Rand Paul Interview: On the Ground Zero Mosque, Federal Reserve audit, gun rights, money bombs and more
August 18th, 2010 8:00 am | by Marc Gallagher | Published in Bailouts, Big Government, Civil Liberties, climate change, Commentary, congress, Constitution, Election, Federal Reserve, government spending, Libertarianism, Liberty, Market Regulation, Rand Paul, Second Amendment | 3 Responses
Once again Rand Paul was kind enough to agree to be interviewed by Liberty Maven as the latest and perhaps greatest money bomb of his campaign approaches.
Now the interview…
LM: With the overblown “Aqua Buddha” story spreading around the media like wildfire, it’s obvious your opponent’s attack machine is in full gear. How beneficial is it to respond to attacks of this kind? If your campaign staff find any “dirt” about Jack Conway’s past, will you respond in kind?
Rand Paul: No matter how the drive by media tries to distract from the issues in this race – the real issues facing Americans every day – we are committed to running a campaign of substance and real issues, and we will not engage in the politics of character assassination.
LM: When you become the next U.S. Senator from Kentucky what specific legislation would you introduce in your first year in office? How will that legislation benefit Kentuckians?
Rand Paul: There are a few things I want to do, for one I will propose and force a vote on an Enumerated Powers Act, to force Congress to point to the part of the Constitution that justifies their bills. That would benefit not only Kentuckians but everyone who has been affected by this out-of-control government forcing unconstitutional laws on us like Obamacare. Another will be a Balanced Budget Amendment with strict tax and spending limits.
LM: Your father has indicated that pushing through a full audit of the Fed is his top legislative priority. How high on your priority list is auditing the Fed, and what will you do to make sure it happens?
Rand Paul: Given that this incredible power is granted to a semi-private institution, one wonders why we don’t hear more about the Fed and its actions from the Congress. As Senator I would make sure that the Federal Reserve is held accountable and restore transparency to our monetary system. I fully support a true Audit of the Fed and will lead the fight for it in the Senate.
LM: Earlier this summer, former Justice Department official J. Christian Adams resigned due to the department dropping the New Black Panther Party case of voter intimidation. He called the case, “the simplest and most obvious violation of federal law I saw in my Justice Department career.” He has since gone public, appearing on Fox News, testifying, and providing documentation to support his claims. Given his claims and supporting evidence, as a U.S. Senator, would you propose or support an official investigation into the Obama Justice Department?
Rand Paul: The Obama administration has a problem with transparency and an overreach in power, such as the EPA trying to make law on climate change. I will always support Congressional oversight over a misappropriation of executive branch power.
LM: Recently, Senator Harry Reid came out against the plan to build a mosque near the site of the September 11th attacks. Given he is in a difficult campaign race it is hard to say if his opinion is for political reasons. Are you for or against building of the mosque? Do you consider it a property rights issue and/or religious freedom issue?
Rand Paul: While this is a local matter that will be decided by the people of New York, I do not support a mosque being built two blocks from Ground Zero. In my opinion, the Muslim community would better serve the healing process by making a donation to the memorial fund for the victims of September 11th.
LM: Do you feel troubled Democrats Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters (just to name two of many) are perfect examples of why there should be term limits for our legislative representatives?
Rand Paul: They are perfect examples of how long term incumbency leads to politicians who seem to care more about what is best for their career than what is best for their country. That’s why I support Term Limits, and will introduce such legislation in the Senate.
LM: In one of the early GOP primary debates in 2007 your father said the following when asked about phasing out the IRS, “…you can only do that if you change our ideas about what the role of government ought to be…”. Do you wish to phase out the IRS like your father and In your perfect society what role should the federal government have?
