OTR Interviews

Sen. Rand Paul sets the record straight on vaccination controversy

Potential presidential candidate addresses controversy surrounding his recent comments on the measles outbreak and vaccinations. Plus, Sen. Paul on tax refunds for illegal immigrants

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 4, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Millions of illegal immigrants staying in the country after President Obama's executive order are now eligible for tax breaks and benefits. It's going to cost you, the taxpayer, billions of dollars in retroactive refunds. Senator Rand Paul joins us. Good evening, sir.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY: Good evening.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Are we talking about money that if illegal person worked in the country and overpaid his taxes and gets refunds, we are not talking about that, right?

PAUL: We are talking about refundable tax credits, earned income tax credits. Additional child tax credits. But it's in the billions of dollars. And here it is, remember last year we talked about immigration reform, there was a bill in the senate that passed? Even that bill said that you wouldn't be able to get it for a period of time. Now, you are getting it immediately. You come in the country illegally, this executive order that the president, he is going to get social security numbers immediately and they will be eligible for tax refunds.

VAN SUSTEREN: Just so I understand, this isn't money that they paid in and they are getting a refund from. This is above and beyond?

PAUL: I think what it is the earned income tax credit, so it's a refundable tax credit or additional child tax credit. Part of the problem with this system though is you don't even have to prove that the kids are either with you or that they exist. So, the earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit have a 25 percent improper payment rate. One out of four dollars spent in this program is not necessarily accounted for properly.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so are you going to do something about it?

PAUL: We are going to try to. There is a bill that Senator Ayotte introduced last year that's trying to make it more certain that you are here properly, that you are here around we have had some discussions in homeland security and I know Senator Ayotte is very interested in this and I'm going to try to help and support her on that.

VAN SUSTEREN: The attorney general of the United States, the president the new nominee, Loretta Lynch, have you decided how you are going to vote?

PAUL: I can't vote for her.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's a no.

PAUL: That's a no. Big issue for me is something called civil forfeiture. Civil forfeiture turns justice on its head. Instead of being innocent until proven guilty, you are guilty until you can prove you are innocent. The government takes your cash, $1,000, $100, $500, whatever it is, this program predominantly has targeted black individuals, poor individuals, Hispanic individuals and when Senator Lee asked her about it in the committee she said oh, no, as long as there is a valid court order. You don't have to be convicted. You don't even have to be charged. They can take your possessions, hotel, house. There was one house in Philadelphia taken recently, teenage son was selling $40 worth of illegal drugs, took $200,000 house and evicted the family. But often it's poor families in inner city and I wish she had a little more concern for people who live in poverty before taking their stuff.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, last night, I tweeted a picture, actually I re-tweeted your picture of you getting a shot, a vaccine. We're in to vaccine-gate. Your pictures up on the screen, you are getting it you get vaccines, I get vaccines, I have been overseas recently I recently got some. What's the controversy?

PAUL: You know, I got annoyed as people who tried to depict me as someone who didn't think vaccines were not a good idea. You and I talked about my trip to Guatemala, I got vaccinated for that, I got vaccinated as a kid, I vaccinated my kids. I don't have objection at all to that. I got somehow depicted that I am somehow someone who doesn't believe in vaccines. I wanted to make sure they knew I am getting my booster vaccine.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know that when I go overseas and they say do you want to get a vaccine for yellow fever, I will say sure I will take it. I will take everything. There are some vaccines where diseases have been eradicated. Clearly, measles have not. We have got it here. To me, there are some that seem like a real necessity, so that if I get measles I'm not going to spread it to you.

PAUL: Right, right. I think everyone should be encouraged to get vaccines. The interesting debate that sort of people missed on this is of all the political people they talked to, I'm not sure I'm different than the president or anybody else on the position, we have rules to encourage people to have vaccines in the country but I don't think anybody is recommending that we hold them down. What we have is, you know -- what when you enter school you are encouraged to take them. You can't enter school cut without having taken them.

VAN SUSTEREN: But some don't you think are unnecessary like the measles. If I have got the measles and I'm going to go spread it to all the kids in the class and pregnant women, shouldn't I have to get it, or something like that.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: Some are real health crises.

PAUL: And the way we have policed it through school basically you can't be among the other kids unless you have had vaccinations. That is a way of trying, it's encouragement and somewhat of a mandate but it's really been more of an encouragement that people get it. But interestingly, 48 out of 50 states do have religious as well as philosophic exemption if you have a problem. For the most part, you need the vast majority of people to take vaccine. That's how you get immunity for everyone.

VAN SUSTEREN: I get them and you got yours. Senator, thank you, sir.