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Rand: ‘No Excuse’ for Someone to Die Over a Cigarette Tax

Rand: ‘No Excuse’ for Someone to Die Over a Cigarette Tax

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Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) reacted to a grand jury’s decision to not indict a New York City Police Officer in the death of Eric Garner by saying he was “horrified” by the video and blasting politicians for passing “bad laws” that “put our police in a difficult situation” in an interview broadcast on Wednesday’s “Hardball” on MSNBC.

“I think it’s hard not to watch that video of him saying ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’ and not be horrified by it. But I think there’s something bigger than just the individual circumstances. Obviously, the individual circumstances are important. But I think it’s also important to know that some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes so that[‘s] driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive. But then some politician also had to direct the police to say ‘hey we want you arresting people for selling a loose cigarette.’ And for someone to die over breaking that law, there really is no excuse for it. But I do blame the politicians. We’ve put our police in a difficult situation with bad laws” he stated.

The interview then turned to national security, with Paul arguing “I think one of the true things you can say about the Middle East is, every time we’ve toppled a secular dictator, chaos has ensued and really radical Islam has risen and we’re more at danger. America has more danger from these regions after we’ve toppled secular dictators and that includes Republican wars such as the Iraq War, but it also includes Hillary’s war in Libya. So really, I think we need to think before we act, and the other thing we need to do is we need to obey the Constitution which says you don’t go to war without the authority of Congress.” And “I think also defense is different than offense. And so, the people who want to be involved in wars all across the globe, some of the people who wanted to be involved in Libya, this time, a year before, the exact same people in Washington, wanted to support Gaddafi.” 

On the current situation with Syria, he said “I can’t find anybody to dispute this on a factual ground, had we bombed Assad a year ago, ISIS would be in Damascus and ISIS would be ten times stronger than they are now had we had bombed Assad.” Matthews then added “I‘m remarkably in agreement with you senator, so much that it’s scary a bit.”

The interview concluded with Paul talking about his work with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on military sexual assault, he declared “you know, I think nothing motivates me more than trying to make sure that the law defends the defenseless and defends those who are minorities, not just color of the skin, but could be gender, but also could be a minority because of your ideology, the shade of your ideology. So when I hear about people being violently abused and that they have to report this to their commander, to me it’s kind of like you work for a corporation and you’d have to report being abused to your boss who may well be a drinking buddy with somebody who abused you.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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