Rand Paul jabs at Obama over NSA controversy
March 27th, 2014
10:12 AM ET
4 months ago

Rand Paul jabs at Obama over NSA controversy

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul took a shot Thursday on Twitter at President Barack Obama over the National Security Agency surveillance controversy.

As the President was meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, the first term Republican senator from Kentucky, who is one of Obama's biggest critics over NSA surveillance activities, jokingly offered the President a suggestion on what he should say to the pontiff.

Paul's tweet came two days after the President and congressional leaders outlined proposals for ending the NSA's sweeping collection of bulk telephone records, in hopes of ending concerns over how the federal government keeps records known as metadata.

As Paul was sending his tweet, the White House announced that the bulk metadata will be held by telephone companies.

"I have decided that the best path forward is that the government should not collect or hold this data in bulk. Instead, the data should remain at the telephone companies for the length of time it currently does today," the President said in a statement Thursday.

The moves follow Obama's call in January for NSA changes in the aftermath of last year's classified leaks by former agency contractor Edward Snowden that revealed the magnitude of surveillance programs created in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Paul, a strong supporter of civil liberties and privacy rights, has long been an opponent of the NSA's collection of the phone records of Americans. Earlier this year he and the grassroots conservative group FreedomWorks filed a class action lawsuit against the Obama administration for the NSA's metadata collection.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: NSA • Pope Francis • President Obama • Rand Paul
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Earlier this year he and the grassroots conservative group FreedomWorks filed a class action lawsuit"

    Still pushing Koch's FreedomWorks as grassroots, CNN?

    March 27, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Anonymous

    One trick pony, not his father.

    March 27, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. Silence DoGood

    "Paul, a strong supporter of civil liberties and privacy rights"
    The contemporary "libertarian" lie. They are no longer for rights. This is a polite name for ultra-conservative nowadays. Well, I take that back. They are for the unconditional rights of rich white christian people.

    I tried to join a "libertarian" online group but was blasted for being liberal libertarian.

    March 27, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. Tampa Tim

    How can anyone at CNN write that Paul is a strong supporter of civil liberties?

    March 27, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    Is this guy vying for WH. USA is not that stupid to entertain 2nd century guys.

    March 27, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Skippy Snowden, wherabouts currently unknown, was supportive of the President's decision...not that we care...but he was.
    Why is Darn Paul being so predictably snippy of anything THIS POTUS does?
    He should have indulged his newly found endeavor to make sense and bucked the ONLY thing that binds the Republican Party: demeaning and disrespecting THIS President.

    March 27, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. rs

    It was predictable: The President of the United States responding to Congressional and citizen's concerns of spying begun under Mr. Bush's USA PATRIOT Act now attack him for proposing changes to the NSA.
    Republicans, the Right and "Libertarians" like Mr. Paul are shown, once again to not be concerned at all about real issues- just the bluster and faux controversy they can make from them.

    March 27, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. rs

    "Paul, a strong supporter of civil liberties and privacy rights"
    ________________________
    I call fact check on this one. Mr. Paul is on record as being against the anti-discrimination portions of the Civil Rights Act and has said he wouldn't have supported or voted for that bill.

    March 27, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  9. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    The really sad part of all this, is the fact that there are empty heads voting for creatures like this. That's the sad part.

    March 27, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. wise guy

    Grass roots, funny stuff, when you fund, organize, control whats on the signs, pay people to show up, and tell them what to say, most definitely not a grass roots organization. Keep that Koch money coming in, huh CNN?

    March 27, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. jboh

    Maybe he should talk to his TEA/GOP buddies who passed the Patriot Act, which legalized the NSA actions.

    March 27, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Paul, a strong supporter of civil liberties and privacy rights, has long been an opponent of the NSA's collection of the phone records of Americans. Earlier this year he and the grassroots conservative group FreedomWorks filed a class action lawsuit against the Obama administration for the NSA's metadata collection.
    -------------------------------------
    This grandstand of a lawsuit is a complete waste of taxpayer dollars. This class action lawsuit should be categorically dismissed because [as I understand it] a class action suit needs a plaintiff who can demonstrate some harm or damage caused by the party that you're suing. This suit has no grieving plaintiff that I'm aware of. They can neither demonstrate damages nor that any harm has been inflicted.

    March 27, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. rs

    Why is Darn Paul being so predictably snippy of anything THIS POTUS does?
    _____________________________
    He's a Republican troll, nothing more, nothing less. The GOP long ago gave up wanting to lead America, or deal with this nation's problems. They are simply satisfied whining, and offering no solutions, all the while pandering to their wealthy patrons. "Atlas Shrugged".

    March 27, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. smith

    @Silence-What did you do, tell that online group your 9/11 conspiracy theory?

    March 27, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Pat

    Rand, Rand, Rand, at least you're trying!
    Ask Gov. Walker, the only way you can win any office is to suppress the vote.
    All republicans know this!
    You should get a lot of votes from down south, just ask Gov. Jindal, the stupid party.
    Southern people can't think for themselves. Jindal has to get Gov. Perry's OK, before he does anything.

    March 27, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. Enough is Enough

    Wow – I have to read most of the comments from the left several times in order to even begin to understand what point they are trying to make. You guys really need to learn to write more clearly so that you can be understood. I'm guessing that your jobs don't require you to communicate through the written word...at least I hope they don't....

    March 27, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. sonny chapman

    Dominican Mom-I like how you use the THIS PRESIDENT moniker which was used by W. to emphasize his stature & separate him from Bill Clinton-until Iraq, Katrina, Great Recession of 2008.

    March 27, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Jerry

    Hey look another Republican taking a shot at President Obama. It seems that is the only thing they want to do rather than actually working with him.

    March 27, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |