Rand Paul says young people should treat offers of free college like heroin.
The Republican presidential candidate and Kentucky senator made the comments on Friday to Iowa radio host Jeff Angelo, arguing that America's youth should think about "what is free and what is a drug, an addicting drug like heroin."
"The main thing I would say is that nothing's free," Paul said. "If someone offers you something for free, treat it as if they're offering you heroin and think about the repercussions of what is free and what is a drug, an addicting drug like heroin and the ramifications of that. There's nothing free. It just means somebody else is gonna pay for it, you don't see them. So the plumber, the welder, the carpenter, the people who don't go to college are being asked to pay for your education."
Paul went on to argue that higher education was "so expensive" today because of an "educational monopoly," saying his solution would be to allow college students to deduct "the entire cost of going to college" over the course of their working careers and to "allow the internet to blossom."
"I imagine a hundred professors that would get together that would be able to sell their services to the entire world," he said, describing his vision for higher education online. "Not just one university, but the entire world and we have to convince them that they would be more and more successful and financially rewarded by doing this, but then the pupil would get a cheaper and cheaper educational experience, as it spreads throughout the world using the internet."
In another Iowa radio interview on Friday, with host Simon Conway, the Kentucky senator commented on the ongoing controversy stemming from last week's CNBC debate, contending that networks should "pay the Republican Party" to air debates.
"We have a product that 20 million people want to watch," Paul said. "And so we should negotiate. People should bid for this. In fact, I think the networks ought to pay the Republican Party to air it."
Paul further argued that "we ought to choose who the moderators are," praising some in the media for being "objective down the middle."
"And then we ought to choose who the moderators are," he said. "And there are some good people in the media. There are some people who are objective down the middle. There are some television journalists who I do not know whether they are Republican or Democrat because they're always a fair-shooter and they are not somebody who really plays gotcha and wants to play games. They let you present your ideas. That's what it's supposed to be about running for office."
Paul also said that he didn't know if anyone from his team would be attending Sunday's meeting of GOP presidential campaigns about the primary debates.
"You know, I'm assuming my staff is, but I don't really know," he said.
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
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