Sen. Rand Paul in his first interview since his nearly 13 hour filibuster ended Thursday morning told radio host Glenn Beck that he will not vote for CIA nominee John Brennan unless the White House offers clarification on its secretive drone program.
“I won’t vote for him on any of the votes if I don’t get information from the White House saying they’re going to adhere to the Constitution,” he said.
He reiterated that he’s not against the Obama administration and he’s not against drones. Rather, he simply wants to know what authority the White House believes it has in using drones on U.S. citizens.
“I try to make it less about President Obama and [more about] what if someday we elect someone who would abuse this power,” he said, adding they are legitimate tools of war. “I want to kill terrorists … and I think if you’re in a battlefield fighting us, you don’t get due process.”
“I’m concerned about people who are sitting and eating in a diner and you might think they’re associated with terrorism because they sent an email to someone,” he said, “but that really needs to be adjudicated in the courts.”
He also noted that drone strikes may not be the most efficient way of fighting America’s enemies: “Would get more information from interrogating than killing someone.”
Beck and crew then directed Sen. Paul’s attention to those who’ve criticized his efforts, namely, a Wall Street Journal editorial that argues that the idea of the White House using drone strikes on U.S. citizens is “ridiculous.”
“I agree it’s a ridiculous idea,” the Kentucky senator responded, “but then why then won’t the president say, ‘I won’t do this’?”
“It’s been like pulling teeth to get him to say that he’ll support the Constitution,” he added, referring to John Brennan.
And although there has been some criticism of Sen. Paul, there has also been an outpouring of support from some very unlikely corners (i.e. Van Jones and Code Pink).
“We may not all be on all the same page on drone strikes here, there, hither and yon” but many support not using drones against “people not engaged in combat in America,” he said.
And, of course, he mentioned the physical endurance the filibuster required.
“I thought about you about four hours in,” he told Beck. “I thought, ‘Gosh, Glenn Beck can sit for four or five hours each day!’ But it’s really not that easy to talk that long.”
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Featured image photo screen grab. This post has been updated. A lot.