Rand Paul has made a few noteworthy non-political television appearances lately, one to discuss gun control and another to show his sense of humor.
On Wednesday, Paul appeared on The View and the conversation quickly turned to Obama’s executive action on gun control. Paul spoke on his disagreement with Obama as one of principle.
“My main opposition to this is constitutional. Laws are supposed to be written by the legislature,” Paul said. “And you say ‘Oh, that’s no big deal, Congress won’t do what they’re supposed to do.’ The problem, though, is if we allow the precedent … you might get very dangerous things like, let’s say, internment of the Japanese. Or, let’s say, spying on all the civil rights leaders or spying on the Vietnam war protestors.”
“It’s been done,” Joy Behar said.
“That’s what I mean. It’s all done because of too much executive power. The checks and balances are incredibly important to me,” Paul said.
He noted that he doesn’t oppose background checks before a gun purchase, something that strong majorities of Republicans and Democrats also support, according to the Pew Research Center.
While Paul and the hosts of The View, especially Whoopi Goldberg, disagreed over which guns should be legal, Paul focused on his concern over expanded executive power.
“That’s the danger of letting a president make the rules. Even if you agree with what he’s doing now, you should worry about having a president have so much power to create the law without congress,” he said.
Later on Wednesday, Paul appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that was more light-hearted.
“Did you think that actual governing experience would be a liability the way it is right now?” Colbert asked him, referencing the success of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina.
Aside from mentioning his self-haircuts and lack of fashion sense, Paul took time to explain his political positions.
“I’m libertarian-ish,” he said. “Republicans haven’t been very good with your personal privacy or your personal liberty. But Democrats haven’t been good with your economic liberty … And libertarians say, You know what? They want to leave you the hell alone no matter what, whether it’s your business or your private life.”
Colbert asked whether Paul had any similarities to Bernie Sanders.
“Yes, we work in the same place,” Paul said.
He went on to reference his anti-war position, desire for NSA reform, civil liberties protections, and drug policy reform as possible areas where Paul could work with Sanders and other Democrats.