Rand Paul

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I would've, had I've been alive at the time, I think, had the courage to march with Martin Luther King to overturn institutional racism, and I see no place in our society for institutional racism.

Rand Paul (born January 7, 1963) is the United States junior Senator for the state of Kentucky. He is a member of the Republican Party who describes himself as a libertarian.



  • The fundamental reason why Medicare is failing is why the Soviet Union failed — socialism doesn't work.
    • Kentucky Tonight, KET, 16 June 1998 


  • The Daily News ignores, as does the Fair Housing Act, the distinction between private and public property. Should it be prohibited for public, taxpayer-financed institutions such as schools to reject someone based on an individual's beliefs or attributes? Most certainly. Should it be prohibited for private entities such as a church, bed-and-breakfast or retirement neighborhood that doesn't want noisy children? Absolutely not. Decisions concerning private property and associations should in a free society be unhindered.
  • A free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination, even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin. It is unenlightened and ill-informed to promote discrimination against individuals based on the color of their skin. It is likewise unwise to forget the distinction between public (taxpayer-financed) and private entities.
  • Some Republicans are not going to want to hear this, but I live near Fort Campbell, and there are 50,000 soldiers there. I tell people you have to truly imagine what your feelings would be if those soldiers were Chinese soldiers and they were occupying the United States. We wouldn't have it. Republican and Democrat, we'd be blowing up the Chinese with roadside bombs as they were coming off the base. No country wants foreign soldiers on their land.
    • Campaign rally for Ron Paul, 2008-01-31
    • on US forces in Iraq
  • I would introduce and support legislation to send Roe v. Wade back to the states.
  • I think term limits are a good idea.
  • I do want to reduce the income tax and if possible, eliminate the income tax...The first thing you do is balance the budget, then reduce the size of government.
  • We have people coming in by the millions...Am I absolutely opposed to immigration? No...We have to find a way to believe in the rule of law, believe in border control and at the same time, not villify the issue.
  • [I]f you think you have the right to health care, you are saying basically that I am your slave. I provide health care. … My staff and technicians provide it. … If you have a right to health care, then you have a right to their labor.
    • Town hall meeting in Lexington, 2009-11


  • In cases of rape, trying to prevent pregnancies is obviously the best thing. The morning-after pill works successfully most of the time. Ultimately we do better if we do have better education about family planning.
    • Lorie Settles (26 January 2010), "US Senate hopeful Rand Paul visits Middlesboro", Middlesboro Daily News, retrieved on 2010-11-17 
    • Posed question: "What about instances of rape or incest or where the outcome may not be death, but severe medical problems for the mother or child. Do you think that in these cases the decision should be left to the government rather than the families?"
  • "I never, ever cheated [in medical school]. I don't condone cheating. But I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic. Misinformation can be very important."
  • Robert Siegel
    You've said that business should have the right to refuse service to anyone, and that the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA, was an overreach by the federal government. Would you say the same by extension of the 1964 Civil Rights Act?
    Rand Paul
    What I've always said is that I'm opposed to institutional racism, and I would've, had I've been alive at the time, I think, had the courage to march with Martin Luther King to overturn institutional racism, and I see no place in our society for institutional racism.
    Robert Siegel
    But are you saying that had you been around at the time, you would have hoped that you would have marched with Martin Luther King but voted with Barry Goldwater against the 1964 Civil Rights Act?
    Rand Paul
    Well, actually, I think it's confusing on a lot of cases with what actually was in the civil rights case because, see, a lot of the things that actually were in the bill, I'm in favor of. I'm in favor of everything with regards to ending institutional racism. So I think there's a lot to be desired in the civil rights. And to tell you the truth, I haven't really read all through it because it was passed 40 years ago and hadn't been a real pressing issue in the campaign, on whether we're going to vote for the Civil Rights Act.
  • Rachel Maddow
    Do you think that a private business has the right to say we don't serve black people?
    Rand Paul
    I'm not in favor of any discrimination of any form; I would never belong to any club that excluded anybody for race. We still do have private clubs in America that can discriminate based on race. But I think what's important about this debate is not written into any specific "gotcha" on this, but asking the question: what about freedom of speech? Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent? Should we limit racists from speaking? I don't want to be associated with those people, but I also don't want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that's one of the things freedom requires is that we allow people to be boorish and uncivilized, but that doesn't mean we approve of it. I think the problem with this debate is by getting muddled down into it, the implication is somehow that I would approve of any racism or discrimination, and I don't in any form or fashion.
  • I do defend and believe that the government should not be involved with institutional racism or discrimination or segregation in schools, busing, all those things. But had I been there, there would have been some discussion over one of the titles of the civil rights. And I think that's a valid point, and still a valid discussion, because the thing is, is if we want to harbor in on private businesses and their policies, then you have to have the discussion about: do you want to abridge the First Amendment as well. Do you want to say that because people say abhorrent things — you know, we still have this. We're having all this debate over hate speech and this and that. Can you have a newspaper and say abhorrent things? Can you march in a parade and believe in abhorrent things, you know?
  • What I don't like from the president's administration is this sort of, 'I'll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.' I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business. I've heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it's part of this sort of blame-game society in the sense that it's always got to be someone's fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen. I mean, we had a mining accident that was very tragic and I've met a lot of these miners and their families. They're very brave people to do a dangerous job. But then we come in and it's always someone's fault. Maybe sometimes accidents happen.
    • Good Morning America (ABC), 21 May 2010 
    • Paul Krugman (21 May 2010), "Why Libertarianism Doesn’t Work, Part N+1", New York Times, ISSN 0362-4331, retrieved on 2010-12-02 
    • on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and 2010-05-05 explosion at Massey's Upper Big Branch mine
    • reference to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar telling CNN on 2010-05-02, "Our job basically is to keep the boot on the neck of British Petroleum."
  • If President Obama had consulted Congress, as our Constitution requires him to do, perhaps we could have debated these questions before hastily involving ourselves in yet another Middle Eastern conflict. While the President is the commander of our armed forces, he is not a king. He may involve those forces in military conflict only when authorized by Congress or in response to an imminent threat. Neither was the case here.
  • I think this sets a very bad precedent, the president unilaterally on his own starting war without any consent from Congress.
    • Fox News, 2011-03-30
    • regarding U.S. participation in enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya
  • I told my constituents when I ran for office that the most important vote I would ever take would be on sending their men and women — the boys and girls, the young men and women in my state — or anywhere else in the United States — to war. To me, it's an amazing thing, an amazing thing that we would do this so lightly, without any consideration by this august body. To send our young men and women to war without any congressional approval.
    • Senate floor, 2011-03-30
    • regarding US participation in enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya
  • I'm not for profiling people on the color of their skin, or on their religion, but I would take into account where they've been traveling and perhaps, you might have to indirectly take into account whether or not they've been going to radical political speeches by religious leaders. It wouldn't be that they are Islamic. But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that's really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.
  • The president recently weighed in on marriage, and you know he said his views were evolving on marriage. Call me cynical, but I wasn't sure his views on marriage could get any gayer. Now, it did kind of bother me though, that he used the justification for it in a Biblical reference. He said the Biblical golden rule caused him to be for gay marriage. And I'm like, what version of the Bible is he reading? It's not the King James Version, it's not the New American Standard Version, it's not the New Revised version; I don't know what version he's getting that from.
  • Technology revolutionaries succeeded not because of some collectivist vision that seeks to regulate “fairness”, “neutrality”, “privacy” or “competition” through coercive state actions, or that views the Internet and technology as a vast commons that must be freely available to all, but rather because of the same belief as America’s Founders who understood that private property is the foundation of prosperity and freedom itself. Technology revolutionaries succeed because of the decentralized nature of the Internet, which defies government control. As a consequence, decentralization has unlocked individual self-empowerment, entrepreneurialism, creativity, innovation and the creation of new markets in ways never before imagined in human history...Around the world, the real threat to Internet freedom comes not from bad people or inefficient markets -- we can and will always route around them -- but from governments' foolish attempts to manage and control innovation. And it is not just the tyrannies we must fear. The road away from freedom is paved with good intentions.
  • Foreign aid goes from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
    • [1], University of Kentucky, 3-27-2013.
  • But we need to stand up for every minority.  The Bill of Rights isn't for the prom queen.  The Bill of Rights isn't for the high-school quarterback.  They're gonna be treated fairly; they always do fine.  The Bill of Rights is truly for those who might be unorthodox, who might have an unusual idea, who might not look like everybody else.  …  I said to him, "You could take an American citizen and send them to Guantanamo Bay with no trial?" and he said, "Yeah, if they're dangerous."  So I said, "It begs the question, doesn't it, who gets to decide who's dangerous and who's not?"  Anybody remember Richard Jewell, the Olympic bomber—the so-called "Olympic bomber" as it turns out?  Everybody thought he was guilty; he was "convicted" on t. v. within hours—but it turned out he wasn't—it wasn't him, he wasn't guilty.  But could you imagine if he had been a black man in the South in 1920, what would have happened to him?  The Bill of Rights is to protect minorities, whether it's the colour of your skin or the shade of your ideologyWe need to be the party that protects the rights of everyone.
    • Rand Paul in North Carolina, 1 October 2014 
  • We could try freedom for a while. We had it for a long time. That's where you sell something and I agree to buy it because I like it. That is how we operate in most of rest of the marketplace other than health care. Now the president has said you can only buy certain types of health care that I approve of, and anything I don't approve of, you are not allowed to purchase. We could try freedom. I think it might work. It works everywhere else.

Quotes about Rand Paul[edit]

  • [A]t some point Paul will be asked to explain this complete about-face — and break the news to the UC-Berkeley kids that he's in favor of war, just like Hillary Clinton is, in the Middle East.  The turnaround is so sudden and so at odds with all he has written and said in the past few months that the question will naturally arise: Is he jettisoning his worldview to revive a presidential campaign?  …  One Republican operative backing another 2016 contender wisecracked, "He is starting to put John Kerry to shame when it comes to flip flops."  …  Paul's about-face also raises the question as to what his beef with Clinton now is.
  • At The National Journal, Peter Beinart has a good riposte to those pols and pundits who raise the specter of isolationism whenever someone wants the U.S. to reduce its burdens around the world.  …  Beinart analyzes Rand Paul's foreign policy positions, noting that they were not isolationist even when Paul first joined the Senate and have moved still further from the isolationist pole since then.  I don't agree with everything Beinart says—not surprisingly, since my basic orientation is more anti-interventionist than his—but his central argument strikes me as both clearly true and widely underappreciated.

External links[edit]

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