LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wrapped his opening week as a 2016 GOP presidential candidate here with remarks to an overflow crowd.
Coming on stage to “Teenage Wasteland” and chants of “President Paul!” from the more-than-a-thousand-person crowd crammed into the Desert Vista Community Center, Paul opened his remarks by noting that a “while back I decided to count up a few things.”
“I found out that the Lord’s Prayer is 66 words long,” Paul said. “The Gettysburg address is 286 words long. The Declaration of Independence is 1,322 words long. But the government regulation for the sale of cabbage is 26,911 words long.”
Much of the speech focused on an oversized federal government encroaching into Americans’—and Nevadans’—personal lives.
“It’s not getting any better,” he said.
In the past six years, the president’s EPA has added 25 million words of regulations. We have got a government that is literally run amok.God only knows how many words have been written to distinguish the greater prairie chicken from the lesser prairie chicken. Anybody here think Nevada needs more federal regulations of your land?
“NO!” the crowd shouted in unison.
Paul hammered Obamacare, and hit Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts—a George W. Bush appointee—for upholding it.
“Obamacare was 2000 [pages] long,” Paul said.
You remember, Nancy Pelosi said you could read it after we passed it. Unelected bureaucrats have now added 20,000 pages of Obamacare regulations. I have a novel idea. Why don’t we repeal two regulations for every new one?
Our freedom is at risk from a Supreme Court that fails to protect our liberty. In the mistake of the century, Justice Roberts affirmed the power of the state to force an individual to buy a certain type of insurance. Justice Roberts argued that we must presume Obamacare constitutional. I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t we presume Liberty? Just as we are presumed innocent, so too we should be presumed free.
Paul also hammered the Washington political class—both parties—for hurting Americans with big government policies.
“Many Americans are left behind,” Paul said.
The reward of work seems beyond their grasp. Under the watch of both parties – the poor seem to get poorer and the rich seem to get richer. Trillion dollar government stimulus packages are handed out and yet the income gap continues to widen. Politically connected cronies get taxpayer dollars by the hundreds of millions of dollar. Poor families across America, though, continue to suffer.
Paul laid out plan for “Economic Freedom Zones” to allow impoverished areas big tax breaks so they can keep their own money rather sending it to the federal government.
“Some say, but oh, Democrats care more about poor people,” Paul said.
If that’s true, why is black unemployment still twice white unemployment? Why has minority household income declined by $3,500 over the past six years? Liberal policies have failed our inner cities. Liberal policies have failed to alleviate poverty. Our schools are not equal and the poverty gap continues to widen. You want to know where the income gap is greatest? Cities run by Democrats, states run by Democrats, and countries run by Democrats.
The crowd went wild.
Paul then talked about his criminal justice reform agenda, explaining it is “not a white problem, not a black problem, it’s a poverty problem.”
“Somebody needs to lead the country,” Paul said. “I am unafraid to challenge the status quo. Everyone in the country should be treated the same under the law no matter what religion it is, no matter the color of the skin, no matter how rich or how poor—everybody should be treated equally.”
Paul also pushed for school choice, when he hit President Obama for sending his daughters to a fancy private school. Sasha and Malia Obama attend Sidwell Friends in the D.C. area, while ordinary Americans don’t have such opportunities.
“Is it just me or does anyone else think it’s ironic that the president’s kids get to go to a great school but if you’re not rich your kids are stuck in a failing public school?” Paul said.