Below The Beltway

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Rand Paul Sits Down With Local Media To Talk About The Week That Was

He may have backed out of Meet The Press, but Rand Paul did give one interview this week, with Louisville’s WHAS political reporter Joe Arnold:

(WHAS11) Facing increased scrutiny of how his libertarian views apply to current laws and potential legislation, Kentucky Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul on Friday clarified earlier remarks about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, adding that the remarks were part of “a philosophic debate about a moot point.”

In an interview at his Bowling Green, Kentucky opthamology practice with WHAS11’s Joe Arnold, Paul also backed off his repeated calls to abolish the U.S. Department of Education, expressed support for school choice and vouchers, and tried to renew the focus of the Senate race on the central tenet of his campaign, cutting spending as the U.S. debt spirals.

“These are big problems,” Paul said, “We can get sidetracked into emotional issues that have nothing to do with fixing the big problem.”

In the wake of the controversy that followed Paul’s Wednesday night appearance on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, and subsequent interviews with other national networks, the Paul campaign has suspended interviews with national reporters, including canceling a planned appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press. Referring to a live interview on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday morning, Paul said he “held my own against (George) Stephanapolous.”

Paul said one lesson learned from the MSNBC experience is “I need to be very careful about going on certain networks that seem to have a bias. Because it really wasn’t the interview so much that was unfair. The interview I think was very fair. But then they went on a whole day repeating something over and over again. It makes me less inclined to go on a network.”


“To me, I look at government as not a utopian ideal that we can get to,” Paul said in the interview with Arnold, “but I can have a philosophic discussion with you over utopian ideals. But when I look at it, I say, ‘How do we fix Medicare, how do we fix social security so another generation gets it?’ We’ve all paid into it. Its not a discussion over whether we’re having it or not having it, let’s try to fix it.”

As Paul learned, though, cable news networks are not the place to have philosophical debates, mostly because they just don’t care about them.


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