Rand Paul: Role of Government

Photograph by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), center, and Sen. John Isakson (R-GA) depart from a Senate subway car as Senate Republicans and Democrats head to their weekly policy luncheon on March 19, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Rand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky with a libertarian outlook and son of the retired congressman from Texas who ran for president with an appeal to libertarian instincts, says there is a goal for government.

Protecting your property.

“If you look at lawless parts of the world where there is no protection of property – where you can’t protect your property… you can’t borrow against that property, so no capital develops and there is no capitalism and there is no marketplace,” Paul says in an interview with National Public Radio’s “Tell Me More” airing today.

“So the government does have a role; they are an arbiter,” Paul says. “They are they the one who protects property, protects the sanctity and the name that goes and attaches to the house. They protect transactions. They protect commerce. There is a role for government.”

Paul, son of Texan Ron Paul, is setting out on his own quest for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. He is taking his pitch to Iowa, addressing party activists there in May. And he is taking his pitch to places where Republicans haven’t fared well — he spoke this week on the campus of Howard University in Washington, one of the nation’s pre-eminent black colleges.

“I think, in some ways, they (Republicana) have sort of given up, and I’m here to say that the Republican Party, to be a national party, can’t give up on any ethnic group and can’t say to any ethnic group, ‘We don’t care about your vote.’ ” Paul says in his interview with NPR’s Michele Martin. “We need to be out there competing for the African-American vote.”

It’s not a reach, he suggests.

“I believe that our drug laws are too harsh, too long and unfair to minorities,” he says. “These aren’t things I say just because they might be popular at Howard, but I say them because I truly believe in them. And think these are issues that if it got out that not all Republicans weren’t the same, that there were Republicans who were interested in issues like this, I think all of a sudden you will see some of the African-American vote saying, ‘You know what, we believe in economic opportunity, we think high taxes are not good for the economy, we just thought Republicans didn’t like us for some other reason.”’

And while he’s at it, Paul promises to protect everyone’s property.

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