Rand Paul on the Power of the Tea Party

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," September 24, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: As we close in on the midterm elections, the Kentucky Senate race between Tea Party favorite Rand Paul and his Democratic opponent Jack Conway looks to be shaping up to be another political shootout. Latest Rasmussen Poll shows Paul holding a 15-point lead over Conway. That's 54 percent to 39 percent.

A Public Policy Poll shows the race a little bit closer with Rand Paul holding a seven-point lead.

So, will Rand Paul be able to energize the conservative base, pull off another victory for the Tea Party?

Joining me now with the answer is the Republican Senate candidate of the great state of Kentucky, Rand Paul.

Rand, welcome back.

SENATE CANDIDATE RAND PAUL, R-KY.: Good to be with you.

HANNITY: First of all, what do you make of -- that's a pretty big disparity in the polls. Where do you think you are in this race?

PAUL: We've been consistently ahead at least seven to 10 points. But a little higher than 10 points in both the recent Rasmussen Poll and the Courier Journal Poll.

So, we think momentum is with us. We have large crowds everywhere we go. Dead of the summer when no one is thinking about politics, we had 400 people show up for a Tea Party. I mean, we've got big events all across the state.

And people really think we are going in the wrong direction in this country. They show up spontaneously to talk about how they want to take their country back everywhere we go.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this, because we recently had Christine O'Donnell. We had her on the program earlier this week. And you went through this probably before anybody else. You came out of nowhere. You beat the establishment candidate in a "Randslide."

So, you had a big victory. And you started to go on some of this national gotcha or play gotcha programs. Then you say, you know what, I'm going straight to the people of Kentucky. You didn't think it was beneficial.

Do you think she is wise in her decision to focus more on Delaware now than national media?

PAUL: Yes. And what I've said is, I think she can win up there, she'll talk about the economic message. She'll talk about how this administration is the most anti-business administration we've had, talk about things like term limits that resonate across party lines, talk about a balanced budget amendment.

Seventy percent to 80 percent of Democrats agree with term limits and a balanced budget amendment. That's why the Tea Party is so potent and why they try to create some other havoc and create some other nomenclature for us. But the thing is, the things we talk about are incredibly popular -- balanced budget amendment, term limits, read the bills.

HANNITY: Yes. Let me ask you this. One more question on the media here because there is a hostile media. There is a game of got you on certain programs that are out there. They're trying to impress their liberal friends and show how tough they are and all of this, you know, seemingly wanting to build themselves up.

So, how do you balance that in terms of making decisions about where you think your best able to get out your message?

PAUL: Well, it's interesting. You know, I started out saying that I wanted to get my message to everyone. I've been on the networks that are considered to be more liberal.

And when I was on some of these -- after I was treated unfairly, a couple of people from the network actually called me and said, you know, "We want you to come back on. We'll talk about the Commerce Clause. We'll have an intellectual discussion." And I told them, "How can I come back on, when you bash me for three hours with something that's untrue? You basically repeat something that's a lie for three hours on the air. And then you expect me just to waltz back on your show and have a good intellectual discussion."

Even this person, he's a prominent person from one of those networks, he admitted it's hard for a conservative to come back on the network.

HANNITY: Yes. It sounds like they are setting you up again. You know, fool me once, shame on you. Twice. Shame on me.

All right, Harry Reid and the Democrats, they get in an smoke-filled room, they close the door and they decide, guess what, we're not going to -- we're going to let the American people, before this election, know what they are going to be paying in taxes come January of this year.

Your reaction to that. But they did have time for Stephen Colbert, as we were pointing out earlier.

PAUL: Well, my guess is they think they will lose on the issue. And they see that the American public doesn't buy this soak-the-rich or tax-the-rich. What I've been saying in my speeches is -- do you remember when they wanted to tax the yachts? That we're going to tax these big boats that the rich people bought?

Well, guess what? The rich people went to the Virgin Islands and bought their boats down there. But you know was hurt? The ship builders in Connecticut.

You can't punish the rich people. You end up punishing the people who work for them, or you punish the people who they buy things from.

HANNITY: They can always do what John Kerry did.

PAUL: It makes no sense to soak the rich.


HANNITY: John Kerry bought the boat and anchored it in Rhode Island so he can save tax money.

The last question -- Republicans in the House came out with their "Pledge to America." I'm sure you've had time to look at the document. I wanted to get your thoughts on it. Because it did remind me when they were talking about first principles, the Constitution, the Declaration, cutting taxes, limiting spending -- sounds a lot like the Tea Party movement. You think the establishment has moved in the direction of the Tea Party?

PAUL: Definitely. I think we are influencing, if not shaping, the entire debate right now across the country. But I wanted the message to maybe be even a little stronger. I wanted them to have in there something like a balanced budget amendment because I think both sides of the aisle have proven themselves to be untrustworthy with balancing the budget.

And I think they'll only do it if they have a rule attached to the Constitution that says you have to balance the budget. I think that's the only way we'll ever do it.

HANNITY: All right. Rand, I understand you have a spaghetti dinner tonight and chili cook-off tonight, I'm jealous because -- two of my favorite meals. That's for being with us.

PAUL: Thank you.

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