Rand Paul On Drones: 'In The Famous Words Of George W. Bush, I Think I Was Misunderestimated'

04/25/2013 11:17 pm ET | Updated Apr 26, 2013

Forty-eight hours after appearing to shift his tone on drones, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) once again clarified his position on Thursday.

The venue was an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, and Paul was immediately put to the test. Hannity charged that Paul's Monday appearance on Fox Business Network marked a change in his position.

Paul outright rejected that claim, drawing on some presidential history to make his point.

"In the famous words of George W. Bush, I think I was misunderestimated," he said.

Paul presented situations where drone technology may be a viable form of defense, reinforcing his belief that there must be a credible threat.

"If the Twin Towers are being attacked, that's deadly force being used against America and Americans," he said. "There is the right to defend ourselves with deadly force."

Hannity asked him to clarify, asking if drones in major cities should be available if an incident like this were to occur. Paul explained that law enforcement has the "justified obligation to fire back," regardless of the form used.

"I'm against targeted killings by drones, but I'm also against targeted killing by sniper, by spear, by knife, by club. The technology isn't so important. What I was arguing against in the filibuster was targeted assassination."

Back in March, Paul's words seemed to paint a different picture. He railed against a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder which did not appear to rule out the use of drones.

"No American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court," Paul said during the filibuster, according to PolitiFact.

In Monday's Fox Business Network interview, Paul explained the "distinction," marking the line between crime and surveillance.

"I have never argued against any technology being used when you have 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."

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