(CNN) – Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul, facing withering criticism for questioning elements of the Civil Rights Act, lamented the state of the media Thursday when asked about the tempest swirling around his remarks.
"I thought I was supposed to get a honeymoon," Paul sighed in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "When does my honeymoon start after my victory?"
In an appearance on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" Wednesday night, Paul debated whether the landmark federal anti-discrimination legislation should apply to private businesses – unleashing a torrent of attacks from national Democrats eager to undercut his candidacy two days after he secured the GOP nomination.
Paul said in the CNN interview Thursday that MSNBC, taking cues from his Democratic opponent Jack Conway, had mistakenly reported that he supports a "repeal" of the Civil Rights Act.
"I think what troubles me is that the news cycle has gotten out of control," he told Blitzer. "For several hours on a major news network yesterday, they reported repeatedly that I was for repealing the Civil Rights Act. That is not only not true, never been my position, but is an out and out lie. And they repeated it all day long."
Nevertheless, Paul sought to walk back his explosive comments.
He said he would have voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act if he were in the Senate at the time, calling the racial climate at the time "a stain on the South and our history."
"There was an overriding problem in the South that was so big that it did require federal intervention in the Sixties," he said. "The Southern states weren't correcting it, and there was a need for federal intervention."
Paul, though, would not say if he would have voted for the Americans with Disabilities Act. He wondered if a private businesses should be "forced to put in a $100,000 elevator" for a disabled employee, for example.
"I think sometimes when we have a federal solution, we have a one-size-fit-all, and that we recognize the problem, which I do also, of someone who is handicapped," he said. "But then we don't take into consideration at all the business owner or the property owner. So I think it's a balancing act."