PHILADELPHIA — Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul has long said he’s pro-life but acknowledged Monday that abortion is not the animating issue that inspired him to run for office.
During a Q & A in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center with a local radio host, Paul was asked if he will go out of his way to talk about the issue of abortion in the presidential campaign.
“You know … I will answer the question as honestly as I can,” Paul replied. “I didn’t run for office because of this issue. It wasn’t what got me to leave my practice. And I ran for office mainly because I became concerned that we’re going to destroy the country with debt. That we would borrow so much money that we would just destroy the currency.”
Paul, during the discussion, was also asked whether he believes the issue of abortion is best handled by the states, or by the federal government under the 14th Amendment.
“I think best by the states,” Paul replied.
“I think the question that still divides us, and it’s a difficult question, is when does life begin,” Paul, an eye doctor, added. “I think we go down all kinds of rabbit holes talking about other stuff, but I’m an ophthalmologist, and I see one, two-pound babies in the neonatal nursery. I look into their eyes to try to prevent a form of blindness that is now preventable.”
“And everybody agrees that that one-pound baby has rights,” he said. “If someone were to hurt that one-pound baby in the neonatal nursery, it’s a problem. That baby has rights. But we somewhat inconsistently say that seven-pound baby at birth or just before birth has no rights. And so I think these are questions we have to sort out. We just have to figure when we agree life begins.”