October 13th, 2013
10:14 AM ET
9 years ago

Rand Paul: Obama is trying to ‘scare people’ on debt ceiling

Updated 2:32 p.m. ET, 10/13/2013

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama should not be using scare tactics as the government approaches a deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling, Sen. Rand Paul argued Sunday.

The Kentucky Republican said if Democrats end up insisting on increasing spending limits as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown, then it will be considered a “nonstarter” by Senate Republicans.

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In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Paul said “the one thing” he cannot accept - as Congress negotiates a deal to halt current stalemates over the budget and national debt - is to exceed the spending caps put into place by a series of forced budget cuts, known in Washington as the sequester.

“It’s funny, (Democrats are) all about Obamacare being the law of the land, but so is the sequester,” he told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.

'Cordial' shutdown talks under way in Senate

While the cuts went into place earlier this year, a second round is scheduled to take effect in January unless there is some agreement on spending on Capitol Hill.

But Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, said the current spending limits from the sequester are needed to help bring fiscal responsibility to the nation’s capital.

“If we get rid of that, it's a terrible step in the wrong direction,” he said.

He added that a possible proposal to exceed sequester level spending caps would be a new change in policy for Senate Democrats, who have been pushing for a debt ceiling bill with no strings attached. The Treasury Department says it will be unable to pay the government's bills unless the debt limit is increased by Thursday.

“We're seeing that the Senate Democrats are getting greedy about this whole thing,” he said.

Paul said he doesn't think it's a good idea to pass the deadline, but he also argued the president was taking a drastic approach in his warnings about a possible default.

"It's irresponsible for him to scare people," he said. "He should be the opposite. The leader of the country should be soothing the markets and saying we will always pay the interest on our debt."

The White House has repeatedly warned of the potential consequences of passing the deadline to raise the debt limit. Last week, Obama accused Republicans of saying if they don’t get “100% of their way” in the current negotiations, “they are going to default on America’s debt so that America for the first time in history does not pay its bills.”

“That is not something I will do,” he continued. “We’re not going to establish that pattern.”

But Paul argued the country has enough money to pay the interest on its debt and “there’s absolutely no reason ever to default, and a good leader would be saying we will never default.”

“Not raising the debt ceiling means you have to balance your budget,” he added. “It doesn't mean you have to default.”

One Democratic leadership aide told CNN’s Dana Bash that Democrats are not trying to move the spending levels as a condition to reopening the government in the short term (now through the end of the year). But if Republicans and Democrats end up sitting down for a long-term budget deal after the government opens and after the debt ceiling is raised, then a provision to get rid of the spending limits may become part of those separate talks, the aide said.

Filed under: Debt • Government Shutdown • Rand Paul
soundoff (663 Responses)

    SENATOR RON PAUL ,he has my vote and he is right about everything... Obama should HAVE been impeached long ago.. He;s a LIZARD .....

    October 13, 2013 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  2. gene

    here's a man without any real knowledge. Planning to run in 2016 for pres- we're in really big trouble

    October 13, 2013 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    Only a repub would dismiss as trivial America defaulting on her financial obligations.

    October 13, 2013 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    @Not-DixieCrat: "Let's vote for a clean bill, shall we? Why not?"

    Because it will go down in defeat, denying the tea baggers the opportunity to righteously proclaim only they represent the "will of the people."

    October 13, 2013 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  5. joe

    Rand Paul, the Tea Party, and the Republicans are the only people who know how bad the debt really is. If you don't believe this, try raising your credit card limit every year, max out your credit card, and repeat. See how long you can do that before its too late. But yes, blame the republicans and tea party for keeping us from financial ruin. Wake up people.

    October 14, 2013 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  6. BenFranklin

    Trying to understand what doesn't make sense about being fiscally responsible. Is there a never ending reservoir of funds to pay for unfunded liabilities? Does putting your fiscal house in order seem irresponsible? You may not like the messenger but how can you not give creedence to a message that is based on fiscal sanity?

    October 14, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  7. SteveInMN

    I thought he was less wack than his wack daddy.

    Here - in print - I admit - I WAS WRONG.

    October 14, 2013 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  8. Mugzee44

    from a politician that's from a State that's so conservative some of its people have never seen a flushing toilet!

    October 14, 2013 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  9. Jim

    Rand or Hillary. I think I will take a shot with Rand. Obama has about done us in and Hillary would finish us off. Long live the Tea Party. Make no mistake the Tea Party will take back this country. We have to. Our country is depending on us. We will not let you down.

    October 14, 2013 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  10. Nancy

    More than 55 million stupid people voted Bush in for the second time around and they all deserve what is happening now (downward spiral of the economy). Damage is done and there is absolutely no turning back. We simply need to get used to a third world status with much poverty and civil unrest.

    October 14, 2013 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  11. JerseyJeff78

    Take an economics class. It's 99.9% of every economists, financial analysts and investor professionals – not just the President, Democrats, most Republicans and world leaders around the globe saying that to you.

    October 14, 2013 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  12. Paul

    Rand Paul and his tea party cronies are so out of touch. They really wanted to drag the world into depression by the US Govt shutdown and default, and then surely, they would turn around and blame President Obama for letting it happen. Are they really that satanic just so they could gain more political power by stabbing the whole nation (and the globe for that matter) on its back?

    October 14, 2013 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  13. Minnie Mouse

    There's no scare to anything because it's the truth. Just like anyone who doesn't pay bills this happens: you lose your credit rating, your lose your borrowing abilities, countries will lose trust in us, people lose trust in you, you pay more interest ect..

    At least President Obama is not standing in front of national TV, telling the public that the Affordable Care Act is going to destroy our country and kill people. Anyone regardless to what party you in and are you are saying this is or have said this, your being ridiculous! You have no proof and it's far from the truth.

    October 14, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
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