In a radio interview today, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., fired back at President Obama’s claim that “extreme” Republican lawmakers were holding the nation for “ransom,” blasting what he, in turn, called Obama’s “extreme positions.”

Paul further urged the GOP to tie negotiations to raise the debt ceiling to reforming Social Security and Medicare.

“I don’t think it is an extreme position to say that government should spend only what comes in,” stated Paul, speaking on Aaron Klein’s WABC Radio show. “Every American family knows that that’s how you have to lead your life. And so that’s not an extreme position.”

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“I think what is an extreme position is that the president has added 7 trillion dollars in debt in five years. By the time he gets through with eight years, it is projected that he will add more debt than all the presidents combined,” Paul said.

Paul contended “there needs to be some structural reform of our spending,” including on Social Security or Medicare, or else lawmakers shouldn’t raise the debt ceiling.

“And it should be done probably in conjunction with (raising the debt ceiling) because it seems to be the only time people actually have the wherewithal to actually make a deal or make a negotiation,” he told Klein.

“And raising the age on Social Security gradually a couple months a year for younger people is a way to fix the imbalance. It ought to be done probably for social security and for Medicare.”

Paul went on to call the Republican Party the party of the “American dream.”

“What’s important for our country to succeed, not just the Republican Party but for our country, is that we restore, repair and continue to revive the American dream. And this isn’t about whether you are currently on welfare, whether you’re currently picking crops or you’re currently poor. It’s about the dream of opportunity in our country,” he said.

Paul said people “have crossed oceans and come on overfull, leaky boats to get here and escaped tyranny around the world.”

They came, he said, “for freedom and they also came and found prosperity.’

He emphasized “that dream has to be alive.”

“And I think that dream is what the Republican Party offers,” he said. ‘And I think we can help those who can’t help themselves, but the whole boat will sink if everybody is receiving from the government.”

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