It didn't take long for Kentucky Republican Rand Paul to stumble into trouble. Steeped in libertarianism and partly in the conservative anti-establishment tea party movement, his views -- particularly those on the Civil Rights Act -- have been the subject of much scrutiny and debate since he won the GOP Senate nomination Tuesday night. Last night, Paul's views burst into the national debate after an interview Paul gave to Rachel Maddow set the Internet alight.
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In a nutshell, here's what he said:
"Well, there's 10 -- there's 10 different -- there's 10 different titles, you know, to the Civil Rights Act, and nine out of 10 deal with public institutions and I'm absolutely in favor of," he told Maddow deep in their 15-minute interview. "One deals with private institutions, and had I been around, I would have tried to modify that."
Got that? Rand Paul agrees with most of the Civil Rights Act, but not the part that deals with private businesses. And he won't say whether or not that one part of the bill would have been a deal-breaker if he had been in Congress when the bill was up for a vote.