May 11, 2015 4:56 PM
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
LONDONDERRY – Rand Paul says he can run for the White House and still do his day job in the U.S. Senate.
“I get paid by the taxpayer and I figure I need to vote, so I’m working very hard to do this and also vote at the same time,” the Republican from Kentucky and presidential candidate told NH1 News Monday in Londonderry, after wrapping up a town hall event.
Moments after speaking one-on-one with NH1 News, Paul jumped into a waiting vehicle, to rush to the airport for a flight back to the nation’s capital, and his job as senator.
“I think the job’s a pretty important job and taxpayers are paying me so I take it very seriously. I’ll not only be back there for voting this afternoon, I’ll be leading the vote and the effort against the Patriot Act, handling the vote to try and end bulk collection of your phone records,” Paul said.
Paul’s missed a lower percentage of votes than two other GOP senators also running for the White House, Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, according to data compiled by GovTrack.US. Asked about his rivals voting track record, Paul appeared to question whether they could multi-task as well, saying “I think the people will have to judge that.”
Paul’s latest visit to New Hampshire came just a few days after a federal appeals court ruled that the National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ phone records was illegal under the Patriot Act. Paul was happy to talk about Thursday’s ruling, saying “I sued the NSA about a year ago, and the President, because I think it’s illegal and unconstitutional. The fourth amendment says your name has to be on the warrant and you can’t put something like Mr. Verizon on a warrant and get all of the customers for millions of millions of phone records. I think that goes against the spirit and the letter of the fourth amendment.”
Asked if the ruling justified Paul’s actions, the senator said “the ruling justifies what I’ve said all along. It’s a message to the President. The President, if he’s serious, the court has now said it’s illegal. He should stop it. He started it by executive order. He can stop it tomorrow.”
During the town hall, Paul took a shot at another rival, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Discussing the federal appeals court ruling on the NSA, Paul said "we have one candidate, I won’t mention any names but he’s a former governor of Florida, who says that the best thing the president is doing is collecting all of your phone records without a warrant. I say your phone records are yours. They’re none of the government’s business.”
Last month, in a radio appearance on the Michael Medved Show, Bush said that “there has been a continuation of a very important service, which is the first obligation of our national government, which is to keep us safe. And the technology that now can be applied to make that so, while protecting civil liberties, are there and he’s (President Barack Obama) not abandoned them even though there was some indication that he might.”
The Paul campaign used the Londonderry town hall to announced the endorsement of 20 state representatives, with eight of those state lawmakers at the town hall. The event was the last of three stops on Monday for Paul in the first-in-the-nation primary state. He headlined a business roundtable at Aspen Insurance in Manchester and met separately behind closed doors with business leaders, state lawmakers and GOP activists.
A new poll released Sunday indicated Paul tied with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at the top of a crowed pack of candidates and potential GOP contenders. According to a Bloomberg Politics/St. Anselm College survey, Paul and Walker were at 12% support among likely GOP primary voters in New Hampshire, with Bush and Rubio at 11% and Donald Trump at 8%, New Jersey Gov. Christie at 7% and Cruz at 6%. Everyone else tested in the survey stood at 5% or lower.
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