With the news that more than a dozen tea party groups are actively recruiting a GOP candidate to run against U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014, it’s worth taking a look at how Kentucky tea party-endorsed candidates have fared in statewide or Congressional races.
Since forming in the run up to the 2010 mid-term elections, Kentucky's tea party has won more than a third of the races its challenged for prominent offices, and its candidates have won several primaries over Republican establishment candidates.
Kentucky's junior U.S. Senator says the Republican Party must broaden its appeal to voters by toning down some of its rhetoric on social issues. Rand Paul also thinks the GOP too often presents itself as a party "eager to go to war."
Paul, a first-term Senator from Bowling Green and rumored 2016 Presidential candidate, spoke to more than 500 Cincinnati-area Republicans over the weekend.
Paul said if Republicans hope to rebound from recent electoral disappointments, the GOP must find new ways to reach out to voters who disagree with the party on hot-topic issues such as abortion and gay marriage.
“We’re going to have to be a little hands off on some of these issues ... and get people into the party,” Paul told the audience.
This isn't the first time Paul has spoken out on the need for the GOP to refashion its approach. He was recently quoted as saying Republicans must "evolve and adapt", or else face continued losses on election day.
During Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Congressional testimony Wednesday about the attack on an American consulate in Benghazi last year, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul questioned what he described as Clinton's negligence in the months preceding the attack.
The web site Mediaite quotes Paul as thanking Clinton for taking culpability for "the worst tragedy since 9/11" but noted that, if he had been President at the time and had learned that Clinton failed to read some key diplomatic cables before the attack, he would have "relieved her of her post."
Paul's opening statement prior to his questioning laid out his argument.
"One of the things that disappointed me most about the original 9/11 is that no one was fired. We spent trillions of dollars, but there were a lot of human errors. These are judgment errors and the people who make judgment errors need to be replaced, fired, and no longer in the position of making these judgment calls," said Paul, a first term Senator from Bowling Green, Ky.
During her testimony, Clinton pointed out that Congress has failed to act on several State Department requests for increased funding for consulate and embassy security.
Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator says he’ll make a decision within the next two years on a possible presidential run. Bowling Green Republican Rand Paul told a New York City radio station he will seek to play a major role in determining the future of the GOP and wants to “try to be part of the national debate.”
Paul admitted the Republican Party is currently unpopular with many American voters, and is an almost non-factor in several parts of the country, including the west coast and New England. The Warren County native said the GOP must “evolve and adapt”, or face becoming a “permanent minority party.”
As for a possible White House bid in 2016, Senator Paul said he believes his brand of conservatism could play well in parts of the country that normally don’t embrace Republican ideals.
The Senate this week will take up relief payments for areas hit by Superstorm Sandy, and Senator Rand Paul says he will oppose the measure. Paul says the Northeast does need help after the storm, but he would like to offset the costs with spending cuts elsewhere in government.
A measure authorizing $9 billion in relief already passed Congress. The Republican-controlled House recently approved an additional $51 billion package, which Paul says is laden with pork spending.
“I would have given them 9 billion and I would’ve taken the 9 billion from somewhere else. I would have taken it from foreign aid and said you know what, we don’t have money for Egypt or Pakistan this year because we have to help the Northeast.”
Kentucky Congressmen Brett Guthrie, Andy Barr and Thomas Massie all opposed the legislation in the House.