OTR Interviews

Presidential race 2016: Rand Paul on Hillary, Rubio

Uncut: Rand Paul gives his take on Hillary Clinton and Sen. Marco Rubio official entering the 2016 presidential race


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 13, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Now the interview you will only see ON THE RECORD. Republican presidential candidate, Senator Rand Paul, speaking for the first time since Secretary Clinton and Marco Rubio jumped into the 2016 race for the White House.

Senator Rand Paul joins us. Good evening, sir.

SEN. RAND PAUL, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good evening. Thanks for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you.

I guess in reference to Senator Marco Rubio I would ask you what's it like to have him in the race, and I suppose you are going to tell me the more the merrier.


But how are you different than Senator Marco Rubio?

PAUL: We have a lot of similarities. When I did my long filibuster he came and supported me. I appreciate that. One of the differences that's came up recently is that I don't think it's a good idea to borrow money, even for national defense, and so when we had a recent amendment contrast, I put forward an amendment to increase defense spending but only by cutting spending elsewhere. So I think that the debt is a real threat to our national security. And I will vote for more money for defense spending but only if it's cut elsewhere.

VAN SUSTEREN: As we look at the 2016 race, how do we, voters, determine how someone has changed his or her opinion changed circumstances, rethinking it or something, or whether it's a flip flop? What's the difference?

PAUL: I think there are some basic principles you want some people to keep no matter what, whether or not the debt is a good idea, whether the debt is a big problem, whether capitalism is a better system than socialism. Those are major principles. But then I think there are things that are based on facts and, as facts change, you want someone to adapt to facts. I think philosophy and principles tend to stay the same, but facts obviously do change.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Secretary Clinton has announced that she has jumped in the race with her announcement yesterday. Right away you came out of the gate. You have this ad, in part, this negative ad. Listen to this.


ANNOUNCER: What path will America take? Will it be a path to the past? A road to yesterday? To a place we have been to before? Hillary Clinton represents the worst of the Washington machine, the arrogance of power, corruption and cover-up, conflicts of interest and failed leadership with tragic consequences. The Washington machine is destroying the American dream.


VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Senator, that's only part of the ad. Why come out of gate and no negative? Why not take the high road? Why do you do this from the get-go do you do this to American voters?

PAUL: We need to have a contrast. There are important things the American people will have to know and important things she will have to explain. For example, Hillary's war in Libya, I think it made us less safe. It made radical Islam more of a potent threat to us in Libya. That's a valid point for us to debate. I think we'll debate over whether or not accepting donations from foreign countries, such as Saudi Arabia, is good for somebody in a high level of politics. Politics is rough and tumble. There will be debate and there will be a chance for both sides.

VAN SUSTEREN: I guess as I look what's going on around the world and see what's going on with ISIS and American families can't get jobs, they worry about their kids not having jobs after college and huge debt, some kids can't even go to college. First thing we wake up to this morning and, all of a sudden, you are throwing mud at a candidate, and I assume there is a lot of time for that. Do you not think that the American people are sort of starving for a little loftier debate?

PAUL: Well, I think they want to know differences and they want to know who to choose. And if we are concerned about jobs, one of things that economists say is we are losing a million jobs a year from the burden of debt. So there will be questions of which candidates will try to balance the budget, which will be willing to make the difficult choices to cut spending. So I think those are all valid points and all valid points for us to debate. And I don't think anything about that is unfair, really.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me turn to Iran. The date, June 30th, is supposedly when we are going to have some sort of deal. I don't know if that's going to happen or not. At least today there was a report that a number of states have sanctions against Iran, which puts a whole new dimension on this. Where does -- you know, where does the U.S. Senate stand? Where do you now see this going, this deal with Iran?

PAUL: Well, I think we are going to vote either tomorrow or the next day in the Foreign Relations Committee on the Corker/Menendez bill. This bill says to the president that if he wants to un-do sanctions that were passed by Congress, that it will have to be voted on by Congress. This is something I support. It reiterates the Constitution that laws can't be undone by the president. They have to be undone by a vote of Congress.

VAN SUSTEREN: Isn't it a little bit odd -- I mean, if you, the Senate, passed the sanctions, you have now got to pass a bill to tell the president that he can't un-do what you did?


I mean, it's a lot of busy work. How did we get to this?

PAUL: I think it sends a big signal though to the president because the president's been signaling otherwise. The president, whether it was health care, immigration, war powers, or making this agreement, has been saying he doesn't need the permission of Congress. This is Congress pushing back and Congress saying, hey, wait a minute, Mr. President, we do have a say in this.

And you are right. We could not do this at all. But I have been saying al along one reason to do this and to do it now is to send a signal to the negotiators that we want a good agreement because we are going to have to vote on it, so you have to please a broad swath of the American Congress and the American people. And they have to believe that it's a good deal. So I think that's what this is about. It's a signal and message to those that are negotiating that we want a good deal, not a bad deal.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. A "Bloomberg" poll says 11 percent of Republican Independent women in polls said would seriously consider Senator Paul, which is not a huge number compared to 22 percent of men. You have the largest spread between women and men. I have seen that you have taken some heat in some interview about interviews with women. What's the story there, Senator? Where are the women for you?


PAUL: The interesting thing about this poll is it actually showed that I did much better with category of people leaning my direction with women than did I with men. And if you looked at people who were not interested in my candidacy, it was actually equal for men and women. I think the people who wrote the headline there sort of didn't read their own poll very carefully.

But the interesting thing we have seen is that in the last couple of weeks we are outpolling Hillary Clinton in Iowa, a purple state; Pennsylvania, which is a purple state; and also in Colorado. So I think we're doing something right to attract Independents and women because we'll out-polling her in these bellwether states that could go either way.