- The Washington Times - Monday, June 1, 2015

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Monday he’s not going to “impugn” the motives of Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in Mr. Paul’s fight against the Patriot Act, but reiterated his call for presidential candidates to give up their taxpayer-funded jobs once they jump into the race.

“I’m not going to impugn his motives,” Mr. Huckabee, a 2016 presidential candidate, said on “Fox and Friends,” saying Mr. Paul, also a 2016 presidential candidate, has been “very consistent” on the issue.

“And so let’s be fair to Rand Paul — this is not something he just took up because it’s a political cause,” Mr. Huckabee said. “He truly believes this, and I respect that a whole lot. I respect anybody who has the convictions and will stand by them no matter what the consequences, even if he’s out there by himself.”

The comparatively positive comments from Mr. Huckabee come as Mr. Paul has taken some intra-party fire in recent weeks over the Patriot Act and some of his recent comments blaming the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group on hawks within the GOP.

Mr. Paul on Sunday helped block the extension of key provisions of the Patriot Act that were due to expire at midnight. The Senate did move forward on a House-passed bill that would extend two less controversial provisions and do away with the NSA’s bulk data collection program, though not in time to meet the midnight deadline.

“I do think that if you’re taking a check from the taxpayers to do a job, then do that job,” Mr. Huckabee said Monday. “If you want a different job, then say, ‘You know, I don’t want this one anymore. I’m bored with it. I want to take a different job’ … be honest and go out and give the taxpayers a break and let them have someone on the job full-time.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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