Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) appeared on Glenn Beck's radio program Wednesday to discuss colleague Ted Cruz's 21-hour speech on the Senate floor about the perils of Obamacare, addressing, among other things, reports that some in the Republican Party were actually working to undermine the effort.
"I think the caucus is unified against Obamacare," Paul said. "I think there are some differences on how we best should do it, and I think they are honest differences, to tell you the truth...I think it is a little bit unfair, on some of the criticism. For example, you know, Senator Barrasso, the M.D., has fought Obamacare like nobody else, puts out information every week on it, has always voted to defund it. It's a little unfair, really, to say that if he's unwilling to filibuster a bill that he actually agrees with that he's opposed to Obamacare -- and so I think that really some of the tactics aren't necessarily fair, and I think that our caucus is unified."
That said, there are certainly divisions within the Republican party between the so-called "old guard" and the younger, more libertarian-minded members.
"There are always growing pains and, you know, we're in the minority," Paul said. "So we have to figure out how to grow. And in growing pains, there's always a struggle on the best way forward, the best way to grow the movement. Some of it is standing on principle. It's standing and not giving up and saying, 'We are opposed to Obamacare and we'll do anything we can to stop it.'"
But while Obamacare unites the base, Paul said, he's also looking for ways to expand it.
"I'm also talking about some liberty issues, some issues of fairness and justice within criminal justice system, within, you know, how we approach our foreign policy that I think will broaden our base and get us to a bigger party," he remarked.
Paul also spoke about the controversial U.N. Arms Treaty that Secretary of State John Kerry signed Wednesday morning, saying he would be right there at the "forefront" to defeat it.
"So far we've defeated every one of these treaties that have come forward from the United Nations because Americans don't want us to give up our sovereignty to an international body full of two‑bit tin-horn dictators who often, and for the most part, hate America," Paul said.
Beck also asked the senator about the shocking arrest of a Maryland father who questioned Common Core during a forum where parents were encouraged to ask questions about the educational standards. The man was charged with second-degree assault and faced up to 10 years in prison before all the charges were dropped.
"You know what this reminds me of?" Paul said. "When I was detained by the TSA, they put out a report saying I was resisting arrest or whatever. So then somebody must have been my friend at the airport, and they put out the surveillance footage of me when I was in the detention cubicle. I'm sitting there for, like, hours on end just kind of bored to death looking at my phone. I never had words with anybody. But they put out a press release saying that I was irate and that I was yelling and screaming. I never did any of that. I sat quietly and bored to death on my phone trying to tell people I was in captivity."
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Bottom line, Paul said, "the fight is worth having" on Obamacare.
"This is the time to have the fight and so I'm going to keep doing what I can to stoke the flame, stoke the fire and to say, you know, this is bad, that coercion is bad, that mandates are bad, that the hundreds of mandates that run throughout Obamacare are not consistent with our American ideals, not consistent with the American concept of freedom of choice, of volunteerism," he said.
Paul also said he believes the legislation will "actually hurt" those it was intended to help, and if they are allowed to vote on amendments, he proposes that federal workers are forced to live under the same legislation as the rest of the country.
But it's likely that the only amendment will be one "that's going to strip the language that defunds Obamacare," the senator added.
"This is the way it works up here: It's Harry Reid's way or the highway. It's President Obama's way or the highway. They get 100 percent of Obamacare, or they are either going to shut down the government..." he remarked. "It's funny and it amazes me that some of the mainstream media say, 'Oh, Republicans are just being obstructionist trying to get their way.' Republicans are trying to...be even part of the process, is what we're trying to do. Democrats are getting 100% of what they want, a bill written by them with no votes by Republicans."