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)
  1. Michael Turner

    Senator Rant Paul is such a liar. Winning this meant the Democrat would cave to the Republicans unreasonable demands.

    October 13, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. Evelyn Connaway

    President Obama doesn't scare us, he just tells the truth about what default will do to our country and others around the world. What really scares the crap out of most of us, is to realize what the republicans and their HANDLERS are trying to do to our country! And will succeed if we don't start getting rid of them, along with any democrat that leans in their direction. Citizens of your individual states, start checking out who you vote for and remember it doesn't apply to just you, but all your families and friends. get involved with them, without politicians of any ilk, and decided what kind of a government you want to live under. Also remember WE THE PEOPLE are the EMPLOYER of all the politicians – they are our EMPLOYEES! Somewhere along the line they have tried to switch it around and have convinced most people we work for them, as they get to make all the rules for themselves! It's time to put a stop to their thinking process, now! Let them know they work for you, not the other way around.

    October 13, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. TheTeacher

    @onlymho, "all that is needed is to limit spending to the amount of taxes collected – no debt ceiling concerns"

    And what's your plan regarding the skyrocketing of the interest rates on the debt servicing that we currently pay (courtesy of GOP presidents since Reagan)?

    October 13, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Don in albuquerque

    Clueless in America.

    October 13, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. David

    Republicans Love America!
    (they just hate Americans)

    October 13, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. carlos

    how can he reason or think with that POS on his head????

    October 13, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. BRB

    If Rand is an up and coming Republican leader, the party is in serious trouble. His father was a wacko and so is Rand. What rock do these politician crawl out from under.

    October 13, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Sparrow1

    I think the Senate and Congress need to quit LYING about everything, and quit trying to blame President Obama for stuff they have caused. And place the blame where it belongs. The Bush's put the US in the predicament it's in, along with the GREEDY Congress and Senate. Most of whom need to be fired, and or made to take a pay cut. Go out and get a job like the little guy in America has and see what it is like to struggle every day wondering how your gonna make ends meet. I admire the President for standing up to you creeps.

    October 13, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Anonymous

    How is Crowley even employed? Isn't she a mouthpiece for the Obama Administration?

    October 13, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. solowd

    Interestingly, the GOP scares me a lot more than Obama.

    October 13, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. sbaldwin

    Paul is about as credible as a hungry polar bear standing in front of us saying come on over I am not going to harm you, I just want something from you!!!! I think we all know that liking or disliking a political figure should not dictate our common sense and what our republican party is doing to the country is obnoxious and for one reason to get one man, that is not a normal situation and actual reams of collusion and prejudice, my card is done, torn up, tea party with their group of idiots Palin, Cruz (PUPPET) we know what is transpiring there and of course a Rand Paul who wants to be president but does not seem to know how to go about getting the votes needed, as for Cruz forget it, a puppy dog trying to play big dog.

    October 13, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. USA in a Wheelchair

    Remember the Democrat's election commericial in 2008 that showed the old person being shoved over the cliif in a wheelchair? – Obama has simply replaced that person with the American public.

    October 13, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Martha in CF

    So Rand Paul knows it all. How come then the world leaders and others are VERY concerned about what is happening here in the U S of A. If money is too be lost let it be in the Redumblican party.....I don't want a recurrence of 2008--The 99% of us work hard for our money and it is getting harder and harder to make ends meet.
    Besides--where are the jobs that you promised and were elected on in 2010? I'd be ashamed to be claiming I was a republican!!!!! I am GLAD I am not one of you!!!!!!!!

    October 13, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. markiejoe

    Takes one to know one, Mr. Paul. Republicans are forever trying to scare people about everything.

    Currently it's Obamacare, but basically that's how Republicans want you to live your life-scared. So you'll vote for them.

    October 13, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Robert


    So, imagine that the company you work for held a poll, and asked everyone if they thought it would be a good idea to put a soda machine in the break room. The poll came back, and the majority of your colleagues said "Yes," indicating that they would like a soda machine. Some said no, but the majority said yes. So, a week later, there's a soda machine.

    Now imagine that Bill in accounting voted against the soda machine. He has a strong hatred for caffeinated soft drinks, thinks they are bad you you, whatever. He campaigns throughout the office to get the machine removed. Well, management decides "OK, we'll ask again" and again, the majority of people say, "Yes, let's keep the soda machine." Bill continues to campaign, and management continues to ask the employees, and every time, the answer is in favor of the soda machine. This happens, lets say... 35 times. Eventually, Bill says "OK, I'M NOT PROCESSING PAYROLL ANYMORE UNTIL THE SODA MACHINE IS REMOVED," so nobody will get paid unless management removes the machine. What should we do???

    Answer: Fire Bill and get someone who will do the job.

    Bonus: Bill tells everyone that he was willing to "negotiate" to come to a solution where everyone got their payroll checks, but only so long as that negotiation capitulated to his demand to remove the soda machine.

    October 13, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. VanHagen

    Sad for the rest of us. Continuing to raise the credit card limit without cutting expenses.

    October 13, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. GOP = Greed Over People

    This comes from Aqua's deep knowledge of the business world on a macro scale and his degree in Econ?

    Oh wait, isn't he an opthamolagist? And he is not even "board" certified by the state of KY(I am biting my knuckles really hard) but "certified" by a board he founded?

    So, what resources is he drawing his conclusion from?

    Now, I know, the Drudge sludge!

    October 13, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  18. Mark

    Maybe the Democrats have finally taken a page out of the Republican playbook. After all they've been playing the fear card for 20 years in regard to tax increases on the wealthy being the end of the world.

    October 13, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. JY

    Rand Paul: Obama is trying to ‘scare people’ on debt ceiling..
    Are you jealous he is taking some of your bluster?

    The GOP is no longer scaring us, they are annoying us like little children whining too long or my dog begging at the kitchen table because we forgot to put in her 'area' of the home.

    Rep Peter King R-NY admits the GOP is responsible for the games being played.

    October 13, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. Martha in CF

    USA in a Wheelchair
    Remember the Republican claiming that there would be a death panel in 2008....It hasn't happened yet and it never will...I wonder if you are covered by an insurance policy or you do not have one because you are in a wheelchair-a preexisting condition maybe? I feel that your life is hard enough without making the claim you did. It is the Republican party that is taking everything away from us....Shame on them........
    I say that anyone who isn't happy to be an American should leave the country...............

    October 13, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. Peace

    Oh! come on Rand. No one is scaring anyone. It is the matter of applying common sense, of which everyone understands. If you show the sign of not willing to pay your debts and need to borrow more, for sure the lender will lose trust in you and hesitate to lend you more. So do the lenders to US.

    October 13, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. gstlab3

    both sides lie to us all using a common scientific methodology.,
    the hagalian dialectic.,
    distract and divide using polar opposites in any area not just those of great importance or those of racial and religious contention to find the answers and results that are well in advance pre determined by those who know how to use this method of teaching the human being to perform as desired.

    October 13, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. JY

    listening to Rand spit out the diarrhea and Crowley just lets if flow. What a joke she is for a prime time news person.

    October 13, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. David G

    “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on on-going financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally.
    Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I, therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt”

    Senator Barack Obama, March 20, 2006.

    October 13, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. gstlab3

    the use of social, economic and political polar opposites is the way in which educated people get you the dumbed down American to perform as desired.

    October 13, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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