Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) used some verbal aikido on Jon Stewart during Tuesday night's "Daily Show," deflecting questions about marriage equality, and even making an apparent joke about his penis.
Paul said that under Senate rules he couldn't leave the floor during his nearly 11-hour filibuster against some provisions of the Patriot Act last week, not even to use the bathroom. He told a story about how Sen. Strom Thurmond, a Republican from South Carolina who died in 2003, once went to the bathroom in a bucket left at the cloakroom door during a filibuster.
"That was before TV," Paul said. "And I just really thought, I didn't want to impress them with my emoticon thing."
Earlier in the show, before Paul joined him on the set, Stewart made a joke about using an eggplant emoji to represent the penis.
But Paul came on the program to discuss the National Security Agency and government surveillance, an issue where he and Stewart appeared to have some common ground, leading to a cordial conversation without much disagreement. Then Stewart started to press him on the subject of marriage equality, especially the headlines about businesses that refuse to serve same-sex couples.
"We have this idea that corporations are people, and should it be as easy as, 'I don't agree with this and it's because I'm Christian,'" Stewart said. "Don't they sell cakes to sinners all the time? Adulterers? When you come in, do you go, 'I'd like a cake,' and they go, 'Do you use the name of the Lord in vain?'"
Somehow, Paul managed to turn that back into a discussion of the NSA.
Check out the original NSA discussion in the clip above, and the conversation about marriage equality below.