Today was Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul’s 53rd birthday and he spent it with his wife — campaigning in Iowa. During a stop in Sioux City, Paul denounced President Obama’s executive orders on guns.
“I think what the president has done is unconstitutional because the constitution’s very clear that laws can only be created or passed by congress,” Paul said. “…We should do everything we can to stop this, not only because I think gun control doesn’t fix the problem — criminals tend not to pay too much attention to gun control — but because it endangers the balance of powers.”
Paul, who is a U.S. Senator from Kentucky, spoke to about 90 people in Sioux City’s Public Library and focused much of the discussion on foreign policy. Paul suggested the only way to pressure North Korea to stop its nuclear program is with “international pressure,” especially from North Korea’s neighbors.
“I think North Korea is one of the few nuclear powers that has some instability, that’s putting it lightly, in their leadership,” Paul said.
And Paul blamed both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton for failing to grasp the gravity of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
“When Bill Clinton was president he actually gave them $4 billion in foreign aid, hoping he would buy their discontinuing developing nuclear weapons and they took the $4 billion, pocketed it and laughed in our face,” Paul said.
Paul also blasted former President Clinton for considering a trip to North Korea to give a paid speech while his wife was secretary of state. Paul spoke to about 70 people in Carroll today, too, and he warned there will be economic consequences for the country if some of his rivals get their way on military spending.
“Every other Republican — Marco Rubio, Cruz, the works — they want to increase military spending by trillions of dollars. I’m the only one who says we can’t do that and be a strong nation, because you’ll go into bankruptcy,” Paul said. “On the Democratic side, they want to spend trillions of dollars, but for something else.”
The number one threat to the country is the federal government’s red ink, according to Paul, and he said the next president faces a bleak financial situation if the debt continues to grow.
“We will get weaker and weaker if we spend ourselves into a debtor’s prison,” Paul said.
Earlier tonight Paul was in Boone to highlight his concerns about the government’s “eminent domain” power to seize private property for public projects. Some landowners in the Boone area are fighting a pipeline project. The pipeline would carry crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois.
(Reporting in Sioux City by Woody Gottburg of KSCJ Radio; reporting in Carroll by Quinn Palmer of KCIM Radio & additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)