Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky vouched for President Trump's competence on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday morning, using Trump's embrace of Paul's idea for health insurance as an example.
Host John Dickerson asked Paul, a physician, why Trump has responded to the new book, Fire and Fury, "by talking about his mental stability . . . when, instead, he could say, 'Forget this book. We've passed tax cuts, we're defeating ISIS, we've nominated a bunch of judges.' Why do you think he did that?"
Paul said he didn't know, but "I've been around the president quite a bit; I've been in the White House quite a bit with him. I can give you one example that I think really shows his great insight and ability to cut through to the chase and do things that ordinary politicians don't do. And that's when I took him the idea of letting individuals join together to buy insurance across state lines. Every politician, Republican and bureaucrat in Washington, said we couldn't do it, and they hadn't done it in 30 years."
Paul said Trump told administration lawyers to look at the relevant law "and see if the interpretation of these previous government attorneys have been correct. And he had the wherewithal just to say, no, we're going to let individuals join these groups so they can get cheaper insurance and perhaps better insurance as well and perhaps get insurance for people who don't have insurance. But he did that because he's different than any other politician. And now we have all these wise-acres out there wanting to criticize and be presumptuous about trying to judge someone's intelligence. I can tell you, he's got the wherewithal to do things that no politician's been able to do and in a good way."
Paul's appearance was his first on national television since he was injured in an attack by one of his neighbors in a gated subdivision in Bowling Green. Asked how he was feeling, he said, "A little bit better each day. It was sort of I guess a living hell for the first four or five weeks. Couldn't get out of bed without assistance, six broken ribs, damage to my lungs, two bouts of pneumonia. It was really a tough go of it. But each day I feel a little bit better. This last month I've been doing better."
Paul avoided a question about whether he thought the neighbor's attack was politically motivated. "We usually don't ask if someone's raped or mugged or whatever why the person did it. We want punishment and deterrents," he said. "And I guess that's what I'm mostly about. I just don't think of any kind of motivation or justification, whether it's political or personal, to attack someone who's unaware from behind in their own yard."