5.21.2010

Meet Dr. Rand Paul - Day 2 (UPDATED)

6:25 pm UPDATE: Rand Paul Cancels His Meet The Press Interview. Only 3 people have in MTP's 62 years history have canceled: Rand Paul, Louis Farrakhan & Saudi Prince Bandar bin Khaled al-Faisal (h/t @tlw3). He's in great company.
Yesterday, I introduced you Dr. Rand Paul, the GOP's Conservative-Libertarian, Teabaggging Senatorial candidate from Kentucky who:
Suffice it to say, the interview didn't do him any favors:
In fact, one could say that Rand Paul had the worst 36 hour Honeymoon period in modern political history, particularly after summarily wiping his opponent out in the Kentucky primary, with 67% of the vote.

Here's were the headlines from included in my Rand post from yesterday:
Via TPM:
Via Think Progress:
Via Daily Kos:
Well, I have a feeling today isn't going to get any easier for him.

First, last night, Keith Olbermann reported on the days events. He was then was joined by Newsweek's Howard Fineman, to discuss the effect of Paul’s comments on his election race in November against Democrat Jack Conway.
Is Pauls' Senate bid over?


Then, Keith was joined by Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. -- still incensed by Rand’s comment -- to lay into him some more.
Did Rand Paul cross a line?

But it was Rachel Maddow, who, once again, in a follow-up segment from last night's show, owned Rand Paul. It was truly mesmerizing:
Ezra Klein posted this late yesterday: Rand Paul may not be a racist, but he is an extremist
[...] I take Paul at his word that he's not a racist. What he is, however, is an ideological extremist. He is so categorically opposed to public regulation of private enterprise that he cannot even bring himself to say that the Woolworth lunch counter should've been desegregated. Instead, he falls back on the remedies of the market: "I wouldn't attend, wouldn't support, wouldn't go to," a private institution that discriminates, he told Rachel Maddow. But he would let them discriminate. And in the segregated South, that would've been a perfectly viable business model for many, many very important institutions.

"I think what you've done is you bring up something that really is not an issue," Paul said to Maddow, "nothing I've ever spoken about or have any indication that I'm interested in any legislation concerning." That's actually wrong: Paul isn't likely to get the chance to modify Title IX of the Civil Rights Act anytime soon. But he will have to vote on quite a bit of legislation that uses the commerce clause to regulate private businesses. And that's why this matters.

Paul's defense of himself is that his take on the Civil Rights Act has nothing to do with race and so he is not a racist. But by the same token, the fact that Paul's view on the Civil Rights Act is so dominated by his libertarian ideology that he cannot even admit race and segregation into the calculus is exactly why this is relevant to Paul's candidacy, why it's an issue and why it's among the best evidence we have in understanding how he'll vote on legislation that comes before him. If this isn't about race, then it is about all questions relating to federal regulation of private enterprise. As a senator, Paul will be faced with that question frequently. And his views on it are clearly very, very far from the mainstream.

Dave Weigel reported on his opponents reaction to Rand's walking back of his beliefs: Rand Paul's opponent decries rival's 'Washington flip-flop' on Civil Rights Act
I just spoke with Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) about his claim that his opponent in the state's U.S. Senate race, Rand Paul, wants to "repeal" the Civil Rights Act and Paul's 2002 letter stating his opposition to the Fair Housing Act.

"I meant that he rejected a fundamental provision of the act," said Conway, defending his use of the term "repeal" after Paul said he would not repeal the act. "He was on Rachel Maddow for 20 minutes, saying that, had he been there in 1964, he would have taken this provision out. That's basically what he said."

Conway called the 2002 letter that Paul wrote to his local paper "troubling." In it, Paul opposed the Fair Housing Act on the grounds that "a free society" should allow private discrimination even if he finds it abhorrent.

"I don't believe our society in 2010 ought to tolerate that," Conway said. "I think it's just this narrow and rigid worldview that he has, this philosophy. I don't know if it comes from his father. Tim Russert, a few years back, asked his father a few years ago about this. And his father said that, based on property rights, he doesn't support a few provisions of the Civil Rights Act. He said that point blank to Tim Russert.

