November 27th, 2012
03:28 PM ET
2 years ago

Rand Paul warns of GOP becoming dinosaur, cites robotic squirrels

(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who's known for his libertarian leanings, cautioned Tuesday that the Republican Party could meet the same fate as animals that went extinct millions of years ago.

"I think my party, the Republican Party, is shrinking. We're in danger of becoming a dinosaur," he said on CNN's "Newsroom." "We're not competitive on the West Coast, we're not competitive in New England."

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Paul joins a chorus of Republican voices offering criticism of their own party in the wake of Mitt Romney's presidential loss earlier this month. The first-term senator, elected with strong tea party support in 2010, said change is in order.

"We need a new type of Republican (Party), I think, one that involves some of the ideas of libertarian leaning Republicans and people who agree in a less aggressive foreign policy," Paul told CNN's Brooke Baldwin.

The senator, whose father Ron Paul ran for president for the third time this cycle, said last week he was considering a White House bid of his own in 2016. He attempted to clarify those remarks on Tuesday when asked about his presidential aspirations.

"What I've said is that I won't deny I'm interested–a little bit different than 'I am interested,'" Paul said, pointing to a need for reform in the party.

Paul also weighed in on the fiscal cliff–a series of tax hikes and spending cuts to kick in next year if Congress fails to reach a deficit-reduction deal. Focusing on the negotiations to find an agreement and avert the crisis, Paul said entitlement reform–one of the options on the table in debt talks–should happen on its own and not be part of a deal that also includes raising taxes.

"The way I look at it is entitlements are broken, and it's not my fault, it's not Democrats' fault, it's because your grandparents had too many babies. It's because we're living longer. These are just facts," he said. "Taxing anyone in a weak economy is not good."

The Kentucky senator also said he'd be one of the few conservatives willing to compromise on military cuts but remained firm against raising taxes. To make his case, Paul cited examples of what he considers wasteful spending and argued an increase in tax rates would be futile while the government spends "$300,000 a year on robotic squirrels" and $2 million "on how we can convince Chinese prostitutes not to drink so much on the job."

As for as the first claim, Paul was referring to a project at the University of California at Davis, where researchers examined why squirrels are willing to confront rattlesnakes, their main predators, in the wild.

The project was awarded a grant worth $390,000 by the National Science Foundation in 2010, according to the university.

Paul also wasn't too far off on the Chinese prostitution claim, though it happened in the George W. Bush administration. In November 2008, the Wayne State University School of Medicine announced that the National Institutes of Health awarded one of its researchers a 5-year grant worth $2.6 million to study "whether an alcohol and HIV intervention center can assist in reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS among sex workers in China."

The project aimed to develop the intervention center for the female sex workers to examine how a reduction in alcohol could lower the risk and spread of HIV in an area of China ranked the third highest province dealing with the infection.


Filed under: 2016 • Fiscal Cliff • Rand Paul
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "I think my party, the Republican Party, is shrinking. We're in danger of becoming a dinosaur," Rand Paul said on CNN's "Newsroom."
    -------------------–
    Quite the amazing comment coming from self proclaimed "christian conservative" who subscribes to the Flat Earth Society's Journal.

    November 27, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    Bland Paul ,they already have !!!!!

    November 27, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. Cynthia L.

    Did Rand Paul say the dinosaurs went extinct millions of years ago? Uh-oh, the religious right will have a fit over that one.

    November 27, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    Rand Paul needs to look into a mirror to see one of the major reasons why the GOP/Tea Party is shrinking fast. Most minorities, the young, and 47% do not have a dislike or distrust of government. Just look at California, voters approved a tax to save schools and government services.

    November 27, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    "What I've said is that I won't deny I'm interested–a little bit different than 'I am interested,'" Paul said, pointing to a need for reform in the party."

    I don't know, GOPers. Rebuilding the clown car or wishful thinking? I suspect both. The more he opens his mouth, the more it becomes inceasingly apparent that Rand Paul doesn't stand a chance of ever becoming President of the United States. To reform the party would be to become inclusive. And that is NOT going to happen anytime soon.

    But, hey. He's great for a good belly-laugh now and again.

    November 27, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. ghostriter

    Another of the conservative nutcases comes out to try and separate themselves from the other nutcases. Though Paul maybe onto something. Libertarians would probably appeal to way more people than either other party. Problem is that even libertarians take things too far in some places and not far enough in others.

    November 27, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Steve Giles

    Rand is as whacky as his namesake and his father. They should have worshiped Walden instead of Atlas Shrugged. Same principles but none of Ayn's utopian dream.

    November 27, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. barry g

    Let them go the way of the dinosaurs and they will fade into the past!

    November 27, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Dan

    At some point our country's young history, we will have to evolve from a 2-party system to a Parliament where lots of views get a chance to find expression. In Parlaments, it is less likely for extremism (left and right) to win the day. A first best step would be a robust libertarian party. I am not likely to vote for them, but it would be a good start.

