Friday, August 7, 2015

Rand Paul goes on offensive in first GOP debate

In GOP Debate, Rand Paul Goes on Offense - US News - David Catanese:

August 7, 2015 - "Donald Trump may have wanted to avoid a fight in the first Republican presidential primary debate of the season.

"But Rand Paul had other ideas....

"An energized Paul seized on Trump's answer to the first question of the evening, when the real estate mogul refused to pledge not to run a third-party candidacy if he failed to attain the Republican nomination.

"'He's already hedging his bets because he's used to buying politicians,' Paul interjected in a moment that kick-started a highly charged debate.

"Almost 50 minutes later, Paul interrupted Trump again when the bombastic businessman tried to explain away his past support for a Canadian-style health care system.

"'News flash: The Republican Party has been fighting against a single-payer health system for a decade,' Paul charged.

"Trump mostly shrugged off the slight, telling Paul, 'You're having a hard time tonight.'

"He could have gone back at Paul much harder in typical Trump bluster. But the national leader in GOP primary polling wasn't too hot or too cold. He didn't provide many specifics on issues. He also didn't launch any over-the-top attacks....

"If anything, the debate highlighted how difficult it is to stand out in a field of 10, which is why Paul appeared to take the biggest risk of the evening by going on the offensive.

"His other tussle came with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over national security.

"When Paul said he wanted the National Security Agency to 'collect more records from terrorists but less records from innocent Americans,' Christie called the answer 'completely ridiculous.'

"Paul subsequently stressed that those seeking records should obtain a warrant.

"'Senator, you know, when you're sitting in a subcommittee just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that,' Christie said as the two began talking over each other.

"Paul then delivered his most effective blow of the night.

"'I don't trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug,' he said, referring to Christie's embrace of the president following Hurricane Sandy but right before the 2012 election.

"The audience of about 4,500 burst into roaring gasps and applause in response to the line. That embrace of President Barack Obama has haunted Christie for three years, sowing distrust among the conservative base, and Paul pulled off the scab."

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