Rand Paul sounds off on own GOP leadership
May 26th, 2011
02:48 PM ET
4 years ago

Rand Paul sounds off on own GOP leadership

Washington (CNN)–Freshman Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who angrily squared off with the top Senate Democrat Wednesday, turned his sights on his own party’s leaders Thursday, accusing them of preventing a vote on his amendment to the Patriot Act that would require government investigators to get a court order before reviewing people’s gun ownership records.

The stand off had threatened to cause key post-9-11 anti-terrorism surveillance tools to lapse for several hours past midnight when those provisions of the law are set to expire.

Republican leaders ultimately relented and agreed to allow votes on Paul’s proposals. In spite of the struggle, the amendments were overwhelmingly rejected and the Patriot Act was approved and sent to the House for a final vote.

Earlier, in a rare public rebuke of his Senate leadership, Paul told CNN he was “disappointed” by their actions and urged people to contact GOP leadership offices in protest.

“I’ve been working for two long days filibustering the Patriot Act in hopes that we can have a constitutional debate over certain provisions of it and we can try to reform it to take away some of the encroachments on our freedoms,” Paul said in an interview.

“Unfortunately, what we’re finding now is that the Democrats have agreed to allow me to have amendments but my own party is refusing to allow me to debate or present my amendments.”

The Kentuckian, who was elected with the backing of the Tea Party movement, said he wanted the American people to press GOP leaders to allow a vote.

“If you believe that your gun records should be private and they shouldn’t be opened and sifted through by unknown bureaucrats without a judge’s warrant than you should call your Republican leadership in Washington and tell them you’re unhappy,” he said.

Paul said he believed Republicans leaders didn’t want a vote on his amendment because they were conflicted by it. On one hand, he said, they didn’t want to vote to weaken the Patriot Act by making it more difficult for law enforcement to obtain any information – including gun records - related to a terrorism investigation. On the other hand, they didn’t want to take a vote that will be potentially viewed negatively by gun rights groups.

Late in the day, shortly after an agreement was announced, Senate aides released a letter from the National Rifle Association in which the influential gun group said it decided not to take a position on the amendment.


Filed under: Harry Reid • Patriot Act • Rand Paul • Senate
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Aaron

    I'm in Indiana, but that is my kind of Senator. I'm looking up those numbers to call McConnell right now and my own senators!
    Rand is a real patriot!

    May 26, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. The Other Dale

    There was a good reason that McConnell was sweating when Paul was nominated. There's a reason that McConnell avoided saying anything yesterday when Paul kept putting his foot in his mouth. How many more gaffes from Paul will it take before McConnell finally gets a backbone and deals with what the Tea Partiers have destroyed for the Republicans?

    May 26, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    This is how democracy works, Senator.
    When you cannot gain enough support to achieve a majority, you lose.
    Next time, get your ducks in a row first.
    BTW. you are trying to modify the 2nd Amendment on the sly.

    May 26, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. Mr.Boombostick

    Ron Paul is an Idiot. I would defer to the judgement of the police that there is enough credible evidence that a person of interest needs to be investigated for being a potential terrorist. handicapping them to get a government warrant would only slow there work and lead to the death of innocent Americans. This provision had nothing to do with the government monitoring Americans who hunt. I cannot believe he's attempting to turn a safety issue into a governement conspiracy out to get Americans who own guns. Idiot!!!

    May 26, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. J. Slayer

    So, the Libertarian thinks it's OK to invade people's privacy via the Patriot Acts wiretaps and evesdropping without getting an evidence-driven warrant or a court order BUT he is OPPOSED to getting information regarding gun ownership by Islamic or Domestic terorists?

    Yeah that's a real principled and consistent position – NOT!

    May 26, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. mark

    He objects to warrantless gun-ownership searches but not warrantless wire taps? How odd.

    May 26, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. Rex Raptor

    Wow. I kind of agree with him for a change. But I don't think it goes far enough, law enforcement should get a warrant for any kind of search of private property or wire tapping period.

