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Exclusive — Rand Paul: Debate Moderators Must Press Marco Rubio on Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill

Rand Paul with U.S. flag backdrop

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is calling on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and the other debate moderators here this evening to actually ask Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) about the “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill he pushed with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Rubio, in multiple debates so far this election cycle, has not been asked even once about the bill—his only legislative accomplishment other than providing the 60th vote for Obamatrade’s Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)—during any debate. It remains to be seen if Blitzer will asks Rubio about his amnesty plan with Schumer.

“Yeah, and I think particularly with regards to national defense and border security because we gave him opportunities to make amendments that would have allowed for more border security,” Paul replied in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News when asked if the moderators should ask Rubio about the “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill. “I introduced one that would have had more scrutiny for refugees and students and I’ve been talking about this—my staff actually dug up a video of me talking about this when I ran for office in 2010.”

Paul continued in the exclusive Breitbart News interview by noting that Rubio had a “secret agreement” with Schumer—the likely next Democratic leader after Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) retires at the end of this term—to kill all amendments, including ones that would have strengthened national security provisions and border security provisions. Paul said:

I’ve been talking about this for a long time, but Rubio’s problem is whenever there was a conservative amendment that came up, he insisted that he had greater allegiance with Chuck Schumer than he did with any of the conservatives. They got together and basically they made a secret agreement to block all amendments, so basically they voted as a unified bloc against any amendments regardless of the content. But it’s also why it precluded conservatives from considering the bill.

Paul also said Rubio’s lack of interest in actual border security and his failure to support any serious immigration enforcement means he is misleading Americans when he portrays himself as tough on national security. Paul went on:

I also think that you cannot be for a strong national defense if you’re not for defending the border. I don’t think that Rubio has been adequately for defending the border. Rubio was opposed to every amendment we put forward to try to strengthen the scrutiny on refugees and try to strengthen the scrutiny on those who were coming to visit and students. So I think it is a debate we need to have out because I think they try to mislead the public into believing they are strong on defense because they want more money, but I think defense starts at home and we’re never going to be able to stop these terrorists at home unless we know who’s coming.

Paul added that, during this debate here on Tuesday evening, he believes there must be a discussion about military spending—and all spending levels—when it comes to balancing the budget. Paul was essentially signaling that he’s looking to repeat what was perhaps his strongest moment on the debate stage this election cycle, when he severely rattled Rubio over spending matters in Milwaukee. Paul said:

I think there still needs to be a debate over what it means to be a fiscal conservative—what it means frankly, and how we would actually balance the budget. I think we sort of take for granted that Republicans are all for balancing the budget and then the budget never gets balanced even when the Republicans are in charge. So I think there does have to be a debate about can you have a balanced budget if you’re for a trillion dollar increase in military spending like Rubio is? Or if you’re for a trillion dollars worth of refundable tax credits? One of the things if I’m able to bring it up is, there was a study by the GAO on the refundable child tax credits and I think it showed $4 billion worth of them were going to illegal aliens. I think it’s a mistake to expand those child tax credits given that they have such a really bad record of fraud and improper payments. I hope to be able to point out some of those things.

During a speech moments before this exclusive interview, to a rally of about a hundred folks inside his campaign headquarters in Las Vegas, Paul noted that there isn’t a “dime’s worth of difference between” Rubio or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or between Clinton and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Paul told Breitbart News when asked to explain that comment further:

Both Rubio and Clinton have been big cheerleaders for regime change and I think regime change in Libya didn’t make us safer, regime change in Iraq didn’t make us safer and regime change in Syria won’t make us safer. I think that is a valid debate to have and they are on the same side. With regard to foreign aid, I support cutting off foreign to countries that are our enemies—and Rubio has routinely supported foreign aid [to enemy nations] and so has Hillary Clinton. So does Jeb Bush. I think there are a lot of similarities on foreign policy and foreign aid between the sort of establishment wing of the Republican Party and the establishment wing of the Democratic Party. It’s a distinction I’m going to continue to try to put forward in the debates.

Paul also said that it’s time for the United States of America—and the Republican Party—to move away from Rubio’s vision of weak immigration enforcement, and to support strong immigration enforcement to prevent future terrorist attacks. He added:

When you look at the history of terrorism in the United States, you really have a history of a broken legal immigration system. So the 19 hijackers that came on 9/11 used our legal immigration system and we didn’t have sufficient scrutiny. The Boston Bombers came here under asylum. The Iraqi refugees that came to my hometown in Bowling Green, Kentucky, were here under the refugee program. The recent San Bernardino woman came here under the fiancée visa program. So I think there’s a great deal of an argument that we’re not doing adequate scrutiny, and when President Obama says that we shouldn’t even be talking about whether refugees are a threat or not and that the majority of them are women and children, I think he’s being dishonest with us, because we have two refugees who came in and tried to buy stinger missiles in my hometown. So I think it’s an important part of the debate and we got so many people talking about the border between Iraq and Syria and we don’t get enough people talking about the border we have—when it should be our first line of defense.


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