Rand Paul: Parties Should 'Narrow Focus' to Get Things Done

Image: Rand Paul: Parties Should 'Narrow Focus' to Get Things Done

Sunday, 26 Jan 2014 05:23 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Immigration reform and more is possible this year if both parties are willing to "narrow our focus," according to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who made a call Sunday for cooperation.

"Are we willing to narrow our focus and go after things that we can agree to and get them done, or are we going to stay so polarized that we always have to have our way or the highway?" the Kentucky Republican told host David Gregory on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

Paul, who has been mentioned as a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, made his call for cooperation just two days before President Barack Obama is set to deliver his State of the Union address to Congress Tuesday.

"The president and I don’t agree on every issue, but if you took 10 issues, I think there are two or three that we agree on," said Paul. "Why don’t we go after the issues that we agree on?"

For example, when it comes to immigration reform, while Republicans and Democrats don't agree on the comprehensive package, there are about half the items both sides can agree on. By narrowing the focus, at least some progress can be made on such issues, said Paul.

Meanwhile, the Kentucky senator, in a widely ranging interview with Gregory, also discussed various other items, including a front-page article in Sunday's New York Times  that discusses his attempts to take the libertarianism views of his father, Ron Paul, in to the mainstream.

"I think there always are perceptions of what is extreme versus what is mainstream," Paul told Gregory. "I've always said that, you know, spending what comes in, balancing your budget, is actually the very reasonable sort of proposal, and spending $1 trillion you don't have is an extreme proposal."

Paul also discussed other potential Republican nominees, including Mike Huckabee's  comments this week on the Democrats' "war on women" claims, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

"If there is a war on women," I think they won, said Paul. "The women in my family are incredibly successful...I don't see so much that women are downtrodden. I see women rising up and doing great things. And I try to never have discussions of anatomy unless I'm at a medical conference."

Paul, about Christie, said there is always room for moderate Republicans, like the New Jersey governor, but "the primary is a very conservative process. My understanding is that it will be more difficult for a moderate to make it through."

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