Tags: John McCain | NSA/Surveillance | Rand Paul | rand paul | patriot act | fundraising | campaign

GOP Denounces Rand Paul for Patriot Act 'Lies, Fundraising'

Image: GOP Denounces Rand Paul for Patriot Act 'Lies, Fundraising'
(Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 01 Jun 2015 07:44 AM

Republican colleagues have taken aim at Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul after he asserted his prerogative under the Senate rules to delay a final vote on the Patriot Act, forcing the controversial surveillance program to lapse at the midnight deadline Sunday night.

The criticism began a few hours before at a meeting which Paul skipped. Indiana Sen. Dan Coats accused Paul of "lying" about the issue to raise money for his presidential campaign, Politico reported.

"Anything that goes against anything he believes, he never comes," Coats said in an interview. "It's always helpful if you're in there working to have your position understood, and we all learn a lot and we all try to come to a much better understanding of what we're trying to do."

"He needed to be there," Nevada Sen. Dean Heller told Politico. "He really needed to be there."

Arizona Sen. John McCain pointed out that Paul had missed "a number of meetings" that Republicans have held on the Patriot Act in recent weeks.

"I know what this is about — I think it's very clear – this is, to some degree, a fundraising exercise," McCain said Sunday, according to Politico. "He obviously has a higher priority for his fundraising and political ambitions than for the security of the nation."

Paul's campaign has sent out numerous fundraising appeals focused on his opposition to the Patriot Act, while a super PAC supporting him produced a video casting the dispute as a professional wrestling-style "Brawl for Liberty" between Paul and President Barack Obama, The Associated Press reported.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Paul's colleague from Kentucky, was also incensed at Paul's refusal to allow a two-week renewal of less controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, which included wiretaps for terrorism suspects and tracking of "lone wolf" suspects not affiliated with a terrorist group.

But Paul seemed to relish the negative attention from the party's establishment.

"Tonight begins the process of ending bulk collection," Paul proclaimed on the Senate floor, just hours before key provisions of the law expired, according to Politico.

"People here in town think I'm making a huge mistake," he said. "Some of them, I think, secretly want there to be an attack on the United States so they can blame it on me."

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Republican colleagues have taken aim at Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul after he asserted his prerogative under the Senate rules to delay a final vote on the Patriot Act, forcing the controversial surveillance program to lapse at the midnight deadline Sunday night.
rand paul, patriot act, fundraising, campaign, gop
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2015-44-01
Monday, 01 Jun 2015 07:44 AM
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