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Hang on, Hang on!': CNN Anchor Clashes With Sen. Rand Paul Over Debt Ceiling

Hang on, Hang on!': CNN Anchor Clashes With Sen. Rand Paul Over Debt Ceiling

"Let me finish my thought!"

Maggie at WeaselZippers sums it all up in a headline:


After proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Reid bill and having it struck down, Sen. Rand Paul sat down with Don Lemon to explain what was happening on the floor and what compromises he was up for making. Lemon was in a curt mood, it seems, as weeks have gone by and the debt deadline looms with little to no visible progress occurring. The two had a contentious exchange as Sen. Paul tried to explain he did have the will to compromise when Lemon questioned what it would take.

“Let’s just do the interview without talking points– let’s just talk to each other,” Lemon began, though followed up with a barbed question: “Democrats and Republicans are both pointing fingers at you. What will make you and the Tea Party happy?” Sen. Paul immediately made a correction to his introduction: “In your lead, you said I rejected both plans. I actually accepted both plans… with an amendment.” Sen. Paul had proposed a balanced budget amendment which gained no traction in exchange for his vote. “I think that’s a very reasonable position,” he offered.

Huffington Post:

Lemon then wondered whether Paul's insistence on measures like a balanced budget amendment were isolating him.

"The Democrats have made many concessions when it comes to what's going on here, and even the Tea Party position it appears to most people remains rigid," Lemon said. "The question is, have you made your point? And by continuing to go on with this, do you feel like you're overreaching and that you're going to lose the clout?"

Paul started talking about how he didn't want to add any more debt to the country's finances. Lemon cut him off. "Hang on, hang on," he said. "Can we just stick to that--we're going to get to that--"

"Let me finish my thought," Paul said.

"Hold on, please, be respectful here," Lemon responded. "I'm trying to answer your question, you've interrupted my answer," Paul said.

"If you answer the question, I'll give you plenty of time," Lemon said.

The two clashed again when Lemon asked who Paul thinks will be to blame if the U.S. defaults on its debt obligations. Again, Paul didn't answer the question directly, and, again, Lemon pressed him on it. There was yet another contentious back-and-forth when Lemon asked Paul about whether he understood that the public is frustrated with Washington, and Paul started talking about measures he had introduced in the Senate.

Later Lemon tried to defend his approach to the Paul interview:

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