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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/20/art.paul.cnn.jpg caption=" 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. craig kasnoff

    Why the suprise.

    He's just another politician who says, and promises, whatever he needs to say and promise to get elected.

    Then, once he gets what he wants, he does what he wants regardless of what he said and promised.

    This would suprise anyone?

    July 6, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. DOG1

    And people are suprised? Do they only listen to what these guys say and never watch what they DO! None of them, absolutely none of them are any different from the others. Power and $$$$$$$$ is all they're interested in and the welfare of the people of this country is never, ever a blip on their radar.

    July 6, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. Jamie from Riverside

    He's a true GOPer...Liar!

    July 6, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  4. Rob in MO

    He's a typical politician. Cannot trust him at all.

    July 6, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. bennie new york

    Promises like this are lip service and are broken easily when a politician's candidacy begins to look like a crock.

    July 6, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. they call me "tater salad"

    Hey Rand! (what the hell kinda name is Rand anyway?) nice hair piece, it almost doesn't look fake at all.........Seriously though, I've seen better heads fall out of open zippers!

    July 6, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  7. harold

    My oh my Rand.. What is the T party people gonna think about you.? When a senator you can become Dr. No. Huh?

    July 6, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. Donnatella

    That's not all he gonna be flip-flopping on just wait until he gets elected he probably has all kinds of weird, racist, off the wall plans, the guy is going to become the teabaggers worst nightmare, after his election they will never have credibility again.. I can't wait, glad I don't live in Kentucky.

    July 6, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  9. brian

    gosh, this is a real shocker. everything this guy has said and done up until now just screamed "morals," "ethics," and "consistency." who ever could have seen THIS coming?...

    July 6, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  10. GBA!!!

    Well Fruit doesn"t Fall far from the Tree...Ron anyone ???

    July 6, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. Matt

    It's funny that the national networks do a negative Rand Paul story on a weekly basis while Paul's opponent has yet to take a single policy position.

    Has CNN even reported that Mr. Conway accepted $75,000 in campaign contributions from BP executives.

    July 6, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  12. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    He's as dumb as his daddy!

    July 6, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  13. Clint

    Is it really news that a politician says what's necessary to get elected??? Now the Tea Party folks see what us Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and other party affiliates have been dealing with for years. Listen Tea Party folks let the hair settle back into place, and relax with the rest of us.... It's hopeless.

    July 6, 2010 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. Marty, FL

    Rand Paul is definitely not his father, Rep. Ron Paul, who I happen to support on certain issues.

    Unfortunately, Rand Paul has been a disappointment.

    July 6, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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