(Urbandale, IA) Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) during his last two stops on his swing through Iowa attempted to make the case with conservative activists that the Republican party needs to expand. Paul spoke to a capacity crowd at the Westside Conservative Club held at the Machine Shed restaurant in Urbandale. Later on he spoke to a smaller group that included large group representing the Chinese Association of Iowa.
In both places he expressed concern about President Barack Obama’s use of executive orders to accomplish what he couldn’t get Congress to pass. “One of the things that bothers me most about him is sort of this arrogance of thinking that gosh, he’s frustrated that he can’t get anything done so he’ll just do it. He said the other day ‘I have no choice, but to act.’ What does that mean? Does that mean because it is difficult in a democracy to convince other people to pass stuff. Because it is difficult that the Republicans control the House. It is difficult because there is 40 of us in the Senate and we can filibuster things? It is hard so he says, ‘I have no choice I have to act.’ He is just going to create his own law,” Paul said.
He said this is one of the biggest problems with the President because it “rips at the fabric of our republic.” He said the checks and balances and the separation of powers have kept American in a “steady keel.”
Paul also exhorted the party to expand and engage with those who have not traditionally been Republican voters. “We need a new GOP,” Paul said. He expressed the need for Republicans to address immigration reform.
After criticizing the President’s handling of the border crisis and how his policies that have been done by edict, not through Congress, have encouraged people to come illegally he said reform must be done, but it must be coupled with border security.
“I actually have an open mind when it comes to immigration, but you can’t do it without securing the border… Otherwise you send a signal to everybody ‘hey guys everybody who wants to come can come because we have an open border. Friedman talked about this – you can’t have a an open border and a welfare state,” Paul said.
“I am all for immigration, I’m not against immigration. In my home state, I don’t know if it is true here… In my state many farmers use migrant workers. I think we need a robust work visa program,” he added. “There should be some immigration reform that Republicans can be for, but it can’t be done by edict by a royal President because it creates havoc, and we have havoc on the border.”
He also stressed the need to go to places where Republicans have not gone before, like the Urban League, the NAACP conference, go engage with Detroit residents. He was asked about his visit to the University of California-Berkley. He said Republicans need to engage them on issues they care about. They may not care about a balanced budget, but they do care about privacy and student loans
He also addressed the talk of sending troops back in Iraq. He pointed out that Iraqis were unwilling to fight for Mosul so why should Americans?
He was asked about his position on marriage, and this particular issue could be a stumbling block for him with social conservatives and evangelicals. He said that he would prefer that it not become a Federal issue, but avoided bringing up federal judges who have struck down state constitutional amendments and state laws.
You can watch video of his speeches and Q&A below:
Additional Republican candidates spoke before Paul at the Victory Office in Urbandale you can watch their videos here.