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FOX "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" - Transcript: Thoughts on Current Issues


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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Senator, nice to see you.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY: Glad to be with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you know you had a crowd back behind you.

PAUL: This is CPAC. We love coming to CPAC. All the young kids and the energy it's great to be here.

VAN SUSTEREN: They certainly have their signs, "I stand with Rand."

PAUL: That's great. That's good.

VAN SUSTEREN: I also talked to your wife. She told me she was going to vote for the cutest guy.


PAUL: Yeah. I don't know what to say to that. But we are -- I have been lobbying her for her vote, so we will see.

VAN SUSTEREN: I hope she does at least vote for you.

All right. Your message is essentially, if I am correct, one of liberty. Is that correct? Is your message here is.

PAUL: My passion is the Bill of Rights and the Bill of Rights applies to everyone. It sounds like, who wouldn't believe that? But there have been times in our history when we didn't apply the Bill of Rights very well to everyone. We need to remember that. We also need to ember that with current law. Currently, the law says that an American citizen can be detained without a trial. I find that just really completely and utterly unacceptable. That's one of the things I will tell. And it's a message I want the president to listen to.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me ask you a question about drones killing Americans overseas. Your thoughts?

PAUL: There will be message of discussion of drones. I think that it's dangerous not to have due process for American citizens. I'm not against using drones. I'm not against them as a military weapon. If we can save our soldiers' lives by using them, by all means, let's use drones in the military. But I have some questions about killing noncombatants and also questions particularly about killing Americans who might be on vacation somewhere. I have asked this question of the president repeatedly, is there some kind of process? Do we not get our day in court? I think it's very important that we do. And I will continue to argue for that.

VAN SUSTEREN: You have actually sat down in a conversation with the president on this?

PAUL: I had lunch about a week ago with Eric Holder and we had a pretty extensive discussion about this, about due process, but also about second chance. I believe in a second chance. Kids that make mistake with drugs that are given a jail sentence or given time in jail, I think they deserve a second chance. I think they deserve to get their rights back, the right to vote back. That's actually some place where I have in common. And you will find that I'm not someone -- while I do criticize the president, I don't do it only simply for partisan purposes. I do it when I disagree with him. When I agree with the president or with Eric Holder, I'm not embarrassed to say, even at CPAC, that I do agree with not allowing nonviolent felons, many years after their sentence, to be able to vote and enter society again.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's the big picture. In terms of 2014, 2016, do you think that the Independent voters, which are the ones that I think that both parties would love to have, are interested in sort of the big picture or is it something like jobs? Is it more like putting food on the table at home?

PAUL: I think jobs are important. But I think if you ask the Independent voter that is now trending heavily towards Republicans, it's that they like their doctor and they want to keep him. So they're insulted that the president gave us this grand takeover of medicine and said, if you like your doctor, you can keep him, but it turns out it's not true. People have lost trust with the president. His numbers are plummeting because people want government to be honest. They also don't want a government that goes after political opponents. So the IRS scandal, the president using the full force of government to target his enemies, the Tea Party, many of whom will be here today, were offended by that and part of what I will say today is no more. President, you can't use the government to abuse the citizenry.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the president says that the Republicans are fighting them every step of the way, all the votes in repeal in the House. I realize you are in the Senate. They are not trying to help fix it and, in essence, Republicans are part of the problem on this. Disagree with the president on that?

PAUL: There hasn't been one will put forward to fix anything with ObamaCare. Everything the Democrats have said, from the beginning of ObamaCare until now, is our way or the highway. The president is unwilling to compromise on the debt ceiling, unwilling to compromise on ObamaCare. We had -- the government was shut down and we asked to delay the individual mandate. What was his response? Absolutely no. I will not negotiate with Republicans. So what did he do? A month after the shutdown, he delayed the individual mandate. So, he has shown his intransigence. Many of us have said we will work -- even though I hate Obamacare, I will vote for things to make it less bad. They haven't brought anything up. I don't think they will.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any way for you to speak to the president? Does everything have to go through Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in order -- in terms of the Senate communicating with the White House?

PAUL: I had a conversation about two months ago. It was not just me but some other Republican Senators at the White House. And I said, why don't we lower the tax on corporate money that's overseas, let it come home at 5 percent? Currently, if you make profit overseas, it has to come home at 35 percent. Let's put that into roads and bridges. That's a win for everybody. Republicans lower tax rate. Actually brings in revenue and we build some bridges and roads. And he said, yeah, that is a good idea. I said, why don't we do it? He said, the CBO will score it as a loss of revenue. I said, we break every other rule in Washington, why don't we tell the CBO to take a hike and do something good for the economy. Let's lower this tax.

So I have been trying to get Democrats on board with that. Let's do that one bill and show that we can do something together. So I am willing to work with Harry Reid. They have got to just get started and let us vote on something.

VAN SUSTEREN: How much of politics in Washington is about winning and how much is about solving problems?

PAUL: For some, it is about winning. I try to take a different approach. I am a physician. I see a problem and want to solve it. I do see things completely regardless of who has the presidency, Republican or Democrat. When I stood to filibuster the drones or the potential droning of an American citizen, I said I would have done the same if it was a Republican president, and I think people believe me. Honestly, the party doesn't make a difference. It's about power. What the president is doing now to amend ObamaCare, without legislative authority, is absolutely wrong. But if it were a Republican president doing it, I would be just as critical.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it there anything -- I have heard some say that the president has abused his power and changed ObamaCare. Is he legislating, using the executive branch of government. Is there anything that the Republicans plan to do to put a check on that?

PAUL: He needs to be sued. He needs to be taken to the Supreme Court. We took him to the Supreme Court on him saying we are in recess and he is just going to appoint people willy nilly with no restraint by the Senate, and he lost. The Supreme Court has heard him. We haven't heard the final ruling. The appellate court ruled against him and rebuked him. I think if we can get ObamaCare or his illegal amending of ObamaCare to the Supreme Court, I think he will lose. I'm suing him over the NSA. And I will mention that when I get out there in a few minutes.

When I discovered that the NSA spied on was collecting every American citizen's records, I took a stand. I sued the president.


One warrant should not apply to everybody's phone records. It's not what the Fourth Amendment meant. It's not what James Otis argued against or John Adams argued against. We have to stop him, and that means taking him to court. I'm not afraid to challenge the president. And we have got him in federal court in Washington right now. I hope we will make it all the way to the Supreme Court.

VAN SUSTEREN: On the Fourth Amendment, it's as though people don't read the Fourth Amendment. You can get all these records. You just have to follow the rules. You are talking about a generalized warrant, which is sort of a dragnet.

PAUL: The warrant that was revealed by Snowden is a warrant to Verizon and it says we want all of your records of all of your customers, millions of records, millions of customers. The Fourth Amendment would say, we want Greta Van Susteren's records because we suspect her of a crime. It has to have your name on it. It has to have what you are accused of and what he wants to get. And they have to ask a judge and prove to a judge or at least convince the judge that there is probable cause that you are associated with this crime. Those are steps to protect us from an overbearing government. We're not following that and I think it's a huge mistake. And I feel strongly -- it's the only time I have ever sued the president is over this. So I feel very strongly about it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think Governor Romney lost in 2012? Republicans are still saying essentially the same things. It's sort of a look ahead.

PAUL: We need a bigger party. You have to excite your base so all of your base has to show up. All of CPAC and more has to show up. But then you need a bigger base. So I have been saying all along, we are increase diverse country. Until we have more African-Americans coming our way, Hispanic voters, Asian-American voters, Jewish-American voters -- we need a more diverse party.

VAN SUSTEREN: What would you do about Putin in Ukraine?

PAUL: We have to tell him that his behavior is unacceptable. He needs to be isolated. And if he's going to act like a rogue nation, he will be isolated. I don't believe that involves a military option. I think that most of the party has come to my way of thinking on this, that there really isn't a military option for us there. That doesn't mean that we don't react and that we don't let Putin know, in clear and uncertain terms, that what he has done is unacceptable. It breaches his treaty obligations.

The Budapest memorandum says that he wouldn't violate the integrity of Ukraine. I think also he does it at his own peril. The stock market in Russia has fallen precipitously in the last week. 80 percent of Russia's oil goes across Ukraine. If he tries to further occupy Ukraine, my prediction is Ukraine will become Syria. If Ukraine becomes Syria, it will be a disaster for Russia, and he better think twice about it because one Ukrainian teenager with 200 bucks of explosive could disrupt his pipelines. So they are not going to submit to the will of Russia. They won't submit to subjugation. I think this hand is not yet over.

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