"It seems like Rand Paul has been espousing this same point -- it seems like he was espousing this in 2002, he was espousing it a few weeks ago, and he was espousing it last night. If he's trying to backtrack now, he's just doing a Washington flip-flop," Conway said.

The next video is of highlights of Rand's victory speech on election night, only a few hours before he imploded on Rachel Maddow. This is not sane man.

Via Jed Lewison over at DKTV:
What if Glenn Beck ran for U.S. Senate? Highlights from Rand Paul’s nutty victory speech


Of course, Pat Buchanan loves him. This is from last week, but it's telling about the kind of supporters he has: Rand Paul (Son of Ron) Could Just Save the Republican Party Donate to Jack Conway.

Friends like the entire Fox "news" network: GOP candidate Rand Paul on Fox "all of the time": 21 appearances since last May

Just before Kentucky's Republican Senate primary, Trey Grayson complained that his opponent Rand Paul is "on [Fox] all of the time ... His dad [Rep. Ron Paul, R-TX] had these phenomenal contacts, so ... he's on Fox News every couple of weeks with softballs." Paul's certainly been a frequent guest on Fox: From May 2009 to May 17, Paul appeared on Fox programs at least 21 times. Paul has also been endorsed on-air by Fox News "political analysts" Dick Morris and Sarah Palin.

[snip]

The following is a list of the appearances Paul has made on Fox News, Fox Business and FoxNews.com between May 20, 2009 and May 17:

see the full list with links....

Some more highlights...

Via the NY Times: Tea Party Pick Causes Uproar on Civil Rights

WASHINGTON — Rand Paul, the Tea Party candidate who overcame opposition from the Republican establishment to win the party’s nomination for Senate in Kentucky two days ago, placed himself on Thursday into a potentially damaging dispute over civil rights and race.

In doing so, he provided Democrats an opportunity to portray him as extreme and renewed concern among Republicans that his views made him vulnerable in a general election.

Mr. Paul, in a series of television and radio interviews, suggested that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was too broad and should not apply to private businesses, such as luncheonettes. As his statements drew a swarm of attacks from his opponents, Mr. Paul issued a statement declaring that he would not support repealing the landmark 1964 statute and blaming political opponents for trying to distort his views by saying he favored repeal.

[snip]

While those views reflect the libertarian philosophy that Mr. Paul and many Tea Party members have embraced, they are politically treacherous for someone making an appeal to the electorate at large, as Mr. Paul learned as he struggled with questions about whether he thought the government had a role in regulating food safety and working conditions.

Congressional Republicans were peppered with questions about Mr. Paul’s position on civil rights. “I just want to be on the record that I believe the Interstate Commerce Clause was properly used by the courts and the Congress to make sure that when you travel in this country you can’t be denied food and lodging based on your race,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said. “That is not a big heavy lift for me.”

[snip]

Mr. Paul also found himself on the defensive on Thursday when he sought to justify his decision to hold his election night celebration at a country club in Bowling Green, arguing that was not in any way at variance with the grass-roots movement he has come to epitomize.

“I think at one time, people used to think of golf and golf clubs and golf courses as being exclusive,” Mr. Paul said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” adding, “Tiger Woods has helped to broaden that, in the sense that he’s brought golf to a lot of the cities and to city youth.”

Via the L.A. Times: 'Tea party' candidate faces civil rights controversy
In two separate interviews Wednesday, Paul seemed to suggest that he did not favor the way the courts settled those issues. He said he did not think the federal government should intervene to force private businesses to desegregate or accommodate the needs of the disabled.

Paul, the son of libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), likened forced desegregation of lunch counters to the government forcing a business to allow patrons to carry guns.

"Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant? Or does the government own his restaurant? These are important philosophical debates but not a very practical discussion," Paul told host Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.

[snip]

The discussion could affect the Senate race in Kentucky, where a history of racial violence led to forced desegregation. Paul's statements threaten to alienate many of the black voters whom the Republican Party has spent decades trying to attract.

The issue also highlights what is sure to be the Democrats' chief line of attack on Paul: That some of his views are far out of the mainstream.
Via The Wall Street Journal: Paul's Civil-Rights Remarks Ignite Row And the day hasn't really gotten into full swing yet.

Via USA Today: Rand Paul Embodies the Republican Tea Party Problem
[...] Paul and the Tea Party crowd threaten to leave the GOP unbalanced. They are so convinced of their own civic righteousness that they are blinded to the fact that they have minority views.

