In anticipation of the first debate of the 2016 presidential campaign, Glenn interviewed Senator Rand Paul on radio Thursday. Listen to the radio segment below.
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it may contain errors.
GLENN: Well, I don't think there's much to say here this hour. We have Rand Paul with us to talk about tonight's debate. We start there now.
GLENN: Welcome to the program. Senator Rand Paul. Rand, how are you, sir?
RAND: Very good. Thanks for having me.
GLENN: You bet. I want to talk about a couple of things. I want to start with some surprising news. I believe Pat Gray who is a partner on the show is about to give you a promise ring.
RAND: I don't know what to say.
GLENN: I know. He has not been a fan of yours for a long time. Didn't not like you. Just not been a big fan. Then you came out with your tax proposal, and he now cannot -- literally he said, I can't even remember why I didn't like him.
So let's start there.
RAND: That's a success. Mesmerized with the one-page tax return.
PAT: Yeah. Indeed
GLENN: I will tell you, your tax return is truly shock and awe for anybody who has heard it. It is the kind of bold moves that the country really truly needs. Will you just take a few minutes and explain what you're proposing?
RAND: You know, we have a 70,000-page tax code right now, and I think it chases American jobs and companies overseas because, one, it's complicated, but, two, we have some of the highest rates on businesses in the world. So we just want to get rid of the whole thing. Get rid of the whole thing. We end up with one rate. Fourteen and a half percent for business. Fourteen and a half percent for the individual. And we do something that no other flat tax has ever done. We get rid of the payroll tax. So a worker making $40,000 would have $2,000 more in their paycheck.
PAT: Yes! Wow. That's phenomenal.
STU: You would think too the left would be in support of this. Because that's a regressive tax. It goes away as you get to higher incomes. I mean, the FICA tax is a great thing to target. And I don't know that I've ever heard anyone do it.
PAT: Except that they don't want any tax to go away, and that's the problem with the left.
But, Senator, does that fund the government at current levels?
RAND: Well, that's the thing, Glenn, I think the government needs to be a lot smaller. So it will fund over about 10 years, two to trillion dollars less government. But that's what I want. I want a much smaller government. In fact, I say starve the beast. Government is not good for us. Government, for the most part, gets in the way of business. Gets in the way of prosperity. And Thomas Paine it's a necessary evil. That's what it is. A necessary evil. So we should minimize government. Starve the beast. Have lower taxation. But here's what would happen, you would have a boom, an economic boom like you've never seen before in this country. And you also have to realize how old this tax proposal is. Not one leader in Washington among the Republican Party is for tax cuts anymore. I know you get frustrated with the leadership. You want to get really frustrated with Republican leadership. They're all for revenue neutral tax reform, which is shifting the burden around. And I tell people, if that's what we're for, I'm going home. Let's cut taxes. The last one who was really for it was Reagan. We haven't had a real Republican nominee since Reagan.
GLENN: Well, what you're proposing is something along the lines of Calvin Coolidge, which lead to the Roaring Twenties. And I know the left wants to say how horrible that was, but the Roaring Twenties -- in a ten-year period, we went from people having no refrigerators and electricity to almost everyone having refrigerators and electricity. It was a --
RAND: It gets us to the fundamental debate of, where are jobs created, and where is money best spent? And when you tell people in New Hampshire, you know what, I want to leave money in New Hampshire and never send it to Washington. But I also do the same in the south side of Chicago. I was with an African-American minister who has a private school on the south side of Chicago, across the street from the most dangerous intersection in the country. This is a man who is really trying to clean up the south side of Chicago and to help people. And he understands that the poverty programs, the war on poverty, doesn't help them. The money is stolen by the Chicago machine. If you're a cousin of somebody related to the mayor, you get money. The poor people never get the money anyway. And the poor people keep getting poor. But when I tell him, look, I'm going to leave 2 to $3 billion in the south side of Chicago that's not going to Washington, you don't have to beg to get it back. I'm just going to leave it in your community. People are starting to sit up and take notice.
GLENN: Okay. Let me switch topics. Hillary Clinton came out and she said she is absolutely proud and not moving on her support of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood says these are extremists that are trying to distort what they have done. They're mounting an attack on the Center for Medical Progress. The ones that made the videos over a three-year period.
Honestly, this to me is the clearest mark of evil I have ever seen. This puts us into killing factories. I mean, it's -- it puts us into a category I haven't seen since possibly Germany in the western world. And Congress doesn't seem to be moving -- you know, you try to mount that campaign. And that didn't really go anywhere.
RAND: See, the reason it didn't go anywhere is because we don't have enough votes yet. We will not be able to beat them until we get more people up there. You still have to have the battle. And we'll battle again on defunding. But we still don't have the votes on defunding also. You have to get to 60 votes to do anything. But it doesn't mean we shouldn't fight.
GLENN: No, I know.
RAND: And to me, there's some defining characters of a civilized people. And one is having respect for life. And if you don't have respect for life or you don't think there is something bigger than us or greater than us or something special about human life, then you're not getting it. And I think we'll lose everything else we have. Material prosperity. Everything else that goes along with civilization if we don't respect where life comes from.
And this is a tough debate for Planned Parenthood. These are fully formed babies with kidneys, livers, lungs. And when that doctor callously says, livers are popular for sale, not really even understanding that she's talking about a baby, that lack of humanity, I think, they can't -- they can't buy a PR campaign to overcome that callousness and that evilness.
GLENN: Let me ask you, because I think we're being shown -- you know, you just said. We can't long survive if we don't respect life.
We're not respecting life with Planned Parenthood. It's amazing how callous this conversation is going, you know, across the country on Planned Parenthood. Then you also have ISIS. They're crucifying children. And we don't seem to really be awake. Then we're being told, instead of choosing life and choosing the people who say, hey, I don't want to annihilate everybody, we're being told that we should side with the people in Iran, give them money, give them access -- our soldiers cannot even carry a gun, but Iran can have a nuke while they're saying they will vaporize Israel.
RAND: The first thing we have to decide is, are we going to quit arming our enemies? You would think a basic precept of foreign policy would be don't arm your enemies. This is a real problem we have. It's not just with Iran. It's with ISIS too. We armed the allies of ISIS. We sent arms over there, knowing that these people were fighting alongside al-Qaeda. Fighting alongside what became ISIS. And we did it anyway.
We continue to send arms -- right now, Saudi Arabia is mad about the Iran deal, so they want more arms. Who attacked us on 9/11? Sixteen of the 19 were from Saudi Arabia. Where did the funding come from? There's still some question whether or not Saudi Arabia was involved in that as well.
But what do we do? We continue to send arms to people who hate us. The Islamic rebels in Syria, none of them will recognize Israel. None of them really like us. And when they're done with whoever is in front of them, they'll come for us next.
But right now, ISIS has a billion dollars' worth of US Humvees they stole from us, from us giving those to allies. They also pay their soldiers with a billion dollars' worth of cash they stole. And they also have antitank weapons that they point at us and point at Israel. And they are US antitank weapons that we gave to the allies. So we have to quit funding and arming our enemies.
GLENN: Is it going to pass?
RAND: The Iran agreement I think will initially be disproved -- disapproved. I'm going to vote against it, and I think 60 will. The president will veto it, and I think there is some question -- I don't think it's a certainty. I think he may have survive a veto. We'll see what happens.
GLENN: Let's -- let's go to illegal immigration.
Donald Trump is making an awful lot of noise right now just by saying that he wants to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it. I don't know exactly how that works. But --
RAND: Didn't he also say he was going to send them all home, then he's going to bring them all back? That's what I read the other day. He said, yeah, I'm going to send them all home, but then I'm going to let most of them come back.
GLENN: Yeah. I don't know.
RAND: I don't know what he's going to do with that, and how the Mexicans are going to pay for the wall. But there's a lot of questions I have, and I might ask one or two of them tonight.
