Rand Paul: Lindsey Graham "doesn't rise beyond middle school kind of rhetoric"


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During a recent interview with Reason magazine Editor in Chief Matt Welch, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) defended himself againt recent charges by fellow Republican Sen. Linsdey Graham (R-SC).

Go here for the full interview.

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Runs 1:20

Produced by Todd Krainin. Cameras by Meredith Bragg and Josh Swain.

This is a rush transcript. All quotes should be checked against the audio for accuracy.

Reason: Lindsey Graham said, as part of his critique of your performance, that you're more scared of the NSA than you are of ISIS. Is that true?

Rand Paul: You know, I think there are people who…you have to consider the source. This is a person who said that he would use censorship if he needed to. This is the same person who said, "Well, when people ask for an attorney, you should tell them to shut up." This is the same person who's also said, "If they ask for a judge just drone 'em." I mean, some of the stuff I think doesn't rise beyond middle school kind of rhetoric. So it's hard to know when to respond to people like that. 

But I think ultimately if you want to talk among adults about, "Is ISIS a threat to our country?" Yes. "Is NSA a threat sometimes to our liberty?" Yes. I personally don't think you have to trade one for the other. I don't think you have to trade your liberty for security. I think you can have both. I think the Constitution can be a powerful tool. The Constitution never said we wouldn't go after records of criminals or terrorists. The Constitution just says you have to individualize the suspicion; put a person's name on it. I tell people, "I want to collect more records of terrorists, just less records of innocent Americans."