The Washington Times - June 7, 2013, 10:10AM

Sen. Rand Paul says that President Obama has trampled over the basic rights and civil liberties that he used to trumpet as a member of the Senate.

In an op-ed that appeared in the Guardian newspaper, Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican and a likely 2016 presidential candidate, said that Mr. Obama in 2008 wanted to track terrorist activity “without undermining our commitment to the rule of law, or our basic rights and liberties”

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“Today, President Obama undermines the rule of law, basic rights and core liberties — all in the name of tracking terrorists,” Mr. Paul said.

The criticism followed the news that the National Security Agency is collecting telephone records of millions of Verizon customers.

It also follows the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

“Just when you think it can’t get any worse under this president, it does. This is an all-out assault on the Constitution. These actions are unacceptable under any president, Democrat or Republican,” Mr. Paul said.