13 News Exclusive: One-on-one interview with Sen. Rand Paul
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - 13 News reporter Kelly Dean sat down with Senator Rand Paul for a virtual interview on topics including, Tuesday night’s debate, Breonna Taylor investigation, grand jury recording, Supreme Court, hate groups.
Q: Many here in Kentucky, are complaining that the system got this Brianna Taylor ruling wrong. Do you think that the process and the system is broken? And do you agree with the charges that were handed down in the Breonna Taylor case?
A: “You know, I guess I look at it a little differently. I look at what happened and say, What can we do to prevent it from happening again. And I think the mistake is no knock raids, I don’t like those. That’s where the police come in unannounced. Because I think it’s dangerous not only for the people whose house they’re entering, but it’s also dangerous for the police. And so I think on both sides, if you want to protect our policemen who do good job and try their best, and also if you want to protect people on the other side, they’re doing no knock raids is a bad idea. Now they came out and said, this wasn’t a no knock raid. But nevertheless, it was a very quick and abrupt raid after midnight, I would think that a better policy would be as if you suspect someone being a drug dealer, and there’s a man and woman inside, it’d be a lot safer. If you put a stake out the old fashioned stakeout and you waited till the guy left to go get breakfast in the morning, and you arrested him on the way to get breakfast, you knocked on the door and searched it with a search warrant after the man had left in the daytime. And I think you can still probably get the same amount of information with less danger to the police. And we have to remember the police policeman was shot here to the first shooting came from inside. As far as who’s guilty of what crime. I don’t want to weigh in on that because I don’t know who was standing where I don’t know the trajectory of the bullets. I mean, to be on a jury for this, you’re gonna have to really get your put yourself in the place of the policeman, the place of the person inside. And you’re gonna have to say, Where was the person standing? Where did the bullets go? Where were the people that were being shot at? what’s appropriate, what’s inappropriate, what’s a crime and what’s just bad policy. And so really, you know, when someone’s life depends on this, I think a jury needs to do this without politicians saying who’s guilty of this. I am sad that the policeman was shot. I’m also sad that Breonna Taylor lost her life. And I’ve tried to be middle in the middle of this in a reasonable way to try to figure out a way where it doesn’t happen again. But that’s kind of what my position is.”
Q: With Daniel Cameron, releasing the grand jury recordings today, do you agree with that choice to have those being made public?
A: “I think that’s a mistake, because grand juries are secret. And that’s a long standing tradition. The reason they’re secret is because let’s say for example, someone in your community is accused of a terrible crime, or the worst thing I can imagine, is an adult being accused falsely of some sort of, you know, sexual crime or molestation. But it turns out, they were innocent, you take it to a grand jury. They debate all that in private. And really, sometimes when someone’s not indicted, they don’t even release the name because you can be damaged by a false accusation. So I think, really, the grand jury is free and open because it’s secret. And then when it comes out, it’s an indictment. But that’s not guilt. Now we move forward with a trial where all of it will be debated and discussed again. But this time with both sides being represented, a grand jury only hears from the prosecutor, the jury, and the trial will hear from both sides, and you will hear the whole story. And even then it’s tough. I mean, being on a jury is tough to look at the facts. And both sides will be saying this is the facts. And this is what we see. And you have to figure out what the truth is. And a jury is an important part of our system. But I don’t think releasing the grand jury is a good idea because its intention was to be secret, and I think it will only inflame things, and I think it’s gonna make it worse. So I don’t know what he could have done. He could have appealed the ruling, I guess, by the court and seen what happened. But I think defending the grand jury system is probably bigger and more important than the individual case is defending how grand juries work.”
Q: Switching gears to last night’s debate, President Trump never directly condemned white supremacy. How is that something that you respond to?
A: “You know, I think Republicans need to be very clear and unequivocal that we condemn white supremacism. I do. I will say it now unequivocally, but I think we also need to condemn any form of collectivist thought that treats people as groups, whether it’s white, black, this or that, or any laws that sort of say we’re gonna base this law on race. We should be basing laws on being completely blind to race and not injecting race into our laws. And there’s enough blame to go around to a lot of different groups. Not only should we condemn white supremacy, but you know, Black Lives Matter in Louisville is encouraging people To attack political leaders and terrorize them, when my wife and I were attacked by a mob, the head of black lives matter in Louisville said that she was all for it, that she could see the fear in our eyes. And that that’s what they wanted that she had to live in fear. And so everyone else should have to live in fear, but that means basically she’s endorsing terrorism. So this shouldn’t be one side that we’re just condemning, you know, white supremacy, which we should. But we should also condemn bigotry on both sides of this issue, and not let people get away with saying, Oh, you know, the lives of the policemen don’t matter. We don’t care if you kill policemen. That’s what’s coming, the hatred from some on the other side. So we really need to be equal opportunity in our condemnation of people who want to treat individuals as a collective and group people by race. I think that’s always a mistake, whether it’s a law or it’s your ideology to group and treat and condemn people based on being part of a group, we should look at everyone individually in their actions.”
Q: How did you think his performance was last night by each candidate?
A: “You know, I think the debate was exhausting, and hard to watch. And so I wasn’t a big fan of the way it worked out. I think they could do better, maybe with longer answer time. So there’s less interruption. So I think the debate could have been designed better. On the policy front, I think it was a big deal that Joe Biden would not give an opinion on whether or not he’s for packing the Supreme Court. I think if democrats come in and want to disrupt the Supreme Court by adding democrat judges, when republicans come back in, they’ll do the same thing, and before you know it, we’ll have several dozen judges. And I think we’ll [have] disrupted a long time tradition of nine justices on the Supreme Court, I think, 150 years. And so I’m not for that. And the fact that Biden won’t comment on it worries me that if he’s elected, he will be in favor of just expanding, expanding, expanding the Supreme Court. I also think it’s important that we should ask him questions on-- is he going to make Washington DC a state? The Constitution specifically did not make DC a state. And I think it would dilute the value of every other senators' vote, particularly in much bigger states to give a city, medium-sized city, two senators. So I think there were some important questions that we didn’t quite get an answer to.”
Q: Do you think that it’s fair that Democrats are trying to use republicans words against them from 2016 when it comes to nominating this new supreme court justice?
A: “You know, I think that the Constitution says that it’s the Senate’s job to advise and consent or withhold consent, frankly. And so whoever is in the majority in the Senate gets to make those decisions. I wasn’t for consenting to President Obama’s pick, but I am in favor of consenting to President Trump’s and that is something that is based on, you know, running for office running for office on the things that I believe in. And, you know, I’ve never said that it’s not the prerogative. In fact, I think it is the constitutional prerogative of us to make a decision on who we will consent to. But I’m excited about Amy Coney Barrett, I think she’s gonna be a great pick. She’s been an academic, she’s a mom with seven kids. And, you know, I really hope that the democrats won’t go down the road of this personal vendetta and destruction about attacking a woman who I think is actually a great role model for kids across America.”
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