FLASHBACK: Rand Paul Said In ’06 He’d Pardon Himself If He Were Governor


Back in 2006, Rand Paul wrote an op-ed in a Kentucky newspaper in which he imagined what he’d do if he were the state’s then-governor, Ernie Fletcher, who was facing accusations that he’d violated state hiring laws.“What would I do if I were governor?” Paul wrote in the now defunct Kentucky Post on August 23, 2006, according to the Associated Press. “First, I’d have pardoned myself and everyone included nearly a year ago. Without a pardon the case goes on and on.”

The day after Paul’s op-ed reportedly appeared, Fletcher signed an agreement admitting wrongdoing by his administration, and the charges were dropped. (Fletcher had previously issued a blanket pardon to any staff members affected by the incident, according to The New York Times.)

The AP also reports that Paul said in the article that he sometimes daydreamed about “what I’d do if I were president or governor.” Paul’s campaign told the AP the reference to daydreams was “light-hearted satire,” and that the op-ed was an example of Paul’s “consistent criticism of bureaucracy, status-quo thinking and do-nothing partisanship.”

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Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com