October 13th, 2013
10:14 AM ET
11 months ago

Rand Paul: Obama is trying to ‘scare people’ on debt ceiling

Updated 2:32 p.m. ET, 10/13/2013

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama should not be using scare tactics as the government approaches a deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling, Sen. Rand Paul argued Sunday.

The Kentucky Republican said if Democrats end up insisting on increasing spending limits as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown, then it will be considered a “nonstarter” by Senate Republicans.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Paul said “the one thing” he cannot accept - as Congress negotiates a deal to halt current stalemates over the budget and national debt - is to exceed the spending caps put into place by a series of forced budget cuts, known in Washington as the sequester.

“It’s funny, (Democrats are) all about Obamacare being the law of the land, but so is the sequester,” he told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.

'Cordial' shutdown talks under way in Senate

While the cuts went into place earlier this year, a second round is scheduled to take effect in January unless there is some agreement on spending on Capitol Hill.

But Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, said the current spending limits from the sequester are needed to help bring fiscal responsibility to the nation’s capital.

“If we get rid of that, it's a terrible step in the wrong direction,” he said.

He added that a possible proposal to exceed sequester level spending caps would be a new change in policy for Senate Democrats, who have been pushing for a debt ceiling bill with no strings attached. The Treasury Department says it will be unable to pay the government's bills unless the debt limit is increased by Thursday.

“We're seeing that the Senate Democrats are getting greedy about this whole thing,” he said.

Paul said he doesn't think it's a good idea to pass the deadline, but he also argued the president was taking a drastic approach in his warnings about a possible default.

"It's irresponsible for him to scare people," he said. "He should be the opposite. The leader of the country should be soothing the markets and saying we will always pay the interest on our debt."

The White House has repeatedly warned of the potential consequences of passing the deadline to raise the debt limit. Last week, Obama accused Republicans of saying if they don’t get “100% of their way” in the current negotiations, “they are going to default on America’s debt so that America for the first time in history does not pay its bills.”

“That is not something I will do,” he continued. “We’re not going to establish that pattern.”

But Paul argued the country has enough money to pay the interest on its debt and “there’s absolutely no reason ever to default, and a good leader would be saying we will never default.”

“Not raising the debt ceiling means you have to balance your budget,” he added. “It doesn't mean you have to default.”

One Democratic leadership aide told CNN’s Dana Bash that Democrats are not trying to move the spending levels as a condition to reopening the government in the short term (now through the end of the year). But if Republicans and Democrats end up sitting down for a long-term budget deal after the government opens and after the debt ceiling is raised, then a provision to get rid of the spending limits may become part of those separate talks, the aide said.


Filed under: Debt • Government Shutdown • Rand Paul
soundoff (663 Responses)
  1. Jack

    Come on Mr. Paul, who are you kidding, in my opinion the President has more creditibitly by a long shot!

    October 13, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  2. wallynm

    Rand Paul should not be using scare tactics as the government approaches a deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling,

    October 13, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  3. Brian

    Rand Paul is a lying pig.

    October 13, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  4. Glib

    Our government brings in $225 billion a month. Our debt service costs $18 billion. There's no need to default on anything, just manage your budget like everyone else has to. Threatening default, cutting veterans benefits and not burying your war dead are just a reflection of our Presidents priorities.

    October 13, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  5. Wake Up America!

    There may come a time when we find out we acted too late: With the Debt ceiling or Global Warming maybe we should be scared.

    October 13, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  6. John Tanaka

    northerstar
    It is beyond ridiculous that anyone considers this non-achiever as a "2016 Candidate for president". What has he done that would cause anyone to believe he could be president. He was elected locally by Tea Party Wing Nuts and the more he speaks, the crazier he sound. He has no national chance of becoming president.

    And what was Obama's claim to fame?

    October 13, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  7. voter

    It's time to put the federal government back to work. The party of NO main focus of the first presidential term was to make President Obama a one term President. The votes were taken and MITT DID NOT WIN! DID NOT WIN! Now the Republican known as the party of NO next plan of action de-fund the Affordable Health Care Act in order to pass the 2014 Budget or we will SHUTDOWN the federal government. Well the party of NO could not get the ACA unfunded, so let's SHUTDOWN the federal government. Well party of NO, many federal government employee's belong to the party of NO and they are not receiving a paycheck. But you continue to get paid and benefits. Party of NO put forth a bill the will put ALL PEOPLE back to work. The only scare tactics is coming from the Party of NO.

    October 13, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  8. michael collins

    rand paul needs to look again. The President does not have to scare people. The fact that people are dying every day because of Rand Pauls attempt to take over the government is scary enough. He also needs to look up the definition of negotiation because what he is doing is terrorism not negotiating.

    October 13, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  9. danny

    I dream of a day when WE, as a people, WAKE UP, Fire ALL the jerks on The Hill. Tabula Rasa!
    Then we hire based on intellect and willingness to SERVE the PEOPLE and NOT THEMSELVES and THEIR personal relationship with their 'man based and conceived' religions. Separate! Use Logic! Separate, WAKE UP and serve for the good of ALL....regardless of a very PRIVATE and personal 'so-called' spiritual mind when it comes to running a country full of immigrants. Don't you think our forefathers saw this coming, in a land of immigrants of various religions, to be sure to put what they did about 'separation of church and state'!!
    We are TOO young as a race of people as a whole to ever be considered truly 'intelligent' at this point in our history of development. WAKE UP! Not in my lifetime, or yours I'm afraid. So it seems anyway.

