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Paul won't commit to McConnell as Republican Leader

by Joe Arnold


Posted on November 11, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 12 at 12:37 AM

Smiling after the latest WHAS11 Survey USA poll gave him a slight lead over Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the
Republican U.S. Senate primary, Rand Paul tells WHAS11's Joe Arnold that he made an offer over the weekend to meet
with Kentucky's senior senator, Mitch McConnell.

"I will work with Senator Mcconnell, and I've already made the first step of calling him," Paul said.

It comes three months after McConnell and twenty other Republican incumbent senators hosted a fundraiser for Grayson
in Washington D.C., which has been interpreted as an endorsement for Grayson.

But, when pressed whether he would support McConnell for Senate Minority Leader if McConnell is challenged by
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint (who reportedly mounted a challenge against McConnell in January), Paul would not commit.

"I like both of them and I don't know that I could make a judgement. I have to win the primary first,"  Paul laughed,
"So I don't think I'd make a judgement on how I'd vote for leader, but I think obviously Kentucky having a leader is good
for Kentucky."

Paul, who has appeared on dozens of national news shows, suggested he also would be a national leader, for reform. 

And Paul suggested he would rather draw contrasts with Grayson than the Senate Minority Leader.

"I'm not running against Mitch McConnell," he said.

Paul explained that he would work with McConnell on areas where they agree, but that "I think people want two senators,
they don't want one."

Yet, he complimented Mcconnell for his "opposition to bad legislation."

A critic of the earmark spending, Paul was asked how he would reconcile that with McConnell's boasting of bringing federal
tax dollars to Kentucky projects.

"There is too much pork barrel spending,"  Paul responded, "And so when I am in favor of these things, I see it as being in
favor of a good issue but not being opposed to Senator McConnell."

Paul also blasted RINO's or "Republicans In Name Only."

"Republicans do not believe of government ownership of business and yet we voted for it, we voted for a bank
bailout where for the first time government is owning private business in our country.  Republican primary voters,
I think, are unhappy and are going to want something new."

"We had Republicans who voted to double the size of the Department of Education. I grew up and as a kid, Reagan ran on a
platform of getting rid of the Department of Education.  It doesn't mean we're against education, we just think it should be
done in Frankfort, and in Jefferson County. Not in Washington."

"When people say that could be extreme, or people think you're on the fringe, it's like well is it an extreme idea
to believe in a balanced budget?"


Paul has pressed for term limits, but would not pledge to end own his own term unilaterally.

"I can't conceive of being there more than 12 years," he said.

He says he is leaning toward making that pledge.

"I'm not doing this just to have a job.  i'm doing this because I think the system is broken and i think
its both sides. its republicans and democrats have broken the system and that's why I think it takes someone outside
 the mold to come here and say this is what we have to do to change the system."

Would he have voted to go to war with Iraq?

"I would have demanded we should have declared war."