By Ben Kamisar
A super-PAC backing Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulOvernight Energy: Trump outlines 'America First' energy plan in North Dakota Overnight Regulation: GOP slams new Obama education rules Paul blocks chemical safety bill in Senate MORE (R-Ky.) is pulling no punches with the first attack ad of the 2016 GOP presidential primary, complete with fire-breathing bald eagles and slams of Sens. Ted CruzTed CruzMeet the billionaire donor behind Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Party chairs see reversal of fortune McConnell: Trump White House will have ‘constraints’ MORE and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSenators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels Senate amendments could sink email privacy compromise Trump: Romney 'walks like a penguin' MORE for their stances on government surveillance.
Mimicking the aggressive style of a wrestling event promo, the one-minute spot teases the Senate debate Sunday ("Sunday! Sunday!") over expiring portions of the Patriot Act as the “greatest brawl for liberty of the century."
It also needles Obama’s “so-called conservative accomplices,” Cruz (R-Texas) and Graham (R-S.C.). Cruz, referred to by the super PAC as the “capitulating Canadian” as a dig against the fact that the GOP candidate was born in the country, supports a compromise bill called the USA Freedom Act.
Graham, an ardent supporter of government surveillance programs, is shown trying “to read your emails while doing donuts in a 1997 Geo Metro while it’s on fire.”
The overblown ad highlights the divide in the Senate over these expiring provisions.
Paul successfully blocked all efforts by the Senate late last week to temporarily renew programs that allow the warrantless data collection of Americans’ phone calls and to agree on a compromise measure. That gives the body just hours during a special Sunday session to negotiate a solution before the provisions expire.
Paul has been taking flack from his party this week over the move, with Graham’s Senate ally and 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCainJohn McCainTrump should apologize to heroic POWs McCain urges sports leagues to return 'paid patriotism' money Senators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels MORE accusing him of blocking the deal to drum up support for his campaign.
His assertion that Republican hawks stoked the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria drew the ire of GOP rivals — Govs. Bobby Jindal (La.), Chris Christie (N.J.) and Scott Walker (Wisc.) — with Jindal referring to him as “unsuited” for the presidency.