KY Rep: Rand Paul Has ‘Embarrassed Kentuckians In The Eyes Of The World’

May 20, 2010 8:52 a.m.

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) has some strong words for fellow Bluegrass State politician Rand Paul (R). Just a day after Paul handily won the Republican Senate nomination, Yarmuth said the tea party favorite has tarnished Kentucky’s image with his highly publicized comments about the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

“Rand Paul has already embarrassed Kentuckians in the eyes of the world,” Yarmouth said in a statement. “The Commonwealth deserves better because we are better – and I call on Mitch McConnell and my other colleagues in the Kentucky Congressional Delegation to join me in condemning his despicable views.”

Yarmouth called Paul’s libertarian take on the landmark 1964 law — Paul takes issue with portions of the legislation banning discrimination in private businesses — “simply appalling.”“Rejecting the fundamental provision of the Civil Rights Act is a rejection of the foundational promise of America that all men and women should be treated equally,” Yarmuth said, “a promise for which many Americans have lost their lives.”

In a statement released by his campaign this afternoon, after Paul’s controversial statements threatened to dominate the entire national discussion about the Kentucky race, Paul said he “will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964” if he is elected.

Yarmuth said that even Paul’s comment to Rachel Maddow that he would have raised objections to the private business discrimination ban had he been in Congress when the Civil Rights Act was being debated goes too far.

“Leading is not hypothetical debating,” Yarmuth said. “it’s about solving real problems.”

“It is the job of a Member of Congress to represent the needs of every one of their constituents,” Yarmuth continued. “Not to allow businesses to segregate or discriminate against them.”

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