Rand Paul gives Obama the royal treatment
(CNN) — Saying President Barack Obama is acting like a “king” by threatening to take executive action on gun laws, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul cautioned the president to be ready for a fight on Capitol Hill.
“I’m against having a king,” he said Tuesday in an interview in Jerusalem with the Christian Broadcasting Network. “I think having a monarch is what we fought the American Revolution over and someone who wants to bypass the Constitution, bypass Congress – that’s someone who wants to act like a king or a monarch.”
Obama will announce proposals to curb gun violence Wednesday based on recommendations by Vice President Joe Biden’s task force, which held meetings with multiple stakeholders in the gun control debate. The announcement comes just over a month after the deadly Connecticut elementary school massacre that left 26 killed, in addition to the gunman’s mother.
According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Obama “intends to take a comprehensive approach,” including renewal of the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, a ban of high-capacity gun magazines and closing background check loopholes.
Among the proposals are 19 executive actions that Obama could take without congressional approval, legislators briefed by Biden said Tuesday.
But Carney noted “there are limits on what can be done within existing law” and said Congress would have to act on certain proposals “because the power to do that is reserved by Congress and to Congress.”
If the president does decide to make unilateral moves, however, Sen. Paul warned such action would spark intense backlash.
“I’ve been opposed to executive orders, even with Republican presidents,” he said. “But one that wants to infringe on the Second Amendment, we will fight tooth and nail.”
“And I promise you,” he continued. “There’ll be no rock left unturned as far as trying to stop him from usurping the Constitution, running roughshod over Congress. And you will see one heck of a debate if he decides to try to do this.”
His argument falls in line with critics who say recent legislative pushes–both at the federal and state level–to amend gun laws mark an aggressive front against Second Amendment rights. The National Rifle Association on Monday posted to Twitter that gun owners are “under assault” and argued the White House and New York Politicians “declare war on the #SecondAmendment.”
New York lawmakers, led by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, approved tough new firearm legislation Tuesday that represents the first gun control laws passed since the Newtown shooting.
Paul, a first-term senator, has not shot down potential interest in a 2016 presidential bid. His father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, is widely considered a leader among libertarians and made three White House runs, including a 2012 campaign.
By CNN Political Unit
CNN’s Ashley Killough and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.