Meet the Press   |  January 26, 2014

Rand Paul Talks Bipartisanship

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul discusses cooperation between political parties.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> let me pick up on this point. you have questioned the president's moral leadership at points along the way. is there an area where you feel you can work in common cause with him this year?

>> well, you know, i think the thing we make the mistake up there, we try to agree to too much. i'm the first to acknowledge the president and i don't agree on every issue, but if you took ten issues i think there are two or three we agree on and we may agree firmly on and why don't we go after the issues we agree on like immigration reform for example. we don't agree on the whole comprehensive package for the democrats but i'll bet you about half of it we agree on. the question is, are wing will to narrow our focus and go after things we can get done or stay so polarized we always have to have our way or the highway. when i was at the white house a couple weeks ago, i said to the president, i want to increase infrastructure spending and i know you do. let's let companies bring back their profit from overseas at 5% and put it all in infrastructure and i've been talking with senator durbin, others in the senate on the democrat side. i think we could agree to that tomorrow, but we have to narrow the focus and not say, oh, we're going to do overau tax reform because we don't agree.

>> the future of the republican party and frankly, your place in it is a big story . just this morning, the front page "the new york times" has this headline "rand paul's mix inherit tense," senator looksing to move liberty tearism from the fringe to the mainstream. how big of a hurdle is this for you if you're going to run for president?

>> you know, i think there always are perceptions of what is extreme versus what is mainstream. i've always said you know, spending what comes in, balancing your budget is actually the very reasonable sort of proposal and spending a trillion dollars you don't have is an extreme proposal. so really it's a matter of getting our message out. but i think we've been talking a lot about poverty. it's about debating not who wants to cure poverty, republicans want to help people who are unemployed and help people get jobs but it's about what policies work. the reason we don't think grants work, we spend $1 trillion in the stimulus. they said it was $400,000 per job because you give it to the wrong people. nine out of ten businesses fail. so if government picks who they give the money to to create jobs, nine out of ten times they're wrong and pick the wrong person. what i asked with my economic freedom zones is dramatically lower taxes but give it to the businesses that are already started and the consumers have already voted for, but that's different than what we've been doing in the war on poverty for 50 years.

>> it's interesting the role of government, you've often referred to the tyranny of the federal government . again, it comes down to mainstream versus extreme. fellow republicans and maybe he's one that will run against you for the republican nomination, ted cruz , has described your strident libertarianism of your father as an issue that will always be a shadow over anything you try to do.

>> you know, i think one of the things, and you know, don't be trashing my dad too much. that's my dad. you know? but the thing is, i would say that my dad was extraordinary in washington and in being genuine, being really liked by people on both sides, being close to people from the conservative wing of the party but also very close to the congressional black caucus , as well. he went to berkeley and had 7,000 kids on their feet. he went to liberty university and had 7,000 people, 7,000 conservative christian kids on their feet. so that's a rare figure in politics and i would say i'm proud of my dad and what i would say, i'm trying to do is to try to bring that message to an even bigger crowd.

>> but senator, do you think --

>> i think there's a lot to be said for him.

>> is the federal government guilty of tyranny?

>> well, you know, month tas cue talked about when the executive branch tries to assume the legislative powers, that's a form of tyranny. so yeah, there are times when when we lose our checks and balances when government grows and when government's not obeying the rule of law, that that is a form of tyranny. tyranny is a strong word but it makes people sit up and take notice. but i would say that there are times when we are going beyond what we should be doing when we're exceeding the restraints of the constitution that there is a form of tyranny and we need to be aware of that.