U.S. Senator Rand Paul says Republicans need to be as passionate about the entire bill of rights as they are about people’s right to own a gun.
Sarah Perks, of Caledonia, was among a couple hundred people who stood to listen to Paul’s 20-minute speech. The Republican presidential hopeful talked about people’s right to a fair trial and privacy at an event in Grand Rapids Monday.
“They call us libertarians, but I would say we’re just people who love the Constitution,” Perks said.
Perks says the federal government’s access to private phone and email records under the Patriot Act and its ability to hold people indefinitely without charge under the National Defense Authorization Act are unconstitutional. She says protecting private citizens’ rights from government overreach are her top issues for the 2016 presidential election.
“I am very active politically, what if I get on someone’s bad side? Obviously it’s not likely necessarily, but the fact that that possibility is there is frightening,” Perks said.
Paul admits Michigan will be a tough state for Republicans to win. Michigan voters have elected Democrats to the White House for the last 28 years.
“(Republicans) win the governorship. We win the state legislature. And then when everybody turns out, when the election is big, we don’t win Michigan. To win again we’re going to have to be bigger, better and bolder,” Paul said.
He says libertarians like him have to do a better job of getting their message out.
“We don’t need to dilute our message. Some people in our party say ‘oh, we just need to be more like the Democrats.’ I say to heck with that. What we need to do is take the liberty message and extend it to new people who haven’t been hearing about it,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Grand Rapids, introduced Paul before endorsing him.