Hours after a controversy in which Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) claimed he was held up at a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint in Nashville because of concerns over the screening process, his father, GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, is seeking to make a little money off a newly emphasized campaign to "end the TSA."
On Monday, Paul set off an alarm while passing through a scanner at a security checkpoint at the Nashville Airport in Tennessee. He then reportedly refused a secondary screening procedure of a full-body pat-down, instead insisting that he be allowed to run through the scanner again. The TSA refused his request, which then led to Paul's removal from the area.
The Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel reports:
The TSA said that Paul "was not detained at any point."
"The passenger triggered an alarm during routine airport screening and refused to complete the screening process in order to resolve the issue," TSA said in a statement. "Passengers, as in this case, who refuse to comply with security procedures are denied access to the secure gate area. He was escorted out of the screening area by local law enforcement."
TSA spokesman Greg Soule said in a statement, "When an irregularity is found during the TSA screening process, it must be resolved prior to allowing a passenger to proceed to the secure area of the airport."
Soule added later that Paul "rebooked on another flight and was rescreened without incident."
Both of the Pauls have frequently stood as vocal opponents of the TSA and its increasingly tight security procedures. Now Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), in the middle of a campaign for president, has launched a money-bomb in which he asks for supporters to "help me win this race and fight back for our civil liberties by making your most generous contribution right away."
"The elderly. The disabled. Little kids. All victims of an out-of-control police state that, while doing nothing to make us safer, is working overtime to strip away our freedoms, our rights, and our basic dignity," Paul writes in the release. "As President, I pledge to do everything in my power to strengthen our national security by ending the theatrical sham that is the TSA."
Below, the full text of Paul's release:
Earlier today, the internet was buzzing with the rallying cry "Free Rand Paul!"
And this image was at the top of the Drudge Report:
What happened to set off such a firestorm?
My son, Senator Rand Paul, simply stood up for his right not to be the latest victim of the TSA's disgusting full body pat-down.
I'm writing today to ask for your help in fighting back against the out-of-control TSA, but first, let me tell you what happened.
After an "anomaly" turned up in his body scan as he was trying to board a flight in Nashville, Rand showed that he was clearly no threat and asked to go through the scanner a second time.
Instead of tolerating this common-sense idea, TSA officials demanded he undergo a full body pat-down.
Rand stood up for his rights and refused - and was then detained by the TSA and prevented from getting on his flight.
Though the TSA finally caved after Rand didn't back down for two hours - and allowed him to go through the scanner again - Rand caught a later flight but missed his commitment to speak at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
As soon as word got out that Rand was being detained, grassroots Americans responded in outrage over this latest abuse of power by the TSA.
Which leads me to a critical point.
Rand was able to speak up for liberty today thanks to the platform he has as a U.S. Senator.
I'm proud of my son's stand, but just imagine those who receive this kind of treatment every day in our nation's airports and can't fight back?
The elderly. The disabled. Little kids.
All victims of an out-of-control police state that, while doing nothing to make us safer, is working overtime to strip away our freedoms, our rights, and our basic dignity.
Thanks to your support, I have a chance to stand up for all those who have been assaulted by the TSA and END these abuses once and for all.
As President, I pledge to do everything in my power to strengthen our national security by ending the theatrical sham that is the TSA.
I know it's short notice, but we've put together a mini-Money Bomb to bring even more attention to this critical issue tonight and tomorrow.
Will you help me win this race and fight back for our civil liberties by making your most generous contribution right away?
You see, not one of my establishment opponents - and certainly not the incumbent, who stands idly by every day while this disgrace operates in our airports - will lift ONE FINGER to stop the TSA, stand up for our Constitution, and preserve passengers' dignity.
I have led on this issue with my Plan to Restore America, which, along with cutting $1 trillion during the first year of my presidency, abolishes the TSA!
My Plan will take the responsibility for security from this reckless bureaucracy and return it to the private property owners who will do everything possible to keep their customers safe.
Whether it's honoring our promises to our veterans, or securing our borders, or ending the policies that keep our troops under the thumb of the UN, not one of my opponents measure up to the standard we need when it comes to this nation's defense.
Sure, they'll talk a good game on the campaign trail, but every one of them ignores the simple truth that national security begins at home.
Let's follow "Free Rand Paul" with another rallying cry - "End the TSA!"
And this election gives us a better chance than ever before to do just that.
Please, give whatever you are able right away to our End the TSA Money Bomb to help us keep the spotlight on this out-of-control organization and restore respect for freedom and common decency to the White House.
P.S. Earlier today, my son, Senator Rand Paul, was detained by the TSA in Nashville, prevented from making his flight, and missed his commitment to speak at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
All because he refused to be the latest victim of the TSA's disgusting full body pat-downs.
I'm proud of my son's stand, but there are many more who receive this kind of treatment every day - and never have a chance to speak out.
My Plan to Restore America stands up for the rights and privacy of every traveler by abolishing the TSA.
Please, make your most generous contribution today to my End the TSA Money Bomb so I can have every possible resource to win this race, abolish the out-of-control TSA, and lead the fight to keep our nation safe - instead of allowing bureaucrats to continue sacrificing our security for this theatrical sham.