    May 26, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    STAND YOUR GROUND RAND PAUL!! I don't get it. Where are all the libtards and Democrats that relentlessly attacked George Bush and the republicans on this very same stuff?!! Now they are voting FOR it!! It is very clear it was all politics and now that Obama is President, everything goes, including our right ot privacy and freedom. Pathetic.

    May 26, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    Thank you Kentucky. All eyes are on him and Turtle Face now. Do you people know how ignorant and uneducated you are? Do you have any clue about the two wing-nuts you forced the rest of the country to have to tolerate?

    May 26, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Sto

    My grandpa, a WI farmer, told me: "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." Listen up, Senator.

    May 26, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. Publius Novus

    Ryan is a fool. The people of Kentucky were fools for electing him. And they inflicted him on the rest of us. I would like to see a constitutional amendment suspending Kentucky's two senators for six years.

    May 26, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. Publius Novus

    How about that? I confused the name of the fool from Wisconsin with the name of the fool from Kentucky. So many fools! So little time!

    May 26, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. vic

    Once again the NRA, the GOP proves that the number one love in their lives are their guns. If they really cared about law enforcement they would support checking the background of individuals who own guns. The clean innocent people would have nothing to worry about.

    May 26, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Randroid really really wants to be a one term Senator haha

    May 26, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Ozzie

    Too bad he's not as concerned about other rights lost in the Patriot Act. Time to grow up Paul and quit whining like a spoiled brat.

    May 26, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. rhumba

    Of all of the rights that are violated by the Patriot Act, gun laws are very low on the list as far as I'm concerned. I would prefer to get on a plane without some stranger looking at my vagina, breasts, and rear end.

    May 26, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. Sgt Joe

    This is total BS! Gun ownership does not need to be private unless you have something to hide. I hate this crap. If the police suspect something let them investigate. Maybe we could mitigate some of these senseless killings. People with any kind of violent history or mental condition should not be allowed to purchase weapons, period. Paul, we don't live in the wild west anymore; times have changed in case you didn't notice.

    May 26, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. djf

    Naturally he wants to fight about guns. I'm not a big proponent of the Patriot Act, but this concern over guns is over the top. I do think it is funny that Rand Paul is fighting with his own party.

    May 26, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. logic in LA

    Is he pushing his agenda or those of his state? It's time these politins voted and submitted bills that follow the feeling of the people that put tem in office- more precisely- those that didn't since most people do not vote.

    May 26, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. John

    I would love to know what Rand Paul would think since he was a doctor , what does he think he a great In Politics.First of all you are not , second you were back by one of the Worst so call party America ever heard of. You should go back a be a doctor because may be you were good at that . Because you are no good ay want you are doing now. It seam that you don't even know what you doing , you just like to Complain. Your Dad as been In congress for long time, even run for President. This time will make his 3rd time, and he hasn't been In the News as much as you have. Your dad Is a Politician And you are not.

    May 26, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. rs

    This is precisely why it was a huge mistake on the part of the Republican Party to create their "grass roots" Tea Party- it has created a semi-legitimate platform for the kookiest, radical 2 or 3 percenters that are now driving the GOP to the fringe.

    May 26, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Former Republican, but never again!

    Civil war within the GOP! Got to love it!

    May 26, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. al in memphis

    Here is the solution, make getting a legitimate warrent as easy as a 5-minute process. That way you can still protect the NRA right to own guns and still get the information that needed. Personally, I don't care what the government knows as long as the information is kept private. Beside, I'm more concerning about whether someone unstable can get access to serious firepower and cause some serious damage

    May 26, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Randy, San Francisco

    Seems the GOP/Tea Party Senate leadership can't control their own extreme wingnuts. Paul's objections must be music to the ears of terrorists.

    May 26, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. Chris~Albany, NY

    Let them expire it's unconstitutional anyways. I as a liberal cannot believe IM on the same side as Rand Paul, wow!

    May 26, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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