Louisville, Kentucky. – Rand Paul was a political outsider more than a decade ago, when rebel Republicans rode the conservative Tea Party wave on the doorstep of Kentucky’s GOP founding, turning libertarian-leaning brands into the United States. brought to the Senate.
But as Paul seeks a third Senate term, win economically After the election of Democrat Charles Booker in November’s midterm elections, the senator still enjoys the willingness to act unilaterally to advance his vision of restricted government and restrained foreign policy. .
“The easy way out is to vote yes,” Paul said in an interview during the recent Kentucky campaign when he stopped by a fish fry in rural Republican stronghold Garrard County. Explaining why we spend so much money is a little more difficult.”
Paul’s unconventional approach, in many ways a new model of governance, increased his political profile by rejecting and even shutting down Washington’s normal workings. It’s a style that sometimes irks Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
“I never look at things in terms of political parties,” Paul said.
Despite his 12-year tenure, the senator has not boasted of bringing federal money to abhorred Kentucky. In fact, he opposed some policies and domestic spending for philosophical reasons, even those that could directly affect Kentuckians.
His critics point to a career that has been long in the grandstand and downplaying achievements.
“Rand Paul is contrarian and nothing will change that,” Booker said. Progressive Democrats Seeking Disturbance In a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1992.
Booker said Paul tends to favor political and legislative “turmoil,” particularly with his desire for limelight in the conservative media. raise and raise his campaign funds with it.
One of Paul’s priorities, reducing federal spending and debt, shows the limits of his idiosyncratic style.
Paul has consistently presented a spending blueprint that he touts as a roadmap to a balanced federal budget. However, his attempt failed by a wide margin and was opposed by both Republicans and Democrats.
The Kentucky native is unfazed, seeking his next opportunity to speak out against the excessive federal spending and stubborn power establishments he sees. , publishes a Christmas “Festivus” report.
In a speech to the Senate earlier this year, Mr. Paul touted his latest balanced budget, saying, “If you ask the people of Washington, they’ve got their brains exploding. They never thought they’d cut spending. It’s the body,” he said.
Paul defied leaders of both parties this spring. Delayed Senate approval An additional $40 billion to help Ukraine and its allies resist Russian aggression. Paul wanted the Inspector General to insert language to scrutinize the new spending.
The conflict over military spending reflected his broader message that US foreign aid should be sharply cut. During his recent trip to eastern Kentucky, Paul said he heard common themes from voters.
Paul voted against the federal farm bill, which is very important to Kentucky’s agricultural sector. He was one of two senators who voted against passage of the bill. Victim Compensation Fund We will not run out of money in connection with the 9/11 attacks. Paul asked Its 70-year timeframe, he said, means new spending should be offset by corresponding cuts.
“While I support brave first responders, I cannot in good faith vote for legislation that unfortunately remains underfunded,” Paul explained.
He has a history of withholding or threatening to delay legislation on the brink of passage, including sanctions against Russia, evasion of federal shutdowns, defense budgets and government oversight. 2018, Paul withheld his vote A bipartisan, budget-busting spending pact forced a brief federal shutdown.
“I’m not here to be in someone’s club. I’m not here to be liked,” said Paul.
Paul’s anti-spending zeal is based on the libertarian politics espoused by his father, former US Congressman from Texas, Ron Paul. Proponents and critics agree that Paul has forged a clear path, but have a different take on his approach.
“He never backs down from anyone,” said 81-year-old Joe Oakes, a Fishfly pole supporter. “The best thing I can say about him is that he stands for what is right and stands for it.”
Kentucky political commentator Al Cross recently said when evaluating Paul’s performance:
Paul’s reputation as a mess has sometimes created a complicated situation for his Kentucky colleague, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
Paul won re-election by a wide margin in 2016, and the Kentucky senator has maintained working relationships to advance conservative causes. Their volatile alliance unraveled this year when Paul thwarted his plans. federal judicial designation McConnell pushed for home ground.
Kentucky senators reflect “different brands of republicanism,” showing their own trajectories and worldviews, says George W., a Kentucky-based political commentator near McConnell. Former Bush adviser Scott Jennings said:
“I think Kentuckians appreciate his contrarian voice because he’s often ahead of things,” Jennings said of Paul. “Rand covers the purpose of a more visceral message that taps into the sentiments of the majority of Kentucky voters.”
Paul’s occasional success in getting legislation passed was when he found common ground with Democrats on key priorities, including privacy and criminal justice issues.
Former presidential candidate Paul, whose message was drowned out by Donald Trump in 2016, found an ally on the left when he lashed out at the federal government. government surveillance programsMore recently, Paul teamed up with Democratic Senator Cory Booker to end the animal testing requirement for federal drug approvals in a law passed by the Senate.
And whether or not it leads to legislative success, Paul’s ideology is gaining traction in Kentucky, where supporters acknowledge the Senator has taken a principled position.
“I like him because he has a spine,” Vernon Willard, 71, said on Fish Fry.
Mascaro reported from Washington.
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https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/10/26/kentuckys-rand-paul-relishes-outsider-role-in-3rd-term-run/ Kentucky’s Rand Paul enjoys outsider role in third term run