Kentucky Senator and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul stated that he will “oppose Senator McConnell (R-KY) when he brings forward the continuing resolution,” but didn’t offer his support to McConnell staying as majority leader, citing a lack of an election or other choices, and arguing, “it isn’t about opposing a person” on Monday’s “America’s Newsroom” on the Fox News Channel.
Rand said, [relevant exchange begins around 2:50] “conservatives are unhappy. We got Republicans elected in the House of Representatives, and in the Senate, and nothing’s changing. It’s kind of the same as we’ve always had. I’m one who’s also frustrated. What I’ve said is we should exert the power of the purse. Many are saying, oh, it takes 60 votes, and we can’t get 60 votes to defund anything. It’s actually the opposite. If we let all the funding expire, and then you restart it, it would take 60 votes to actually pass something, and then a lot of bad programs would fall by the wayside, including Planned Parenthood, but we would have to have the guts to stand up and say, ‘Enough’s enough. It’s from now on going to require to pass any spending bills.'”
When asked if he thought House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) “had the guts,” Rand stated, “I think that there wasn’t enough evidence that they were willing to stand up. They seemed to preemptively announce we’re defeated, we can’t do anything, and the grassroots is frustrated with that. The grassroots says, well, why did we elect you then, if you’re not going to actually stand up and take some risks.”
Rand was then asked if he supported McConnell as leader, he answered, “What I would say is that I support the position we have to use the power of the purse, and I use every bit of my arguing power to say, ‘We should put the appropriation bills forward, all twelve of them, one at a time, and make the Democrats filibuster.’ If they’re willing to filibuster, and government shuts down, we should then say, ‘It is Democrats who have shut down the government.’ But if we don’t put forward the bills, what’s going to happen is a continuing resolution, and I’m steadfastly opposed to a continuing resolution because it continues all the bad spending and the debt.”
After host Bill Hemmer followed up on whether he supports McConnell, Rand answered, “There isn’t really a battle or an election going on, or any other choices. There aren’t. There is no other choice for leader.”
Hemmer then asked, “So you are behind him for now unless someone else emerges?” Rand responded, “Well, there is no election. There is no battle going on. What I support is the position that we should take the power of the purse, and we should actually use it. So, I will oppose Senator McConnell when he brings forward the continuing resolution. But it isn’t about opposing a person. It’s about a position, and it’s about us using the power of the purse.”
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