Rand Paul gives Obama the royal treatment
January 15th, 2013
04:33 PM ET
10 years ago

Rand Paul gives Obama the royal treatment

(CNN) - Saying President Barack Obama is acting like a "king" by threatening to take executive action on gun laws, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul cautioned the president to be ready for a fight on Capitol Hill.

"I'm against having a king," he said Tuesday in an interview in Jerusalem with the Christian Broadcasting Network. "I think having a monarch is what we fought the American Revolution over and someone who wants to bypass the Constitution, bypass Congress - that's someone who wants to act like a king or a monarch."

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Obama will announce proposals to curb gun violence Wednesday based on recommendations by Vice President Joe Biden's task force, which held meetings with multiple stakeholders in the gun control debate. The announcement comes just over a month after the deadly Connecticut elementary school massacre that left 26 killed, in addition to the gunman's mother.

According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Obama "intends to take a comprehensive approach," including renewal of the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, a ban of high-capacity gun magazines and closing background check loopholes.

Among the proposals are 19 executive actions that Obama could take without congressional approval, legislators briefed by Biden said Tuesday.

But Carney noted "there are limits on what can be done within existing law" and said Congress would have to act on certain proposals "because the power to do that is reserved by Congress and to Congress."

If the president does decide to make unilateral moves, however, Sen. Paul warned such action would spark intense backlash.

"I've been opposed to executive orders, even with Republican presidents," he said. "But one that wants to infringe on the Second Amendment, we will fight tooth and nail."

"And I promise you," he continued. "There'll be no rock left unturned as far as trying to stop him from usurping the Constitution, running roughshod over Congress. And you will see one heck of a debate if he decides to try to do this."

His argument falls in line with critics who say recent legislative pushes–both at the federal and state level–to amend gun laws mark an aggressive front against Second Amendment rights. The National Rifle Association on Monday posted to Twitter that gun owners are "under assault" and argued the White House and New York Politicians "declare war on the #SecondAmendment."

New York lawmakers, led by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, approved tough new firearm legislation Tuesday that represents the first gun control laws passed since the Newtown shooting.

Paul, a first-term senator, has not shot down potential interest in a 2016 presidential bid. His father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, is widely considered a leader among libertarians and made three White House runs, including a 2012 campaign.

- CNN's Ashley Killough and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

Filed under: Gun rights • Rand Paul
soundoff (335 Responses)
  1. WaLibertarian

    So many whiny Democrats filling this response thread with nonsense and rhetoric that they learned from media. Guess I should expect that, seeing as how they are reading the cnn propaganda machine. Death to tyrants and authoritarians. No army can stop an idea whose time has come. Personal liberty and responsibility will endure.

    January 16, 2013 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  2. Honestly

    The irony of course is that Obama is about as centrist as you will get in a president. That the radical right views him as some heinous leftist radical is simply a reflection of how out of touch and extreme the GOP party has become in recent years.

    January 16, 2013 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  3. Clement Arbruster Bodog Castlenut, Jr.

    Rand, Old Boy,
    1. You didn't fight the revolution; what's this "we" stuff?
    2. President Obama does not want to be king, he wants to be president, and apparently, SO DOES THE NATION AS A WHOLE.

    January 16, 2013 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  4. smithdp

    How dare Obama try to take action that might make it more likely that kids that go to school in the morning get to come home in the afternoon without getting shot with an assault weapon. Who does he think he is?

    January 16, 2013 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  5. DC

    I consider myself to be a strong conservative but I must say Mr. Paul you are way off on this one. We have to take a closer look at our gun laws. Its just common sense.

    January 16, 2013 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  6. Joe Clark

    Obama does not wish to be a king. He wants to be a dictator. He behaves like one and he is starting to look more and more like one each day. Must have been a spoiled child in his youth. Maturity eludes him. His false posturing says a lot about our future. Its going to be a rocky road in the tears ahead.

    January 16, 2013 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  7. OhHolyOne

    If Obama is the King, then I guess that either makes Paul the Fool or one of the Beatles–doesn't matter which.

    January 16, 2013 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  8. Sane Person

    Except a vast majority want stricter gun control. But keep scaring the paranoid gun crowd! Heck, work the bible into it and you've got a surefire winner! I'm sure some bible verse could be twisted to mean "jesus said to have assault weapons".

    January 16, 2013 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  9. Weasley

    King Obama? I like it. Couldn't be any worse than this preeminent cabal in the House, called The Tea Party, which serves no purpose other than to stall, obstruct, and filibuster each and every piece of legislature that does not serve their particular fatuous agenda, no matter the consequences. I see no difference.

    So Rep. Rand, if you object to a King, take a look in your own backyard. The Tea Party acts mighty Royal.

    January 16, 2013 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  10. KellyF

    We have a congress that refuses to act on the will of the people. THAT is a far worse problem. Obama has used executive order FAR LESS than Bush did and just listen to the GOP squeal. I hope he does give them the finger. It's about TIME!

    January 16, 2013 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  11. RomneyWho

    The Jurassic thinking of Rand Paul and his antiquated supporters will soon fad into the past but until then, they will not go quietly into that good night. So let them scream, holler, kick and spit . . . Good night Gracie!

    January 16, 2013 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  12. KG

    I wish people would read the article before posting. Rand Paul also opposed Bush's executive orders because they by-pass Congress. Regardless of who is in the White House, it cannot possibly be good for our nation to have more power concentrated in the Executive branch. Our Senators and Representatives are the ones we elect to create laws. The Executive Branch should not be able to by-pass them at will just because the President is incapable of creating a concensus. FDR was faced with an absurdly obstinate Congress and yet was able to lead us out of the Great Depression and through WWII. Reagan pulled together Congress and led us out of a downward spiral that started with Watergate. Obama just makes demands to Congress and has proven incapable of creating a consensus on critical issues. Bush wasn't much better. Obama needs to engage congress in a dialogue and find compromises that both parties can accept. He's already begun squeezing more taxes out of all of us and refused to discuss how he's going to reduce spending. He could use the gun debate as a means to demonstrate he can negotiate and compromise but instead will continue down the path of unilateral leadership.

    January 16, 2013 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  13. A gatty

    Isn't giving the president executive powers part of the constitution Sir?

    January 16, 2013 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  14. lejack

    Jersey Brown, say it loud, Dem's sat 2010 out and the crazies came out in force and put in a whole lot of Rand Paul's at all level of governments. Thirty states have these fools in charge causing nothing but trouble and trying to send the country back to the 1950's

    January 16, 2013 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  15. skytag

    Who stared this "king" nonsense? This is fairly new rhetoric I'm hearing a lot from the folks who can't actually discuss issues.

    January 16, 2013 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  16. DT

    America can now hang its head in shame. What a circus this government has become and it only took the king of the court jesters a little over 4 years to get the show on the road. He would make Ronald McDonald proud to be labeled as a clown.

    January 16, 2013 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  17. Barb

    @ larry oakland well said.

    and to those who think to protect" whatsoever" with firearms DO NOT NEED ASSAULT WEAPONS!

    Teaparty garbage, Mr Rand...

    January 16, 2013 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  18. Jim

    He'll have my vote in 2016 if he chooses to run. He's a little liberal in some of his views, not so much in enough of them to satisfy me and he has a lot more common sense than any of the democrats I see speak and more than most of the republicans as well.

    January 16, 2013 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  19. travelinghays

    Obviously, his pockets are filled with NRA and private prison money. Its reassuring that the majority of Americans elected a responsible adult for president who is man enough to know you don't need an assault weapon to hunt or for hobby fun. I love to hunt, yet the US should quite wasting money on our high prison rates and adopt Canada's gun laws. They work great and are adult and responsible. No hand guns or assault rifles, and hunting rifles and shotguns must be locked so kids can't gain access and hurt themselves or others. If they do, then the irresponsible gun owner goes to jail, not the kid. Gun ownership requires adult responsibility. Adults who feel a need to buy and play with assault weapons and handguns are kids that need to grow up.

    January 16, 2013 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  20. NameRalph

    This anti gun control campaign by the NRA has it's limits. The NRA supported govenor Ronald Reagan in the sixties against the black panthers who were exercising the wright to bear arms against corrupt police officers. It seems that the NRA only supports a certain demagraphics wright to bear arms not truly all of us. I think like Sara Palin they're defending the real American's wright to bear arms.lol

    January 16, 2013 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  21. strangerq

    I don't think the President wants to be a king.

    However I do think Rand Paul wants to be a fool.

    To each his own.

    January 16, 2013 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  22. Chris

    Bush issued more executive orders than all other presidents put together – and all I heard from the right was how great a president that made him and how Bush had the courage to do what was necessary. Now Obama is considering an executive order and all those some people are screaming bloody murder.

    January 16, 2013 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  23. John S

    I totally agree! While we all want better control over guns like assault rifles. I think the 2nd Amendment needs to be respected. I think Executive orders are cop outs by the president and we gave George W grief for making them. Ron Paul is correct. Any kind of gun legislation needs to come from Congress doing what the Constitution gave them powers to do. Their is a respect for government procedure that I believe Obama does not have respect for. The 3 branches of government are there for a reason. They may not be working so great but they are what we have.

    January 16, 2013 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  24. Anonymous

    well if congress would actually legislate instead of getting paid to complain – the option of executive order would not be needed.

    January 16, 2013 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  25. dave

    I support Rand Paul

    January 16, 2013 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
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