Rand Paul

January 21, 2016

I Am Senator, Doctor, and Presidential Candidate Rand Paul, AMA!

Hi Reddit. This is Rand Paul, Senator and Doctor from Kentucky. I'm excited to answer as many questions as I can, Ask Me Anything!

Proof and even more proof.

I'll be back at 7:30 ET to answer your questions!

Thanks for joining me here tonight. It was fun, and I'd be happy to do it again sometime. I think it's important to engage people everywhere, and doing so online is very important to me. I want to fight for you as President. I want to fight for the whole Bill of Rights. I want to fight for a sane foreign policy and for criminal justice reform. I want you to be more free when I am finished being President, not less. I want to end our debt and cut your taxes. I want to get the government out of your way, so you, your family, your job, your business can all thrive. I have lots of policy stances on my website, randpaul.com, and I urge you to go there. Last but not least -- if you know anyone in Iowa or New Hampshire, tell them all about my campaign!

Thank you.

Hi Dr. Paul,

What do you think of the popular gif of your father? On a scale of funny to hilarious, how would you rate it? Said gif

Definitely hilarious. I see it pop up on our social media all the time. I like the new version with me AND my dad in it.

IT’S HAPPENING!!! Rand Paul, thank you for taking the time to enter a forum with potential voters. It certainly helps us to feel like our concerns are being listened to and that we may actually have a chance of being represented.

It should be obvious to you, but I want to make it clear, that many of the people here are quite tired of politics and what normally comes with it. AVOIDANCE of questions/details being a large one. You would do yourself a great service and to this community to address what might be more difficult questions and to answer any questions you respond to honestly and in detail. Reddit users can get quite ornery when they believe they are simply being played with. Anyway…

QUESTION: Which one of your political views do you believe catches the most flak from the general public, but doesn’t deserve the amount of criticism it has received? Why?

[EDIT] Thanks again, Rand. Please feel free to come back and answer any questions you didn't have the time to address. Good Luck in Iowa!

Foreign policy. There are so many people who misrepresent my views as being isolationist and not being for a strong national defense. We make ourselves stronger by not being involved in every civil war around the world and not being the world's policeman.

Dr. Paul, first thank you for doing this. As a younger Republican, you are the only one that shares most of my views, so it is refreshing to have a candidate like that for once. Also, being a medical student, knowing you were a physician first is very important to me. I feel like it is difficult to make decisions about medicine unless you have been there yourself.

On to my question, what are your thoughts on the increasing shortage of primary care physicians in the country, and what would you propose could be done to help alleviate this? Looking at almost $300k+ debt when I graduate, I personally feel like this is one of the major problems. With the massive debts medical students have to incur, it is not financially viable to actually become a PCP. I can specialize and pay that off in a few years, or become a PCP and pay that off for decades. Add onto this the extra bureaucratic hassle and to me it is just not an attractive position anymore. Everyone talks healthcare reform, but without physicians, it all won't matter anyway.

Thanks again for doing this, as well as running. Your rational intelligence is sorely needed in this country.

Doctors don't want the government to tell them how to run their practice and patients don't want the government coming in between them and their doctor. I come from a family of doctors. Far too many people are telling their kids not to go into medicine because there's so much bureaucracy and government interference.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?

I'm running for president. I hear the current president didn't answer this vital question. We should expect more out of the next president. Obviously the answer is 100 duck sized horses.

If elected President in what ways would you help legalize cannabis?

I would remove prohibition of cannabis from federal law and give authority back to the states to decide.

I would remove prohibition of cannabis from federal law and give authority back to the states to decide.

I'm also a sponsor of the Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015. It allows businesses in legal marijuana states to use banks so they can operate. https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1726/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22Marijuana+Access+Banking%22%5D%7D

Thanks for doing the AMA, Senator Paul!

What political figures/writers/thinkers have had the most influence on your thought, and in what ways?

I come from an intellectual tradition that values liberty. I love reading Hayek, Mises, and Rothbard. I started a reading program for my interns in the senate with books from these thinkers. We sit down and discuss them as a group each semester.

I love your plan to tackle the national debt. However it seems really hard to get people in congress to approve cutting back on things. How do you plan get congress to approve budget cuts to lots of programs?

Thank you! The first thing you have to do is have a plan. I've written detailed 5 year budget plans that have spending cuts in every department. We have to reverse what's going on in congress. The left and the right make deals: the left gets more welfare spending and the right gets more military spending. It's going to take the leadership of a president who isn't afraid to cut spending across the board.

Thank you! The first thing you have to do is have a plan. I've written detailed 5 year budget plans that have spending cuts in every department. We have to reverse what's going on in congress. The left and the right make deals: the left gets more welfare spending and the right gets more military spending. It's going to take the leadership of a president who isn't afraid to cut spending across the board.

Here are the specifics of my budget plan: http://www.paul.senate.gov/files/documents/MASTERBUDGET.pdf


It takes a lot of work. I don't let anyone touch a strand of it but me.

Thanks for doing this. I've followed you and your dad for years so I know most of your policy positions so I'll pose an alternate question:

If you had to exist in an alternate universe, would you choose Star Wars universe, Harry Potter universe, Lord of the Rings universe, or some other?


(If you choose Star Wars, keep in mind what happens to most politicians in that universe).


If you've been following along on social media you should already know the answer! Lord of Rings of course. We can't elect Gollum! https://www.facebook.com/notes/rand-paul/electing-gollum-should-not-be-our-objective/10154006377868054

What is your plan to combat isis?

