Rand Paul speaks in Derry, says he is only true fiscal conservative in Presidential race
By HUNTER McGEE Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said Friday that he is the only fiscally conservative candidate in the presidential race that can hold the line on spending and help reduce the nation’s soaring debt.
Paul appeared at the Halligan Tavern as part of the ongoing Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce’s New Hampshire Primary Series. He spoke for about 20 minutes on such topics as defense spending, immigration and terrorism before fielding questions from the dozens of people crowded in the small upstairs room.
On immigration, the Kentucky senator said he disagreed with presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent call to ban Muslim immigrants but felt the national conversation should continue.
“So while I disagree with Trump’s response, I do agree it’s high time we talk about this.”
Paul, the son of former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, said both parties have spent excessively and increased the national debt to around $10 trillion to $20 trillion. The nation spends about $1 million every minute, he said.
Speaking about both parties, he said, “We have people on the right who say we need unlimited military spending, but the only way they can get it is by giving the people on the left unlimited welfare spending.”
At the last presidential debate, Paul said he confronted fellow U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio about wanting to increase military spending by $1 trillion.
“How can you be fiscally conservative when you want to add $1 trillion of new military spending?”
Paul added, “I’m pretty strong on national defense, but we can’t become stronger from bankruptcy court. How do we project strength, how is it strong as a country to get further and further mired in debt?”
Paul said the nation already spends more on defense than the next 10 countries combined.
Paul also attacked the left’s call to make the military more green. He criticized President Barack Obama for focusing on climate change as a greater danger than terrorism.
He mentioned the recent San Bernardino terrorist attack, saying, “I’m guessing you’d have a tough time convincing those in San Bernardino that the temperature is more important than terrorists with guns.”