Rand Paul would have supported drone use in hunt for marathon bomber

Paul said that the question of an "imminent threat" was the pivotal one when considering drone policy.

“Here’s the distinction — I have never argued against any technology being used against having an imminent threat an act of crime going on," Paul said. "If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a Drone kills him or a policeman kills him, but it’s different if they want to come fly over your hot tub, or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities."

The Kentucky senator also broke with a number of prominent Republican allies, saying he disagreed with calls to treat Tsarnaev, who was captured hiding in a boat Friday night, as an enemy combatant. Some senators, including South Carolina's Lindsey Graham (R), have argued the government would be able to glean more from the 19-year-old's interrogation if he was denied ordinary due process.

"I think we can still preserve the Bill of Rights," Paul said. "I see no reason why our Constitution isn’t strong enough to convict this young man, with a jury trial, with the Bill of Rights. We do it to horrible people all the time — rapists and murders — they get lawyers; they get trials with juries, and we seem to do a pretty good job of justice, so I think we can do it through our court system.”

The White House on Tuesday said that Tsarnaev would undergo a standard criminal trial.

"We will prosecute this terrorist through a civilian system of justice," said White House press secretary Jay Carney. "Under U.S. law, United States citizens cannot be tried in military commissions. It is important to remember since 9/11, we have used the federal court system to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists."

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