SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY) TELLS “CBS THIS MORNING” THAT NEW JERSEY GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE AND OTHERS ARE MAKING A MISTAKE BY ATTACKING LIBERTARIANS IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
PAUL TELLS CO-HOSTS CHARLIE ROSE AND NORAH O’DONNELL: “PEOPLE WHO WANT TO ATTACK THE LIBERTARIANS IN THE PARTY, THE LIBERTARIAN CONSERVATIVES IN THE PARTY, THEY NEED TO REALIZE OUR PARTY'S NOT BIG ENOUGH TO WIN RIGHT NOW - WE NEED MORE PEOPLE, NOT LESS PEOPLE”
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) said that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and others who are critical of Libertarians within the Republican Party are making a mistake, in an interview that was broadcast live, today, August 13, 2013 on CBS THIS MORNING (7:00-9:00 AM) on the CBS Television Network.
“We need more people, not less people,” Paul told co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell. “We want young people to come to the Republican Party. They don't have any money so they're not concerned about taxes, but they all have cell phones and they're all on the Internet and they're concerned about their privacy. So I think the Republican Party ought to be the party that is concerned with and wants to protect your right to privacy.”
Paul added that it was “a big mistake” for Christie to denounce Libertarians in the party. He said he’s still waiting to hear from Christie about getting together.
“I've offered him a beer, to have a beer summit, I would even come to New Jersey, I would even buy the beer, but so far I haven't gotten a positive response,” Paul said.
Excerpts of the interview are below.
NORAH O'DONNELL: What do you think about the announcement by the Attorney General about this mandatory sentencing, and how will that change things?
SEN. RAND PAUL: I think it's a good step in the right direction. A lot of people don't really realize this, but young people sometimes are caught up and make mistakes with drugs. But instead of a judge having the ability to give them a sentence that's appropriate, they're sometimes stuck giving them five, 10, even 20 years with no discretion. So if it's your child or my child and it's their first offense and there were extenuating circumstances, the judge can't listen to any of that, the judge is trapped and has to give them 20 years in prison sometimes. There are people serving life for non-violent crimes.
NORAH O'DONNELL: What about lawmakers who say look, this mandatory sentencing has gotten drug abusers and users off the streets, and those kinds of crimes lead to bigger crimes in the future.
SEN. RAND PAUL: What happens now is a lot of young people have criminal records now and they can't get jobs, and it's a downward spiral into poverty and more crime. So what I would say for non-violent crimes, we need to treat this more like a health problem and less like an incarceration problem.
NORAH O'DONNELL: One of the debates in this country, in part because of Edward Snowden and his now getting asylum in Russia, has been this question about surveillance in this country, NSA surveillance. Would you have voted if it came up in the Senate, to decrease funding for the NSA for this type of surveillance?
SEN. RAND PAUL: Yes, I think when you get information on someone's record, you should get a warrant. Which means, the Fourth Amendment says you have to be individualized to the person and the place and what you want. And I think it's really wrong that we write one order from a secret court and we get everybody's phone records, and I think that's a real mistake.
NORAH O'DONNELL: So can I just get you to respond then, this has already been played out, your disagreement with Chris Christie, who said "to those Libertarians in the Republican Party..."
SEN. RAND PAUL: Oh, you're not going to get me started on that, are you?
NORAH O'DONNELL: Well, do you want to get started on it?
SEN. RAND PAUL: I guess so, go ahead.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Well, look, I mean there are two different views on this, and not just in the Republican Party, we should say also in the Democratic Party, to be fair about this.
SEN. RAND PAUL: I think you're right.
NORAH O'DONNELL: But you heard Chris Christie denouncing the Libertarian wing of the party, and that includes you.
SEN. RAND PAUL: I think that was a big mistake.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Why?
SEN. RAND PAUL: Well the thing is, think about young people and what young people are concerned with. We want young people to come to the Republican Party. They don't have any money so they're not concerned about taxes, but they all have cell phones and they're all on the internet and they're concerned about their privacy. So I think the Republican Party ought to be the party that is concerned with and wants to protect your right to privacy.
CHARLIE ROSE: Can I turn to politics for a bit? You're among those people thinking about running for president.
SEN. RAND PAUL: The thought has crossed my mind.
CHARLIE ROSE: And making trips to Iowa and other places. What will make you decide to run?
SEN. RAND PAUL: You know, it's an enormous invasion of privacy to run for a national office. It'll be a big discussion with my family on whether or not one, we want to take on the onslaught and the scrutiny that you get with this, and really a lot of it's not fair to your family and your kids.
CHARLIE ROSE: Most politicians overcome that, don't they?
SEN. RAND PAUL: Well, yes and no. Some choose not to. So it is a big decision, and I haven't made my mind up yet.
CHARLIE ROSE: The feud is over with Gov. Christie?
SEN. RAND PAUL: I've offered him a beer, to have a beer summit, I would even come to New Jersey, I would even buy the beer, but so far I haven't gotten a positive response.
CHARLIE ROSE: Can the Republican Party get past these kinds of differences between people who may appeal to moderates?
SEN. RAND PAUL: I think the Republican Party's big enough for both of us, it's big enough for all of us. And really, to tell you the truth, people who want to attack the Libertarians in the party, the Libertarian Conservatives in the party, they need to realize our party's not big enough to win right now. We need more people, not less people.