- The Washington Times - Monday, June 8, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says he’ll support whoever ends up being the 2016 GOP presidential nominee, but that some of the remarks from frequent sparring partner Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina don’t “rise beyond middle school kind of rhetoric.”

In a recent interview with Reason Magazine, Mr. Paul was asked about Mr. Graham’s criticism of the Kentucky Republican (“At the end of the day, the average American sees radical Islam as a threat much greater than the NSA,” Mr. Graham said recently when talking about Mr. Paul).

“You have to consider the source,” said Mr. Paul, who is competing with Mr. Graham and others for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. “This is a person who said that he would use censorship if he needed to. This is the same person who said well, when people ask for an attorney, you should tell ‘em to shut up. This is the same person who’s also said that … [if] they ask for a judge, just drone ‘em. I mean, some of the stuff, I think, doesn’t rise beyond sort of middle school kind of rhetoric, and so it’s hard to know when to respond to people like that.”

“But I think ultimately if you want to talk among adults about, ‘Is ISIS a threat to our country?’ Yes,” Mr. Paul continued. “‘Is NSA a threat sometimes to our liberty?’ Yes. I personally don’t think you have to trade one for the other. I don’t think you have to trade your liberty for security. I think you can have both. I think the Constitution can be a powerful tool. The Constitution never said we wouldn’t go after records of criminals or of terrorists. [The] Constitution just says you have to individualize the suspicion — put a person’s name on it. I tell people I want to collect more records of terrorists — just less records of innocent Americans.”

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