    November 27, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Justin B.

    People on the left have already pigeonholed Paul, despite the fact he is NOT a member of the religious right.

    Rand Paul is exactly the leader the right needs to pull the Republican Party out of it's rut. Only if they stop supporting wars, religious fanaticism, and violations of civil liberties can they truly become the Grand Ole Party once again.

    November 27, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Gurgyl

    GOP goes to history books–they ARE "EXTINCT AND DEFUNCT". Bush and Cheney their sire.

    November 27, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. ryche

    well than.. why dont we all just become democrat light... we can hug all the illegals coming from the south.. we can hug all the abortion doctors and give them thumbs up everytime they kill a baby... YAY... UGh..

    November 27, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    ....where researchers examined why squirrels are willing to confront rattlesnakes, their main predators, in the wild.
    ------------------
    Whoa there,Nellie. Slow down. I see squirrels almost every day in an urban environment. There are lots of them in Central Park. Are they telling me that there are rattlers roaming da' hood hunting squirrels? Nah, I don't believe it.

    November 27, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. Dannytelevision

    EXACTLY!...the republicans need LESS nuts like the Pauls and more normal people like Michelle Bachmann and Whatshername Palin....EXACTLY...oh brother these winguts just don't get it!

    November 27, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Facts don't Lie

    to back up his claim all Rand Paul need do is read some of the tripe posted daily here on CNN PT by some of his right wing brethren and it would further prove his claim is true.

    November 27, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "the same fate as animals that went extinct millions of years ago. "

    I'm pretty sure he and most of the other Teatrolls don't believe it was millions of years ago. Rather, in their alternate reality, the Earth is flat and supported by "turtles all the way down" and Jesus rode his armored t-rex, Fluffy, into Jerusalem to liberate it from the scary godless heathen Muslins by callnig down meteors with his magic shepard's staff.

    November 27, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    The problem is.......those are the "hand out" places, backed by unionism.

    Nothing the GOP does is going to change those people. Nothing.

    The truth is.......cities are the breeding grounds of anything goes.......in behaviors. that means there can be no rules, no decency, and no religion. It is everyone for themselves. It is the "me" mentality.

    November 27, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. Michelle Obama

    Randy, yes California is a shining example of the direction our country needs to go. I guess that's why so many Californians are leaving the state in droves for place like Texas. Talk about a belly-laugh!

    November 27, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. Me IN HOUSTON

    The GOT-P consistently legislates against poor people, gay people and women. CONSISTENTLY
    They are FOR private prisons
    They are FOR DE-regulation
    They are FOR guns and that makes them FOR gun violence.
    They are FOR rape (or is it legitimate rape???)
    They have yet to take responsibility for the problems they caused AND they have fought against every attempted step to recovery
    The GOP is the obstacle in our evolution that we as human beings must overcome
    The GOP is a dinosaur that needs to be extinct but it just won't die

    November 27, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. John

    The Republican party need to start doing what right for this Country ,Instead of a dumb Pledge you sigh. And worry about all American people Instead of just a group of people. The Republican Party Is losing more and more American people every years. And If you don't start to Compromise and stop America going over the cliff ,you will lose more In 2014. If you keep letting John Beohner and Mitch McConnell leading you down the wrong past, than you will end up losing your seat.

    November 27, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. sonny chapman

    Isn't that how we got our oil ? Dinosaurs decomposed.

    November 27, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. Ian

    I don't see a single negative with regards to increasing the taxes on the filthy rich. Rich employers don't fire employees because their taxes are too hi, just like they don't hire employees because their taxes are low; They hire more employees when they sell more of their product and/or services....and that happens when the middle class is strong and healthy! Hello greedy rich people, where do you think your money came from?

    November 27, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. Ian

    @ ryche....I take it you don't know the definition of "baby!" You can plead ignorance but if you don't at some point in your life decide to educate yourself.....eventually is just plain stupidity!

    November 27, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    -ryche

    well than.. why dont we all just become democrat light... we can hug all the illegals coming from the south.. we can hug all the abortion doctors and give them thumbs up everytime they kill a baby... YAY... UGh..
    *****************************
    Aw geez, I forgot about all the training we lefties got in giving the thumbs up every time an abortion is performed. And I forgot how we're supposed to hug illegals all the time. Man, I'm glad we've got people like you to remind us about what our secret agenda really is, i don't know what we would do without all of you. By the way, the secrets are hidden on the back of the Declaration, you need lemon juice and a blow dryer...watch out for the Freemasons too, while you're at it.
    How did your paranoid fantasies play with the public a few weeks ago-oh, that's right, Romney ended up with 47% of the vote.

    November 27, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Boo

    May the GOP of 2012 go extinct like the dinosaurs....AND GOOD RIDDANCE TO ALL OF THEM.

    November 27, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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