Ron Paul: Romney would be ‘marginally’ better than Obama, not ‘100 percent different’

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Paul added that his warning is “not so much that [Romney] doesn’t have better ideas” than Obama. He said the “one area” where Romney might be definitively better is “on the tax issue.”

But Paul said he rejects the idea that Obama should be blamed for every problem the Republican candidates have targeted in their respective campaigns.

“I think it’s presumptuous to say the whole thing, the world is coming to an end because of Obama,” Paul said. Paul, who has used his candidacy in large part to advocate his libertarian ideas, noted that the government expanded under a Republican president as well and Obama cannot be solely blamed for the state of the federal deficit.

“When you think about the last 50 years, you can’t pin it down either on one party or one individual,” he said. “To say all we need is a Republican [in office] who doesn’t have precise differences with [Obama], I think that’s a panacea.”

Paul is known for attracting strong support on college campuses, where he noted he can draw a crowd of up to 8,000. He said the youth vote is “disenchanted” and unengaged with the Republican Party despite disappointment with Obama, who carried the college-age vote by a strong margin in 2008.

“They don’t buy into this ‘it’s all Obama’s fault,’ ” Paul said. “Young people don’t expect a whole lot of change.”

Paul also weighed in on the developing situation with Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng. The State Department had brokered a deal allowing Chen to remain in China, but the activist — whose house arrest by the Chinese government was publicized by Hollywood actor Christian Bale’s attempt to visit him last year — has since implored the United States to help him flee the country.

Paul, asked about the situation by Ingraham, said he could not give “an easy answer” without knowing all the details of the complicated case.

“We cannot assume that we have all the authority to rectify all the infractions of civil liberties in China when we have so many here,” Paul noted. “We have a mess here. Our responsibility as representatives here … would be to ensure civil liberties here.”

But he added that the United States does have some responsibility in this case, because Chen hid at the American Embassy in Beijing after escaping house arrest about 10 days ago. The situation has put the Obama administration on the defense in the midst of U.S. negotiations with China at the U.S.-China Economic and Strategic Dialogue, which began Thursday.

“If they get into our embassy, that to me is like escaping to our country, and to send them back into their country doesn’t make any sense,” Paul said.