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Ron Paul Appeared On Meet The Press In '07 And Spoke Out Against Civil Rights Act (VIDEO)

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That's the same libertarian position articulated by Rand Paul on Rachel Maddow this week: that the section of the legislation that allowed the government to bar racial discrimination by private institutions like businesses was wrong.

Russert had asked Paul, then a Republican presidential candidate: "I read a speech you gave in 2004, the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. And you said this: 'Contrary to the claims of' 'supporters of the Civil Rights Act of' '64, 'the act did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of' '64 'increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.' That act gave equal rights to African-Americans to vote, to live, to go to lunch counters, and you seem to be criticizing it."

Paul responded: "But when it comes, Tim, you're, you're, you're not compelled in your house to invade strangers that you don't like. So it's a property rights issue. And this idea that all private property is under the domain of the federal government I think is wrong. So this--I think even Barry Goldwater opposed that bill on the same property rights position, and that--and now this thing is totally out of control. If you happen to like to smoke a cigar, you know, the federal government's going to come down and say you're not allowed to do this."

Check out the exchange, starting at about 4:50 in this clip:

MR. RUSSERT: Let me ask you about race, because I, I read a speech you gave in 2004, the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. And you said this: "Contrary to the claims of" "supporters of the Civil Rights Act of" '64, "the act did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of" '64 "increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty." That act gave equal rights to African-Americans to vote, to live, to go to lunch counters, and you seem to be criticizing it.

REP. PAUL: Well, we should do, we should do this at a federal level, at a federal lunch counter it'd be OK or for the military. Just think of how the government, you know, caused all the segregation in the military until after World War II. But when it comes, Tim, you're, you're, you're not compelled in your house to invade strangers that you don't like. So it's a property rights issue. And this idea that all private property is under the domain of the federal government I think is wrong. So this--I think even Barry Goldwater opposed that bill on the same property rights position, and that--and now this thing is totally out of control. If you happen to like to smoke a cigar, you know, the federal government's going to come down and say you're not allowed to do this.

MR. RUSSERT: But you would vote against...

REP. PAUL: So it's...

MR. RUSSERT: You would vote against the Civil Rights Act if, if it was today?

REP. PAUL: If it were written the same way, where the federal government's taken over property--has nothing to do with race relations. It just happens, Tim, that I get more support from black people today than any other Republican candidate, according to some statistics. And I have a great appeal to people who care about personal liberties and to those individuals who would like to get us out of wars. So it has nothing to do with racism, it has to do with the Constitution and private property rights.

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