Q. You’re 10 weeks on the job. What have you learned? Has anything surprised you? Is there anything that you’ve needed to retool in your approach?It is amazing that elected Republican officials felt beaten down because their conservative base felt beaten down by the unwillingness of those officials to fight for them.
A. The biggest surprise has been the defeatist attitude of many Republicans in Washington. A lot of Republicans felt beaten down, and that there was nothing they could do to stop the erosion of liberty in this country. I have been encouraged that the last several weeks have demonstrated that there is a great deal we can do to turn things around. Indeed, if you look at the vote on sequester, the filibuster on drone strikes and the vote on defunding Obamacare, for three weeks in a row, Republicans have stood together for principle. And in doing so I believe we are winning the argument. We are doing what the American people expect us to be doing, which is standing for principle, defending liberty and defending the Constitution. I am hopeful the pattern of the last three weeks will prove a recurring pattern going forward. I believe that’s the direction Republicans need to go.
Q. This defeatism is among incumbent senators?
A. Yes. I’m referring to those who have been here a long time and have suffered some difficult election results and who I think were discouraged about being able to get anything done.
Q. So it sounds like you’ve been teaching them a few lessons. Is there anything that you’ve learned on the job yet?
A. What I think all of us have learned together is the power of leaders standing for principle. You asked what I learned. I can tell you the most inspirational moment since I’ve been here has been Rand Paul’s filibuster. When Rand Paul went to the floor at 11:47 am, many of his colleagues viewed what he was doing as curious if not quixotic, as an endeavor that was doomed to failure. … It captivated the attention of the American people as millions of Americans watched Rand Paul and others standing for principle and began engaging directly in the process, on Facebook and email and Twitter….. As a result of Sen. Rand Paul’s courage, the Obama administration was forced to concede in writing that it lacks the authority to kill a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil.
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