In his address before the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) took a decidedly libertarian stance on issues of surveillance, the Fourth Amendment, executive overreach, and wrongful imprisonment.
“We won’t trade our liberty for security,” Paul said, setting the overarching theme of the speech: “Not now, not ever.”
He railed against the National Security Agency’s controversial phone metadata collection, telling the crowd: “If you have a cell phone, you are under surveillance. I believe what you do on your cell phone is none of their damn business.”
“There is a great battle going on, it’s for the heart and soul of America,” he urged to the crowd. “The Fourth Amendment is equally as important as the Second Amendment, and conservatives cannot forget this.”
At another point, Sen. Paul quoted Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” to attack President Obama‘s equivocating on civil liberties issues. He also emphasized to the audience that any minority of thought, color, creed, religion should presume that government would attempt to imprison them wrongfully.
Paul’s civil liberties-focused speech stands in stark contrast to other Friday CPAC addresses, including that of family values conservatives Mike Huckabee and the more generic anti-Obama posturing of Texan Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX).
Watch below, via C-SPAN3:
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