- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The federal government needs to do away with warrantless domestic wiretapping in pursuit of terrorism, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said at a campaign rally Friday.

“I don’t think there’s any reason why we should give up on our privacy, or give up on our ability - right, really - to be left alone,” Paul said. “I’m afraid of a government that knows everything about us, that follows us from cradle to grave, always telling us what to do.”

He also made a plea for restoring checks and balances between the branches of government, saying the executive branch has become too powerful by enacting regulations without approval of the legislative branch.

Paul is an ophthalmologist who also is running for a second term as Kentucky’s junior U.S. senator.

His presidential campaign already has the endorsement of Wyoming congresswoman Cynthia Lummis, who introduced Paul to the crowd of a couple hundred at Little America resort. Paul, she said, keeps true to his word and “walks the walk.”

Another Republican, Idaho U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, also was on hand to stump for Paul.

Paul seized on a thread common to his state and Wyoming: Coal mining. Greenhouse gas regulations by the Obama administration have darkened the industry’s future, Paul said.

“Look at what they’re doing to the coal industry, look at what they’re doing to Wyoming. The same thing they’re doing to Kentucky. We’ve lost 7,000 jobs because of President Obama’s policy,” he said.

Recent limits on federal spending forced by Congress haven’t gone far enough, he said, promising to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education and take other steps to curb spending.

“We can’t be strong country, we can’t defend ourselves, we’re not going to project power from bankruptcy court,” Paul said.

He pledged to repeal the entire tax code and replace it with a single, flat income tax.

Wyoming voters probably will trend Republican in next year’s general election, but the party needs to nominate a candidate who will inspire people to vote by standing up for core conservative values, Paul said.

“Wyoming’s kind of easy. Y’all are great. Y’all are going to vote for the Republican nominee. But that’s the end of the story. The beginning of the story is who the nominee is. We need a nominee who can actually win in states that aren’t the red states,” he said.

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