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- 11-13-2012, 03:42 PM #1
Rand Paul wants 'path to citizenship' for illegal aliens!!!!!
Welcome to the Rand Paul evolution
By MANU RAJU | 11/13/12 4:23 AM EST
He’ll push to loosen marijuana penalties, legalize undocumented immigrants and pursue a less aggressive American foreign policy.
Call it the Rand Paul Evolution.
(PHOTOS: Rand Paul)
In the wake of Barack Obama’s reelection win and ahead of a possible 2016 White House bid of his own, the Kentucky Republican plans to mix his hard-line tea party conservatism with more moderate policies that could woo younger voters and minorities largely absent from the GOP coalition. It’s the latest tactic of the freshman senator to inject the Libertarian-minded views shared by his retiring father into mainstream Republican thinking as the party grapples with its future.
In an interview with POLITICO, Paul said he’ll return to Congress this week pushing measures long avoided by his party. He wants to work with liberal Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and Republicans to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for pot possession. He wants to carve a compromise immigration plan with an “eventual path” to citizenship for illegal immigrants, a proposal he believes could be palatable to conservatives. And he believes his ideas — along with pushing for less U.S. military intervention in conflicts overseas — could help the GOP broaden its tent and appeal to crucial voting blocs that handed Democrats big wins in the West Coast, the Northeast and along the Great Lakes.
(Also on POLITICO: Rand Paul seizes the moment)
“We have three big regions where we’re not competitive,” Paul said. “And we have to be competitive in those regions.”
Paul, 49, was elected on the tea party wave that fueled GOP landslide victories in 2010, often declaring on the campaign trail that he had a “message” from the tea party: “We have come to take our government back.”
But two years later, the tea party agenda has stalled in Congress, and House Republicans who ran on that purity platform in 2010 began to tout bipartisan compromises with Democrats in 2012. Nationally, the GOP recognizes it has a demographic problem from New England to the Southwest it needs to correct ahead of the 2014 midterm elections and the next White House race in 2016.
(Also on POLITICO: 5 fiscal cliff scenarios)
Paul hasn’t given up on the tea party agenda; he plans to lead what he says is a national movement to help usher through a constitutional amendment limiting House members and senators to 12 years of service to “throw some of the bums out just for length of service.”
But after his first two years in elected office, few, if any of Paul’s goals on his 2010 tea party platform have gone anywhere. He wanted to force lawmakers to wait one day for every 20 pages of a bill before a vote can occur — that never saw the light of day. He wanted to make sure every bill explicitly lays out its constitutional authority — that proposal is gathering dust. Often, he finds himself on the losing end of his own party — most notably on his recent push to slash foreign aid that failed resoundingly 10-81 over fears it would have weakened national security.
Now, Paul appears to want a more influential role in his party than simply the bomb-throwing back-bencher with a penchant for grabbing headlines. Unlike his father, retiring Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who toiled on the GOP fringes for years and battled with the party establishment, the younger Paul seems to have developed political savvy in dealing with GOP leaders.
As his father’s supporters were battling with Mitt Romney officials over seating delegates at the Republican National Convention, the younger Paul addressed the convention crowd in a prime-time address, offering support for “our nominee” to “lead our party and our nation forward.”
The establishment has also brought Paul into the fold. Jesse Benton, a former political aide to both Pauls, is running Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign in 2014. McConnell and Rand Paul have become increasingly close political allies after the minority leader strongly backed Paul’s primary challenger in 2010. McConnell needs the energy of the younger, conservative Libertarian-minded voters in his state, while Paul could use the blessing from the GOP leader as he lays the groundwork for a possible run for national office in 2016.
In the interview, Paul said he would support McConnell’s run for a sixth term in 2014, but he was mum on whether he’d vie for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 — when he’ll also be up for reelection for a second Senate term.
“I’m interested in the national debate,” Paul said simply.
Paul plans to inject himself into the middle of the GOP’s emotional immigration debate in the wake of Romney losing swing states with heavy Latino populations like Florida, Colorado and Nevada. Paul is working on a novel plan that he says would “assimilate” many of the 12 million illegal immigrants currently in the country. Those individuals, he said, could apply for legal status, but immigration would then be clamped down in the interim. He also says his plan would toughen security at the border.
“I want to show what conservatives would or can accept,” he said in describing his plan. “If we assimilate those who are here, however they got here — don’t make it an easy path for citizenship. There would be an eventual path, but we don’t make anybody tomorrow a citizen who came here illegally. But if they’re willing to work, willing to pay taxes, I think we need to normalize those who are here.”
Paul said the “trade-off” would be “not to accept any new legal immigrants while we’re assimilating the ones who are here.” Asked if he is concerned about the ripple effect that could cause around the world, Paul said the details over which countries would be affected are still in the works.
But it’s clear Paul wants to have a voice in the roiling debate, even as other prospective 2016 GOP players, such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, plan to assert their views when Congress takes up immigration reform next year.
“I think I might have the ability to get out in front of this issue,” Paul said when asked if he believed conservatives would cry “amnesty” over such a plan. “I think I might have the ability because nobody really questions — at least not so far — whether I’m conservative enough.”
This week, Paul also plans to re-engage with Leahy and others about his stance on marijuana, saying it makes little sense to have tough laws against possession that could destroy a young person’s life.
After Colorado and Washington state each approved recreational use of marijuana in ballot initiatives last week, Paul said it “wouldn’t hurt” for his party to take a softer stand on the issue, saying it would show that the GOP is a “little bit rational” and “reasonable” if penalties for pot possession were weakened.
“I don’t think we should put people in jail for mandatory sentences of nonviolent drug crimes, particularly 20-year sentences,” Paul said. “I’d just hate to see somebody’s kid get put in jail for 20 years for making a mistake.”
But even as he says he wants to reach across the aisle, Paul questions Obama’s mandate to raise taxes on wealthy families and appears poised to oppose any GOP-backed deal to raise revenue to cut the deficit, saying, “I want to send even less money” to Washington.
And to score any legislative achievements, Paul would need to repair relations with Democrats in Senate races whom he attacked with a bitter ad campaign over their votes to continue foreign aid to Libya, Pakistan and Egypt.
“He showed me his true colors, and it’s a shame,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a target of the Paul attacks, said in a recent interview, calling the effort “callous.”
Read more: Welcome to the Rand Paul evolution - Manu Raju - POLITICO.com
- 11-13-2012, 08:26 PM #2
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
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Rand Paul will probably be run out of the Tea Party movement for this. Over 90% of real Conservatives reject amnesty or a path to citizenship for illegals because allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens and voters will permanently destroy America's borders and those like us fighting to secure them.
WClick here to learn more about William Gheen President of ALIPAC
- 11-13-2012, 08:30 PM #3
- Join Date
- May 2007
- South West Florida (Behind friendly lines but still in Occupied Territory)
He ain't his daddy and doesnt have the support he thinks he does..... time for retirementAmnesty for 11 million will increase debt by $6.3 trillion And that doesn't count costs of 22 million additional legal immigrants in just 10 years!
A Nation of of 3rd World Broke A@@es "AmeriKa" cannot afford an Invasion of Broke A@@es from the 3rd World