The New York Times reports that Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are meeting with a group of long-time Christian evangelical leaders looking ahead, perhaps, to 2016. They should come with tough questions because these senators have problematic views for the values voters. Here are some questions that deserve answers:
Rand Paul has talked at the Heritage Foundation about containing a nuclear-armed Iran. Does he believe that is possible? Is the Iranian regime evil?
Does Iran benefit if key allies (e.g. Syria, Hezbollah) triumph in Syria?
What should the president have done when the Green Revolution broke out in Iran in 2009?
Both senators encouraged the president to come to Congress for authorization to use force in Syria. Hypothetically speaking, if Paul or Cruz were president and Democrats were in charge of both houses, would he refuse to take military action in the national interest, say in Iran, unless Congress agreed?
How can America be a solid friend to Israel if it disengages from the Middle East? Was it a mistake to allow Russia to fill a vacuum in leadership?
Even after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s dreadful confirmation hearing and revelations concerning anti-Israel comments, Rand Paul voted to confirm him. Why? Does he regret that vote?
Rand Paul said there were Christians who were looking for war in the Middle East. Who are these people?
Rand Paul has said he’d favor legalization for some people. Who does that entail? Would this include citizenship as he stated in a speech to Hispanics earlier this year? Is he still opposed to workplace verification?
How does their Christian faith inform their views on immigration?
What obligation, if any, does the federal government have to reduce poverty?
Do they think the Food and Drug Administration is a legitimate government function? Should federal child labor laws be repealed? What regulatory agencies should be disbanded?
Do they favor banning abortion in all cases except for when the life of the mother is in danger?
Rand Paul has said that gay marriage should be up to the states. If Kentucky adopted gay marriage, would he have a problem with that?
Were Republicans or Democrats responsible for the shutdown and for failing (so far) to defund Obamacare? Did Republicans “betray” the conservative movement if they opposed the defunding tactic?
Rand Paul opposed the shutdown/defunding strategy and then changed his mind. Why?
Would they keep the National Security Agency surveillance programs? If not, how would they assure Americans the United States is able to “connect the dots” and prevent terrorist attacks?
Should voters look at their relations with colleagues in the Senate to assess leadership qualities and ability to work with others?
If they could repeal any entitlement program other than Obamacare, would they? Which one and why?
Is America a force for good in the world? Do we have an interest in protecting the innocent and encouraging freedom? If not, on what basis should we act to protect Christians persecuted in Muslim countries?
In response to a report that 34,000 furloughed government workers signed up for unemployment, a radio talk show host tweeted “at the trough.” If these people don’t have family or other sources of support, should they take unemployment benefits?
What, if anything, would they replace Obamacare with?
Should we continue cutting the Pentagon budget?
Was Mitt Romney right when he essentially said 47 percent of the country are takers, living off the efforts of others?
Other than national defense, what parts of the federal government do they think are essential?
If religious faith ever conflicted with the Constitution, what would they do?
These and many others are the sorts of questions many voters would ask, both in a primary and general election. This group has a unique opportunity to get the ball rolling. They should make the most of it.