POLITICS
08/31/2015 01:22 pm ET Updated Dec 19, 2016

Rand Paul Calls Canada Border Wall Idea 'Pretty Dumb'

Oh well.
Scott Morgan / Reuters

WASHINGTON -- The idea of constructing a massive wall along the Canadian border won’t win any prizes for ingenuity, according to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

“That’s a pretty dumb idea,” Paul said Monday, when asked about the proposal one of his fellow Republican presidential candidates, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, said he would consider a day earlier.

“There have been a lot of dumb ideas put out,” Paul said, speaking with Boston Herald Radio. “One that the Mexicans will pay for a wall, [which] was probably the dumbest of dumb ideas. But putting a wall up between us and Canada is sort of a ridiculous notion. It is sort of like everybody is now competing to say, ‘Oh no, I’ll put them in camps. Oh no, I'll throw them out. Oh no, I’ll put everyone in jail. And I’ll have an electric fence, and I’ll do this.’ And it’s like, you know, the biggest thing we need to do is have a functioning immigration system, with a good work program.”

Listen to the interview below -- relevant audio begins at the 11-minute mark:

Paul’s plea for rationality on immigration does a bit of a disservice to Walker. The Wisconsin governor never said he supported the construction of a wall along the Canadian border, just that he’d be open to the idea. And though said idea has been widely panned as absurd ― costly and impractical as it would be to build a wall along the longest shared border on earth ― it’s not like Paul isn’t prone to throwing out the occasional unconventional proposal himself. When he ran for Senate in 2010, he proposed building an underground electrical fence along the Southern border.

Alas, Paul has since positioned himself as somewhat more practically minded on immigration reform, even flirting with supporting the comprehensive Senate bill in 2012. His refusal to endorse a Canadian border wall is both an illustration of discomfort within the Republican field about extent of the anti-immigration pandering currently taking place, and more importantly, a real blow to the wall-builders of America.

Want more updates from Sam Stein? Sign up for his newsletter, Spam Stein, here.

CONVERSATIONS