Rand Paul's Political Views
Rand Paul's Biography
Rand Paul is a Republican Senator from Kentucky and was one of many candidates running for the Republican Nomination for President in 2016 before dropping out of the race in January after a poor performance in the Iowa Caucus. A self-proclaimed member of the Tea Party movement, Rand is the son of Ron Paul, a retired Republican Congressman from Texas who ran for President on a libertarian leaning platform in both the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections. This hub will attempt to take an unbiased look at Senator Paul's on the key political issues currently being debated in Washington. How does Senator Paul stack up against Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and other leading Republican Politicians?
Rand Paul's Views on Key Issues
Budget Deficits/Tax Cuts: Paul plans to tackle budget deficits through cuts in federal spending, though he has yet to outline the specific federal programs he will cut in order to reduce spending. In general, Paul has expressed support for reducing spending over cutting taxes, recently stating that "most of us in the tea party movement don't like taxes, and I won't vote to raise taxes. But I think a lot of us would trade no new taxes for reducing federal spending." In the past Paul has targeted federal spending on schools and bank bailouts as possible targets for reducing federal spending. Paul also expressed disapproval of the federal income tax in the past.
Economy/Unemployment: Paul praised current Kentucky senator Jim Bunning's decision to block unemployment benefits for unemployed federal workers earlier this year. Paul has not made any statements about a job creation program or economic restructuring besides general comments about reducing federal regulation, banning bailouts, and reducing federal spending on stimulus packages and infrastructure development.
Health Care Reform: Paul was a strong opponent of the Affordable Care Act (also known as "Obamacare" and has repeatedly voted for attempts to defund and/or strike down the law. When asked about alternatives in early 2015, he stated "We could try freedom for awhile....We had it for a long time. That’s where you sell something and I agree to buy it because I like it. That’s how we operate in most of the rest of the marketplace, other than healthcare." Paul has called for reductions on health care spending because current expenditures will "bankrupt the country."
Immigration: Paul wishes to beef up border security through the creation of "an underground electric fence with helicopter stations to respond quickly to the breaching of the border." He is opposed to the comprehensive immigration reform bill currently being debated in Congress and supports making "English the official language of all documents and contracts."
Foreign Policy/National Security: Paul expressed opposition with the deal President Obama reached with Iran in the summer of 2015 to remove sanctions in return for a halt to that country's nuclear program, calling the deal "bad because sanctions relief precedes evidence of compliance" and "Iran is left with significant nuclear capability." Paul is also known for his strong opposition to the USA Patriot Act (and its subsequent renewals), which was originally passed by President Bush after 9/11. Paul explained his position on the floor of the Senate in March 2015 by stating: "I will not let the Patriot Act, the most unpatriotic of acts, go unchallenged. At the very least, we should debate. We should debate whether or not we are going to relinquish our rights, or whether or not we are going to have a full and able debate over whether or not we can live within the Constitution, or whether or not we have to go around the Constitution." In the past, Paul made public statements suggesting support for the war in Afghanistan and condemning the use of force in Iraq. He also has called for an end to foreign aid to Egypt and all other countries he described as "uncertain U.S. allies."
Abortion and Women's Rights: Paul is extremely pro-life/anti-abortion, opposing abortion in all cases, even in cases of rape or incest. On his website, he express support a constitutional amendment banning abortion. In early 2014 appearance on CNN, Rand stated "This whole sort of war on women thing, I’m scratching my head, because if there was a war on women, I think they won." Paul cited statistics showing women were doing increasingly better in America to back his position.
Gay marriage: Paul is opposed to same sex marriage, however, he believes that it is an issue that should be decided on a state by state level. In 2013 he did compare same sex marriage to marriage between a human and a non-human, stating on the Glen Beck show "It is difficult, because we have no law on this, people will take it one extension further -- does it have to be humans?" Paul's office later claimed the statement was a joke.
Gun Rights: Paul is a self proclaimed "gun owner and defender of the second amendment," opposing any federal restrictions on gun ownership. His website states that he will "not support any proposed gun control law which would limit the right to gun ownership by those who are responsible, law-abiding citizens." Paul received some criticism in 2013 when he accused President Obama of using the victims of the Newtown, CT school shooting as "props" to discuss the possibility of implementing stricter gun control laws in the United States.
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