Don Lemon | News | Rand Paul

CNN's Don Lemon Battles Rand Paul On Debt-Ceiling 'Talking Points'


Lawmakers are still fighting it out on our looming debt-ceiling. And as the Senators and Representatives debated into the weekend, openly gay CNN anchor Don Lemon hosted Tea Party Senator Rand Paul to discuss the process.

The exchange was probably more contentious than either imagined -- though the interview began on a traditional note, it rapidly became a back-and-forth between Lemon and Paul, who the journalist derided for parroting his party's talking points and refusing to compromise with Democratic colleagues.

Here's a sample from the official CNN transcript:

LEMON: OK. Listen. The Democrats have made many concessions when it comes to what's going on here, and even the Tea Party position it appears to most people remains rigid. The question is, have you made your point? And by continuing to go on with this, do you feel like you're overreaching and that you're going to lose the clout? And really, the respect that you've gotten, because when you've really made your point here and then most people will say, you have done a good job at it, but do you feel like you're overreaching right now?

PAUL: Well, I guess the thing is that we have $14 trillion in debt and the Boehner plan and the Reid plan and whatever the mixture of the two will become, we'll add about seven to $8 trillion over the next ten years. I think what's interesting here is that people talk about Moody's and S&P downgraded our...

LEMON: OK. Hang on, hang on. Can we just stick to that -- we're going to get to that, but hang on, let's stick to the -- hold on, please, be respectful here.

PAUL: Let me finish my thought.

Watch Lemon and Paul's entire conversation, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I give Rand Paul credit. He understands the devastating consequences of this country's debt issue. Passing a bill today to run the government for a few more quarters is not as important as really sitting down and demanding and working out a plan to get us to fiscal sanity. In regards to Don Lemon, he obviously is no fan of conservatives or tea party members based on his interruptions and passive aggressive nature toward Paul in this interview. If he allowed him to finish his thought he would have his questions answered instead of thinking about interrupting Paul and trying to make him look bad. In the end, Lemon looks like a terrible interviewer and Paul looks like a very patient man with serious substance to why and where he stands on the debt issue.

    Posted by: Rob Ellis | Aug 1, 2011 3:02:53 AM

  2. Too bad the interview was a negative effect. Don had a great opportunity to ask difficult questions to Sen. Paul and Don failed to prepare. Instead Don chose to ask questions like this:

    Do you feel like you are losing your clout?

    Do you feel how the American people are unhappy?

    Don....we are beyond those grade-school questions.

    If "feel"ings were as important as paying my bills, I would go out and buy a new car or facelift everytime I feel down.

    And I would not pay my bills. Because I don't "feel" like paying my bills.

    Don, do you "feel" like your country is going bankrupt? Do you feel why?

    Do you "feel" that the fraud we call inflation and fake money (the US Dollar) was a good plan when the hijack of the US monetary system started in 1913?

    Do you "feel" that there is any way to FIX things?

    Or is it time for a new car, another facelift, and time to ignore the landlord? (The Chinese). Don't ignore the landlord.

    If you want to get rid of the Landlord, pay your bills. Get out of debt.

    Simple facts for simple minds. Get out of debt.

    Great job, Sen. Paul. Someone has to try to train the simpletons. They will learn. Get more airtime, stick to your way.

    Posted by: americussoul | Aug 1, 2011 6:39:30 AM

  3. I still say Don Lemon is a smart-aleck!

    Posted by: David | Aug 1, 2011 7:55:01 AM

  4. Wow, Don isn't an idealogue in anyway. All of you tea party haters out there, please tell me how the Tea Party freshman haven't offered to compromise? The President & Democrats wanted $2 trillion in additional debt and continued spending levels to rise (they go up $9 trillion over the next 10 years, that's a fact). The Tea Party wants no rise in the debt level, they want to cut spending levels and they want to force our government (which includes them) to balance the budget. So they have offered to raise the debt ceiling $2.7 trillion and allow spending levels to go up by $7 trillion over the next 10 years if we cut $9 trillion in new spending to $7 trillion and the congress passes a balanced budget amendment that the states have to vote on. Not that an amendment is added to the constitution but only that it's voted on and sent to the states to either approve or deny. So tell me again why is it we feel they aren't attempting to compromise?