They see no need to moderate (or, in office, compromise) because they believe themselves to be fundamentally in the middle of the main stream of political thought. And the true believer's predilection toward philosophy makes them easily drawn into grand philosophical debates, which The Fix points out, is a losing proposition in high stakes politics. Theoretical discussions lend themselves to taking beliefs to their logical conclusions. And true believerism keeps candidates like Rand from having the good sense to not go there.

[snip]

Democrats have pounced on this in an effort to define Paul as a radical. "We're learning that Rand Paul has this narrow and rigid philosophy when it comes to government interacting with business in any sort of way," says Jack Conway, Pauls' Democratic opponent. Paul's first couple of days as certified GOP nominee--starting with having his victory rally at an exclusive country club--have been like manna from heaven for Conway, literally. According to Conway, online fundraising has ticked up as the media has turned the spotlight on Paul's nuttiness. (And as I wrote that a fundraising email came in from the Conway campaign asking for a $5 donation to battle Paul's--wait for it--"narrow and rigid" ideology.)

So Paul's radical image does double duty, not simply isolating swing voters, but raising funds for Conway. The portrait of the young doctor as wild eyed and dangerous could well stick. That's why the GOP establishment was so anxious to keep Paul from winning the primary.

Via the Louisville Courier-Journal: Rand Paul embroiled in Civil Rights controversy over remarks made on Courier ...
Former state Sen. Georgia Powers, the first African American elected to that body, said she was furious when she heard about Paul's position.

"I don't think he's thinking clearly and not considering how minorities will react to this," she said. "Maybe he doesn't expect to get any votes from any minorities. I hope he doesn't."

[snip]

"Among Senator McConnell's most vivid memories and most formative events in his career was watching his boss, Sen. John Sherman Cooper, help pull together the votes to break the filibuster and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964," McConnell spokesman Robert Steurer said in a statement. "He has always considered the law a monumental achievement for the country and is glad to hear Dr. Paul supports it as well."

It was a question about that law, posed during The Courier-Journal editorial board interview, that prompted Paul to elaborate on his views.

"Under your philosophy, it would be okay for Dr. (Martin Luther) King to not be served at the counter at Woolworths?" he was asked during the meeting.

[snip]

Pageonekentucky.com, a Louisville-based blog, uncovered a letter to the editor that Paul wrote to the Bowling Green Daily News in 2002.

In it, he said: "A free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination ... even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin. It is unenlightened and ill-informed to promote discrimination against individuals based on the color of their skin. It is likewise unwise to forget the distinction between public (taxpayer-financed) and private entities."
Via Daily Kos: Kentucky Dems Speak Out About Rand Paul
From the Rep. John Yarmuth (KY-3) press release:

"The comments by Senate candidate Rand Paul opposing the Civil Rights Act are simply appalling, and make it abundantly clear that he has no place holding public office in Kentucky in the 21st century. Our Commonwealth was the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line to establish a Commission on Human Rights dedicated to ending discrimination and we have worked hard to show the nation that Jim Crow laws are a distant part of our history.

Rejecting the fundamental provision of the Civil Rights Act is a rejection of the foundational promise of America that all men and women should be treated equally -- a promise for which many Americans have lost their lives.

Leading is not hypothetical debating; it’s about solving real problems. It is the job of a Member of Congress to represent the needs of every one of their constituents, not to allow businesses to segregate or discriminate against them.

Rand Paul has already embarrassed Kentuckians in the eyes of the world. The Commonwealth deserves better because we are better - and I call on Mitch McConnell and my other colleagues in the Kentucky Congressional Delegation to join me in condemning his despicable views."

Via HuffPo: Race Trips up Rand Paul Too
Things may be different with Rand. There's his widely quoted smoking gun interview with the Louisville Courier Journal in which he blew off the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a slap against private businesses' right to racially discriminate. He had a second and third chance to eat his words in two separate interviews after his primary win. He blew both. He did the obligatory disavowal of racism, but did not back away from his belief that the Civil Rights Act went way too far in telling private businesses that they couldn't racially discriminate. Junior Paul, unlike dad, is suddenly a national figure and counted on by legions of revved up tea party activists to carry the party flag into battle against President Obama. Rand hasn't disappointed. He made it clear that he'll pound Obama and his agenda at every turn.

