Sen. Paul on Iran nuke negotations: 'Good deal or no deal' in Congress

Lawmaker reacts to Netanyahu's speech


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 3, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: My next guest won last week's straw poll at CPAC. And earlier today he attended Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress. 

Joining me now, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Senator, good to see you. What is that, three years and running. There's only been one other person, I don't know if you know, who has won three years and running. Do you know who that is? 

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: It could have been who I met when I was 13-years-old, Ronald Reagan, maybe. 

HANNITY: It was Ronald Reagan. Congratulations, first of all.  Secondly, you were in the chamber today for Bibi's speech. I want to get your initial reactions. 

PAUL: I thought he did a good job of framing the issue in broader context than just nuclear enrichment. He talked about state sponsorship of terrorism throughout the Middle East. He talked about their conventional weaponry, intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as the nuclear threat. And I guess he made a good point that any kind of agreement that doesn't have them saying we're giving up on terrorism, we're giving up on global or regional dominance, really is that a good bargain, or is it a good deal? 

I thought the other point that he made that was good was, it's not just any old deal or no deal, that maybe we could actually have a better deal. And then he wasn't against negotiation. And I like that he concluded by saying that his goal is peace. And I think sometimes in all of the tough talk, we forget that Israel wants peace, the United States wants peace, and that negotiations can come to an outcome, but they shouldn't come to a bad deal. 

HANNITY: But the reality is this is a bad deal if in the out years, the sunset years of this deal, that the Iranians get to enrich uranium, the centrifuges are up and ready, and the time that it would take them to build a bomb will be short. That would be with world approval. This is a bad deal for a rogue regime and a state sponsor of terror, correct? 

PAUL: I signed on to a bill today that Senator Corker's putting forward. This bill we think will give, if there is a backbone in the administration, it should give them backbone and should give them strength to negotiate from a position of strength. This bill would say, and very explicitly say, that any deal has to be voted on by Congress. That should let the administration know that we're not going to take any old deal. It should give them resolve. And hopefully, if the deal's not permanent and Iran's backing away, saying it's already too much, the administration will realize from their perspective that we're not voting for a bad deal. It's going to have to be a good deal or no deal. 

HANNITY: This president has acted lawlessly before. He has not recognized the separation of powers, checks and balances before, and he has gone rogue. So he's trying to apparently do this deal and feels no need to go to the Senate. What is your answer and reaction to that, senator? 

PAUL: Well, we're going to pass legislation. This is going to be introduced in the next couple days. It may have been introduced today by Senator Corker -- 

HANNITY: Do you need 60 votes? Do you need cloture? 

PAUL: Excuse me?

HANNITY: Will you need cloture.

PAUL: Yes, I think you actually could get 60 votes on this because this doesn't say we're against a deal. It just says we have to vote up or down on whether we like the deal. So we'll have to actually see the deal.  But what it will do is put forward to the negotiators and let them know that it's going to have to be passed by Congress so it better be a good deal or you might as well not sign it. 

HANNITY: All right, what about the House today giving in on the issue of funding, quote, clean bill on DHS, because I was against the CRomnibus I kind of suspected that the fix might be in, and unfortunately it turned out that I was right. And that is that the president's unconstitutional executive order on immigration which alters the law, ignores it, apparently will now go through. Why did the Republicans cave on that? 

PAUL: I'm like you. I voted -- I did actually vote against the CRomnibus. I vote against all these collections when they throw all the spending in one bill because I think that's how we got to an $18 trillion debt. 

I also think it's very important that the executive branch not be allowed to legislate. Montesquieu said that would be a form of tyranny when the president begins to legislate. So it's a rotten deal. It's something that's so important that goes to the core of a constitutional republic that I will stay firm and I will not vote for anything that allows these executive orders to go through because I think it's lawless and unconstitutional. 

HANNITY: Senator, congratulations on your winning at CPAC. By the way, I will say this, I think you had the most entertaining crowd at your party, at the bar that night where I got to interview you. And it was -- and then you took the mic and started interviewing me, which made it even more fun. 

PAUL: Wait until you see that one. We're going to have that one broadcast pretty soon, Sean. 

HANNITY: I'm not sure that's going to make the light of day. But if it does, I'm fine with everything I said. So all right, thank you, senator, it was good to see you. 

PAUL: Absolutely. Thank you.

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