Republicans Backing Away from Rand Paul?

Republicans Backing Away from Rand Paul?


Numerous reports note that Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul doesn’t have a flood of Republicans publicly rushing to defend him regarding recent comments he made regarding civil rights.

The son of one-time Republican presidential candidate and Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, Paul won an easy victory in the Kentucky primary with 76 percent of the vote as a Tea Party favorite.

But Paul has been battling a firestorm over his stance on civil rights.  The Wall Street Journal reported:

“In a handful of media interviews, most recently on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” Wednesday evening, Paul would not commit to a firm yes-or-no answer when asked when he would have voted for the landmark legislation.

Paul has contended that while the legislation was correct in ending racial discrimination, he’s turned the question into a philosophical one over whether or not the federal government should be able to intrude on how a private business conducts itself.”

In the wake of criticism, Rand issued a press release that stated:

“Let me be clear: I support the Civil Rights Act because I overwhelmingly agree with the intent of the legislation, which was to stop discrimination in the public sphere and halt the abhorrent practice of segregation and Jim Crow laws.

“As I have said in previous statements, sections of the Civil Rights Act were debated on Constitutional grounds when the legislation was passed. Those issues have been settled by federal courts in the intervening years.”

Paul canceled an appearance on “Meet the Press” and his campaign officials have said the issue is over.

But is it enough?

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told ABC that he was “not comfortable” with Paul’s views.

However, Steele said Paul “clarified his statement.”

“Any attempt to look backwards is not in the best interest of our country certainly, and certainly not in the best interest of the party,” Steele said.

The L.A. Times says Tea Party leaders have been “all but mum” on the issue.

The Associated Press said this week that Paul is “shaking up” his campaign staff but no further details were provided.


  1. Bridgette, you’ve crafted a story out of precious little information here. Michael Steele notwithstanding, plenty of Republican officeholders and commentators as well as some commentators on the left, have defended Dr. Paul against the worst of the criticism. He went to great lengths to express his admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King and his abhorrence for racial discrimination and it is clear to anyone who listens to the interviews that Paul was the object of deliberate “gotcha” journalism that liberals have repeatedly tried to use to tarnish conservatives as racists.

    Paul never brought up the Civil Rights Act issues, it was Maddow, his Democratic opponent, his NPR interview host, the liberal editorial board of the videotaped editorial board interview during the primary campaign. There is one party obsessed with race, the Democratic Party, and frankly Republicans have a right to be miffed about it.

  2. Rand Paul was never asked on the Maddow show if he would have voted for it. When he WAS asked if he would have voted for it, he said ‘yes, because governmental intrusion had created such a pervasive segregation in the south that governmental action was needed to reverse it.’

    Check your facts.

  3. i defend him speaking as a progressive. only because i’m not naive to libertarian philosophy and i think that’s where the mainstream media is at. his remarks come off as crass, but you have to know where the libertarians come from before you criticize. for instance one of the most respected liberarian philosopher is thomas sowell – he’s black. keep in mind these republicans showed their true “limited” government approach to legislation during the 8 years of dubya.

  4. Hey there, thanks for participating in the discussion! The post poses a question and asks for opinions. Jim, your comments about the “gotcha” journalism seem to echo that of Rand Paul’s father, Ron Paul, and Sarah Palin. Some of those opinions are included in articles that are referenced here. Thanks for your input.

    We have gathered this information from various media outlets, but there is always room for more conversation. It is interesting to see how the GOP, which didn’t endorse Paul to begin with but favored Trey Grayson, handles these issues in the coming election.

    We hope that you both stay with us as we follow this issue!