Rand Paul

3:18 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Rand Paul: Republicans Have President Obama "Where We Want Him" on Sequester

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul believes the sequester and its $85 billion in spending cuts present a great political opportunity for Republicans. In an interview with WKU Public Radio Tuesday, Sen. Paul said as the March 1 deadline nears, more and more members of the GOP are starting to believe the sequester may be their best bet for getting significant spending cuts to become reality

According to Sen. Paul, Republicans "have the President where we want him. These spending cuts will occur automatically, without a Presidential signature, and without the Democrats in the Senate voting for it"

WKU Public Radio spoke with Sen. Paul about sequester politics, gun control, and America's appetite for a libertarian presidential candidate.

Here are some excerpts from our interview:

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9:54 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Paul Considering Presidential and Senate Run in 2016

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says he'll wait until next year to decide whether to run for President, but he says he believes voters are ready for a Libertarian Republican candidate. And, even though he's up for re-election to his Senate seat in 2016, the same year as the Presidential election, he says there's "probably a way that could be done, but we haven't finalized any plans."

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday", Paul said, "I would absolutely not run unless it were to win."

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5:54 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Paul: America Doesn't Need Robin Hood

In his Tea Party response to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, Kentucky Republican senator Rand Paul said there actually is plenty of bi-partisanship between Democrats and Republicans in Washington saying, "both parties have been guilty of spending too much, of protecting their sacred cows, of backroom deals in which everybody up here wins, but every taxpayers loses."

Paul at times spoke as though he was an outsider instead of an elected member of the Senate, even using the word "they" when referring to other Senators.

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2:15 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Hemp Bill Sails Through Kentucky Senate Agriculture Committee

(From right) U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, Congressman John Yarmuth, D-KY, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer, and Congressman Thomas Massie, R-KY, testify in favor of an industrial hemp bill up for consideration in the Kentucky Senate Agriculture Committee.
Credit Kentucky LRC

After testimony from a bevy of high-level supporters, the state Senate agriculture committee unanimously approved Monday a bill that would establish oversight for Kentucky  industrial hemp farmer if hemp were made legal federally.

Agriculture Commission James Comer—the leading proponent of industrial hemp in Kentucky—recruited U.S. Reps. Thomas Massie and John Yarmuth to speak in favor of the bill at the committee, as well as U.S. Sen.  Rand Paul. But the bill has opposition from many law enforcement agencies, including the Kentucky State Police and Operation UNITE, a federally-funded program.

The crop could create jobs in Kentucky in agriculture and other industries through hemp's use as a strong material, said Comer, a Republican. The legislative approved in committee Monday, Senate Bill 50, is Comer's chief legislative priority.

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11:33 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Hearing on Industrial Hemp Set for Monday in Frankfort

Should hemp laws be changed? Kentucky lawmakers are taking up the issue Monday.

The effort to legalize industrial hemp is gaining steam nationally and in Kentucky. State lawmakers will hold a hearing today in Frankfort about the issue, and some heavy-hitters are lined up to back the effort.

Appearing at Monday's hearing will be U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, U.S. Representatives John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie, and former CIA Director James Woolsey. Also appearing will be Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who has made the legalization of industrial hemp his number one legislative priority.

Law enforcement groups remain opposed to legalizing hemp because they say it will be impossible to distinguish between hemp and marijuana. Supporters say it's not difficult to tell the difference between the two plants.

Kentucky Public Radio Frankfort Bureau Chief Kenny Colston is covering today's hearing on hemp and we'll have updates online, at our Facebook page, and during our state and regional newscasts later today on All Things Considered.

State of the Union
5:27 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Rand Paul Will Offer Tea Party Response to President's State of the Union Address

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has been chosen to deliver the Tea Party's response to President Obama's State of the Union Address Tuesday night.

The Bowling Green Republican will follow Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who will give the official Republican response to the President's speech. Paul has admitted he is considering a run for the White House in 2016, and recently told reporters he wants to find a way to "part of the national debate."

WKU Public Radio is airing live coverage of the President's State of the Union address and the Republican response. That coverage begins Tuesday at 8 p.m. central/9 eastern.

This will be the third time the Tea Party has offered a response to President Obama's State of the Union address. Sen. Paul will speak from the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

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6:12 pm
Sun February 10, 2013

Paul: It's "Unseemly" that President Orders Drone Strikes Against U.S. Citizens

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says the President shouldn't be able to authorize drone strikes on U.S. citizens until there is some sort of review process in place.

Speaking Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" program, the Republican from Bowling Green said that it was "very unseemly that a politician gets to decide the death of an American citizen."

"They should answer about this 16-year-old boy, al-Awlaki’s son, that was killed, not in collateral damage but in a separate strike. They never answered that. I think you should be tried for treason if you’re an American citizen, you go overseas and you take up arms. I’m probably for executing you but I want to hear the evidence," Sen. Paul said.

Paul was referring to Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the teenager son of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born al- Qaeda propagandist killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen a year ago. The teenager was killed in a separate strike some two weeks after his father was killed.

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8:21 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Rand Paul Again Planning to Take on TSA, Airport Security Screenings

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says he plans to refile a bill that would scale back the power of the Transportation Security Administration. The Bowling Green Republican told Politico he has two different measures ready to go—one that would privatize the TSA, and another that would create a passenger bill of rights.

Paul introduced those bills during last year’s Congress, but both measures failed to get out of the Senate Commerce Committee. Paul wants to end the TSA screening operation and force airports to hire private companies to conduct security screenings. Paul’s legislation would also allow some fliers to opt out of pat-downs, and create an expedited screening program for frequent fliers.

Sen. Paul drew national attention last year when he resisted a pat-down at the Nashville airport. That refusal caused him to miss a speech he was scheduled to make, and a video of the incident went viral on the internet.

2:58 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Can The Kentucky Tea Party Win? An Election Analysis

With the news that more than a dozen tea party groups are actively recruiting a GOP candidate  to run against U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014, it’s worth taking a look at how Kentucky tea party-endorsed candidates have fared in statewide or Congressional races.

Since forming in the run up to the 2010 mid-term elections, Kentucky's tea party has won more than a third of the races its challenged for prominent offices, and its candidates have won several primaries over Republican establishment candidates.

Here's a rundown:

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8:35 am
Sun January 27, 2013

Paul: Republican Party in Need of Facelift

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Kentucky's junior U.S. Senator says the Republican Party must broaden its appeal to voters by toning down some of its rhetoric on social issues. Rand Paul also thinks the GOP too often presents itself as a party "eager to go to war."

Paul, a first-term Senator from Bowling Green and rumored 2016 Presidential candidate, spoke to more than 500 Cincinnati-area Republicans over the weekend.

Paul said if Republicans hope to rebound from recent electoral disappointments, the GOP must find new ways to reach out to voters who disagree with the party on hot-topic issues such as abortion and gay marriage.

“We’re going to have to be a little hands off on some of these issues ... and get people into the party,” Paul told the audience.

This isn't the first time Paul has spoken out on the need for the GOP to refashion its approach. He was recently quoted as saying Republicans must "evolve and adapt", or else face continued losses on election day.