    October 13, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  10. Doobie doer

    I have a tough time understanding why the repubs are so against Obama. Is it straight partisanship? Maybe they don't enjoy watching the nation and the world prosper under his guidance. They'd rather be in charge and sail our boat back to the cifficult waters we just came from rather than sail into better waters with a captain with a different approach on how to get there.

    October 13, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  11. Desert Tortoise

    Well, lets see, if the Republicans genuinely think not extending the debt ceiling in a few days when bills come due that we do not have cash on hand to pay is no big thing, then why do they think that is useful leverage? Think about that one for a while.

    October 13, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  12. Suresh Chari

    Pot, kettle, black.

    Tail, wags, dog.

    RepubMorons, SHAME SHAME SHAME on you. Resign, then GO HOME.

    October 13, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  13. Rafal

    This whale of a OBama lover that she has been since the election, makes this so hard to watch, please get rid of her from the news, she things she knows, but she only talks what the network wants her to say. Shame. She is useless, no offense. Work for a democratic part of some sort and don;t work for a network that CLAIMS to be FAIR

    October 13, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  14. john

    Obama initiated the sequester, His senate passed it and the House also approved it. Now Obama is crying that it's not fair to make him obey his own law. It's a very simple law, Pass a CR or a new budget through negotiation of the parties or sequester is enacted again this year. The House has passed numerous budget bills and Harry Reid has tabled them instead of presenting them on the floor of the Senate. To bad all these people making comments don't understand that Obama's sequester will stand and his mandatory cuts will happen again.

    October 13, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  15. Suresh Chari

    Love Steve Ramsey's comment above. So true – a redneck moron in some podunk part of the nation is playing with FIRE and a LOADED GUN, making dumb analogies and accusations. Sadly, the world is being held hostage by such IMBECILE CLOWNS who don't even compare to the DUST that's in the shoes of scores of SMART people who are SERIOUSLY concerned. Talk about being OUT OF LEAGUE. The more he keeps up his verbal diarrhea, the more he is digging is own grave politically – HOPEFULLY SO.

    October 13, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  16. Suresh Chari

    [digging HIS own..]

    October 13, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  17. mim

    Paul: You've got that backwards. It's Boehner. Quit trying to blame Obama for what the GOP is doing to this country. The intelligent people are NOT blind!

    October 13, 2013 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  18. ponce

    Regardless of your political affiliation, Republicans, Democrats, and the President are at fault. The debt ceiling is not a surprise event and many on both sides (including the President) have stated that US debt levels are irresponsible. Unfortunately, our government leaders and our media sources fail to inform the public of what is economically feasible and what is not in the short, medium, and long terms – along with the assumptions and choices baked into those models.

    I detest the blame game in DC, as what is past is past. We need bipartisan solutions that no longer see everything as a Sum Zero game. I feel most Americans are either 10 to 15 yards left or right of the political 50 yard line. Yet, our leaders seem to sit at each of the 10 yard lines and our President, as the CEO of USA, is unable to tackle the challenge of working with each parties leaders to bridge the gap. I am sure many of us are disappointed with the whole process and would welcome discussion and compromise to move our great country forward.

    October 13, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  19. Sundance Moon

    Rand Paul – who do you think you are? There are people in Washington that have way more experience, intelligence, class and just common sense than you. You say you won't stand for this and that. Who cares what you will stand for? You need to just sit down and shut up. You are confirming the idea that people from Kentucky are idiots and uneducated too real for most of the nation. "It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt." You are an embarrassment to those of us from Kentucky,

    October 13, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  20. GOPnightmare

    Rand Paul.....is in a different reality....like most Tea Party members he thinks he can blame Obama for being honest with the public about what could happen in 4 days.....which from the way most of the republican'ts do it....you know blame, blame and blame because nothing that they do is to be questioned. His views seem to be a little to much like his fathers. But in the real world you can't stick your head in the sand and ignore that if nothing is done in 4 days it will not just hurt us it will hurt the hole worlds economies. But hey he thinks the Republicans win this thing........"this is not a game". Only that the speaker got right all last week. To bad the Tea party tells him what to do.

    October 13, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  21. S. B. Stein

    Rand Paul is a eye doctor and not a financial expert. His understanding is flawed to say the least.

    October 13, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  22. norma jean

    I do hope that Rand Paul is planning on growing up before he runs for president.......Now he says the president is trying to scare us......Oh come on Rand.....he doesn't need to....you scare us enough for anybody!!!!... Now why don't you just be a good boy and get lost?????We know what our president is trying to do.....He's tryiing to save this country which is beyond your understanding...or ability...........AS has been noted repeatedly.......John Boehner is the who could turn tthis mess all around but he knows his job is on the line.....sooooooo he's holding up everything.!!!!

    October 13, 2013 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  23. renegade98

    Republican extremists believing they can force their craziness on America. Not a chance.

    October 13, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  24. Carol Peterson

    I suspect that the end of the republican party is getting closer every day. People are just plain tired of the ignorance and will remember on election day.

    October 13, 2013 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  25. DENNA

    @ Maria Republicans scare me
    ...........................................................................
    Republicans scare anybody with a brain. These knuckle-dragging dinosaurs need to come into the 21st century.

    October 13, 2013 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
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