Bernie Sanders on Ron Paul: He's 'out to lunch'
August 29th, 2011
07:12 PM ET
10 years ago

Bernie Sanders on Ron Paul: He's 'out to lunch'

(CNN) - Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont criticized Texas Rep. Ron Paul on Monday for blasting the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a useless entity.

"I like Ron Paul, but on these issues, he's completely out to lunch," Sanders told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, anchor of "The Situation Room."

The Republican presidential candidate made headlines when he said on the campaign trail Friday that Americans are capable of recovering from natural disasters without the help of FEMA.

"All they do is come in and tell you what to do and can't do," Paul said. "You can't get in your houses. And they hinder the local people, and they hinder volunteers from going in."

But Sanders, whose state is experiencing mass flooding and power outages in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, said FEMA is on the ground in Vermont.

He argued now is the time for the country to come together.

"We are a nation. We are not 50 individual states," Sanders said. "Vermont stands with other states when they're in trouble, and other states stand with us. That's what being a nation is about."

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Filed under: Bernie Sanders • FEMA • Ron Paul • TV-The Situation Room • Vermont
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Tired of the nonsense

    Yeah, but he's GOP, and they're all out to lunch. It'd be better for America if they'd just all stay gone.

    August 29, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Ron Paul is 75 years old and is fighting a losing battle to stay in touch. That's the problem with some of our elder, they don't know when to step aside before they continue to make a total fool of themselves. It's not ashame to get old but it's embarrassing to attempt to compete when you have lost touch.

    August 29, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  3. Mitchell

    Wow. What a shame. I wouldn't expect Sanders to resort to personal attacks, especially after I continually hear Paul speak very highly of Sen Sanders and boast about the coalitions they've built together over the years.

    August 29, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. joe smith

    it appears to me, we send fema into our states/communities to put out fires..on the surface they provide a service..but, the communities/states fail themselves, by failing to say no to a potential borrower, who wants to build their home in areas prone to havoc; the banks, and insurance companies are also to blame for writing the paper..only to have to pay out unnessary claims; cleaning streams, and rivers of debre before a potential hazard is a part of our responsibility as a local government, Ron Paul is correct, these funds are unnecessary, if we PLAN ahead..

    August 29, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |

    I second Sanders. Ron Paul is another John McCain: an out of touch, rich, old, white guy with no new ideas.

    August 29, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I always thought that Ron Paul was a sandwich short of being a happy meal.

    August 29, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. Tony

    Sanders, you should have seen the mass fraud that went on in the Gulf Coast during Katrina with FEMA. America did just fine before FEMA was created and high-risk states should allocate their funds to react to impending disasters.

    August 29, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. Craig Ogungo

    Maybe Benie Sanders should look within his own party at some of the token chimps that sit in Congress. Then he will really see who is out to lunch. Example: Henry from Georgia. Cynthia McKinney was a good example. Bobby Rush, etc....

    August 29, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Why do libertarians run for government office when they are opposed to government? Why do they get a government salary provided by tax payer money? We have learned under Bush, that any government program with a republican in charge is doomed to failure. Government is not the problem, tea baggers, libertarians and republicans are the problem.

    August 29, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  10. Paul

    Bernie Sanders is an independant, not a democrat.

    August 29, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. dd

    I agree with sanders! and those of you who do not know what he is about...this is said not because of his state needing help. he would even say this if it were happening in texas! or any other state

    August 29, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  12. John Frederick

    I think Bernie Sanders is completely knee-jerk in calling Ron Paul out to lunch–he clearly never listened to Ron Paul's reason's for calling FEMA USELESS. FEMA is an organization governed by an inefficient bureaucratic culture that covers emergency rescues in red-tape. FEMA was very good in Katrina, right, right guys?

    August 29, 2011 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  13. Bill in Florida

    With Michele Bachmann saying that God caused the hurricane and earthquake to punish innocent civilians for (mostly Republican-created) budget deficits, and Ron Paul saying that FEMA is unnecessary during a national disaster, you would think that the GOP field is secretly wanting the President to be reelected. Tell you oen thing: if either Bachmann or Paul win the GOP primary (and they won't; it will be Perry or Romney), they would lose Vermont by a landslide.

    August 29, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  14. Aaron L.

    I'm going to have to side with Ron Paul on this one.

    August 29, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  15. Paul

    "Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders"? Really, CNN, if you can't even get the first word of your report right, can we take you seriously? (hint: he's indie, not dem)

    August 29, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  16. Jay

    Bernie, likes Paul? Wow, what a great friend.

    August 29, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  17. NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    we invite Bernie Sanders to challenge President Obama in the primary

    August 29, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  18. Former Republican, now an Independent

    That's only the beginning of a long list of issues Ron Paul is out to lunch on!

    August 29, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  19. loretta

    Bernie is not a Democrat senator. He's an Independent.

    August 29, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. Henry Miller

    Bernie Sanders is a self-avowed socialist and, as such, is convinced that Americans are incompetent to blow their own noses with "help" from government.

    And, contrary to Bernie's ignorant opinion, yes, the US is 50 individual states. It says so right in the Constitution, complete with guarantees such as the Tenth Amendment that it will stay that way.

    August 29, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Ron Paul said, "We should be like 1900, we should be like 1940, 1950, 1960."

    Here's the catch: It's NOT 1900, 1940, 1950, 1960..... It's 2011.

    And contrary to what Ron Paul would have you think, the federal government WAS involved in the reconstruction of Galveston when it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1900.

    Making up his own "facts;" Ron Paul MUST be a Republican!

    August 29, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  22. Daniel Wood

    When did we change from having a FEDERAL government to having a NATIONAL government? Besides the point, I'm sure states would rather have the money sent to FEMA then the FEMA help itself. No one is saying that States shouldn't help each other, but rather the inefficient bureaucracy of FEMA doesn't help. I'm pretty sure States could make agreements with each other in order to obtain help to protect against future disasters, and would be much more efficient.

    August 29, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. CommonSense

    Bernie Sanders is out of touch with reality.

    Why is it so easy for people to forget history...and facts? Why do people respond emotionally instead of logically?

    Have you all noticed how often Ron Paul cites history and is always right about almost every prediction and can show the cause before it even happens?

    Ron Paul 2012!

    August 29, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  24. sound bite

    As soon as I heard the FEMA question in the interview I knew that it would be twisted and generalized to make Ron Paul appear uncaring and out of touch. Obviously, Sanders failed to listen to the entire interview. In the short time he had, Paul laid out a transitory plan that made complete sense. His plan included utilizing the National Guard as it was intended. Why should we feel comfortable throwing more money at FEMA? Also, why should they be allowed to keep people from entering their homes or towns? That's not an acceptable roll for government in a free society.

    August 29, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  25. Patrick from Minnesota

    Seriously, how many times does Ron Paul need to lose a primary before he realizes he wasn't meant to be President?

    August 29, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
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