Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) doesn’t agree with critics of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.
“There’s not a shred of evidence that anybody’s civil liberties have been violated by it. Not a shred,” Bush said Thursday in New Hampshire, in comments after a breakfast organised by the Concord Chamber of Commerce, according to the Huffington Post.
The comment puts Bush, who is considering a presidential bid, on the opposite side of one his likely rivals, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).
Bush vocalized his support for NSA surveillance just hours after Paul, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, ended a 10 hour Senate filibuster in protest of the government surveillance. Paul was speaking out againt the renewal of portions of the Patriot Act, anti-terrorism legislating signed into law in 2001 by Bush’s older brother, former President George W. Bush. NSA surveillance is authorised through the Patriot Act.
“I will not let the Patriot Act, the most un-patriotic of acts, go unchallenged. The bulk collection of all Americans’ phone records all of the time is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment,”Paul said in his speech Wednesday.
Bush address Paul’s opposition to the Patriot Act in an interview on Thursday.
“I think he’s wrong in saying that this is unconstitutional or saying that people’s freedoms have been violated by the Patriot Act,” Bush said of Paul.
Bush has previously spoken out in favour of NSA surveillance. In April, he offered rare praise for President Obama when he declared the surveillance was the “best part” of the Obama administration.
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