We interviewed Rand Paul the first time back when he was trailing Trey Grayson in the Kentucky GOP primary by 11 percentage points according to polls at the time. As everyone now knows he ended up winning the primary and the first money bomb (or blast) is scheduled for tomorrow (June 28th).
Dr. Paul was kind enough to take time out of his insane campaign schedule to answer some questions for us. Check out Rand Paul's second interview with Liberty Maven below.
LM: Immediately following your landslide victory over Trey Grayson in the primary, the left-leaning media began attacking you and the attacks have not eased up. Thinking back, prior to your primary victory you probably anticipated being attacked from the left, but did you believe the attacks would be so unrelenting and national in scope as they have turned out to be? Do you fault yourself for inviting the initial attacks a bit, by agreeing to go on Rachel Maddow's show the day after your victory?
Rand Paul: Our election night victory was spectacular. We won by 24 points. Over 500 people gathered for our victory. We had satellite TV trucks from every network and did 15 national interviews the next day. But it didn't take long for the media to decide that they were going to be less than neutral after our victory. Since then it has been relentless attacks from the left-wing media in Kentucky and the left-wing media nationally. I joke with people that it was like Dickens wrote in the Tale of Two Cities: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. But the good news is that the polls still show us with a double digit lead, despite all of their attacks. I think the mood of the country is for reigning in big government, for controlling the deficit, and for bringing attention back to a government that should be restrained by the Constitution.
It's always easy to look backwards and say I could have, or should have done one thing or another. In retrospect, going on a Left-leaning network that apparently had an agenda since they had been discussing it all afternoon and misconstruing my position was probably not a good idea.
LM: Do you believe that there will still be a "Tea Party" movement in 2013 if Obama is defeated by a Republican in 2012?
Rand Paul: I think the Tea Party Movement has staying power. I think it is an extraordinary movement because it wasn't started by any one political leader or famous person. It truly started by itself in every individual city in Kentucky and every individual city across the country. One of the problems of it getting bigger is that they all are not connected, but it is also one of the beauties and powers of the movement is that it has so much spontaneous involvement of individual citizens around the country.
Whether or not it will last beyond that, I think it will have influence in the November elections and from that will decide. I think that it's had a great influence in nominating Mike Lee in Utah and Sharon Angle in Nevada, and nominating me here in Kentucky. So there are at least three big statewide races that I think the tea party had great influence in.
LM: Last week the financial regulatory effort made headway with the Dodd-Frank "compromise" bill. The stated goal of the bill is to prevent another financial crisis. President Obama touted the new agency created by the bill by saying, "Now there will be one agency whose sole job will be to look out for you." His remarks remind me of Reagan's famous quote: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"
Do you believe the newly created regulatory agency will truly be independent?
Rand Paul: No, and I would have opposed it had I been in Congress at the time. I think one of the things that the bill does is codifies and extends the government's promise to bailout businesses that fail and I think that is a bad idea. I think that it's great in capitalism that companies make profit, but when they are doing a poor job they should suffer from their poor decisions, not the tax payers.
LM: Do you believe the bill will be successful in thwarting the next financial crisis?
Rand Paul: No, and I think it may encourage more bad decisions and more crisis [and it will] allow businesses to make decisions where they do not have to suffer from the repercussions of bad decisions.
LM: I have described your candidacy as a kind of gateway drug for conservatives who may deem your father's beliefs too extreme. I say this because you seem to have a unique ability to unite many libertarians and many neo-conservatives under the same umbrella. It is probably way too early to ask this question especially since you haven't been elected to the Senate yet, but many of us in the liberty movement consider you to be a potential future presidential candidate. Much has to happen between now and that possibility, but is it something that you may consider should the opportunity present itself? Would you rule it out?
Rand Paul: Right now I have to focus on winning my first political office, so it's hard to think about any other office. I do want to be part of a national movement that changes the way our government operates and right now I have to keep focused on the first objective and that's winning the senate seat in Kentucky.
LM: Monday (June 28th) the Supreme Court is going to offer their opinion on the McDonald case. The case will decide if the 2nd Amendment applies to the states. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I recall, you have come out in support of applying it to the states.
Last year the Senate narrowly voted down an effort to institute nationwide concealed-carry reciprocity among those states that have concealed-carry provisions. Would you support such an effort if it came to the Senate floor again? How do you think the Supreme Court will rule in the McDonald case?
Rand Paul: I hope the McDonald case will find that we do have a 2nd Amendment right not to have cities or states prevent gun ownership. I do support concealed-carry legislation.
LM: You helped establish an eye clinic to operate on the less-fortunate and under-privileged in Kentucky. That is not something the Left and your opponent like to mention between their attacks on you, for obvious reasons. I realize the information is available on your website, but could you elaborate more on the clinic, your role in establishing it, its ongoing activities, and how it has helped people?
Rand Paul: I've been a member of the Lions Club for 17 years. About 15 years ago I formed a clinic called the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic. We see patients who don't have insurance for routine eye exams as well as help them to buy eye glasses. In addition we do surgery for people who don't have insurance at either a discounted rate or sometimes no cost. We've also brought children up from Central America and done surgery at no cost for them through our Lions Eye Clinic. It's a way I see of giving back to the community.
LM: In my day job I fix computers and networks. I don't have a single certification to do so, yet somehow the computers end up fixed. Recently, you have been attacked because you are no longer "board certified" in your profession as an ophthalmologist, yet you have a fledgling practice and have performed countless successful surgeries. Why are you not board certified and what does it have to do with you being a good or bad Senator?
Rand Paul: I took my board certification when I finished my training and passed it on the first try. I passed my boards three times during my residency. But I had a dispute with the board because I felt if re-certification was good for the public that all ophthalmologist, regardless of age should re-certify. They made a rule then only the younger ophthalmologists would re-certify. I made the point that if re-certification is good, perhaps the older physicians may need re-certifications more than the younger ones.
I've been practicing for 17 years, I've done over 5,000 cataract surgeries and have given good quality service to my patients here in the community and I think that is recognized. I think people take political cheap shots at me because it's easy to take shots at me because the polls show they are well behind us and probably can't beat me. They will continue to attack me in a personal nature and I think that is unfortunate that this type of activity occurs in politics.
LM: The media has treated you as a villain and your opponent Jack Conway has been treated with kid gloves thus far. Your primary campaign demonstrated that you fight back when you get attacked. Conway has had some questionable business dealings and campaign contributions as evidenced on the Jack Conway 2010 web site. Do you believe the media will eventually reveal these Conway flaws with the same vigor they are using to find fault and nitpick every single word you have ever said? Aren't the Left the ones who want to re-institute the Fairness Doctrine?
Rand Paul: I think we'll have to do a lot of the description of my opponents record through paid media, because I don't think that the print media in Kentucky will objectively look at his record. There are several things that are troubling in his record. I think one of the most troubling is that he's been deciding the utility rate cases, whether your rates go up or down, while receiving contributions from the utility companies. This appears to me to be a conflict of interest and shows very poor judgment from someone who is in office. I also think his reputation and past as a malpractice attorney suing doctors will not be very popular once that is well known in the state.
It's kind of interesting that the Left feels that talk radio is so conservative now that they want to force radio stations to give them equal time. It doesn't sound very much like they're in favor of the 1st Amendment with trying to institute the Fairness Doctrine. I'm absolutely opposed to the Fairness Doctrine.
LM: There has been a litany of anti-freedom laws passed and unconstitutional policies made in recent years. Obama has continued many of the Bush policies regarding foreign policy. I recall Judge Andrew Napolitano saying, in an interview prior to Obama entering office, that he had hoped that Obama would be good on civil liberties and overturn (as he promised during his campaign) the Patriot Act or at least allow it to sunset. The Judge's hope was unfounded when it was extended again. What is your position on the Patriot Act in particular, and executive power as it pertains to civil liberties, in general?
Rand Paul: I think that one of the tragedies of the 20th Century is that Presidential power has grown dramatically and Congressional power has correspondingly diminished. I think that the Patriot Act was a mistake, because I think that the 4th Amendment is a precious part of the Bill of Rights and we should protect the 4th Amendment. We don't want to have unreasonable search and seizure of our houses without a judge's warrant. That is a very important safeguard that was diminished by the Patriot Act. I think that the American people, if we were allowed to explain to them that the necessity of the 4th Amendment in protecting you from an overzealous government, would be on our side on this issue.
LM: You have the first big money bomb of your general election campaign coming up on Monday, June 28th. In addition to the money you will raise on that day, how much money overall do you think you'll need to raise in order to beat Jack Conway in November and become U.S. Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky?
Rand Paul: We'll need to raise between seven and ten million dollars in the next three to four months, which is a daunting challenge. I think we can do it if the Liberty movement will continue to support our money-bombs.