November 27th, 2012
03:28 PM ET
10 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. Ian

    Justin B. wrote, "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." other words, if the GOP stops representing everything they stand for, they can truely become the GOP again! LOL, how about just supporting the party that ALREADY thinks like that?

    November 27, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Not 1st rodeo

    Rand Paul is a living breathing example of why the GOP is dying out. His denial of science and reason is offensive to educated people.

    The irony of his statement is dripping thick.

    November 27, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    All Hail Senator Aqua Buddah and his sudden love of evolution!

    November 27, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. BLKMANinAmerica

    LMAO......................good bye babie BYE BYE. Let the door nob hit u where the good lawd split you.

    November 27, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. Larry in Houston

    WoW !! LOL – well there Rand !! you need to call 'ol Mitch ( not to mention 'ol Cantor) and talk to them on the phone, and tell them what you just said, regarding the "dinosaur" and the "extinct" sentences. LOL – You're a piece of work there, Rand. Trouble is : some of those guys in your own party, will never believe it. I guess we'll have to wait til the mid-terms, in 2014, when they really find out what you said, is true. You guys should have ran Jon Huntsman, he was the only one who NOT only spoke from his heart, but spoke the truth, during the primaries, but he bailed out. Too bad, it seems like the best guys sort of "bail out" early.

    November 27, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. nothing new here

    Granted, Paul is right about there being too much wasteful government spending.
    But Rand Paul is not like his father – Rand is part of the problem, and not the solution.
    Rand Paul needs to start being more a "voice of reason" for all Americans, and not just for the GOP.
    It is all Americans, all taxpaying citizens, that are having to finance endless wars, endless government waste, endless war on drugs, and so on.
    This is something that both parties can, and should, agree on.

    November 27, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Supersam

    Republican Party will be fine if they follow this simple formula:-
    (X-Y-Z)^n +A
    X= Practice what you preach
    Y=(Hating minorities, immigrants and people of other faiths)
    n= 1%common sense
    Z= Just war business
    A = patience

    November 27, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. Sniffit

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

    Nope, sorry. God put it all here for us to play with and if we ever run out all we have to do s pray really hard, maybe promise to mow the lawn and do the dishes for 3 weeks, and poof, He'll give us more.

    November 27, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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