The Obama administration’s use of drones took center stage on this morning’s State of the Union. First, Candy spoke with Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) who questioned whether using drones to kill American citizens abroad was constitutional. He also looked ahead to that other State of the Union; the address President Obama will give on Tuesday night. Paul will give the Tea Party response and told Candy he believes the Tea Party still has a role to play in shaping conservative policies. Maine’s new Independent senator, Angus King told Candy he had misgivings about the unchecked use of drones.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates sat down with Candy; Gates voiced his support of drone use and also gave his thoughts on what the future US presence in Afghanistan should look like.
Finally we looked ahead to Tuesday’s State of the Union address and the fight over sequestration with a panel including former senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, CNN’s Jim Acosta and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) on who best represents the current GOP
“I don't think anybody gets to choose who the face is or say that you or someone else is the face. I think we do the best to promote what we believe in... so, there are some things that distinguish a lot of different Republicans. It doesn't make them bad or me right or them wrong. What it means is that there is a Tea Party wing that is interested in not sending money to people who are not acting like our allies.”
Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) on targeting American citizens with drones
“If you’re an American citizen, you go overseas and you take up arms, I'm probably for executing you, but I would want to hear the evidence, I would want to have a judge and a jury. It can be fairly swift, but there needs to be a trial for treason, the president, a politician, Republican or Democrat, should never get to decide someone's death by flipping through some flash cards, and saying do you want to kill him? I don't know. Let's go ahead and kill him.”
Senator Angus King (I-Maine) on the constitutionality of drone strikes
"I don't know how often this is going to happen, but I agree with Rand Paul. The Fifth Amendment says that no person shall denied life, liberty or property without due process of law. It says that. And it's pretty clear. It applies to Americans. And that's what we're talking about here, American, not foreigners. Even those these are Americans that may have committed treason by signing up with another country or another group against us."
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the future of drones.
“I think the rules and the practices that the Obama administration has followed are - are quite stringent and are not being abused. But who is to say about a future president? And so I think - I think this idea of being able to execute in effect an American citizen, no matter how awful, having some third party being - having a say in it or perhaps some informing the Congress or the - intelligence committees or something like that, I just - I think some check on the ability of a president to do this has merit as we look to the longer-term future.”