Don’t Ask Rand Paul Why He’s Supporting Mitch McConnell

AP

Don’t ask Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) why he’s supporting Mitch McConnell for reelection. He doesn’t want to talk about it. At least publicly.

While crisscrossing Kentucky during Congress’s two-week recess, Paul visited a community forum in Edmonton on Wednesday to speak to constituents, where he was reportedly asked why he endorsed the Senate Republican leader.

The Glasgow Daily Times described what happened next:

One constituent asked him why he came out in support of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville.

Paul declined to answer the question publicly, saying he would speak with her in private and explain his reason for supporting the senior senator.

McConnell and Paul have a complicated history and are cut from different cloths. McConnell tried to prevent Paul from winning the Senate GOP nomination in 2010, and much of Paul’s base — which is attracted to his outsider persona and unwavering libertarianism — distrusts the Republican minority leader.

In February, Paul was asked by radio host Glenn Beck why he’s supporting McConnell, who faces conservative challenger Matt Bevin in the GOP primary. Paul tried to dodge, then offered up an awkward response: “Because he asked me. He asked me when there was nobody else in the race. And I said yes.”

In a 2013 statement regarding his endorsement, Paul said: “Mitch McConnell is an important ally and a conservative voice in Washington for the people of Kentucky. The commonwealth is stronger because of his service and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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