Speaking to constituents in Kentucky this week, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that he would use his executive power to reverse the damage done by his predecessors’ propensity for legislating by fiat if he were elected President.
Paul’s statement came in response to a direct question about whether he’d embrace the power of executive orders if he found himself in the Oval Office, pen and phone at arm’s length.
“Only to undo executive orders. There’s thousands of them that can be undone,” said Paul. “And I would use executive orders to undo executive orders that have encroached on our jurisprudence, our ability to defend ourselves, the right to a trial, all of those I would undo through executive order.”
President Barack Obama has become notorious for flaunting his ability to legislate via executive order, each time claiming that Congressional gridlock has forced his hand. Paul contends that the President ought to simply try harder to work with the Nation’s lawmakers.
“You got to try harder because it’s not easy to get people to agree, but democracy’s messy,” he said. “You can’t just say because it’s messy, I’m going to do whatever I want. And that’s my real objection to his president.”
According to WFPL, however, Paul later “appeared to soften” his position as he spoke with local reporters.
“It wasn’t sort of a response of exactness. My inclination would be that there have too many executive orders and that really you shouldn’t legislate through executive orders.”
“I never want to make a blanket statement without looking at everything. My general inclination is you should have less executive orders but that the executive orders could be used to undo a lot of executive orders that have overstepped their bounds.”
Whether Paul will get the opportunity to back up his claims in 2016 is still unknown. While many of the Senator’s actions of late appear to indicate that he is positioning himself for a Presidential bid, recent polling data could put a damper on exploratory efforts.
According to numbers out from Public Policy Polling, half of likely voters in Paul’s home State of Kentucky say that the Senator should not run in 2016. Though, for his work in the Senate, Paul continues to enjoy approval ratings hovering around 47 percent.