November 2nd, 2010
10:47 AM ET
12 years ago

Paul: Balanced budget is first priority

(CNN) - Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul said Tuesday that the first thing he would do if elected is introduce a balanced budget amendment, but said he would be willing to compromise on what gets cut.

"Both sides [have] shown themselves to be untrustworthy. What we need to do is balance the budget and I don't think they'll step up and do it unless we force them to do it by law," Paul said during an interview on CNN's American Morning.

The Tea Party-backed candidate has pledged throughout his campaign to fight for smaller government, but told CNN's John Roberts that he is willing to work with Democrats on what programs should be downsized in order to achieve a balanced budget.

"The compromise between Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, has to be that conservatives have always said we'll cut domestic spending and won't touch military spending. Some liberals that believe the deficit is a problem says we'll cut military spending but not domestic spending," Paul said.

"I do believe national defense is the most important thing the federal government does, but I do think there's waste in the military budget and I'll be one of those to reach across the aisle to the Democrats and say, we will tackle waste throughout the length and breadth of the budget, but I think that's the only compromise that would find enough money to balance the budget."

The latest CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll of likely voters showed Paul with a seven-point advantage over his opponent, Democrat Jack Conway. Among registered voters, the contest is tighter– Paul holds only a two-point advantage.The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for likely voters and 2.5 percentage points for registered voters.

Filed under: 2010 • American Morning • issues • Rand Paul
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. GonzoinHouston

    He is right that both parties are untrustworthy. Unfortunately, so is he.

    November 2, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. Robert

    I'm all for a balanced budget, but how do you plan to do that and lower taxes at the same time? By cutting costs except for defense spending? Good luck with that...

    November 2, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. Clark Wilhelm Griswald

    Every right-winger who has campaigned on a balanced budget was a reckless spender once in office. Remember Reagan? His presidency spent wildly, hugely increasing the budget.

    Both parties are financially irresponsible. Right-wingers are blind to their own spending sprees – notice how silent they were when miniBush was causing the deficit to explode?

    November 2, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Gee, do you think anyone will recommend cutting the military budget? Probably not. Those defense contractors need to make a living too. And, lord knows, there's lots of money to be made killing brown people who never attacked us. Face it, the U.S. is a global menace. Name one country whose affairs we haven't poked our noses into in the last hundred years. I say cut the military and bring the troops home from all over the world. It's not like they've won a war in the last 65 years anyway. Have a nice day!

    November 2, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. Aaron R

    TOADY is the ELECTION! (inside joke) Prepare for Randslide!

    November 2, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Alex

    As a democrat, this makes me feel a little bit comfortable with him winning a senate seat – the thought that he'd compromise. Let's see if this really happens. I'm certainly not going to hold my breath, though.

    November 2, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. jeff

    How do u fight a war or handle sudden emergencies if restricted by a balanced budget rigid rule?

    November 2, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. barry

    Cut it deep Rand Paul it's time the Government had to live within its means like the rest of us.

    November 2, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. a health economist

    What I'd like to hear from Paul, and in fact all Republicans, is how do they plan to cut government spending without increasing the unemployment rate? While there is waste in government spending that can be reduced without cutting jobs, it is by no means the lion's share of things. One person's spending is another person's income.

    Cutting spending in and of itself won't solve the problem because it can lead to job losses. Cutting taxes in and of itself won't solve the problem. If Warren Buffet was given all his taxes back and then he chooses not to spend any of it, what good does it do?

    November 2, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. maine liberal

    Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul said Tuesday that the first thing he would do if elected is introduce a balanced budget amendment

    this is just another strawman and affords him the convience of doing nothing.
    Lets see his votes when the budget has been submitted and whta he specifically will vote against and cut.

    If the republicans are serious they can introduce a house rule that any spending/tax cuts must be paid for and the budget prior to being sent to the senate must be in balance.

    An amendment takes years and votes which are not there.

    November 2, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. USA 1

    Balnced budget? he will do it on the backs of the middle class, lower middle class, and the poor.

    This is a guy who thinks "The Common Good" is socialistic garbage!

    He just doesn't get it.

    November 2, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If anybody believes this guy they are totally dillustional, he doesn't know where to start. LOL

    November 2, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. carol

    Fill in your own pot holes, hire your own teachers, build your own water treatment plant, let the sewer water run down the rogovad, protect your own border, no unemployment, no food stamps, no army let the terrorist alone, have 8 hr waits to get drivers license, no police, firemen, no cdc to stop dieases or govmt provide injection so disease will be plentiful. and much much more to balance the budget. FIRST cut senator and rep salaries get rid of their health care.

    November 2, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. carol

    obamo's: health care for children , controlled interest rates on credit card, rules to help control out of control banks, an equal wage law, auto rebate that saved the auto industry -

    November 2, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  15. Ben in Texas

    Yeah, both sides are untrustworthy, while the Rand Paul side is unbalanced. Mentally unbalanced. Politics are crazy enough without adding certifiable teabagger psychos to the mix.

    November 2, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. rick

    So we are going to balance the budget by cutting waste. I think maybe I have heard that before.

    November 2, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. Chuck Anaheim

    Yeah right. When the tea party republicants decide that the average American is more important than the military industrial complex then I will beieve and even switch my part affiliation. I think there will just be a long parade of investigations just like when Bill Clinton was president wasting millions upon millions of dollars while they cry about fiscal responsiblity.

    November 2, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. Peter E

    People have the naivitee to think that solving the budget problem is easy. 'Just eliminate pork' 'just eliminate the department of education' 'just eliminate farm subsidies' etc... over 90% of our regular federal budget is tied up in 4 items: social security, medicare, interest on the national debt, and of course military spending. Out of these the last one is technically discretionary, but you find me a politician who will dare cut that down reasonably. That'd just be political suicide. And of course no politician dares raise taxes to balance the budget. Tax is a four letter word, and in a tough economy the myth that tax cuts create jobs (despite no historical evidence that it has ever done that) just further propagates.
    Sorry, people, but we're stuck with deficits for decades to come. We blew the last opportunity to balance the budget at start of the millenium.

    November 2, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    We must stop the financial bleeding. We cannot afford to waste any more billions on useless, worthless programs which accomplish nothing.

    November 2, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Texas Doc

    It appears that he is unfamiliar with the way the senate works. If you are the new guy, you don't get to call the shots. BTW after the election don't be hurt when the GOP establishment treats you like an unwanted pregnancy.

    November 2, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Video Guy

    I hope to God this guy does not make it, but if he does, the first thing he needs to do is "shut up and learns the ropes". His only job for the first few months should be making sure there is TP in the bathrooms.

    November 2, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Jill

    I personally would not ever trust Rand Paul. Typical ploy ... those other guys – they are bad, trust me instead. Right!

    November 2, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. biggeorge22

    A balanced budget is NOT and SHOULD NOT be the first priority. This guy is clueless. Cutting spending now is like raising taxes now, exactly what Republican's have been screaming not to do! Get people working, keep interest rates low, get the housing market going with government programs, legalize prostitution, marijuana, gambling and watch the economy jump through the roof. Increased jobs will increase tax revenues and decrease the deficits on their own.

    November 2, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. IA

    The more I hear from this guy, the more I like him. Too bad he's in a different state than I live in.

    November 2, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. Danny Cali

    So, what side you are and what job you apply for? You going to do same thing as those guy in Senate.

    November 2, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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