[snip]

If Rand and company have to reach back nearly half a century and dredge up a monumental piece of legislation that totally remade the racial map in America to fire up the faithful, then so be it. After all, why let a little thing like racial bigotry trip a Paul up. Ron tipped around it. Rand will do the same. The frightening thing is that he may get away with it.

Via WaPo: Rand Paul comments about civil rights stir controversy

Throughout the day, Paul accused political opponents of manufacturing the controversy, telling conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham that the "loony left" was attempting to discredit his candidacy.

But Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democratic Senate nominee, told The Washington Post's David Weigel that Paul's statements on MSNBC made it clear that the Republican "rejected the fundamental provision of the Civil Rights Act, and to me that's a rejection of the progress we've made over the last half-century."

Democrats also pointed to a 2002 letter Paul had written to a Kentucky newspaper arguing that private individuals and businesses should have the right to discriminate, even if it is abhorrent.

[snip]

Whether Paul's statements will hurt the tea party movement is another question. In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, six in 10 opponents of the movement said they think racial bias against President Obama has a great deal or a good amount to do with its appeal. Tea party supporters disagree, saying the movement is fueled by concerns about the size and scope of federal spending and the deficit, although many activists have argued that the government is infringing too much on individual liberties.

Via WaPo: The Fix: Ron Paul's political problem

Democrats immediately pounced -- gleefully sending around the clip (as well as another interview Paul gave to National Public Radio that touched on the Civil Right Act) designed to cast the self-proclaimed candidate of the tea party as out-of touch with average voters in the Bluegrass State.

"Rand Paul is running for a narrow political philosophy that has dangerous consequences for working families, veterans, students, the disabled, and those without a voice in the halls of power," said state Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democratic nominee for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jim Bunning (R).

From the Democratic perspective, the aim is clear: kill Paul's candidacy before it has a chance to grow and, in so doing, avoid the mistake that Grayson made in the primary -- allowing Paul to use his grassroots support to build momentum.

[snip]

Here's Paul's political problem in two easy steps.

1) He was trying to make a theoretical argument about what role the government does (or should) have telling private businesses what to do. (Weigel has the full explanation of what he believes Paul means here.)

2) Theoretical arguments are stone cold losers in the context of political campaigns.

Via HuffPo: Rand Paul Keynoted 2009 Rally for Far-Right Constitution Party

All you really need to know about Christian Reconstructionism is in the title of a January 2008 Talk To Action story of mine, More From The Biblical Stoning & Legalized Slavery Movement.

Enter Rand Paul.

Amidst the hullaballoo over Republican Rand Paul's upset victory in the Kentucky GOP primary for US Senate, one of the few journalists to raise the issue of Paul's somewhat uncomfortable proximity to Christian Reconstructionism has been Alternet's Adele Stan, who observes that Rand Paul's father Ron Paul is personal friends with one of the bigger names in the Christian Reconstructionist movement, Howard Phillips, founder of the US Taxpayers Party -- now re-branded as The Constitution Party. But there's much more direct evidence tying Ran Paul to the Constitution Party, whose national platform declares,

"The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations... The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law"
Also Via HuffPo: Rand Paul Is 'Kentucky Fried Candidate' Over Civil Rights Comments

During an appearance on MSNBC's Ed Show, Democratic National Committee chairman referred to Paul as a "Kentucky fried candidate."



The DNC also released a web ad midday on Thursday, hammering away at the Tea Party favorite.

Via Slate: Rand Old Party - Why Democrats can't wait to use Rand Paul against the GOP.

Democratic Party operatives must have melted their servers with all the e-mail messages they sent to reporters questioning Paul's views on racism and his libertarian beliefs. Were they so extreme that he would not support one of the signature laws of American equality?

This is what opposition parties do. With Paul, the Democrats have ample material from his past. But rarely does the candidate help his enemies by providing a fresh moment to paint him as an extremist.

[snip]

Democrats are pressing Paul so hard for several reasons. It's not just that they want to win his seat. They want to make every Republican defend Paul. Democrats need African-American turnout to be high this election. Getting into a debate about civil rights would help that. But they'll also try to keep Republicans responding to Paul's other non-establishment views—such as the need to abolish much of the federal government, including the Federal Reserve and Social Security Administration.

