Rand Paul: Obama is avoiding the debt

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 5, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: Now for the "Top Story" tonight. One of President Obama's biggest critics is Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Mr. President, don't you realize that as you pile this debt as you're piling this debt on the backs of working people that gas prices have doubled, food prices are rising at double digits and 11 million people are out of work?

I want you to ask the President this when he comes up here. Where the hell were the Marines in Libya? Where the hell were the Marines? There were no uniformed Marines guarding our ambassador?

Now I'm afraid that President Obama may have this king complex sort of developing. And we're going to make sure that it doesn't happen.


O'REILLY: And joining us now from Washington is Senator Paul. So first of all in my "Talking Points", do you agree the President is trying to checkmate the Republican Party right now?

PAUL: Well I think he is trying to avoid talking about the real subject that threatens our country and that's the debt. You don't hear anybody talking about spending or debt. They are talking about these other issues now gun control and immigration reform. Both of which I think need to be talked about.

But really the pressing issue of the day is the debt. And I don't hear him discussing any ways that he is willing to look at fixing our debt crisis.

O'REILLY: But he's not concerned about the debt. I mean his people have basically come out and said it doesn't bother them. They think that with the increased revenue the debt will come down or whatever.

But it looks to me like his strategy is working. You know, if you look at the polls, 60 percent approval rating overall; 70 percent among Hispanic Americans. It looks like he has you guys pinned to the wall.

PAUL: Well you know I think some of this is an illusion. We have an illusion of wealth in our country. But there is still great danger that we run into another crisis like we did in 2008 because the wealth is an illusion in the sense that it's built from fake money. It's built from manufacturing new money to paper over our debts. And ultimately there will be repercussions for that.

O'REILLY: I don't disagree with any of that but I don't think the court of public opinion has caught up with you. Now the Republican Party as you heard with Jindal and Trump are pretty -- you know there is a lot of division on the immigration front, on the gun front. There is not a lot of unity in the GOP right now.

I mean you're one of the more conservative senators, but people like Karl Rove for example are saying you know you guys have got to back off and Bobby Jindal you guys have got to come to the center more. Do you see that?

PAUL: It sort of depends on the issue. For example with immigration reform I am in favor of immigration reform. I do think you have to have border security and what I'm proposing is that we have a report each year for five years and the reform only goes forward if we approve the report. It comes back in Congress and votes on it each year.

I think you could then secure the border and get conservatives to support normalizing the people who are here. So on immigration I think there is a middle position that the country is ready for them.

O'REILLY: And on gun control, the Democrats and liberal media commentators are basically saying you've got to get rid of the assault rifles. You've got to get rid of the clips, you've got to get rid of a lot of these things and the Republican Party basically says no, we don't want that.

So the casual voter who's not really following the ins and outs of this, basically says there are those Republicans again and you know not looking out for the kids. And that kind of propaganda works.

PAUL: I think we are farther apart on the gun issue. And I think we have made some good points. Even Piers Morgan I think is starting to listen a little bit. What we're talking about is that guns are used for protection. That 86 percent of crime is committed by people who stole their guns or bought them illegally. And that really gun control ends up affecting the price and the availability to law-abiding citizens really does nothing to deter crime.

All you have to think about is how when someone goes and shoots 26 people, they don't care that there is the death penalty for doing that so laws aren't deterring them. So really what we need to do is talk about how we try to make schools safer and really one way I think is to allow people to defend themselves.

O'REILLY: All right. But you see my point that the President believes that he has the Republican Party on the run, on the defensive. He can make the broad generalizations that we want to be humane in the immigration front and we want to limit big assault rifles. Nobody needs them. And the majority of the folks are responding to his argument.

And all the polls show that.

PAUL: But when you look at polls and ask people about do you think government is overspending? Three-fourths of people think government is overspending and they have to do something about.

O'REILLY: Yes the spending you guys are on the right side of the spending. But you know, Mitt Romney ran an economic campaign, Senator. And it was all economics. Very little of social issues for Mr. Romney. He got his butt kicked. Even in that arena.

PAUL: But part of it is this. When you look at whether or not they thought Governor Romney was competent on the issues on four out of five he wins. The only thing he loses is they liked President Obama. He was likeable. And that's hard to buy in a candidate. I have great respect for Governor Romney but President Obama has his appeal.

So we need to figure out how to present and have more appeal to voters but doesn't mean we have to change our positions. I think we still should be principled -- the party of low taxes, the party of limited government, the party of opportunity and jobs.

And I think if we present it well and if we tell people, particularly those who are dependent now on government that big government is not their friend it causes the rising gas prices, the rising food prices. That it makes it harder for them to join the middle class because the President's big government programs cause prices to rise.

If we can bring that together for people, I think people who want to move up the ladder will come to the Republican Party.

O'REILLY: All right. Well you're optimistic. I don't know. You're going to run for President, I think Senator, aren't you?

PAUL: I don't know yet but we're thinking about it.

O'REILLY: Yes I know you are. All right, Senator, thanks very much. We appreciate it.

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