Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is in New York City as part of his book tour for his upcoming tome, Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds.This evening he spoke before a couple hundred fans packed into the Rebel nightclub on 30th Street and he made the case for restraining the federal government while slipping in a dig or two at the local municipal one.
“The whole thing is about submission,” Mr. Paul explained after a long rant about indefinite detention and security procedures at the Transportation Security Administration. “They want you to submit, they want you to listen, do what you’re told. I think we’ve had it up to here in New York because you’ve got ‘Nanny Bloomberg’ for your Mayor.”
The crowd booed and Mr. Paul went on to malign Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial plan to restrict the size of soda cups at restaurants and concession stands.
“He wants to say how big your drink is and now they want to stick their grubby fingers in your drink at the airport,” he continued. “It’s like, where’s the limit, where’s the end?”
After his speech, Mr. Paul said that the Republican Party needs to change its ways in response to a question about the Republican National Convention shutting out supporters of his father’s presidential bid. He went on to argue that should the GOP actually “embrace” his father’s movement, they might find themselves seriously competing for the U.S. Senate seats or for governor in New York.
“I think there is a movement afoot,” he explained. “I’ve talked to others about the idea that it really should be the strategy of the Republican party not just to be inclusive, but to embrace the whole Libertarian-Republican message to see if we can become competitive in areas like New York.”
We brought up the fact that New York City, at least, has elected and reelected people like Mr. Bloomberg, whom he just castigated as “Nanny Bloomberg.” Mr. Paul countered by focusing on the mayor’s soda proposal.
“Well, I’m not sure if you put that on a poll and you asked people at large, ‘Are you in favor of the mayor deciding how big your drink can be?’ I’ll bet he’d lose that in a landslide 75 percent,” he said. “You’re right, Bloomberg’s not much of a libertarian, but I also think his stances are his doing because he has the position of power.”
He added, “In fact, a good thing for the media to do would be to poll that question.”
In fact, the media has polled the issue several times, and while Mr. Paul may have been a tad optimistic in the margin, a majority of New Yorkers have indicated they oppose the proposal. In spite of those numbers, it’s expected to be enacted on September 13th.