On March 8th, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Austin Petersen held his latest Facebook live stream that is now also available as a Facebook video. In it, he addressed his support for Ron Paul as well as some of his disagreements with the 1988 Libertarian Party presidential nominee. The video was a response to Rocco Lucente’s column in Liberty Conservatives Magazine entitled “Austin Petersen: Ron Paul sounds like he hates America.” In his article, Lucente quotes Petersen as saying “the more I listen to Ron Paul the more it sounds like he actually despises this country.” Lucente’s full article is below:
Austin Petersen has emerged as one of the frontrunners for the Libertarian Party nomination, campaigning as a son of the Ron Paul revolution who hopes to bring conservative leaning libertarians into the tent in order to create a broad enough coalition to win the Libertarian nomination. Petersen has been fairly articulate in the debates, arguing that he will be the man to bring on significant numbers of Republican voters should Donald Trump be the Republican nominee. Petersen boasts of his credentials in working for Judge Andrew Napolitano and founding The Libertarian Republic. That being said, Petersen’s campaign may run into some trouble if this incendiary audio gets out within the liberty grassroots.
In July of 2014 Petersen stated that Ron Paul sounded like he hates America as a response to an AP article which stated Paul was defending Russia. Petersen also stated that he thought Ron Paul was using the same tactics as those who defended the Soviet Union in order to defend the actions of a big government overseas (that being Russia). He said that Ron Paul’s rhetoric sounded like Soviet apologia, and asked why he would want to sound like he was defending a big government overseas. Petersen’s comparison of Ron Paul’s non interventionist foreign policy to Soviet style propaganda is sure to inflame liberty voters who have largely viewed Petersen as a close alternative to Paul.
Petersen goes on to implicitly reject the notion that the war on terror finds its roots in blowback from our foreign policy. Petersen states that the more you delve into foreign policy the more you realize that there are in fact people who hate us for our freedoms, and that the actors in the current “war on terror” are an example of this. He claims that Ron Paul blames the United States whenever something wrong happens overseas, and that “when you start sounding like Soviet apparatchiks or real America hating socialist liberals then you have a problem”. He believes that Paul’s rhetoric will lead to people thinking that libertarians hate America, due to Paul’s constant incorrect (in his view) blaming of the United States for every problem.
These revelations will bring up questions as to whether those of us who did invest money and time into the Ron Paul campaign in 2008 and/or 2012 should invest our time and money in Petersen’s campaign. I would ask Petersen what he believes was the primary cause of 9/11? I’d ask him whether he believes ISIS hates us for our freedoms or our interventionist policies? Does he believe it is a defense of a thuggish regime to defend the notion of not intervening against them? Finally, I would ask if he would apologize to Dr Paul for saying he sounds like he hates America. Dr. Paul has brought more people to the ideas of liberty than anybody in the modern history of this country. If Mr Petersen wants to be a Libertarian standard bearer he can start by giving our movements greatest champions the respect they deserve.
Petersen blasted Lucente’s article in his video, and in a Facebook comment said:
Rocco Lucente if you were honest you’d have contacted me for a statement before you wrote the piece. Instead you wrote a hit piece.