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Rand Paul: First Black President Should Be More Wary of Government Spying Abuses

In an interview with The New York Times, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said that he believes that as America’s first black president, President Obama should be more wary of what can happen as a result of spying abuses.

“The first African-American president ought to be a little more conscious of the fact of what has happened with the abuses of domestic spying,” Paul told the Times. “Martin Luther King was spied upon, civil rights leaders were spied upon, Muhammad Ali was spied upon, antiwar protesters were spied upon.”

“The possibility for abuse in this is incredible,” Paul added. “So I don’t care if there’s never been any evidence of abuse with the NSA. They should not be collecting the data.”

Paul’s comments came shortly before he spoke to a student audience at Berkeley College, a surprising stop considering the school is known as one of the more liberal colleges in the US.

More surprising was the standing ovation Paul received after hitting a nerve in his speech on government spying, called “The N.S.A. vs. Your Privacy.” “I’m not here to tell you what to be,” Paul said. “But I am here to tell you, though, that your rights, especially your right to privacy, is under assault.”

While the message resonated with the students, former Labor Secretary and now Berkeley College professor Robert Reich was less impressed. “He’s not in the lion’s den. He’s in a playroom of pussycats,” Reich said. “I’d like to see someone ask him about his position on gay rights and abortion.”

Paul has not been shy about his courting of non-traditional voters over to his side. “I see it as a way to attract new people to the party,” he said in an interview and added that it will hopefully show “that the message of a Republican with a libertarian twist may well be acceptable to people, even in Berkeley.”

Paul’s next speech is scheduled in front of an even more surprising institution, the N.A.A.C.P.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

About the author

Igor Derysh is the Managing Editor of Latest. com and a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sun Sentinel, and AOL News. His work has been criticized in even more publications. Follow him on Twitter @IgorDerysh