FRANKFORT — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul took a softer approach Thursday on the federal government’s response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
During an interview with Tony Cruise on WHAS-AM in Louisville, Paul said government regulations of offshore drilling were not adequate.
Paul, calling the spill “a great tragedy,” said “I think we do have to have regulations, and we do have regulations in place but apparently wasn’t enough.
“And sometimes even the best of regulations don’t work because something unforeseen happens and that’s what we have to figure out from this.”
In a recent interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Paul criticized President Barack Obama’s handling of the crisis as anti-business and sounding “really un-American.”
“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,’” Paul said on ABC last month. “I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business.”
Paul told ABC that Obama’s response is part of the “blame game” prevalent in the U.S., creating the attitude that tragedies are “always someone’s fault.”
Paul said Thursday that “the primary thing right now is not to pass judgment before we know what happened and try to fix the problem.”
He said an investigation will be necessary once the gushing oil well is capped.
Paul also said on the radio show that “a lie from Jack Conway,” his Democratic opponent in November’s general election, started the media flap concerning his comments on civil rights.
Paul said one day after winning the May 18 Republican primary election that he abhors racism but federal law should not dictate to private businesses whom they should serve.
“Jack Conway got on MSNBC and said I was for repealing the Civil Rights Act, which is not my position, has never been my position and basically was a lie,” Paul said Thursday.
“So you get a politician like Jack Conway, who basically makes up stuff — lies — and then a liberal network just repeated it over and over again.”
Conway has said he never started the flap and that his comments shortly after the election were based on an interview Paul had in April with The Courier-Journal’s editorial board in which he said a private business should be able to decide whom to serve.