Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a proponent of civil liberties, told a professor on Wednesday that he never opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“I’ve never been against the Civil Rights Act. Ever,” he said during a question and answer session at the historically black Howard University in Washington.
“This was on tape,” countered the questioner.
“I have been concerned about the ramifications of the Civil Rights Act beyond race…but I’ve never come out in opposition,” Paul clarified.
Paul caused a stir during his 2010 campaign when he said on the Rachel Maddow Show that he was opposed to sections of civil rights law requiring private businesses to accommodate all comers. After an awkward walkback claiming he actually supported the provision, he said he ultimately would have voted ‘yes’ on the bill had he been in Congress back in the 1960s.
The junior senator from Kentucky’s speech at the college was billed as part of GOP outreach to young and minority voters, who largely rejected the party during the 2012 presidential campaign.
Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site’s coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.