This one from Politico can't help: Jim Bunning: Mitch McConnell should be more like Rand Paul‎.

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) said Thursday that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't always represent what's best for the Republican Party.

When asked whether McConnell's positions reflect what most Republicans would like to see out of their leader, Bunning said: "Not all the time." And he said that many Republicans would like to see McConnell and the Senate GOP act more like Rand Paul, whose libertarian views thrust him to a huge GOP primary victory Tuesday night.

[snip]

Bunning also blamed the "far left" editorial board of the Louisville Courier-Journal for the controversy that has flared over Paul's statements that he was concerned about the 1964 Civil Rights Act's regulation of private businesses.

Via Time's Joe Klein:

The latest--an update from Michael Scherer's smart post below--is that Rand Paul is now saying that he regrets the appearance with Rachel Maddow, not the ridiculous statements he made in favor of a private business's ability to discriminate according to race. I suspect that this will be the first of many such disasters for the Tea Party libertarians. They are about to find themselves faced with actual political rivals who will be more than happy to expose the utopian foolishness of their ideology. This will be a rare moment of public education for an electorate that doesn't pay sufficient attention to even the most important aspects of democracy.

If Democrats play their cards right, by November most Americans will know that Medicare is government health care, that social security is a government pension service, that all the bank bailout money either has been paid back or will be covered by a modest tax on too-big-to-fail banks, that the Obama stimulus package mostly consisted of tax cuts for them and support for necessary local government functions like schools and cops--and that the jobs-creating aspects of the stimulus package have been remarkably free of corruption.

Updates to follow....I'm certain of it.

UPDATE I:

Via TPM: Paul Has Been Guest Of Conspiracy Theorist Shock Jock Alex Jones (VIDEO)

Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul has been a guest on the show of wacky conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones multiple times in the past couple years.

For Jones, who runs the site Infowars.com and broadcasts his eponymous radio show out of Austin, 9/11 trutherism is only the beginning. He regularly devotes his show to investigating the Bilderberg Group, the "rise of FEMA," the Bohemian Grove, how to fight the New World Order, etc.

The ideologies of Rand Paul and Jones overlap when it come to areas like the Fed and the putative assault on U.S. sovereignty by international institutions (or, as Jones would say, "totalitarian world government"). Paul appeared on Jones' show at least three times in 2009.

see the video...

Via David Corn: Rand Paul and His 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Friend

Paul, like his father Ron (the libertarian Republican congressman), fancies himself a strict constitutionalist opposed to globalists and what he and others in the so-called "Patriot movement" call the New World Order. And this view of politics has led Paul to keep unusual company—such as his appearances on the radio show of Alex Jones, an anti-government conspiracy theorist and one of the more prominent proponents of the idea that the Bush administration was complicit in the 9/11 attacks.

Jones, who sees big government conspiracies elsewhere, as well, has been an enthusiastic supporter of both Ron and Rand Paul. Both men have appeared on his show, which, of course, doesn't mean they endorse his 9/11 views and other opinions. (Last December, Rand Paul's campaign communications director, Chris Hightower, resigned after a blogger exposed Hightower as an anti-Christian who believed that the US government was responsible for 9/11. The Paul campaign, asked by a local newspaper, if Paul agreed with Hightower on 9/11, said it was a "complicated situation" with "truth on both sides.") But Rand Paul has shown sympathy for Jones' overall view of a world of global conspiracies, and he has expressed support for some of Jones' unconventional ideas.

During a July 23, 2009 show, Jones, decrying the Wall Street bailout, asked Paul, "This isn't really socialism….Isn't this more akin to fascism?" Paul replied, "You're exactly right." Later on the show, while Jones was denouncing cap-and-trade legislation (which he says could lead to "toilet paper taxes") and calling for investigating Al Gore, Paul noted that should the climate bill become law, "we will have an army of armed EPA agents--thousands of them." These EPA troopers, according to Paul, would be free to burst into homes and apartments to determine if they were meeting energy-efficiency standards.

