Rand Paul: Country Is Ready For A "Libertarian Republican Narrative"
CHRIS WALLACE, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY" MODERATOR: Let me interrupt for a second, because I thought that you were objecting to drone strikes on American citizens on foreign soil as well. Is that not true?
SENATOR RAND PAUL (R-KENTUCKY): I'm primarily asking, and the primary question is: Americans on American soil, can the president kill them with a drone strike from his program? It's blatantly illegal and I would think most Americans would want to be -- have their day in court.
And so, I disagree with Senator Graham. If you live in America, you ought to get your day in court before hellfire missile comes down on your house.
WALLACE: But I'm confused, sir, why would we need a drone strike? I mean, the reason for that is because we don't have people on the ground. If we knew where an al Qaeda operative was --
PAUL: You would think.
WALLACE: -- American or foreign, on U.S. soil, wouldn't we just go catch him?
PAUL: You would think.
But here's Brennan's response. He says the authorization to use force in 2001 in Afghanistan has no geographical limits. So, when he says that, our first question is -- gosh, he is implying he could do it in America. So, we sent him a written question.
Senator Wyden asked him a verbal question: can you kill an American on American soil? And he won't answer.
The president has now answered and says: I don't intend to do so. Well, that's pretty weak. I want him to say, absolutely, he will not kill Americans on American soil because we do strikes overseas that are sometimes not even targeted to an individual. We see a train -- a caravan coming out of a place we think people don't like America and we strike a train of vehicles without even knowing who they are.
But with Americans overseas, I also do have some objection in the sense that I would try them for treason. Awlaki was known and it was published that he was on a target list for months and months. He could have been tried in a federal court for treason for treason. He denounced America and, in all likelihood, he would have been swiftly convicted.
His son, though, was never tried. We killed his 16-year-old son and I don't think that that was appropriate.
PAUL: His son was never even accused of terrorism. The government won't even admit it was a mistake or an error, whatever it was. And I think that is wrong, you should get protection for being an American citizen.
WALLACE: Let me --
PAUL: Where I agree with Senator Graham, if you have a grenade launcher on your shoulder, by all means, and you're firing at Americans, you don't need due process. But if you are sitting in a cafe in Paris or Yemen, there should be a process where a judge decides your guilt, or a jury.
WALLACE: Finally, let's talk about 2016. How serious are you about running -- you know what I'm going to ask -- running for president? And would it be to make a point as your father did, in his presidential runs, or would it be to win?
PAUL: I would absolutely not run unless it were to win. You know, points have been made and we'll continue to make points, but I think the country really is ready for the narrative coming, libertarian Republican narrative, also because we have been losing as a national party. We are doing fine in congressional seats but we're becoming less and less of a national party because we don't win on the West Coast, we don't win in New England. We really struggled all around the Great Lakes.
I think people want a party that's a little bit less aggressive on foreign policy, still believes in a strong national defense but less aggressive. They want -- the young people want politicians who don't want to put them in jail for 20 years for a nonviolent drug possession charge. So, they want a little bit different face. I think people want a little different face on immigration frankly. They don't want somebody who wants to round people up, put them in camps and send them back to Mexico.