By Keith Laing - 06/22/11 04:01 PM EDT
In a hearing about rail security Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul pressed Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole on the agency's controversial pat-downs at airport security checkpoints.
Paul (R-Ky.) said Pistole and other TSA defenders had the wrong outlook on transportation security.
"This kind of gets back to this whole idea of what what are willing to...give up as a country," he said. "In your interview with ABC News...you said 'I see flying as a privilege.' Well, there are those of us who see it otherwise, including the Supreme Court."
Paul said recent reports that TSA had given children pat-downs made him feel less safe.
"It makes me think you’re clueless, if you think she’s going to attack our country and you’re not doing your research on the people who want to attack our country," he said.
Pistole responded that the TSA was revising its policies related to children, said that he was hesitant to make exceptions for entire groups for fear of giving terrorists a "roadmap" on how to attack airplanes.
The firebrand freshman senator countered that safety was important, but he pushed Pistole to implement a trusted traveler program.
"My brother is on a plane three or four times a week," he said. "He's an Air Force grad. He is not a terrorist."
Paul said that airport security should be more about "police work" than random searches.
This post was updated with video at 12:42 p.m.