Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Wednesday said that the language conservatives use to discuss immigration has kept the GOP from moving on immigration reform legislation.
“We’ve been somewhat trapped by rhetoric and words and amnesty is a word that’s trapped us,” Paul said during a call organized by immigration reform supporters, as recorded by the Wall Street Journal. “We’re trapped in a word that means different things to different people. … I really think that some of it is we’re trapped in this rhetoric and we have to get beyond that.”
Paul says that he supports immigration reform, but he voted against the comprehensive Senate bill.
On Wednesday, he reiterated his support for reform, and said that he would need more assurances that the border is secure.
“I’ve always said I’m for it, I just want to be part of the process,” he said. “I don’t feel that anybody really wanted my vote because they never asked me what I thought.”
Paul warned against jumping to conclusions about what led to Cantor’s demise.
“There are a lot of issues and reasons why people turned out,” he said. “I think it’s a mistake to paint it and say that one issue decided this.”
He did suggest that Cantor’s negative ads didn’t help his primary campaign.
“It’s complicated with local races, and some people, myself included, think you can go too far negative and may have increased the name ID of a lesser-known candidate, who had a lot of popular things to say about other issues,” Paul said.