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?”

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker'] [twitter-follow screen_name='KilloughCNN']

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. Gurgyl

    -is this the guy presidential material for GOP? Nonsense.

    June 7, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Bill from GA
    smith – " the truth came out from the people who were actually there "

    In a trial, both sides are heard. Like the 'Swiftboating' of John Kerry, righties only hear the rightie propaganda side.

    smith has already tried him. Arguing with him will get you a fancy dance step with no substance. He's been at it for days now, and having reached his zenith, he's now entered the cover-up stage of his dance routine. Relying on hearsay was his downfall to begin with.

    June 7, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. smith

    @Bill-I `ll take nine honorable soliders word who were over there over the liberal media`s word anyday. Not one person has said anything different than soliders who there.

    June 7, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. Anthony

    I would have suggested 5 Republicans, but I don't think the Taliban will take that deal.

    June 7, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Alan

    I'd say trade Paul, but he the GOP does not want him and I would suspect the Taliban do not either.

    June 7, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. A Kickin Donkey

    It would appear a more appropriate trade for this gun-happy Marine would be the 240 or so REPUBLICANS that inhabit the House. After all, they are the ones that led the young man astray to believe that multiple gun possession was normal, healthy, American, reasonable, sound, and smart. Take away their influences on the psyche of the wannabe macho male and this Marine probably would not be locked up in Mexico.

    June 7, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Mike in Texas

    @ rla,

    Most people? In your little bubble you live in and Fox News maybe. Please.

    June 7, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. don in albuquerque

    And some people still believe this idiot is fit to be President. The people who elected him should be ashamed.

    June 7, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Gary

    Another republican jokester, just when we are starting to recover from the last republican 8 year joke.

    June 7, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. ja

    He should pull his head out of the sand!!!!!!

    June 7, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Pander Bear

    Just further proof that this nitwit should not even consider a run for the Presidency. He's a spoiled child.

    June 7, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. Tschrny Wolf

    No wonder this Rand Paul lost the nomination 🙂 Instead why not trade all the anti free insurance conservative jerks? First speaker boehner, rand paul, rush limbaugh, richardson, etc. Perhaps many others? Ha ha ha ha ha, like paul ryan, nutt romney, sara palin, e t al :))))))))))))))))

    June 7, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. Not political

    I think the issue here is the president made a horrible decision putting mass murderers back into the taliban leadership. I just hope nobody else gets hurt.

    June 7, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. smith1

    paul is just a jerk. So much for presidential material

    June 7, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Tschrny Wolf

    Nathan, I agree 🙂 It is real weird how the conservatives are self-destroying 🙂 However we Democrats must not take winning for granted. That guy delancey is working hard to deny voting to minorities, he has ties and support from the tea party and the gop 🙁

    June 7, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. uhhuh

    Sounds more like he is running for President of his 5th grade class.

    June 7, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. yeahright

    Let us send Rand, Mitch,j john, Lindsey,Derril Issa to Afghanisan instead of those five. Good idea. Nation evil goes away thus. These are good for nothing bums, obstructionists. Jobs-Bill please.

    The problem with that plan is that the Taliban doesn't want them either.

    June 7, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. Norma Vessels

    They have found out that the soldiers supposedly on that boat with John Kerry, who lied about his medals .. were false soldiers. They were not on that boat, but they ruined John Kerry's bid for President because of the lies anyway.

    Do we know that the soldiers talking against the last soldier captive who was freed .. are actually soldiers? Fox News is so good about bringing in people off the street, who are willing to say anything for money from Fox. That's been proven time and time again, with the Health Care .. and no way that Fox can deny it.

    June 7, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. Norma Vessels

    By the way, I live in Kentucky, and I don't like Rand Paul, nor Mitch McConnell. They both need to try their hand at something they might be good at, for they aren't any good as Senators!

    June 7, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. anthony78

    Nope. Not Presidential material.

    June 7, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. Marcus (from...?)

    smith – Before anything else, google 'Syrian National Council' before you make any other comment about the anti-Assad factions in Syria. Saying that all are jihadists was really dumb.
    That being said, 'the truth came out from the people who were actually there', that was not the case in John Kerry's 'swifboat', was it? Besides, if they are so mad about him then they'll have no problem to tell everything to the court when his case gets there. Neither will Bergdahl, unless he wants to become another Richard Jewell?

    June 7, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. Chris

    It doesn't matter to paul what happens to our military folks, as long as he can use them as political pawns. Bergdahl were left behind, paul would complain about that too. Whatever it takes to make money.
    Read the lyrics to Black Sabbath – War Pigs to see true GOTP attitude toward our honorable service members.

    June 7, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. Jay

    Now you know why the republican party will never win another presidential election in this century and beyond. GOP are the party of racists and haters.

    June 7, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. rs

    Why Obama didn`t consult congress on the deal is beyond stupid.
    Clearly he did consult Congress. The names of the 5 Taliban former members of the Afghan government were no secret and well known since 2011. Certainly the wonderful video we have of McCain approving of the plan in March is proof.

    You want something to get filibustered? Take it to Congress, You want to get something done, give it to the President.

    June 7, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. rs

    The Right is a truly amazing thing. They can pick, and pick and pick at some of the smallest things, digging for "conspiracy" or "scandal". They'll lie in their teeth about it hoping something will stick. The problem is they are so focused on the tiny details where they hope error lies that they completely miss the big picture.

    In this case, what they fail to see is that for America to successfully end the longest war in its history- one started by the GOP with no exit plan, we have to have the past government of Afghanistan at the table- the Taliban. Without a negotiated peace between the current government and the Taliban, there will be no peace, and our soldiers will have to stay, and die in Afghanistan. Is that REALLY what the GOP wants? Is this how they "honor" our military? A huge rush to judgement, slander a soldiers' family- and for what? To carp (once again) about the President?

    Hey GOP we get that you hate the duly elected President; we get that you've pledged to keep anything the President does from succeeding; we get how you really feel about our fighting men; we get how you feel about the federal government.

    The problem is you're against so much that you aren't "or" anything or anyone but your precious lobbyists and rich folk.

    We get that you are a far, far bigger problem for America than 5 Taliban who haven't seen the light of day (or a trial) in 10 years.

    June 7, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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