UPDATE II:

Here's some of the bigger headline from the rest of today involving the gift that keeps on giving, Rand Paul:

Via TPM:
Rand Paul: Economic Collapse Could Lead To 'A Hitler' Coming To Power

Rand Paul warned last year that a worsening economy could lead to "a Hitler" coming to power in the U.S.

During an August 2009 speech at a "machine gun shoot" in Knob Creek, Kentucky, the GOP Senate candidate -- last seen walking back his opposition to a key piece of the Civil Rights Act -- declared that "we are on the precipice of an economic calamity", and asked: "What happens if the entire dollars collapses because we have so much debt?"

A little later in the speech, he offered an answer:

If we get economic calamity even worse than we have now, you will lose your rights. And we have to be vigilant and watch.

What happened in Germany, when the Weimar Republic printed up so much money and you carry it around in wheelbarrows? There was a collapse, and they actually voted in a Hitler. You could get something like that in our country if we're not careful and vigilant.

Watch the video...
Also via TPM:
Rand Paul In '08: Beware The NAFTA Superhighway! (VIDEO)
Campaigning for his father in Montana back in 2008, Rand Paul spoke out against the NAFTA Superhighway, encouraging Congress to stop the mythical project that would connect Mexico, the U.S., and Canada and, critics say, deal a fatal blow to American sovereignty. Long a bugaboo on some segments of the Right, the NAFTA Superhighway does not actually exist.

"It's gonna go up through Texas, I guess, all the way to Montana," said Paul, at an event in Bozeman. "So, it's a real thing, and when you talk about it, the thing you just have to be aware of is that, if you talk about it like it's a conspiracy, they'll paint you as a nut."

As was amply documented by The Nation a few years back, "There's no such thing as a proposed NAFTA Superhighway." It represents, Newsweek put it, "a strange stew of fact and fiction, fired by paranoia" that was popularized by Jerome Corsi, the man who spearheaded the Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry in 2004.

Watch the video...

Via Think Progress: Paul Calls White House Pressure On BP ‘Un-American,’ Says That ‘Sometimes Accidents Happen’

In an interview on ABC News’ Good Morning America today, host George Stephanopoulos pressed GOP Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul on “how far” he would “push” his anti-government views. Playing a clip of Paul telling Fox Business that he wants to “get rid of regulation” and “get the EPA out of our coal business down,” Stephanopoulos asked if Paul believed “the EPA should not be allowed to tell oil companies they can’t use certain chemicals to enforce safety regulations on that rig out there?” “No,” replied Paul, saying that he was referring to the EPA’s effort to regulate carbon emissions.

When Stephanopoulos followed up with a question about getting “rid of the EPA,” Paul defended BP’s response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last month and attacked the Obama administration’s crackdown on the oil giant as “really un-American“:

Watch the video....

Via Bob Cesca, who referring to the Stephanopoulos interview just above: Wow. Rand Paul Is Insane.

Apart from being outrageously wrong, this latest news from Rand Paul verifies that he's either suffering from an epic meltdown or he's just plain crazy.

Accidents happen? The CEO of BP didn't stub his toe on the coffee table. BP has successfully dumped tens of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, destroying both the environment and American jobs. And I'm fairly certain that they delayed plugging the leak in order to find a way to continue harvesting the oil.

So in addition to opposing a crucial section of the Civil Rights Act this week, Rand Paul is also defending BP? Unbelievable. Not surprisingly, Kentucky Republicans will love him for both.

Via Daily Kos: Rand Paul on Miner deaths: "accidents happen"

From the WaPo:

On the oil spill, Paul, a libertarian and tea party favorite, said he had heard nothing from BP indicating it wouldn't pay for the spill that threatens devastating environmental damage along the Gulf of Mexico coast.

"And I think it's part of this sort of blame-game society in the sense that it's always got to be somebody's fault instead of the fact that maybe sometimes accidents happen," Paul said.


The Senate candidate also referred to a Kentucky coal mine accident that killed two men, saying he had met with the families and he admired the coal miners' courage.

"We had a mining accident that was very tragic. ... Then we come in and it's always someone's fault. Maybe sometimes accidents happen," he said.

UPDATE III:

Let's end today's post with link to a look back at Rand Pauls debut week, compiled nicely by TPM's Evan McMorris-Santoro:

Rand Paul And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week. Check it out.

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