    Posted by: BRohm | Aug 1, 2011 9:56:40 AM

  5. Balancing the budget in seven years is going to be pretty hard without some Allah-damn tax increases, which Paul would never, never, never vote for. Ask him about that Don.

    Posted by: JFE | Aug 1, 2011 10:02:16 AM

  6. To bad Lemon isn't a real journalist.

    REAL journalist would ask the hard questions WITHOUT rudely promoting his OWN agenda.

    But then, most people are not smart enough to know the difference, so they get away with it.

    Posted by: Steve Smith | Aug 2, 2011 3:17:23 PM

  7. What amazes me are the liberals who slam the war in Iraq and vilify anyone associated with it without remembering DEMOCRATS did a WORSE THING in Vietnam!!!

    No one came from Vietnam and murder 3,000+ people on US soil!

    Did we handle Iraq correctly? NO

    If there is enough intelligence information to put BOOTS on the ground....then there is enough information to put BOMBS on the ground. And THEN we don't spend a TRILLON dollars rebuilding them.

    Posted by: Steve Smith | Aug 2, 2011 3:20:33 PM

  8. The bottom line is that this nation was built on PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and COMMON SENSE.

    You can not have 47% of a population paying NO income tax and survive. On top of that, the lowest who pay NO income tax are the very ones that collect $1,000's EVERY YEAR based on the number of children they have.
    59 BILLION (with a B) in Earned Income Credit that is not even listed in the Budget!

    44 MILLION people currently on food a nation that has an obesity epidemic!

    42 BILLION DOLLARS spent on Section 8 Housing annually.

    How much of that 1.43 TRILLION annually that we spend on Medicare, Medicaid, SS, SSI, Disability .... IS FRAUD?

    Add another 84 BILLION in Health and Human Services....

    The scarest thing is that FEMA will be the next line item to become an ENTITLEMENT!

    We can't pay for everyones house that is destroyed by tornados, wild fire, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, ice storms.

    There are the things that RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE have insurance for. And it is NOT the government's responsibility!

    Posted by: Steve Smith | Aug 2, 2011 3:30:08 PM

  9. Btw....CONGRESS passes laws and spending...NOT any President or VP.

    The largest increases under Bush was the last two years of his Presidency under a DEMOCRATICALLY CONTROLLED CONGRESS.

    Just so the FACTS are out there for those who care about FACTS:

    President Bush expanded the federal budget by a historic $700 billion through 2008. President Obama would add another $1 trillion.

    President Bush began a string of expensive finan­cial bailouts. President Obama is accelerating that course.

    President Bush created a Medicare drug entitle­ment that will cost an estimated $800 billion in its first decade. President Obama has proposed a $634 billion down payment on a new govern­ment health care fund.

    President Bush increased federal education spending 58 percent faster than inflation. Presi­dent Obama would double it.

    President Bush became the first President to spend 3 percent of GDP on federal antipoverty programs. President Obama has already in­creased this spending by 20 percent.

    President Bush tilted the income tax burden more toward upper-income taxpayers. President Obama would continue that trend.

    As bad as this is, it will pale in comparison to when Muslim law takes over this nation. If you think Republicans hate us, you should hear Muslims thoughts on the issue.

    Posted by: Steve Smith | Aug 2, 2011 3:39:22 PM

  10. After the interview, Lemon decides to go political

    Posted by: donlemonrandpaul | Aug 2, 2011 10:35:29 PM

  11. Enough of the gay comments. Who gives a flip about someone's sex life when it's about reporting news! "Hetro John talks to Gay Wilamina about the deaths from the floods in New York."

    Are gays supposed to superior or something?

    Posted by: ava green | Aug 14, 2011 12:11:47 PM

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