Rand Paul: The Constitution lays out specifically what the role of the federal government is supposed to be, and it is an important role, protecting our nation and protecting the rights of its citizens. But the politicians in Washington have abused their power, over-stepped their Constitutional boundaries, overtaxed, and overburdened Americans with record spending and deficits. I do support scrapping the current tax code and replacing it with something more simple and fair. The current code is over 16,000 pages and understood by absolutely no one. There was a recent article where they gave 45 tax accountants a tax return to do. They received 45 different returns. These people are paid to do this for a living, and they don’t understand it. It’s time to start over.
LM: The “money bomb” concept began during your father’s presidential campaign, and in his case, they were run exclusively by grassroots supporters. In contrast, your campaign has been rather involved in its various money bombs, including the big one on Thursday and Friday this week. Do you see any advantages or disadvantages to doing it either way?
Rand Paul: The grassroots support and enthusiasm is a major reason we have made it to where we are in the campaign. We appreciate that so much, and hope it continues. However when actions like this are organized, whether solely by grassroots, campaign, or both working together, it is always a good thing to have people on the side of liberty being active and making great things happen.
LM: Many Republicans and conservatives were very critical of Obama’s initial handling of the BP oil leak crisis. Some still are. What do you believe the president’s role should be in handling such disasters?
Rand Paul: This crisis has been a case study in failure to lead, failure to act, and using a crisis to advance your own agenda rather than solve the problem. BP should be held responsible for whatever their negligence was. They should pay for the cleanup. Congress and the Administration should examine how this happened, and what we can do to prevent this in the future. But It’s wrong for the Administration to use this crisis as a platform not for cleaning up the mess; but rather as one to threaten, bluster and seek to advance parts of their agenda.
LM: Here at Liberty Maven we are big on the 2nd Amendment and are avid shooters. In a previous interview with us you mentioned you own a gun (or guns). What gun (or guns) do you own and how often are you able to find time to get to the range and shoot?
Rand Paul: I am a very strong and vocal supporter of the 2nd amendment. I don’t think you’ll find a stronger proponent of guns running for U.S. Senate this year. I’m proud of my support from Gun Owners of America and National Association for Gun Rights. I’ve been to gun shows and shops all across Kentucky, and plan to keep doing that. I do own a gun, but don’t often get time to shoot, between the campaign, my medical practice and my family.
LM: Your recent op-ed in USA Today discussing libertarianism and conservatism where you deemed yourself “not quite” a libertarian seemed to be another (rather successful in my view) effort to unite conservatives and libertarians by focusing on where there are agreements. Is one of your fundamental campaign strategies to foster agreement between these groups?
Rand Paul: Yes, it is. The views that unite many conservatives and libertarians are grounded in deference to the Constitution and its principles, and a belief in limited government. These ideals have not been acted upon by many in Washington recently, and that’s why I’m running. It’s also why the Tea Parties exist – frustration with a lack of accountability on spending and the size of government.
These ideals – and the joining of all limited government advocates — form the basis for my campaign this year, one that has struck a chord with Republicans, independents, libertarians, and Tea Party activists. For the country’s sake I hope we can keep these groups in agreement and united against those who do not hold the same respect for those Constitutional principles.
LM: As an early endorser and supporter of your campaign our hope is that all of the people out there who are sick and tired of the Left’s outrageous and unfounded attacks on you and your character make this money bomb one of your best ever. Do you have a specific funds goal for this money bomb?
Rand Paul: Last year on August 20th – my dad’s 74th birthday – the ‘Run Rand Run’ Money Bomb raised $436,000 in 24 hours. This year, for two days on August 19th & 20th, we’re hoping to meet or exceed that goal.
I’d like to thank all of the campaign’s supporters who have been in our corner over the last year. Please continue to support us and help us send a message to Washington that we will no longer let them get away with business as usual.
Don’t forget to participate in the money bomb by donating on Thursday and Friday this week. Also be sure to tune in to the I Support Rand Paul Radio Marathon on August 19th (Thursday) beginning at 9am eastern time. Guests will include Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Bruce Fein, Peter Schiff, Jake Towne, BJ Lawson, Adam Kokesh, and more. Check out all the details.