Speaking at a New Hampshire event on Saturday that hosted many potential GOP 2016 presidential hopefuls, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Republicans cannot be the party of plutocrats and crony capitalism if they are going to be a majority again.
“We cannot be the party of fat cats, rich people, and Wall Street,” Paul said at the New Hampshire Freedom Summit that Americans for Prosperity and Citizens United organized.
Paul said, “Corporate welfare should once and for all be ended” because voters will not take Republicans seriously if they vouch for spending cuts to programs except those programs impacting wall street and corporations. He said Republicans needed to be more consistent on sentencing issues as well. Though he emphasized he was not advocating using or selling drugs, Paul said that a 55-year sentence for selling marijuana for someone makes no sense when a person in his state can kill someone and get out of jail in 12 years.
“Your kids and grandkids aren’t perfect either,” Paul said, acknowledging that conservatives need to realize that some sentences that are handed down may be too harsh for the crime.
Going back to the issue of cronyism, Paul reminded the audience that the Tea Party formed in part in opposition to the TARP bailouts, and he said that was one of the reasons that prompted him to run for office in 2010. Paul said he, like other middle-class Americans, did not want to see his tax dollars go to bail out plutocrats on Wall Street that ran their banks into the ground.
He also spoke at length about his signature issue of privacy and railed against the NSA snooping on people’s cell phones and credit cards.
“I, for one, have had enough,” Paul said before vowing never to waver or wilt in the fight for privacy, liberty, and freedom.