Rand Paul: Let's trade 5 Democrats, not 5 Taliban
June 6th, 2014
07:31 PM ET
9 years ago

Rand Paul: Let's trade 5 Democrats, not 5 Taliban

(CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky got some laughs Friday with a line inspired by the Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl release, but the political opposition found his remarks out of line.

“Mr. President, you love to trade people. Why don’t we set up a trade. But this time, instead of five Taliban, how ‘bout five Democrats,” Paul said to cheers at the Texas GOP convention in Fort Worth.

“I’m thinking John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi. Couldn't we send them to Mexico?”

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He was referring to U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who says he accidentally crossed the border from California more than two months ago with several guns in his car - firearms he says he legally owns, but are unlawful to bring into Mexico. Following Bergdahl's exchange, some lawmakers have renewed their calls for Tahmooressi's return.

Paul's remarks come as the potential presidential candidate tries to broaden his appeal to not only a wider swath of the Republican Party, but also to some Democrats.

He told a local radio station in Kentucky last month that people are looking for a candidate who carries “the best parts of what Republicans stand for and also some of the good things the Democrats stand for."

"A lot of people who aren’t that partisan one way or the other say a good mix of ideas from both parties might be what we’re looking for," he continued.

Michael Czin, press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, argued Paul's remarks are "completely out of line."

“Comments like this are just the latest example of the GOP politicizing important national security matters to feed to their base," he said in a statement. "Try for a little more civility going forward."

Earlier this week, Paul came out strongly against the Bergdahl trade, saying on Fox News he's not sure it would be a good deal, even "if we were trading for a Medal of Honor winner, much less trading for somebody who may well have been a deserter."

Paul said he would only entertain the idea of a prisoner swap if there was an end to the war in Afghanistan.

Asked what he would do if the released Guantanamo detainees get back on the battlefield and plot to kill Americans, Paul said, "there would be a drone with their name on it."

His comments Friday are the latest of seemingly stepped-up efforts to build his national security profile, an area of policy in which GOP donors have expressed skepticism about Paul, given his libertarian leanings.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Rand Paul • Texas
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. MaryM

    Ha, Oh randy, you are just sooooooooooo funny and will Never be Potus

    June 6, 2014 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  2. Dallas

    What a jerk! Go back to Kentucky.

    June 6, 2014 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  3. Smitty

    Thatis funny !!! How can any one with a 1/2 brain not know they screwed up voting for Obumbles, epic failures for the wimp in the white house.

    June 6, 2014 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  4. Gary

    A very sick man.

    June 6, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. Justthefaxx

    Childish and embarassing. Precisely why I left that party a decade or so ago

    June 6, 2014 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    That would certainly improve America........a lot.

    June 6, 2014 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  7. Thomas

    It's Friday , and that means something real smart coming out of Randy's mouth .

    What is the Aqua Buddha been smoking this week ?

    June 6, 2014 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  8. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    What a knee slapper from Little Ayn Rand Paul! Keep up the chuckles Junior, your time is almost over.

    June 6, 2014 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  9. Thomas

    Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has as much chance being elected president as Michele Bachmann did back in 2012 .

    Bobby is as out of touch as one can get with out being a comedian .

    Dose he really think and young adults would take him seriously ?

    June 6, 2014 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. John

    An even better idea, 5 chicken hawks, Cheney, Limbaugh, Giuliani, Romney, and George Bush who did everything they could to avoid the fight in Vietnam.........profess patriotism, but in real life..................cowards.....................

    June 6, 2014 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  11. HenryMiller

    “I’m thinking John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi. Couldn't we send them to Mexico?”

    Let's not forget Harry Reid. We'd bed well rid of the lot of them.

    June 6, 2014 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  12. drake mallard

    hey Taliban you can keep these people. rick perry bachmann ,ted cruz, marco rubio, sarah palin,rush limbaugh ,shawn hannity, ~Rick Santorum, the kardashians

    As the right-wing echo chamber ramps up about how horrible it is that five Guantanamo Bay detainees have been freed, let’s remember that 520 Gitmo detainees were released under George W. Bush.

    June 6, 2014 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  13. Romney Guy

    Radicals like Rand Paul are rooning the GOP!

    June 6, 2014 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. Anne McDaniel

    Senator Paul should know better. It's only funny if a Democrat says it about Conservatives, right?

    June 6, 2014 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  15. Chris-E...al

    We would send a bad dem . Looks like they are going . Keep digging dont bite the hand that feeds you 0h yea to late either way we 0we you nothing cootie pie . get out find a job and dont sm0ke dope .

    June 6, 2014 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  16. Joe

    That statement he made at the Texas GOP convention probably made him unelectable. The GOP should nominate South Dakota Sen. John Thune instead.

    June 6, 2014 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  17. Jack

    I'd trade you in a heart beat!

    June 6, 2014 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  18. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Here's an idea whose time has come. Rand: Go set down and shut up. You're about to get spanked in the next round of elections, so take a chill pill, and just shut up.

    June 6, 2014 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  19. kurt

    Wow. Rand Paul... after filibustering for 13 hours on drones just came out in favor of drone strikes.

    Anyone else notices that?

    June 7, 2014 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  20. Dixon

    This guy is in no position to judge one of our soldiers. Like his peers in the tea party they will attack anything to weaken our President. Every time you and your TP numbskulls speak you remind us why we didn't vote for you...well, EVER.

    June 7, 2014 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  21. Cathy p

    You go Rand Paul!

    June 7, 2014 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  22. tony

    i love it. Trade on these damm people get soldier back. Their soldiets can cross our freeway but our soldier cant lock up and the damm president and his follow stupid democrats dont do any damm thing about it

    June 7, 2014 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  23. Jack

    I think rand can be a great president he got my vote we don't have our liberties as we once did we only have higher taxes and more obstacles to cross such as obamacare. I think enough is enough go rand go

    June 7, 2014 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  24. sidney

    Rand Paul please let the air out of your head.

    June 7, 2014 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  25. Marie MD

    Mexico? Does this ignoramus realize that Texas was part of Mexico? Wasn't he against drones? Now he's for them?
    Why don't we send the whole freakin state minus Austin back. I bet all the money the koch brothers and adelson are using to buy elections that they would take Texas nor this quack.
    You want to trade randy? How about bieber and the Canadian terrorist for nothing which is what they both amount to.

    June 7, 2014 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
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