(WHAS11) – Rand Paul’s nomination pushed Kentucky solidly into the national limelight, but Paul’s recent comment have created a media firestorm over Kentucky’s senate election in November.
In September, Kentuckiana got its first taste of the Tea Party Movement but now, with the Republican Nomination of Rand Paul for U.S. Senate, both Kentucky and Indiana are about to hear a lot more about the Tea Party.
"It's going to boost the Tea Party Movement.” Richard Crace, Tea Party member, said. “It's going to have more people who were thinking about it on the edge go ahead and step in,"
At a Tea Party Meeting in Jeffersonville tonight, they are excited about Rand Paul's nomination. Supporters dismiss the controversy surrounding what Paul said last night on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show about segregated lunch counters.
“I don't want to be associated with those people, but I also don't want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that's one of the things freedom requires is that we allow people to be boorish and uncivilized, but that doesn't mean we approve of it. I think the problem with this debate is by getting muddled down into it, the implication is somehow that I would approve of any racism or discrimination, and I don't in any form or fashion.” Rand Paul said.
Rand Paul supporters still show their support for him.
"I'm not concerned with that. He's a great man," Crace said.
"What he said, like that business there across the street, he said they should be able to hire who they want to hire," Robert Lee, a Tea Party member said.
But the controversial comments have created a firestorm in the national media.
And not everyone is willing to dismiss Paul's comments, including his opponent, Jack Conway.
“I'm not backing up one iota. Watch the tapes. Watch Rachel Maddow last night; watch The Courier-Journal editorial board interview,” Conway, U.S Senate candidate said. “He rejected, he rejected that he philosophically does not believe in a fundamental portion of the Civil Rights Act.”
The first senate poll since the primaries has Rand Paul leading Jack Conway by 25 points.
Conway tells WHAS that he's happy to take the underdog mantle.