As has happened in the past, the liberal but thoughtful Stewart gave Rep. Paul a fair — even favorable — hearing. “You seem to have put a lot of thought and effort into this book,” Stewart began the interview, adding in mock scorn “and you call yourself a Congressman!” When Stewart asked Rep. Paul how he would prevent corporatism, the Congressman replied that he wanted to enforce anti-fraud laws. With the Federal Reserve, he added, “It's hard to enforce antifraud laws when the government is participating in the fraud.”
The television show appearance happened at a time his bill to audit the Federal Reserve Bank (H.R. 1207) received its first committee hearing since Rep. Paul first introduced the legislation in 1983. The bill clearly has enough support to pass the House; it has 295 cosponsors and the backing of House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, who has promised a committee vote. Every Republican in the House is signed on as a co-sponsor, in addition to more than 100 Democrats.
The increasing influence of Dr. Ron Paul, who was until recently a respected but ignored force in Washington, has not escaped the attention of the Washington Post and Politico.com in recent weeks. Rep. Paul's Daily Show appearance also comes at a time when the Ron Paul political machine is gearing up for 2010. Ron Paul's election year fundraising prowess has not diminished since the end of his presidential campaign. His Campaign for Liberty, the remains of his old presidential campaign, has raised $4 million since its February founding this year. And two Ron Paul-aligned senatorial candidates have each raised more than $1 million through the Internet for their campaigns, his son Dr. Rand Paul (who is running as a Republican for an open seat in Kentucky) and former economic advisor to the presidential campaign Peter Schiff (who is running as a Republican against Christopher Dodd in Connecticut).