Kentucky Senator and possible presidential candidate Rand Paul met potential voters at Fulchino Vineyard in Hollis, New Hampshire on Saturday, March 21st. Republican New Hampshire State Senator Kevin Avard, a Paul supporter, emceed the event that attracted over 100 “First in the Nation” primary voters.
The potential GOP field seeking the party’s nomination is expected to be wide. With Chris Christie, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham making recent visits to the state, Paul presented his case with what he says sets his campaign apart from others: a strict adherence to the entire Bill of Rights. Paul stated that, as a group, elected GOP lawmakers support the 2nd amendment but that wasn’t enough.
“But you want to defend the whole Bill of Rights. You can’t defend the 2nd amendment if you don’t support the 1st amendment. You can’t defend the 2nd amendment if you don’t defend the 4th amendment,” Paul said.
Regarding the 4th amendment, Paul turned to the National Defense Authorization Act’s “Indefinite Detention” clause found in section 1021 which reads:
c) …. The disposition of a person under the law of war… may include the following:
(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force…
Paul said: “We now have a law on our books called ‘Indefinite Detention.’ An American citizen can be detained without a trial… You want to know what the President said? He said ‘I’m signing this, I’m troubled by this, but I’m signing this but look at me, I’m a good man and will never use this.’ We won’t get into the discussion of whether that is true or not but the thing is laws are not about one individual, but who comes after them.”
When asked for comment, PANDA (People Against National Defense Authorization Act) Jason Casella had this to say about Paul’s remarks: “Though it’s excellent to see the Indefinite detention provisions and laws of war now contained in the NDAA are finally a topic of discussion for presidential hopefuls, the rest of the country has been taking action for years. It remains to be seen if the discussion moves to action in the 2016 races, but time and again it has been proven that if the people of America want their rights protected, it will be the people themselves to do it.”
Some of Senator Paul’s potential primary opponents have also weighed in on the NDAA:
Ted Cruz (S-TX), also a vocal opponent of the provision, stated this in his reasoning for voting against the 2014 NDAA:
“I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act. I am deeply concerned that Congress still has not prohibited President Obama’s ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens arrested on American soil without trial or due process.”
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on U.S. citizens suspected of having ties with Al Qaeda under NDAA section 1021 guidelines: “And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them: ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer.” (Source)
NH State Senator Kevin Avard had this to say about Senator Paul’s presentation:
“We need to be the party that defends not only the 2nd amendment but the 1st and 4th and 5th, meaning all the Bill of Rights and reach out to all groups in our society. National defense is the highest priority but so also is our national debt which is as much a part of our security.”
The most recent poll (NBC News/Marist) taken in New Hampshire has Senator Paul in 3rd place at 14% behind current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 15% and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 18%.
While the Senator has libertarian leaning roots, some in the Libertarian Party are split on Paul’s GOP candidacy. According to The Daily Beast, Nevada LP Chair Brett H. Pojunis stated that “‘Libertarian’ is now just a buzzword for Republicans like the Kentucky Senator. If Senator Paul was a libertarian: Well, OK then—join the Libertarian Party!”
With many undecided voters lingering in the Granite State, Paul’s presentation made this impression on NH resident Keith DeSantis:
“Senator Rand Paul emphasized not only the importance of the Bill of Rights, but why the Bill of Rights are important. His platform is focused on defending the entire Bill of Rights, instead of a single right or issue. It’s the message I think that appeals to a lot of people on both sides of the political spectrum.”