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. Drew

    What's this? The Tea Party Messiah lifts his holy gown to expose feet of clay? Ha, ha, and now the Tea Party must scurry around, bobbing, weaving and finding a way to explain why this isn't just politics as usual, as we all knew it would be.

    July 6, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  2. Bob of Lompoc

    The Tea Party thing and those it supports is just a racket. They are faking extreme RightWingNut behavior just to try to get back in power. Evidence: Rand Paul, the drop, dead Anti Socialist Medicine Guy has over half his patients on Medicare. The U. S. Government pays the bills. Americans, particularly Republicans, are sooooo gullible.

    July 6, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  3. ANNE - SEATTLE

    Are there no descent Republicans left in POLITICS?

    July 6, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. bobcat1a

    It's easy to promise stuff when you are outside looking in but it gets harder the closer you get to inside looking out. Nothing new to see here folks, just walk away... another politician.

    July 6, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. C Smith

    The Tea Party will not "take back the country" as they so claim. I am amazed these "partiers" still try to stand strong when all their best candidates come off looking like uneducated racist idiots.

    July 6, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. The Film Professor

    Bet they are not serving just tea with those $1000 a plate dinners.

    What a hypocrite! You tea baggers are seriously delusional.

    Rand will now be controlled by the Country Club crowd, the Wall Street biggies, and the Chivas drinkers.

    July 6, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. onlysanetexanleft

    So this guy reverses on this, had his victory party at an exclusive country club and has enlisted billionaire Steve forbes to help with his campaign and he is supposed to be the face of the tea party...too funny. Once again this just shows that the tea party is nothing more than a bunch of people yelling about government while at the same time having no message on what they would LIKE.

    July 6, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. mike

    like father like son lets do the double talk and it will sound like we are
    out there for the tea party but in reality the republicans are the bread winner to them and they know it so when these tea party idiots think in there little mines that they are going to see a change the only thing they will get is some chump change from the republicans if there lucky

    July 6, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    There's only very logical answer.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.........and hypocrites.

    July 6, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. dandyjomama

    bush bailed out his wall street buddies

    July 6, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  11. bill

    gee thanks kentucky.i thought you hillbillys were samater than that.YOU VOTED FOR THIS IDIOT.SO WE WILL SEE YOU IN NOVEMBERmaybe you canget it straight by then.

    July 6, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  12. onlysanetexanleft

    Looks like the tea party may rain on the GOP's parade this fall. Please continue to nominate these brainless tea baggers. Not only do they make for great TV but they also make easier targets.

    July 6, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. BeverlyNC

    Rand Paul is a certified nutjob and the more he talks the scarier and more dangerous he sounds. He is not even a real doctor but practices without a license.
    Mitch McConnell is just plain incompetent and stands for corporations and works against the People. I hope the People in KY remember who it was who denied them their unemployment benefits, fought against the jobs bill, fought against holding the banks accountable for abusing homeowners and customers....all Republicans are against the working people of America.
    Those who are elected are there to SERVE THE PEOPLE. No Republican has kept their oath. They only serve and bow to large corporations and ignore as the "lesser people".
    We need to kick these traitors out of office in NOvember.

    July 6, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Tina, NC

    Tea Party= A movement to kick the old bums out so they can elect new bums that are exactly like the old bums. Anybody would half a brain could have read the tea leaves on this one.

    July 6, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. Superhiro

    I think people are making this into a bigger deal than it is. That said, I also don't think Rand Paul had any serious chance of winning this, gaffes or not.

    July 6, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. ddf

    Flip flop. Flip flop. Flipity deee
    A vote for Rand proves stupidity!
    Hey teabaggers, that has to suck being played for the fools that you really are!!!

    July 6, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. Bill

    Money talks – Rand Paul's integrity walks.

    July 6, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. Brian L

    It's typical of Republicans...... for example..... they will say elect them and they will get rid of this deficit.....

    When has a Republican president ever reduced the deficit?????

    July 6, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Derek

    Why is anyone surprised? This is politics.

    Just another campaign pledge that anyone with a brain knew he couldn't hold.

    Bash this clown for the other things he's done/said. But for this...this is nothing.

    July 6, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  20. keeth in california

    He'll make a fine politician. He's an abject hypocrite already.

    July 6, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. JonDIe

    Rand Paul = crook.

    July 6, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  22. Richie

    Mr Paul knows that the Tea Party is just a Republican construct that they have used to hoodwink the Media, so he's in no danger of myth.

    July 6, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. CMG

    I don't know which is more scary – having this man as your physician, or as your senator.

    July 6, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. lucy

    Right, so when Obama continues a bailout started under Bush it's a 'goverment takeover', but when rand paul takes money from the senators who all voted for this bailout and are now complaining about it, it's just one of those things. Really?
    What a bunch of lying good for nothing, effin hypocrites!
    and are the republicans who vote for these people as dishonest as they are, or are they just really, really dumb?

    July 6, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  25. welches, oregon

    I wonder if Rand Paul or any Republicans are reading these blogs – they sure aren't getting much support from regular American Citizens.

    Sure, Mitch Mcconnel and his ilk would love for you to believe the teabaggers, GOBPers etc., have the numbers in Nov, but we just saw the CNN poll aboug whos to blame for this miss over whom and the GOBPERs came out way ahead (they are more to blame).

    So yea, keep on lieing to your people telling them how this Nov, you're gonna take back whatever, but the numbers lie.

    July 6, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
1 2 3 4