Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky wants to debate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Paul claims he and Sanders are ideological opposites and that he would take him on “anytime, anyplace.”
Paul styles himself as a more moderate alternative to his libertarian father, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Meanwhile, Sanders was an independent before running for the Democratic presidential slot and describes himself as a democratic socialist.
Paul issued his challenge during an appearance on the Iowa talk radio station WHO NewsRadio 1040 on Nov. 12, Truth In Media reports.
“We’ve been saying what a fun, dramatic and informative debate it would be if Bernie Sanders and I could have an hour-long debate,” says Paul, according to Truth In Media. “Can you imagine? Debating over what rights are versus what obligations are and debating socialism versus capitalism.”
The Kentucky senator went on to criticize Sanders’ socialist policies, indicating that a debate between the two would be heated.
“See Bernie … he says, ‘Oh, I believe in a benign form of socialism, democratic socialism,’” said Paul. “But here’s the problem — if a majoritarian takes away your rights, it’s not any different or less bad than an authoritarian taking away your rights.”
A McClatchy/Marist poll conducted from Sept. 2-Nov. 4 shows that if the general presidential election were held today, Sanders would defeat current Republican front-runner Donald Trump by nearly 5 percentage points, Real Clear Politics reports.
Paul has dismissed the Vermont senator’s popularity, comparing democratic socialism to Jim Crow laws.
"We had this debate over whether majorities were correct a long time ago when we had Jim Crow laws. In the South, legislatures, majorities passed laws saying segregation, separate-but-equal was OK. So they discriminated against a whole group of people in America. But that was a majority. A majority is not always right, and I think that you have rights that come from your creator that precede government that can not, should not and must not be taken away from you by a majority, and I really, really object to Bernie’s understanding of what rights are."
The Sanders campaign issued “no comment” in response to Paul’s challenge, Truth In Media reports.
While the two senators may be on opposite sides of the political spectrum, they agree on one thing, reports Reason: Anti-marijuana group Project SAM has listed them as the most pot-friendly 2016 presidential candidates.