DHS chief Jeh Johnson agreed with Chuck Todd that drones could make protecting 2016 presidential candidates more difficult. And, Johnson said as an example, he was a giving a speech recently when he looked up to see "a little drone flying over my head."
"I'm thinking about campaign events in 2016 and I'm thinking about you're going to have -- how panicked is Secret Service about this issue of the proliferation of drones? Because I'm sitting here wondering how hard it's going to be to secure outdoor campaign events now in 2016. You're going to have -- just trying to distinguish between we in the news media are using drones now and we love these aerial shots," said Todd. "Boy, i'm looking at it, if I'm Secret Service, I'm thinking, boy which drone is which. Is that an NBC drone or is that some crazy man that wants to do damage?"
Johnson responded, "When you refer to a drone in this context, Chuck, I'm assuming you're referring to the smaller --"
Todd replied, "Look, I'm referring to any of the stuff. Because some of it's small and some of it could be big. Look, in this case, it was smaller stuff."
"This is something that U.S. NORTHCOM, me, Secret Service, Capitol Police, Metro police here in the Washington, D.C. area, we need to refine our protocols for airborne stuff in the national capital region to deal with what we're referring to as the low and slow stuff," said Johnson.
Todd replied, "You said just national capital region, but I'm thinking Des Moines, Iowa, Fair Grounds. I hate to be that kind of conspiratorial--"
"It is definitely an issue," said Johnson. "I was giving a commencement address a couple weekends ago and in the middle I look up and I see a little drone flying over my head. Fortunately the Secret Service was on this guy in a second, but it was a little distracting in the middle of what I thought was an inspirational speech and all of a sudden I see this thing buzzing over my head. But the Secret Service was on him pretty quickly."
At a Washington, D.C. event hosted by the Foreign Policy Initiative, Senator Ted Cruz defended the use of drones but also expressed some concern. "I'm worried about what I would call video game warfare," said Cruz in response to a question about drones.
There is a shortage of drones in the theater where the U.S. is engaged against ISIS. They are needed in another theater of operations, one where we do have troops engaged and are committed to getting them out.
The U.S. is running up against a shortage of surveillance drones to conduct reconnaissance of the various battlefields where it is engaged. Right now, the theater where its combat troops are directly engaged is getting priority … as it most certainly should be.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus reiterated that he believes Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster over the Obama administration’s drone policy was a “unifying moment” for the GOP and that the party is "totally on board" with the libertarian senator.
"The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered,” Kentucky senator Rand Paul said Thursday to the Conservative Political Action Conference. “I don’t think we need to name any names here, do we?” he added coyly.
Before Rand Paul even arrived at the Gaylord National Harbor convention center in Maryland for his Thursday afternoon CPAC address, the stage was set for his raucous reception. Outside the convention hall, a team of eager young volunteers began passing out t-shirts, stickers, and posters emblazoned with the catchiest political slogan since “Yes We Can.”
Senator Ted Cruz, joining Rand Paul's filibuster on the floor of the Senate:
"And I'm pretty certain--for the record, I can confirm that no teleprompter was in front of the senator from Kentucky's desk," said Cruz, taking a shot at President Obama's frequent use of Teleprompters. "Senator Rand Paul, Jimmy Stewart would be proud, sir."
Senator Ted Cruz, joining in support of Rand Paul's filibuster, said today was the first day he had the chance to speak on the Senate floor. "It don't get no better than this," Cruz said, quoting a beer commercial: