The Sideshow

Ron Paul calls Secret Service protection ‘welfare’ during ‘Tonight Show’ appearance

Ron Paul is virtually absent from the campaign trail lately but he did manage to find time for an appearance on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," Tuesday night.

During the lengthy chat, Paul made news on a few fronts. Most notably, Paul explained why he has rejected Secret Service protection, calling it "a form welfare." However, he did say his preferred name would be "Bulldog" if he ever did receive formal security detail by the government.

"I would go after the Federal Reserve and all that big spending," Paul told Leno. "I'm an ordinary citizen, and I think I should pay for my own protection."

Today it was announced that Paul's campaign rivals Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum had recently received their Secret Service code names, "Javelin" and "Petrus," respectively.

Paul also waded into the contraception debate that has dominated Republican primary politics lately. He admitted to having prescribed birth control during his years as an OB-GYN in Texas despite his pro-life political views.

"I was also putting myself out of business, all this birth control," Paul said. "They had less babies." Paul says he has delivered around 4,000 babies over the years. When asked if women should have the right to choose, Paul said yes, but flipped the question back to the broader debate over personal rights.

"Yeah, I think so she should, but does the infant have the right to choose?" Paul said. "The baby at eight months and weighs eight poundsshould you, the mother have the right to abort? I have not been able to accept that."

The interview had plenty of light moments as well. At one point, Leno showed a clip with Paul's head superimposed on the body of a martial arts fighter.

Some conspiracy theorists have speculated that Paul has made an under the table agreement with Mitt Romney to continue his campaign in order to take support away from Romney's rivals.

"It's very secret, because he and I don't know a whole lot about it," Paul joked.

Paul was in Los Angeles for a campaign fundraising event.

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