GLENN: Right. What is your solution -- you know, the Blaze just did a documentary called the Sun City Cell. Where we have documented and ABC and everybody else will pick it up probably about a year from now as they usually do, like we did with Benghazi. We have documented that drug cartels and al-Qaeda operatives are in El Paso, and they have connections all across the country, and they are planning a large attack. There is evidence now that this is happening. This is not about good families coming across the border. What are we going to do to -- if you're president, what is President Paul do on the border?
RAND: The first thing I would do is say that the border is a national security necessity. And you have to be prepared to defend your border as a national security necessity. The second thing I would say is, we haven't had a president, Republican or Democrat, that's enforced immigration law ever. I mean, going back to 1986, what was the tradeoff? They said, oh, if you would accept these 3 million illegals and you would give them status, we'll end up adding border security. Well, it never came.
And even some people who voted for that bill in '86 that are still up there now, that's why they won't vote for another bill until it comes. But there really needs to be a president that enforces the law. This president has overtly, selectively, and aggressively decided not to enforce the immigration law. But even the previous Republican administration really did not enforce immigration law either. So, no, I think you can't have open borders in a welfare state, and that's where we are now.
GLENN: How do you feel about the idea that our soldiers, when they're back home, cannot carry guns?
RAND: I've introduced legislation to end that. I've been talking about this since the Fort Hood mass murder. I said then, and I continue to say now, and I've actually introduced an amendment -- they didn't let me have it -- on the highway bill, but I introduced an amendment to allow our soldiers to be armed on base and at the recruiting centers and to say that if the state law allows for conceal carry, the military shouldn't prevent it. It seems crazy that we're going to let everybody else except for our soldiers carry weapons.
GLENN: So how are you feeling about tonight?
RAND: You know, pretty good, Glenn. I'm ready to mix it up. I hope I'm still that way at 9 o'clock tonight. I'm kind of a morning person. So we'll see you at 9:00. But I plan on mixing it up. I don't think there's any reason to hold back and play nice. So we'll mix it up and hopefully differentiate ourselves.
GLENN: When you say there's no reason to play nice, who are you referring -- to whom are you referring?
RAND: I think to anyone that wants to take on the issues of the day. I mean, I don't mean it in a petty just way to take on, just to take on someone. But I think it's crazy to sit back and just say, oh, yeah, we'll just let this thing short itself out over nine months or so. I think I need to stand up, say what I believe in, and stand my ground. And the chips fall where they may. I think people do want people who will stand for what they believe in. And that's been my history, as far as standing against the president, you know, collecting our records, standing against the illegal drone strikes, et cetera. So I think you'll see me stand my ground tonight and hopefully find a way to present my message.
STU: Is there a way you're walking into this thing just because of the format, there being so many people and I would assume probably such little time to get into the meat of this, is there a way you approach this strategically to try to break through?
RAND: Yeah, I'm going to have fruit in my pockets. And if no one is listening to me, I'm thinking about throwing fruit.
GLENN: The last time there were eight people, the last time there were eight people, we were just talking about this. Was it Rick Santorum --
PAT: He got about ten or 15 seconds.
GLENN: Yeah, 15 seconds. Do you have a -- I've only got 15 seconds kind of idea in your head?
RAND: Yeah, we'll see. Hopefully it will be better spread than that. But it can be difficult. And, you know, we're going to have to see -- but ten people is a lot. And really to tell you the truth, the format that I like better is a couple of people with longer answers in an interview style. But we're not going to have that luxury tonight. You have to make it through the end of February next year and the early primaries probably to get down to five or six candidates. You have to make it through March of next year to make it down to two or three candidates probably.
GLENN: How did you prepare for this?
RAND: By the big, fat tome. Big, fat book I stick under my pillow every night. I've been doing that for months, and I think a lot of ideas are seeping through the pillow and into my brain.
GLENN: I think you're supposed to read it. Sure. Yeah.
RAND: No, I read a lot. I read every day on current events. Every day on foreign policy. Every day on the economy. And then we have a great team. We have discussions. Plus, I interact with the voters. I actually talk to voters. We do something extraordinary in our town hall. We take questions from the audience. And we don't rope the reporters off like Hillary Clinton. And we do interact with the voters.
Rand, we'll watch for you tonight. Best of luck.
RAND: Thanks, guys.