First thing we should do is stop arming them. They ride around with a billion dollars worth of our humvees. We can stop intervening in civil wars and toppling dictators and making radical jihadists stronger.

Hi, Senator Paul! I'm happy to say that I'll be voting for the first time this year, and as it stands now, you are the candidate that matches my positions on major issues far more closely than any other candidate.

I'm interested to know about your thoughts on getting legislation through two opposing sides of a particularly stubborn congress. It seems that less and less is getting done lately because of a growing polarity both in government and in American society. That said, my two main questions follow:

  1. What do you think is the best strategy for getting both parties on board to take action on bipartisan issues?

  2. What do you think must change (if anything) in the general legislative process to make bipartisan agreements more common?

Thank you very much, and good luck with the campaign and election!

People look at bipartisanship the wrong way. Too often in Washington bipartisanship means a handful of people make backroom deals where they "compromise." Real bipartisanship is being open and finding areas where we actually agree and pushing those issues forward. I've worked hard with my colleagues on the left to reform the criminal justice system: https://www.randpaul.com/issue/criminal-justice-reforms

Do you, Justin Amash, and Thomas Massie ever just hang out and get a burrito?

Fighting for liberty does make you really hungry so yeah we do.

As POTUS, will you release the missing 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission?

Yes. I'm a senate sponsor of a bill to release those 28 pages. Here's a video of me discussing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUYLE2R4Dqw

Hi Senator Paul, thanks for doing this AMA!

My question is, how can I help support your campaign while under the legal voting age? As a teen in New Jersey, I don't see many opportunities to spread the word of your campaign.

You can get involved with our Students for Rand organization! Anyone, voting age or not, can sign up and be a part of our phone from home program: https://randpaul.com/students You can also make sure you're sharing information on social media and spreading the word!

If you had to pick 3 key differences between you and the Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, what would they be?

  1. I have actual plans and policy to solve our problems
  2. I in now way shape or form intend to shut down the internet
  3. I have way better hair

Hello Rand! Best of luck on the campaign trail and I can't wait to vote for you in the New Hampshire primary in a couple weeks.

I was one of the students who wore your "StandWithRand" shirts at Ted Cruz's Presidential Bid announcement at Liberty University last year, which we were required to attend. We figured that if we had to attend Cruz's rally we might as well show who we actually support. I just wondered if you had heard about that since it made the national news. Here is a couple of pictures of the members of the LU Students for Rand Club at the event for those interested (I'm not in either picture).




My question for you is this. What do you plan to do regarding the whole college tuition/debt crisis our nation faces? I know you do not support "free universal college tuition" as Senator Bernie Sanders does (and I applaud you for that) but I wonder what reforms or ideas you do hope to implement in our Federal loan program/national college tuition hikes, if any?

Thank you for holding fast to the principles of libertarianism and freedom!

I would like to make college tuition tax deductible and get the government out the business of running the program so market competition can work: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/04/10/rand-paul-college-tuition-should-be-a-tax-writeoff/

Good evening Senator Paul,

As a currently enrolled student in school , i work a part time job over the weekend to make a few extra dollars on the side. A big part of my paycheck goes torwards taxes , with federal tax being the most. If elected , how will you approach the issue of high federal taxes and unreasonable government spendings?

Thank you!

I'm the only candidate with both a flat tax cut that gets rid of the IRS and a 5 year budget plan. We should be able to do both, cut taxes and reform spending. randpaul.com/issue/taxes


What is the one economic or classically liberal notion that you think fervent supporters of Bernie Sanders are missing or do not understand?

Eventually with socialism you run out of other peoples money. Also, what Bernie seems to not realize is that all of these new programs, taxes, and regulations have a real effect on everyday people and their wallets.

Hi Senator Paul! My question is: What issue/problem do you believe is the most important that our nation faces today and why? How would you remedy the situation?

Thank you! (from a huge supporter)

The national debt. It's why I ran for office. It's why I'm running for president. We have to get it under control.

A lot of reddit users support Bernie Sanders. What would you say, given the primaries turn out to be Bernie and yourself, to best turn people to your side?

Also, I just wanted to say thanks for doing an AMA! Like seriously, you're one of the best candidates and you need more coverage

Thank you! A debate with me and Bernie would be great. People would be well served by it. I've already publicly offered to debate Bernie right now. In the Dem debate Bernie seemed to be uncomfortable talking about the actual cost of his programs for tax payers. We need real solutions without bankrupting our country.

Hello Rand,

What is your favorite kind of whiskey?

Kentucky bourbon, of course!

what is the first thing you would do as president?

Repeal every unconstitutional executive order!

Hello Rand,

I write for my school newspaper much like you did. In your old articles you seem to hold the same views, it is clear you do not pander for votes. Do you believe there are any hard obstacles that we as a nation have to unite and face that other politicians won't touch due to criticism?

Auditing the Fed is one of the hardest obstacles we face and there are some who won't stand up to the Fed because of their special interests. But it's one that we need to unite around because we have a right to know what the Federal Reserve is doing with our nation's money supply. https://www.randpaul.com/issue/audit-the-fed

What's your favorite movie?

Enemy of the State! It's a thriller about a guy who fights the NSA. In real life I fight the NSA for your right to privacy so it's definitely my favorite. https://randpaul.com/issue/ending-nsa-spying

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Rand Paul conducted on Reddit on 2016-01-21. The Reddit AMA can be found here.