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. Mona

    I was just wondering if people like Paul are reading our posts.....most likely not....BUT, perhaps someone close to him is
    and will relay the messages us common folk make. I for one say, Paul scares me! His tea party TERRIFYS me. I can say absolutely, with a straight face that he & his cohorts will ruin this great country of ours if he doesn't persist with his lies. But maybe that is his intentions to ruin us. With every last ounce of my breath, I will do anything I can to ruin his cause & send him packing to Ky. Get lost you poor excuse of a human being, GET LOST!

    October 13, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  2. Mona

    cORRECTION! I should have said, " that he & his cohorts will ruin this great country of ours if he persists with his lies!"
    My mistake....

    October 13, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |

    The Kentucky IDIOT Republican RAND PAUL IS USING SCARE TACTICS TO FORCE President Barack Obama to NOT raise the federal debt ceiling....IT'S UNBELIEVABLE that this little NOTHING from NOWHERE is telling the president how to run the country....one would think this NOTHING RAND PAUL thinks he was the PRESIDENT..

    October 13, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |

    It's not about rebloodicans and democrips anymore CNN'ers! The banks have this country hostage and are pulling the strings! Obama is a puppet as was Bush. They do what wall street and 5 global offshore banks order them to do. Mainstream news like this bs and Fox are state ran as well. Get out of this matrix you peeps are plugged into and wake up.

    Love you

    October 13, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |

    obama doos good work for da amrican peeple

    October 13, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  6. Atul Thakur

    Well let us freeze Paul's a/cs and his salary. Then he will feel the pinch. He is sitting in his comfy office and giving out ridiculous comments. If USA defaults everyone in US will suffer.

    October 13, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  7. Bob

    Of course Rand Paul doesnt care if we hit the debt ceiling. The guy practically ran on a platform of abolishing the government.

    October 13, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  8. sassafras

    Rand Paul should never run for the presidency. This country should never elect anyone so far into fantasy and irresponsibility.

    October 13, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. Lindsey

    It is funny to read all of the posts saying, in effect, we need to keep selling our debt to countries that don't like us.

    October 13, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. sassafras

    Plus, it isn't nice to feed pablum to your lo info base, Rand. Really, it isn't nice. These people actually BELIEVE you.

    October 13, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  11. marko polo

    I hope Republicans pay for this fiasco in the next couple of election cycles.

    October 13, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Rand Paul is totally correct... There is a middle ground...not just the two extremes of raise the debt ceiling or default.

    October 13, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. d21wp

    Always a blast reading CNN comment sections. The abject ignorance of 95% of the comments is hilarious. Or it would be hilarious if it didn't mean the country is screwed. Ok, so the word "default" has a specific financial definition in the english language. No matter how much Dems and the media want to portray a "default" as something else, it is one thing and one thing only. Failing to pay the interest on the debt. That's it. Paul is stating truth here. We will not default as long as the debt is serviced. The Free Shiz Army may think it is a default when the checks and foodstamps don't show up but that is not what a default is. So people should take time to educate themselves instead of spending their time thinking up their next character attack ad hominem. The country would be a much better place.

    October 13, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  14. American Taliban

    With GOP Terrorism, there is no need for Obama to scare people. GOP is killing people.

    October 13, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. Demoncrats

    Rand Paul is a nut.....BUT....he still better than any democrat I know!

    October 13, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. TomNPitt

    Rand Paul seems really un-prepared to be in National Politics. If nothing else could occur during this default that he says is meaningless, the rest of the world would see the US has no plans to ever prevent a default! They would see the great Democracy as being no better than any other half witted government of any other third world nation!! Maybe we could sell off some our National Monuments the republicans say cost nothing to operate!!

    October 13, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  17. Craig

    Republicans are trying to screw people out of healthcare.

    October 13, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. acey49

    Economics is all about Math. America knows you GOP idiots have no idea about how to do Math. Obama is not scaring America, he's just letting people know that the Math does not add up. You and your fellow idiot, Ted Cruz will never win a Presidential election. There are just not enough Tea Partiers and stupid people in America to elect you. Romney found that out in 2012.

    October 13, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. madrogio

    Just a hypothetical question–are dissenting and not politically correct views actually even processed? Yes, this is a test, since my last comment was totally expunged.

    October 13, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  20. Marc

    What should be done is get a massive number of democrats to register as voters in the districts where these republican's feel that they have nothing to loose and in their next run for office vote them out. It's time that the American people give Congress an enema and purge these wasteful people out.

    October 13, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. Enigmatic1

    Rand Paul needs to get it through his head that this whole issue of government shutdown and the debt ceiling is squarely on the shoulders of the Republicans. No matter how bad they want to hang this whole thing on Obama, it's not going to happen. The vote to approve the budge was to happen in the Republican controlled house and it is John Boehner himself that is refusing to allow that vote to move forward so he owns that one but by the same token, he's doing that partially by his own will and partially at the behest of the Teapublican \ Republican Party. It's not that they voted and it didn't pass, the vote and therefore America is being help hostage by Boehner because they know there is a good chance that it will pass and then they lose their "Leverage" (Which is the American People by the way). John Boehner and the Republican Party along with the TeaPublicans are perfectly OK with almost 1 million Americans out of work, our government in total shutdown which is quickly destroying our economy and it looks like they are not phased at all by the concept of America defaulting on it's debt which, God help us if it happens, would be Catastrophic. As for the debt ceiling, that one rests solely with the Teapublicans as well. The vote to raise the Debt Ceiling and Approve the budget is supposed to take place in the House of Representatives, not the White House. Rand Paul and the entire Republican Party need to be less concerned about the White House in 2016 and more concerned with which party to move to or which McDonald's they should work in. I wouldn't recommend perusing any Federal jobs because most of them know you all by name.

    October 13, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  22. JeffinIL

    Some people want to play chicken with a train, but it's the president who's trying to scare people.

    October 13, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  23. Jan Foster

    Rand Paul and hi counterparts are the scary ones.

    October 13, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  24. Rick

    And we should listen to this tea party loser for what particular reason? Certainly not his doctorate in economics...

    October 13, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  25. Enigmatic1

    So the Republicans who shut the government down are now saying that Obama should have been doing more to "Sooth" the markets and the Economy? WOW!!! Talk about out of touch with reality!

    October 13, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
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