Paul talks about immigration, term limits and media

06/18/2010 11:40 AM

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul said Friday he would vote against any bill allowing amnesty for illegal immigrants until border enforcement proves adequate.

Rand Paul speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference on June 12, 2010.

“I don’t want easy citizenship for those who are illegal for those who are breaking the law,” he said in an interview with Lexington radio host Sue Wylie. “I do support a work program, but when need to know who someone is when they cross the border. Are you bringing weapons in, are you bringing nuclear weapons?”

During the wide-ranging interview on WVLK-590, Paul also talked more about term limits, his concern about paying for a benefits bill that is stalled in the U.S. Senate and what it’s like to come under media scrutiny.

Paul also dove into his interpretation of the 14th amendment, which was approved in the Reconstruction Era and declares that anyone born on U.S. soil is a U.S. citizen.

“If you come in and break the law by being here illegally, it is my understanding and many experts will tell you that you’re under the jurisdiction of Mexico and not our government,” Paul said, before going into how to change the current interpretation. “You fight it in the courts and if the jurisdiction applies, then you amend the constitution.”

He said the 14th amendment’s relevance in modern times has yet to be challenged effectively in front of the Supreme Court.

“To my knowledge the only case the Supreme Court has taken involved two parents who were legal. They have not ruled on the issues if your (parents) are illegal,” he said.

In taking questions from Wylie and from callers, Paul also weighed in on the current unemployment benefits bill currently stalled in the Senate. Invoking the philosophy of the senator he’s trying to replace, Sen. Jim Bunning, Paul said the bill should be “pay as you go.”

“We have to ask, can we pay for it?” Paul said. “This is bigger than benefits, let’s make it a priority. But if we do this we take from another (project).”

That led Paul into touting two of his most common campaign pledges of a balanced budget and setting term limits. But when pressed by a caller and Wylie, Paul said he would support term limits only if everyone else did as well.

“Well the rules need to be for everyone,” Paul said. “Otherwise all the good come home and the bad stay … but I have no intention of staying more than two terms.”

Paul also declined to criticize Texas Rep. Joe Barton, the ranking Republican on the House’s energy committee, who apologized to British Petroleum Thursday for what he called a “shakedown” by the White House, then later retracted that apology under pressure from GOP leaders.

“I don’t want to pile on him … I do know what it’s like to be piled on,” Paul said.

Throughout the interview, Paul made repeated references like that one to the media.

Calling it “the most fascinating Senate race in the nation,” Wylie prefaced the interview by describing the controversies over the last month that have thrust Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race into the national spotlight. She described it as a fun race for which Kentuckians have front-row seats.

“It’s fun for you because they’re not attacking you on the front page. They’re attacking me,” quipped Paul, who lashed out at the media several times in the interview.

Wylie also repeatedly referenced Paul’s lengthy piece he submitted to Courier-Journal’s editorial page on Friday saying that his “reputation has been sullied” by news coverage exploring his comments regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“I thought you put forward a very good case,” Wylie told Paul.

Paul was a few minutes late to the show, prompting Wylie to say, “I’ve never been stood up on a date, Rand Paul, so wherever you are, we need you.”

Paul, calling in at 10:11 a.m., said there was a “miscommunication.”

- Kenny Colston and Ryan Alessi


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