Where the 2016 Republicans Stand on NSA Spying

National Journal
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Dustin Volz
April 5, 2015, 4 p.m.

Nearly two years after Ed­ward Snowden hood­winked the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency, the GOP still has failed to re­con­cile its dif­fer­ences on sur­veil­lance policy. Nowhere is that more clear than a sur­vey of Re­pub­lic­ans eye­ing the White House.

In one corner, Jeb Bush, Marco Ru­bio, and Chris Christie make up the GOP’s wing of tra­di­tion­al de­fense hawks, vo­ci­fer­ously de­fend­ing mass phone and In­ter­net spy­ing as ne­ces­sary to keep Amer­ic­ans safe from ter­ror­ist at­tacks. In the oth­er, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz lead a tea party-in­fused fac­tion clam­or­ing to keep Big Broth­er’s pry­ing eyes and ears far away from private con­ver­sa­tions.

But no two can­did­ates are per­fectly alike, and many have yet to weigh in spe­cific­ally on the NSA’s most con­tro­ver­sial spy­ing pro­gram—its bulk col­lec­tion of US phone call metadata. As cam­paigns kick off and de­bates loom, each Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial con­tender will have to an­swer: Where do you stand on the NSA?

 

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