Rand Paul in CNN 2015 GOP primary debate


On Drugs: More rehabilitation and less incarceration

Q [to Senator Paul]: Governor Christie recently said, "if you're getting high in Colorado today," where marijuana has been legalized, "enjoy it until January 2017, because I will enforce the federal laws against marijuana." Will you?

PAUL: I think one of the great problems, and what American people don't like about politics, is hypocrisy. People have one standard for others and not for them--for themselves. The people going to jail for this are poor people, often African-Americans and often Hispanics, and yet the rich kids who use drugs aren't. I personally think that this is a crime for which the only victim is the individual, and I think that America has to take a different attitude. I would like to see more rehabilitation and less incarceration. I'm a fan of the drug courts which try to direct you back towards work and less time in jail.

CHRISTIE: N.J. says if you are non-violent, non-dealing drug user, you don't go to jail for your first offense. You go to mandatory treatment.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Drugs: Apply 10th Amendment to let states keep pot legal

Gov. CHRISTIE [to PAUL]: we shouldn't be legalizing gateway drugs. And if Senator Paul thinks that the only victim is the person, look at the decrease in productivity; their families are the victims too. That's why I'll enforce the federal law.

PAUL: I don't think that the federal government should override the states. I believe in the 10th Amendment and I really will say that the states are left to themselves. Understand what they're saying: Gov. Christie would go into Colorado, and if you're breaking any federal law on marijuana, even though the state law allows it, he would put you in jail. If a young mother is trying to give her child cannabis oil for medical marijuana for seizure treatment, he would put her in jail. I would let Colorado do what the Tenth Amendment says. We were never intended to have crime dealing at the federal level. Crime was supposed to be left to the states. Colorado has made their decision. And I don't want the federal government interfering.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Drugs: Pot laws result in poor kids going to jail & not rich kids

There is at least one prominent example of someone who says they smoked pot in high school, and yet the people going to jail for this are poor people, often African-Americans and often Hispanics, and yet the rich kids who use drugs aren't. I think the war on drugs has had a racial outcome, and really has been something that has damaged our inner cities. Not only do the drugs damage them, we damage them again by incarcerating them and then preventing them from getting employment over time.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Foreign Policy: Let those in the Middle East fight the battles there

I'm not sending our sons and our daughters back to Iraq. The war didn't work. We can amplify those who live there.

The Kurds deserve to be armed and I'll arm them. But the boots on the ground need to be the people who live there. Why are we always the world's patsies that we have to go over there and fight their wars for them? We need to defend American interests, but it is not in America's national security interests to have another war in Iraq.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Health Care: I'm for vaccines, but don't require bunching them altogether

One of the greatest medical discoveries were vaccines, particularly for smallpox. I'm all for vaccines. But I'm also for freedom. I'm also concerned about how they're bunched up. My kids had all of their vaccines, and even if the science doesn't say bunching them up is a problem, I ought to have the right to spread out my vaccines out a little bit at the very least.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Homeland Security: Talk with Iran like we talked to Russians during Cold War

We continued to talk with the Russians throughout the Cold War. Should we continue to talk with Iran? Yes. Should we cut up the [Iranian nuclear inspection] agreement immediately? That's absurd. Wouldn't you want to know if they complied? Now, I'm going to vote against the agreement because I don't think there's significant leverage, but it doesn't mean that I would immediately not look at the agreement, and cut it up without looking to see if whether or not Iran has complied.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Immigration: We need a Supreme Court case on birthright citizenship

Q [to Trump]: Where do you stand on the issue of birthright citizenship?

TRUMP: I believe that a reading of the 14th Amendment allows you to have an interpretation where this is not legal and where it can't be done. I've seen both sides, but some of the greatest scholars agree with me, without having to go through Congress. If you do go through Congress, you can absolutely solve the problem.

PAUL: Donald Trump has a bit of a point here. The case that was decided around 1900 was, people had a green card, were here legally, and they said that their children were citizens. There's never been a direct Supreme Court case on people who were here illegally, whether or not their kids are citizens. So it hasn't really been completely adjudicated. The 14th Amendment says that "those who are here and under the jurisdiction." The original author of the 14th Amendment said on the Senate floor that this was applying to slaves, and did not specifically apply to others.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Principles & Values: I spend my days defending the Bill of Rights

I spend my days defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I think there's nothing more important than understanding that the Constitution restrains government, not the people.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Social Security: Get rid of payroll tax to give working class a tax cut

Our companies, and jobs are being chased overseas by a 70,000 page tax code, so, that's why I've chosen to get rid of the whole thing, and have one single rate, 14 and a-half percent for everybody, business, and for corporate income, and personal income. But, we also get rid of the payroll tax, so the working class would get a tax break as well. So, I think a flat tax, eliminating the tax code, getting rid of all the loopholes, is the way to go, and it's the way we get America going again.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On War & Peace: I opposed Iraq war in 2003 & I oppose Syria war now

TRUMP: I am the only person on this dais--the only person--that fought very, very hard against us going into Iraq--that was in 2003. You have to know when to use the military. I'm the only person up here that fought against going into Iraq.

PAUL: I've made my career as being an opponent of the Iraq War. I was opposed to the Syria war. I was opposed to arming people who are our enemies. Iran is now stronger because Hussein is gone. Hussein was the great bulwark and counterbalance to the Iranians. So when we complain about the Iranians, you need to remember that the Iraq War made it worse. Originally, Governor Bush was asked, "Was the Iraq War a mistake?", and he said, "No. We'd do it again." We have to learn sometimes the interventions backfire. The Iraq War backfired and did not help us. We're still paying the repercussions of a bad decision. We have make the decision now in Syria, should we topple Assad? I said no, because if you do, ISIS will now be in charge of Syria.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On War & Peace: If we had bombed Syria, ISIS would control Damascus today

Had we bombed Assad, like President Obama wanted, and like Hillary Clinton wanted and many Republicans wanted, ISIS would be in Damascus today. ISIS would be in charge of Syria had we bombed Assad. Sometimes both sides of the civil war are evil. Every time we have toppled a secular dictator, we have gotten chaos, the rise of radical Islam, and we're more at risk. I think we need to think before we act, and know most interventions in the Middle East have actually backfired on us.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

The above quotations are from CNN Two-Tier 2015 GOP primary debate
First Tier: Eleven candidates by polls
Second Tier: Four other Republicans
.
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Page last updated: Sep 05, 2016