sam Stein: