December 20th, 2015
12:05 PM ET

Paul: Rubio "ought to resign or give his pay back to the taxpayer."

SOTU

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Senator and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-KY), joined anchor, Jake Tapper to discuss the 2016 presidential race.

 

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

 

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

 

Contacts: Lauren Pratapas — Lauren.Pratapas@turner.com; 202.465.6666; Zachary Lilly – Zachary.Lilly@turner.com

 

 

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

 

Paul on Trump: “I think he will get wiped in a general election.  It would be terrible for any of the ideas of limited government. I'm still not sure that Donald Trump is for limited government, for balanced budgets.  One of the biggest things that he's been for in his last several years is using eminent domain for the government to take private property from one property - private property owner and give it to himself for his casinos and parking lots. That's not a conservative notion.  And, really, most of Donald Trump is nothing more than sort of bits of populism, but no consistent conservative philosophy.”

 

Paul responds to Cruz’s immigration stance: “I think, on several things, he wants to have it both ways. On immigration, at the time, he supported an amendment that said, OK, we're not going to get citizenship, but we will allow illegal status.  And he wanted the bill to pass.  In fact, I was in the same category.  I thought citizenship was too far, but the compromise would no citizenship, but give people a legal status.  That's what Cruz was for. He was - he's been explicit about it.  And now he says never and that he never did it.  And so I think he should just admit that he changed his mind, that he used to be for legalization, but he's not anymore.  But he's done the same thing… So, I think, on a number of issues, he wants to have it both ways, depending on which audience he's talking to.”

 

Paul reacts to criticism from Rubio: “Well, you know, the difference between Marco Rubio and I is, I show up for work.  He's missed about a third to a half of his votes this year. And we had the biggest vote of the whole year, voting on a trillion dollars worth of spending, and he didn't show up.  So, yes, I think he ought to resign or give his pay back to the taxpayer.

 

Paul on the status of his campaign: But, as far as I'm concerned, yes, I do need to do well in the early primaries.  We're - we're in it to win it.  We're not in it just to mess around.  I'm not in it to place in the lower tier.  If we're in the lower tier, obviously, we will reassess. But we don't plan to be.  We have got a campaign that we think is going to shock people.  And we're hoping that when we get done with this campaign and people see the votes happen, that we will begin discounting the pollsters, who, I think, have no clue as to what is going on in America.”

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Joining me now, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul.

Senator Paul, thanks for joining us.

You just heard Hillary Clinton saying we're finally where we need to be.  What do you think?

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  You know, I think the difficulty is actually trying to get a coalition on the ground that will fight ISIS, because I have said all along the only way to defeat them for the long term is to have Sunni Muslim boots on the ground.  And that's easier said than done.

You know, I would like to Saudis, Kuwaitis, Jordanians all on the ground fighting ISIS.  But most of them still want to fight from the air and not from the ground.  Also, it's difficult if the battle isn't joined by the sectarian Shiite army in Baghdad.  I just don't think that there will be a long-lasting victory if takes a Shiite or an Iranian army either.

So, really, no, I don't think we quite have - I think that the concept is good.  Yes, we need Sunni Muslims on the ground.  But I don't think we quite have it in order yet.

TAPPER:  Let's talk about some of the politics from this weekend, Jeb Bush saying Donald Trump is a jerk for disparaging women, Hispanics, disabled people.  That's a quote.  Jeb says it's deeply discouraging that Trump remains the front-runner.

Do you agree?

PAUL:  Absolutely deeply disturbing that he's the front-runner.  I think he will get wiped in a general election.  It would be terrible for any of the ideas of limited government.

I'm still not sure that Donald Trump is for limited government, for balanced budgets.  One of the biggest things that he's been for in his last several years is using eminent domain for the government to take private property from one property - private property owner and give it to himself for his casinos and parking lots.

That's not a conservative notion.  And, really, most of Donald Trump is nothing more than sort of bits of populism, but no consistent conservative philosophy.

TAPPER:  Back in July, you told me that you thought Donald Trump's popularity represented a - quote - "temporary loss of sanity," I guess among voters.  You said the party would come back to its senses.

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER:  It's now five days before Christmas.  Trump is as strong as ever.  Is it a temporary loss of sanity, or do you think that the problem might be more permanent?

PAUL:  You know, I think that we have all let the polls consume us too much.  I don't think the polls are very accurate.

PAUL:  In Kentucky, a week before the governor's race, the polls were off by 13 points.  That's when they're supposed to be accurate.

