Libertarians get up early — at least Rand Paul does — as the Kentucky senator was the first up this morning with a press event before the Big Debate. We all highed over to a firing range a couple of miles from the Reagan Library to watch Rand, under the tutelage of what looked to be an ex-Marine type, fire off several rounds from a high-powered rifle at, appropriately enough, a mock IRS sign. Though no Rick Perry, when it comes to marksmanship, Paul didn’t do badly. He knocked the T off taxes.
His answer to an important question from yours truly during the subsequent media avail was another matter. I asked Rand how a Paul administration would respond to the Iran deal. What would he do as president? The Senator said he would wait and see if Iran “complied.” Say what? How would he do that, considering the deal contains no real verification provisions worth talking about? How would he know?
There wasn’t even time to ask Rand this obvious follow-up in the ensuing media hubbub, which only got worse. I’ve been at the Reagan Library perhaps a dozen times for many events and never seen a crush like this. I was scheduled to interview Marco Rubio on the same question, but it took me and the PJTV crew nearly an hour and half to get through the media credential process and then up the hill to the library site. Needless to say the Florida senator had not waited around. Maybe later.
Btw, I am typing this in what’s known as the Filing Center, a tent filled with long tables and monitors for the press that has been affixed to the Reagan Library like a giant white bubble with wifi and, blessedly, power outlets. We will see the debate from here, just as you do. The flavor, of course, is different. Not sure if it’s better though. TV is TV.
Just behind me is a temporarily remodeled Spin Room. I’m already preparing my excuses even though I’m not debating, because, as we all know, it’s not what they say, it’s what they say about what they say. Or something. I’m here for the long haul.
Best news: The Reagan Library provides little boxes of Ronald Reagan jelly beans for the media. I’m already on my second one. (Don’t tell Novak Djokovic.) More soon.