Rand Paul video violated Senate rules

By Ted Barrett and Athena Jones, CNN
Updated 5:07 PM ET, Mon June 1, 2015

Washington (CNN)The presidential campaign of Sen. Rand Paul took down a web video Monday after the Senate Rules Committee determined its use of Senate floor proceedings in the posting violated the chamber's rules.

The video, which was posted on YouTube on Friday, used excerpts of a recent floor speech the Kentucky Republican delivered about his opposition to continuing a National Security Agency program that sweeps up a vast amount of call data from Americans in its search for terrorists.

"Use of any duplication of television coverage of the proceedings of the Senate for campaign purposes is strictly prohibited,"
said Brian Hart, a spokesman for Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, the chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, citing the standing rules of the Senate.

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"The Rules Committee advised Sen. Paul's office and they agreed to take the video down," he said.

The dramatic Internet video, which includes ominous music, opens with historical footage of President Ronald Reagan warning against trading freedom for security.

"We should be in open rebellion saying 'enough is enough, we're not going to take it anymore'," Paul says in his floor speech.

The video also included a collage of Paul supporters taking selfies in front of TV's with Paul delivering his speech on C-SPAN in the background.

Spokespeople for Paul's Senate office and presidential campaign refused to comment and referred questions to the Senate Rules Committee.

Asked if Paul faced any punishment for his improper use of the floor video, the spokesman for the Rules Committee said any more formal action would have to come from the Senate Ethics Committee.

But he said almost all concerns are handled before getting to that stage. In this case, the committee pointed out the problem and Paul responded by taking down the video.

Several of Paul's Senate colleagues had accused Paul of grandstanding during the debate over the National Security Agency's programs as a means of helping fundraise for his presidential campaign.

"I think he obviously has a higher priority for his fundraising and political ambitions than for the security of the nation," said Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on Sunday.