Rand Paul Tells Jon Stewart ‘First Amendment Is About the Right to Be Despicable’ (Video)

Kentucky Republican senator and 2016 presidential candidate defends freedom to oppose the views of others

“The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart confronted U.S. Senator Rand Paul about seemingly contradictory stances the Republican party has on personal freedoms when the 2016 presidential candidate stopped by on Tuesday.

Stewart noted that some of the same people who were opposed to a mosque being built in downtown New York City following 9/11 now support companies calling themselves “Christian businesses” that refuse service to homosexuals, citing religious freedom.

“There’s … something that we need to separate out; for example, when they told me that they were going to build a mosque at 9/11 [World Trade Center site], I was horrified and thought that was a terrible thing, but I’m not for a law to prevent them,” Paul said.

“If you want to march down the street and you’re a part of the [Ku Klux Klan], I’m horrified by that and I object to it, but the First Amendment is about the right to be despicable,” the Kentucky senator said.

Stewart asked Paul what a “Christian business” is. Answer: They don’t serve Democrats, make pro-choice T-shirts or agree with Satan’s social programs.

“Social security is the devil,” Stewart joked.

The Comedy Central show’s host also noted a disconnect on the notion of big government and said that the party tries to protect from government overreach — “To ‘protect liberty,’ I believe they call it. They have signs,” he said.

In the area of surveillance, however, Stewart said that Republicans seem “very willing to allow the government — with what appears to be very little oversight — to get whatever they want.”

“You didn’t see the other sign that they have?” Paul asked. “‘We don’t like big government until we do like big government.”

Watch the “Daily Show” video in part 1 (below) and part 2 (above) to hear his answers in full.