Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Monday morning repeatedly dodged questions about whether he still supports Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
During an appearance on Fox News, Paul railed against Republican leaders for failing to fight to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
“We got Republicans elected in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, and nothing’s changing,” he said.
Paul added that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and other Republican leaders aren’t “willing to stand up.”
“They seemed to preemptively announce, ‘We’re defeated. We can’t do anything.’ And the grassroots is frustrated with that,” Paul said.
Fox News host Bill Hemmer then asked Paul if he still supports McConnell as majority leader.
“What I would say is that I support the position we have to use the power of the purse. And I use every bit of my arguing power to say, we should put the appropriations bills forward, all 12 of them, one at a time, and make the Democrats filibuster. If they’re willing to filibuster and government shuts down, we should then say, it is Democrats who have shut down the government,” Paul responded, adding that he opposes a temporary funding bill that would include funding for Planned Parenthood.
Hemmer asked Paul again if he still supports McConnell.
“There isn’t really a battle or an election going on for any other choices. There aren’t. There is no other choice…” Paul replied.
The Fox host asked Paul once more about whether he backs McConnell.
“Well, there is no election. There is no battle going on. What I support is a position that we should take the power of the purse and we should actually use it,” he said in response. “So I will oppose Sen. McConnell when he brings forward the continuing resolution. But it isn’t about opposing a person, it’s about a position.”
Paul and McConnell have a complicated history serving as senators from the same state. In 2010, McConnell supported Paul’s primary opponent. Paul then voiced his support for McConnell in his 2014 re-election bid, but struggled to articulate why. A few months later, McConnell said that Paul would be the “most creditable candidate for president since Henry Clay,” a senator who never won a bid to be president.
Watch Paul’s appearance on Fox News below: