Rand Paul: America’s First Black President Should Care More About Spying On Citizens

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March 19, 2014 2:19 p.m.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Wednesday said that because the American government has a history of spying on African-American civil rights leaders, President Obama should care more about surveillance on Americans.

“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 said in a preview of his speech at the University of California, Berkley, according to the New York Times. “Martin Luther King was spied upon, civil rights leaders were spied upon, Muhammad Ali was spied upon, antiwar protesters were spied upon.”

Paul, who has been particularly outspoken about government surveillance and privacy, said that Obama’s stance on surveillance is an “absolutely fundamental misunderstanding of due process.”

As a 2016 hopeful, Paul is testing his libertarian ideas on a liberal campus. He told the Times that he hopes his speech will show “that the message of a Republican with a libertarian twist may well be accept to people, even in Berkley. And we’ll see.”

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