Ron Paul may be considered a "fringe" conservative for his beliefs, but as a U.S. congressman running for a major party presidential ticket he received some bizarre coverage on CNN Friday. Anchor Carol Costello chuckled as the network played a clip of comedian Conan O'Brien mocking Paul's presidential bid, before asking her panel about the 2012 presidential field.
"We couldn't help but play a Conan O'Brien spot to lead into this Ron Paul segment," Costello admitted with a grin during the 10 a.m. EDT news hour Friday.
The clip featured TBS's O'Brien laughing at Paul's lax positions on the legalization of heroin and prostitution. "Yeah, his campaign slogan is 'Let's just see what would happen,'" O'Brien joked.
(Video after the break.)
Costello then asked the panel who among Republican presidential candidates they thought to be the biggest threat to Obama's chances of re-election.
Perhaps if CNN thought Paul to be such a "fringe" candidate as to merit mockery, they could have provided some comic relief before the 2008 election at the expense of left-wing "fringe" candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). Instead, they granted Kucinich plenty of air-time to express his proposal to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on May 13 at , is as follows:
CAROL COSTELLO: Ok, next topic, Ron Paul. And we couldn't help but play a Conan O'Brien spot to lead into this Ron Paul segment. Here goes.
(Begin Video Clip)
CONAN O'BRIEN, comedian: Tomorrow Ron Paul is going to announce that he's running for president. And guess what? This is real. He supports legalizing prostitution and heroin.
O'BRIEN: That's real. Yeah. That's true. Yeah, his campaign slogan is "Let's just see what would happen."
(End Video Clip)
COSTELLO: And the crowd goes wild. The 2012 GOP field is shaping up. Who do you think President Obama's biggest threat is?
(Text) Who do you think is President Obama's biggest GOP threat?