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.