Senator Rand Paul: The Full Interview From 'This Week'

Kentucky senator on a potential White House run, the Republican party, Iran and immigration.
17:31 | 04/14/14

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Transcript for Senator Rand Paul: The Full Interview From 'This Week'
Paul thanks for joining us here in Manchester after so you've won the last couple of straw -- support here that had you believe there's a poll actually seen -- -- it. -- are we supposed to considering the front. For the that's good luck or bad lots of -- -- But I guess it's better than not being noticed and also it no matter what happens I think the Republican Party -- to -- all change. If we're gonna win again and -- -- -- when -- part of that that's been. Much of the reason why I've been out on the road is trying to brand new message to new people -- Washington and -- -- -- Howard University. Detroit and you'll be going after audiences that we don't see Republicans -- minorities young people. They voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama what was your party doing wrong. It really so pretty young voters. You know it's a hardened resistance -- thing going on for decade after decade after -- it's not going to be easy change -- 3% of the vote in Detroit. Results also only -- I think history to go to start off -- where there's almost no downside potential there's only only upside. What I would say is is that there are no new ideas on the Democrat side there's not one Democrat has offered to help the people in Detroit. I -- people Detroit and I'll put them -- billion dollars. Of their own money to try helped him recover you don't have to send your money to Washington for ten years we'll let you keep your money. It is something I'm offering to help them in Detroit because I -- care about long term unemployment and jobs and we can help them. And it's different than anybody else is offering and not one Democrat has an all time. We -- -- tax cuts and if you have a job your property tax cuts. But here's the interesting thing is when you cut taxes in Detroit for ten years yes the people who get more of a tax -- people who pay. But they -- the thriving businesses is that there's not zero businesses in Detroit maybe there should be 101000 and there's only a thousand. But if you cut the taxes for those thousand whatever the number is over ten years -- owed one point three billion dollars. -- that money will be left in the hands of businesses that people Detroit already voted. Whether it's a Wal-Mart or Provera pizza -- like this. People -- voting on businesses in Detroit they're surviving. Let's throw those businesses they were toward more people. It's better than what the Democrats did President Obama -- here's some money start a business and nine out of ten businesses -- we visit to the wrong people. Think cylinder he gave 500 million dollars to one of the richest guys in the country it was squandered. So what I'm saying is I'm just let people keep their own mind I'm also not -- -- Houston to bail out Detroit I'm allegedly bail themselves -- But it is a policy that will help people get jobs she saw Eric Holder suggests there was -- racial dimension to that. The criticism he has faced Barack Obama's faith. Nancy Pelosi suggest that rates could factor. With the white Republicans and walked away from immigration reform. How's it does this in order for you to appeal to those groups. You know I'm one of the few who has worked there older I -- to their opponent to three weeks -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Or -- -- -- agreement on some issues like getting people back the right to vote. When they've done their job. Getting people a second chance trying not put people in jail for fifty years for youthful mistakes I will work with Eric Holder and the president -- these things. And I watch a compliment them when they're right I think Eric Holder on giving people a second chance and not putting our kids in prison for fifty years for marijuana. I think he's right and I'm not afraid to say he's right either but I don't. And I guess I don't get into the whole racial thing tonight I can even imagine if that isn't a vote for anyone. So we don't think any of the intensity of the criticism that he's faced her or her mom I've I've seen seen I mean people -- to say -- some people in Kentucky. Have a racial animosity the president. I've never heard one person we don't like the president because of the war on coal -- that's an issue. And the reason we don't like president as a whole eastern half of our state and western -- -- state. Hundreds and hundreds of people who had good middle class jobs have lost her job because the policies President Obama had never heard one person mentioned race. And says I can't say nobody has that their mind -- have never ever heard it and for me the only thing that motivates me is policy. And I'm also willing to give the president credit for farming some people and also for working on some of this the war on drugs to make it work. So actually -- Jeb Bush's comments on Richards talked about. How we shouldn't let immigration issues rile people up and it are already illegal immigrants came in this country it was an act of law. Do you agree with -- you know I think he might have been more artful -- in the -- presented as I don't wanna say oh he's terrible for saying this. If it were me what I would have -- -- people who seek the American dream -- people. However came into the -- failed and editors who have finished up where they're not bad people however we -- invite the whole world. When you say -- doing an active. You don't following up with but we have to control the border people -- -- because they're doing this. Kind reasons that the whole World Cup. It's I saw serve -- -- 700 million people would move to America they could. We can't really absorbed 700 million people or groups or even tens of millions of people so we do have to have some controlled access for our country. But the sentiment. That if you come here looking to the American dream I agreed -- -- you're not a bad person but he doesn't mean invitation in