Rand Paul: It's 'bulls--t' to collect phone records after Paris attacks

Story highlights

  • "So when they stand up on television and say the tragedy in Paris means you have to give up your liberty, we need more phone surveillance -- bulls--t!" Paul said
  • Paul's libertarian leanings have been at the center of his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination

Washington (CNN)Rand Paul says it's "bulls--t" to argue that U.S. government surveillance needs to be ramped up as a result of the Paris attacks.

At a campaign event at George Washington University, the Kentucky senator told the crowd that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone record data hasn't been stopped, despite a judge's order, due to a six-month window to end the program.
"So when they stand up on television and say the tragedy in Paris means you have to give up your liberty, we need more phone surveillance -- bulls--t!" Paul said.
    Paul's libertarian leanings have been at the center of his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He has opposed U.S. intervention in the Middle East as well as government surveillance programs.
    He also has called for a stoppage to the visa waiver program allowing European citizens to travel to the U.S. freely, saying we should only allow Global Entry travelers, who get a background check, to enter freely.
    He reiterated that position Thursday to CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
    "When a whole section of the world is saying they want to come here and attack us ... we have to be careful," Paul said. "It's hard to tell friend from foe."