I think we have sort of "American Idol" type of polls right now, where one candidate is getting an enormous amount of time on TV, and people are saying, oh, yes, yes, I might vote for him.  Well, these people don't get out and vote.  About 10 percent of Republicans will vote in Iowa.  So, you can be wildly off.

And I guess what disappoints some of us who aren't as high in the polls is that, if we skew all the coverage toward the polls, it's a self-fulfilling prophesy.  So, I think we need to examine other things and try to distribute the coverage a little better, so we could have maybe a chance of getting a better president.

TAPPER:  As you know, Senator Paul, we put you on TV all the time, so I know that that is not aimed at...

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL:  Not complaining.  Not complaining about CNN.

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER:  Listen to Donald - I want you to take a listen to Donald Trump's spokeswoman talking about the nuclear triad this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATRINA PIERSON, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON:   What good does it do to have a good nuclear triad if you're afraid to use it?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  The subject of the nuclear triad, it was raised at the debate.  And after the debate, Jeb Bush told me on air that he didn't think Trump understand what the nuclear triad was.

What do you make of what you're hearing from the Trump team on this issue?

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL:  Well, this is the worrisome thing.

During the debate, absolutely, Donald Trump had no clue what the nuclear triad is, and he'd been asked the question previously by Hugh Hewitt on the radio and had no idea what it was.  And so now that they have discovered what it is, they're ready to use it?

No, I think this is what is very worrisome about not only Trump, but Christie and others on the stage who are really eager to have war, really eager to show how strong they are.  And that gets away from the tradition we have of trying to limit power, trying to be reluctant to go to war.

And it also gets to temperament.  And that's why it very much worries me to have someone like Donald Trump or a Chris Christie in charge of our nuclear arsenal.

TAPPER:  On Monday, you're launching a new Web video.  This one is focusing on Senator Ted Cruz.  Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION:  It sounded like you wanted the bill to pass.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  The bill - the Web ad describes him as a flip-flopper.  Now, Cruz obviously describes himself as a - quote - "courageous conservative."

This ad and some other attacks we have seen against Senator Cruz depict him as a craven politician.  Now, you have worked alongside him for several years now.  Is that how you see Ted Cruz, as a craven opportunist?

PAUL:  I think, on several things, he wants to have it both ways.

On immigration, at the time, he supported an amendment that said, OK, we're not going to get citizenship, but we will allow illegal status.  And he wanted the bill to pass.  In fact, I was in the same category.  I thought citizenship was too far, but the compromise would no citizenship, but give people a legal status.  That's what Cruz was for.

He was - he's been explicit about it.  And now he says never and that he never did it.  And so I think he should just admit that he changed his mind, that he used to be for legalization, but he's not anymore.  But he's done the same thing.

He wrote an op-ed with Paul Ryan supporting Obama's trade authority, and now he's against that.  He also said when he ran for office that he wouldn't support reauthorization of the Patriot Act, and then he voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act.

So, I think, on a number of issues, he wants to have it both ways, depending on which audience he's talking to.

TAPPER:  Senator Marco Rubio had some tough words about you.  Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUBIO:  He's the only person running that is trying - that likes politics so much, he's running for two offices at the same time.  I mean, he wants to be a senator and president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  This is a criticism you and I have discussed before, the idea that you're running for president and also at the same time running for reelection for the Senate seat in Kentucky.  If you haven't performed in the top three positions in Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina or Nevada, do you think at that point you might have to focus your attention at the - on your Senate race?

PAUL:  Well, you know, the difference between Marco Rubio and I is, I show up for work.  He's missed about a third to a half of his votes this year.

And we had the biggest vote of the whole year, voting on a trillion dollars worth of spending, and he didn't show up.  So, yes, I think he ought to resign or give his pay back to the taxpayer.

But, as far as I'm concerned, yes, I do need to do well in the early primaries.  We're - we're in it to win it.  We're not in it just to mess around.  I'm not in it to place in the lower tier.  If we're in the lower tier, obviously, we will reassess.

But we don't plan to be.  We have got a campaign that we think is going to shock people.  And we're hoping that when we get done with this campaign and people see the votes happen, that we will begin discounting the pollsters, who, I think, have no clue as to what is going on in America.

TAPPER:  All right, we will see.

Senator Rand Paul, a very merry Christmas to you and your family.  Thanks for joining us.

[09:10:02]

PAUL:  Thanks, Jake.

 

###END INTERVIEW###

 

 

tmpl
soundoff (No Responses)

Comments are closed.