Rand Paul Stirs Trouble with Comments on Civil Rights

Monday, May 24, 2010

Senate candidate Rand Paul speaking to supporters at a rally in Florence, Kentucky, on May 15, 2010 (flickr user Gage Skidmore)

Dr. Rand Paul, the anti-establishment candidate in Kentucky's Republican Senate primary, put the Tea Party on the political map last week as he handily beat GOP-blessed candidate Trey Grayson. But in the first few days after his victory, the novice politician stumbled on his first big political test as he repeatedly said that he did not support the portion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that enforced non-discrimination on private businesses.

Paul said on MSNBC last week that he finds racial discrimination abhorrent, but says the federal government should not have the power to force private businesses to serve minorities. The next day he walked way back from his earlier comments and issued a statement saying he would not support the repeal of the Civil Rights Act. He then canceled his appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. We talk with Reihan Salam from the New America Foundation about Rand Paul's candidacy and how his views on civil rights and the limitations of government authority over private businesses reflects on conservative movements, both established and insurgent.

Guests:

Reihan Salam

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

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