Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul campaigned Friday for Dr. Kelli Ward, who is running for Senate in Arizona, and suggested that the race is really part of a “battle” between conservatives and establishment.
Paul addressed Ward’s supporters at a rally in Scottsdale, telling them that she is a “constitutional conservative” who “will not be afraid of the establishment, and they will not boss her around.”
Ward — a former state senator — is running to replace incumbent GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, who opted not to pursue re-election in 2018. Former Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio and U.S. congresswoman Martha McSally are also seeking the GOP nomination.
At Friday’s rally, the main focus for both Ward and Paul was the fight against the Republican establishment in Washington, D.C.
Ward expressed her desire to “change the status quo” in the nation’s capital, while Paul — just over a week after he shut down the federal government over a spending bill — touted his status as possibly “the most unpopular person in Washington.”
“We have a lot of fake conservatives up there (in Washington),” Paul said
Paul detailed how, following the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, Republicans told voters they needed to control the House of Representatives. Republicans took back the House in the 2010 midterms, but then said they needed the Senate in order to enact meaningful legislative accomplishments.
Likewise, the GOP won the Senate in 2014, only to tell voters that what they really needed was the presidency in order to implement conservative reforms.
But even with control of both houses of Congress and the White House, Paul indicated that Republicans have not followed through on their promises, particularly regarding a repeal of Obamacare. Instead, they offered up what he called an “Obamacare lite” bill.
“You see, it makes a difference who you send up there. If they do not have the courage of their convictions, they will be a rubber stamp for leadership,” he stated. “This is going to be a battle of conservative versus the establishment.”
“The repeal of Obamacare failed,” Paul explained, “not because of Democrats, but because of Republicans. Republicans in name only.”
“You’ve got on them running in your Senate primary,” he added referring to McSally, “and that’s why if you elect the establishment candidate you’re going to get more of the same.”
But that’s not true of Ward, Paul said.
“You need someone with the courage of her convictions. Dr. Ward, I believe with all of my being, will go up there and she will not be afraid of the establishment, and they will not toss her around and they will not tell her what to do,” he stated.
Paul then touched on what he sees as a major problem facing America today — a government that is “literally out of control everywhere” in terms of spending.
Entitlement spending is a big part of this, according to the Kentucky Republican. These programs need to be reformed, he said, “not because you lack compassion but because you have compassion, and we will have nothing left for the poor or anybody else if we run the country into the ground.”
There’s a similar problem when it comes to military spending, Paul indicated, noting that while he supports America’s armed forces, “we can’t have a blank check for the military.”
The remainder of Paul’s speech touched on the importance of the Fourth Amendment, especially when it comes to abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
It was a topic that Paul also discussed at a news conference prior to the rally, where he told The Western Journal his “biggest concern” regarding FISA abuse is that biased intelligence officials can obtain access to Americans’ private data without a warrant
“Madison said that men are not angels, and that’s why we put all these checks and balances in there,” Paul stated, referring to James Madison, who is credited as being the “father” of the U.S. Constitution.
He went on to indicate that ideally, the bias of officials at the FBI would be checked by a FISA judge, who decides whether or not they can get a warrant to surveil American citizens on U.S. soil.
“So really what you’re supposed to have is the FBI, if it has people that are biased — let’s say they’re really liberal or they’re really conservative — the check and balance should be they have to ask a judge for a warrant,” Paul said.
“And that’s my biggest concern,” he said, adding that there is “this enormous database” with many Americans in it.
Paul was talking about a database of information created under section 702 of FISA. That part of the law permits American intelligence agencies to surveil the communications of foreigners in foreign lands without first obtaining a warrant, according to Fox News.
The program — which many lawmakers say is vital in the fight against terrorism — was reauthorized last month by both houses of Congress and President Donald Trump, despite the concerns of privacy advocates like Paul.
One of the reasons Paul said he supports Ward is that she “will be with us on privacy and the Fourth Amendment.”
“This is an important race,” he told attendees at the rally. “Kelli has one of the best chances of winning of any liberty candidate. And I don’t want to kid you that it will be easy.”
“It’s only going to happen if the grassroots decide that enough is enough.”
The Republican primary for the Senate race will be held on Aug. 28. Recent polling has Ward in third place among the GOP candidates, with a large percentage still undecided.
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