the open -- there's also suggestion that. Republicans. Previous campaigns have vilified those who. Came over illegally some -- proceed that way and that's a perception we you have to change that's why -- the way I did. If you want to seek the American dream. Person that doesn't mean we can have open borders and I think his statement while that I think that was his intent. That's what people on the right took out of his is oh my goodness is -- saying because you. Look people Mexico they can all -- -- -- there have to be rules and I was big on saying I'm for immigration reform. But you have to secure the border first yet to make sure that we're not offering the welfare state to visit we're offering war. Who -- not offering really voting or the welfare state but we're offering is a chance to work in our country. And then they'll be orderly process for immigration and cannot be open borders and Campion controlled -- -- -- foreign policy at some. Tapes -- the over the last few years of rumors recently I'm criticizing an accident rate is OK and holy family little pictures and video the home movies. But that you would. Very critical of Dick Cheney suggested it. He was opposed to going to Baghdad in 1991. But -- was in favor of it -- became vice president because his financial ties however. You really think -- Cheney was motivated by its Financial Times however. I would say the conclusion that I don't want. One he wouldn't say is that I'm questioning his I'm not questioning his special look like you're quite well here's here's get -- question am questioning exactly what Eisenhower question of the fifties he said. We have to be wary. That people have a conflict of interest that the military industrial complex could influence people's decisions. I don't think Dick Cheney did -- out of a malevolent I think he loves his country as much as I love the country what I would say is that. It is that there's a danger have a revolving door from government to Wall Street and also from government -- contractor back to government. There's a danger that your decisions. Could be influenced. And I think we have to be careful that I think that's why do you favor some form of campaign finance reform. Because I think people who make for example one company in question had a seven billion dollar. -- -- Non competing contract I think not having competition in contract. Is a serious problem and you could have undue influence if there's not a competitive bidding process that -- -- we don't want our defense to be defined by people who make money off the weapons. Are you suggesting that's why we went -- war in Iraq. Now there are fanatics was being defined by people and that's why I'm also saying that I'm not questioning detainees -- and I think he's as patriotic -- and -- -- the best for his country. But I do think that when people -- from high levels of government. Two high levels of industry that are dependent on government money. That there's power there's a chance for a conflict of interest and -- I was pointing out is I don't know the conclusion. Is that at one point in time he was opposed going -- to Baghdad. And he was out of office involved in the defense industry. And that he became for going into Baghdad and whose decisions could just see a connection you know I'm just saying his decisions that have changed for a variety of reasons. What I would say is that. Because of the that there could be -- appearance of conflict of interest. That we need to be careful and I'm all for rules for example when a senator leaves office there restrictions on how quickly they can go back -- industry -- for making those tough. I don't like that people -- going in the senate and the White House and congress over -- Wall Street and then back again. I think there is this something that needs to their need to be. When people get upset about campaign finance reform they're upset that there could be someone using government for their own personal benefit. I am not saying that that's what happened. I'm saying that if the appearances there if people are saying could this happen we need to have some rules on how people go from government into private industry -- no more probably or policy countryside Liz Cheney said. Rand Paul seems to get his foreign policy talking points from Rachel madcow. Dick Cheney. -- that we have to be concerned about isolationism in the Republican Party clearly talking about you. What's response. It's kind of funny because it's so funny that -- talking points would come from Rachel Maddow. She is not in Monday's champion and if you won't lie ahead there's little history there is not my biggest champion -- it's a kind of a funny remark I think. But if you look at it. I mean you look at drones look at NSA surveillance to -- you were one of two senators to vote against the that that the Ukraine bill you were one of two senators who voted against the resolution on Iran into weapons I mean you're on these issues you -- more closely associated with. We cannot but moveon.org. The -- and I think that's include -- incorrect conclusion you know. I would say my foreign policy is right there was what came out of Ronald Reagan Caspar Weinberger. First George W. Bush right out of their from the school of realism I consider myself to be a foreign policy realists. When I would say is that the most important function. Of the federal government is the defense of our country slightly than robust. Military I believe in -- out. Military that it too has a great -- strengthened to that. We deter attack -- that we bring about peace in the -- of strength. That Reagan talked about is exactly what I favor but Reagan went through a huge defense -- one of the first things you give you got elected was proposed. Fifty nearly fifty billion dollar cut to the Pentagon is bigger than -- -- -- He proposed increases in spending I haven't really have any way. Dipped down in spending sequester actually didn't -- -- Lester got the rate of growth of spending -- -- -- -- proposed. -- -- more than the -- well defense spending double. From 20012. When I came in an office in 2011. So we've doubled defense spending