July 6th, 2010
04:28 PM ET
4 years ago

Rand Paul reversal angers some supporters, doesn't upset others

 Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul's reversal on a key campaign pledge, that some people now call a flip-flop, may not hurt him politically with some supporters even while it angers others.
Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul's reversal on a key campaign pledge, that some people now call a flip-flop, may not hurt him politically with some supporters even while it angers others.

Washington (CNN) - Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul's reversal on a key campaign pledge, that some people now call a flip-flop, may not hurt him politically with some supporters even while it angers others.

Paul won Kentucky's Republican primary largely with the help of Tea Party activists and a staunch message of limited government which included strong opposition to 2008's bailout of Wall Street financial institutions.  Before the May primary, Paul vowed not to accept campaign cash from any federal lawmaker who voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

But on June 24, just over a month after his primary win, Paul attended a Washington fundraiser and dinner sponsored by some lawmakers who voted for the Wall Street bailout.  Kentucky's senior Sen. Mitch McConnell hosted the fundraising reception and dinner along with other Republican senators and House members.

Now, Paul's reversal is raising eyebrows among some of his supporters.

Paul Roman is active with the Tea Party movement in Lexington.  He also campaigned for Paul, telling CNN he put up signs and volunteered for the candidate.  While he did not initially know about Paul's reversal, Roman said he's now concerned.

Roman said he felt "anger" about it, telling CNN, "It goes totally against everything [Paul] said."

"I heard him say he'd only take contributions from private citizens," Roman said of the Republican candidate.  He added that Paul's accepting money from senators who voted for the Wall Street bailout could change his support for the candidate.

"That's a deal breaker," Roman said.

Apparently he is not alone.  The Lexington Herald-Leader quotes a Paul supporter in Kentucky named Warren Scoville as saying, "I am deeply disappointed that he did that."

"I don't trust Rand Paul anymore," the paper quotes Scoville as saying.  He said that he likely won't vote for Paul in the general election.

Other Paul supporters do not have a problem with Paul attending the fundraiser.

Debra Masterson, a Tea Party supporter in Kentucky, told CNN, "He's running a very expensive campaign," adding, "I think reality set in for Rand Paul."

Masterson also said that Paul did not go back on his pledge during the primary. "After the primary, a slate is wiped clean," she said.

The Director of the Tea Party of Kentucky agrees.

"I don't see anything wrong with him getting donation [help] from senators who did vote for the bailout," Frank Simon told CNN.

Paul's campaign spokesman believes most of the candidate's supporters will not be angry.

"He won the primary based on his principles of balanced budgets and a 100-percent opposition to bailouts and government takeovers," Jesse Benton told CNN.

"Now that he's won that primary fight – and won the fight, we believe, for the direction of the Republican party – he's accepting support. But he makes clear that support will not influence his positions in any way."

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story


Filed under: 2010 • Kentucky • Rand Paul
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Jim, San Antonio

    Are voters really dumb enough to vote for this lying racist lunatic? We'll see!

    July 6, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. David

    Yes, it angers me! But watch, he will probably give it back.

    July 6, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. key

    Conservatives at its best. Spend when you think no one is looking or except gifts in closed parties

    July 6, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    As with the other republican candidate in Ohio, he was for it, before he was against it. Democrats can run on this message, along with the GOBP message, the Bonehead Boehner "Ant" message and the Steele "this is Obama's war" message. Republicans are done in November.

    July 6, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I would sure love to be in Tim Kaine's shoes right now. I would eat these republiKKKlans alive with negative ads.

    July 6, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. David in Houston

    Either way he's still a quack!

    July 6, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. LouAz

    Why is anyone surprised about Junior taking money in the world's oldest profession ?

    July 6, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. leadanitus

    " But he makes clear that support will not influence his positions in any way." lol yeah right...politics is a dirty game.....everybody do a little dirt.....by this statement Mr. Paul already lying to the people.

    July 6, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. ANDROLOMA

    Hypocrisy. The first talent used by the utterly corrupt.

    July 6, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. PalmReader

    "Now that he's won that primary fight – and won the fight, we believe, for the direction of the Republican party – he's accepting support. But he makes clear that support will not influence his positions in any way."
    _______________________________

    Rand Paul is just one of the many greedy, money hungry, do what I say – not what I do, typical GOP candidates running for office.

    Just ask Barton. He'll be happy to explain BP lobbyist protocol. As will Boehner, Bachmann, and the rest of the *show me the money* GOPer crowd.

    Been quite a lot of them this election cycle.

    July 6, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. Don

    How is this a story? So you asked ONE guy, and you had to put "angry" in quotes. This is why you are dead last, trying to make news instead of report it.

    July 6, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Some days he's a fart – some days he's a turd.

    Go figure.

    July 6, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. rosaadriana

    Just another GOP hypocrite trying to protect his corporate handlers while tricking the voters. He should get a bundle from BP since he cares more about them than the people victimized by the spill.

    July 6, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. JonDie

    Ron Paul = crook

    July 6, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Well what do you expect? Wall Street Lobbyists along with Big Oil OWN the Republican Party. Rand is now forced to "deal" with this fact for some $$$ and conform to business as usual for the Republican establishment.

    July 6, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. norma

    That's not an American Flag pins he's wearing. What does that red pin symbolize?

    July 6, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. Terry

    Right, you people need to wake up and smell the coffee.

    July 6, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Big Ed

    Here we go again!

    July 6, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. anotherGDlefty

    Meet the new boss...same as the old boss.

    Say it Rand...you are a republican.

    July 6, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. michael grossman

    Rand Paul has done more flip flops than a team of cheerleaders. His supporters are not angry with him because they are few and becoming fewer. His tea party supporters can't believe and can barely tolerate his becoming just like the other guys on the right (wrong?) side of the aisle, while main stream republicans are afraid that he will stick to his libertarian ideas which many can only describe as strange and out of touch with reality. Politically Mr. Paul is in a tough spot, and in the end "red" Kentucky will turn to Mr. Jack Conway in November because we need representatives who believe in the American system and who will be able to be effectively govern in a complex and diverse society.

    July 6, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Rowe

    This has to be some kind of a world speed record for going from a rabid libertarian ideologue to an old school Republican cynical political pragmatist.

    I've got news for all you Tea Party Activists. You're being played for absolute SUCKERS by the GOP. By the time the miderms are over, you'll all need ring cushions to sit down.

    July 6, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. jae

    boy, why does cnn have to make this a racial issue. always playing the race card. why put his picture up to show that he is white. cause everybody will know that he didnt do anything wrong. all he did was lie about this, lie about that? he WHITE for God's sake, he cant do anything wrong. who cares if he took money from people who stole it from us and gave it to the banks and who are now giving it to an "alledged" racist. I cant believe people are jumping on his throat just for saying the civil rights act was wrong. C'mon, you know you agree that we should still have slavery. thats why the tea party movement is taking over. WE ARE TAKING THE COUNTRY BACK!!! from those minorities and illegals. If they couldnt vote we would not have any issues at all. we need to do what donna d'erico said a few years back about the homeless, "lets just sweep them up and put them in the trash."

    July 6, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. administrator

    well, i don't speaking more. But i hope via cnn political ticker can bring peace for all peoples.

    July 6, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. Myron

    He's already become a Washington politician and he ain't even in Washington yet.

    July 6, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  25. Andrew

    All politicians are hypocrites, liars, 2 faced, and completely incompetent.
    It doesn't matter GOP or DEMs, they both take money from Wall Street scum. Capitalism breeds greed! Our government has been bought and we have been sold such BS for to long.

    "Now that he's won that primary fight – and won the fight, we believe, for the direction of the Republican party – he's accepting support. But he makes clear that support will not influence his positions in any way."

    SURE! OMG LOL.. Are we supposed to believe this nonsense or what?
    I've grown so tired of this crap. What we need are term limits, no more pork, no more bailouts, no tax cuts for the rich, maybe tax brakes for companies that keep all operations from customer service to manufacturing in the STATES! Stop sending jobs to CHINA, Mexico, Korea, etc.

    July 6, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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