that needs to be acknowledged. We need to acknowledge that even though I believe national -- the most important thing we. It is in a blank check. That really the Pentagon should be -- -- we can't just give away money we can have 500 dollar hammers and thousand dollar toilet seats -- The Pentagon some conservatives think go give whatever they wind and that everything's for our soldiers and they play of his patriotism that. We don't have to control defenseman yes we have to patrol defense spending also. If we -- be a strong country we want to defend ourselves and protect our strength -- on the world we can't be a trillion dollars in the hole every year. So running a deficit makes -- weaker nation. And the defense hawks who want to criticize me for not spending enough. They're running us into -- and that will create a weaker country. And ultimately opens up with us -- last guy interviewed Ted Cruz and he said he disagrees with you -- -- policy. And said he believes the United States has a responsibility to defend our values. But I would say is that our defense our country's most important thing that our government is that I have followed Ronald -- and Sally -- I would accident. 1976. National convention. Even supporters of Reagan from the very beginning supporters of peace through strength and supporters of a robust military. And -- -- I would say others as they need to characterize their position not try to mischaracterized -- was Ted Cruz -- characterizing it was a well I don't know what I'm saying is is that my position is for robust national defense and that its new primary concern. Above all other concerns for the federal government. So I want to ask you about -- wrong to two things one. In 2012. There was a resolution saying the United States should do anything possible to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapon. You'll want to I -- to vote against that this everybody else all the Republican. Why did you. I've repeated -- -- a report -- -- I've repeatedly voted for sanctions against Iran. And I think all options should be on the table to prevent them from having nuclear weapons like -- -- -- present this particular resolution I tried for six months. To attach an amendment to it saying that. We should not it had to do to contain we should not have containment. As our policy which I agree in preventing them from having a nuclear weapon. The way they wrote the resolution and -- a stickler on what the wording is because I don't want to -- vote for something that declared war without people actually thinking through this. The way they worded it is they -- containment will never ever. Ever be our policy we woke up one day in Pakistan had nuclear weapons if that would -- been our policy towards Pakistan and we would be at war with Pakistan. We woke up one day and China had nuclear weapons we woke up -- -- in Russia doesn't mean -- was for any of that. And in which do everything possible to keep Iran from having it. But people who say they want to say beat their chest and say by golly we will never stand for that they are voting for war. Should we wake up one day in Iran hasn't of the weapons that doesn't mean I'm -- and having a nuclear weapon -- -- -- containing. But but I would say that it is silly and it in his. A mistake. To say never to things that you don't know what the future holds most of this is done for -- It's done for Beaumont. And really didn't affect policy other than people who go say. And stronger that you are up more -- -- -- So it didn't make any sense so do you think the United States could live with -- I think it's a mistake for them in nuclear weapons we should do everything we're -- -- agrees that -- but if they. Crossed the threshold. Is it something we could -- you could we -- I think it's I think it's not a good idea to announce that in advance and see that's sort of the problem of this. They were announcing an advance we will never contain them. If I'm wanting to be one of the leaders in the country and one of the leaders in the senate on the foreign relations committee should I -- to Iran but we don't want to do but -- live -- Now that's a dumb -- -- you had to live with it however. The opposite to dumb idea -- with a -- -- -- -- -- -- it's fine for random weapons Phillips couldn't do it. It's also not a good -- say never ever and that it means automatic war. Because we woke up in China we woke up in -- Korea broke up in India and Pakistan. We would be at war with most of the world right now we would be an all out ridiculous -- -- war. With Russia and China -- if we. Preemptively said we won't. You know that there's no way we'll ever happen. That's -- -- we should talk about it or indicate one way -- other residents say it's a bad idea what to do everything possible to keep Iran from having obviously. Father ran for president. More than once you you help them along the way did you. What did you learn from your father's campaign. What did you learn not to do it as he. Giving you any advice. Even though the I -- have learned along the way and I did do some travels when he was doing it it's. An onerous task it's a you know a lot of work a lot of traveling. -- -- it with a good attitude he seemed to enjoy himself and I think if you do with this sort of oh my goodness I -- my whole life depends on winning some election. I -- can make things to be teachers you forget about what the important things -- -- life. You know in my life the important things are my family and making sure everything goes well my family. My country's important to and I wanna -- backhand I think you get lost in things in obscures some of the important things -- Are really important every individual you might make mistakes have you convinced your wife to. In my place that's what I really needed loading instead -- that the panel heard there there's just two votes and at least one -- on house on the market this what do you make a decision by. Not to laugh for 2014 elections. OK senator Paul thanks for joining us -- Manchester thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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