UPDATED on 8/28/10
The Associated Press
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul hedged Thursday on his pledge to erase the federal budget deficit in a year, offering several options that he said could get it done within five if his most ambitious proposal falls short.
Paul, a tea party favorite for his limited government views, said in an interview on WHAS-AM that he’ll introduce five budget-balancing options if he defeats his Democratic opponent, state Attorney General Jack Conway.
“If you’re not willing to balance it in five years, you’re not a serious person,” he said.
Paul’s campaign later said he intends to introduce a proposal to balance the budget in a year. But it will offer alternatives that would balance it in two to five years if the one-year plan fails to pass Congress.
“He will vote against and filibuster any unbalanced budget,” his campaign said in a statement. “And he will introduce a balanced budget amendment.”
In his interview, Paul also reiterated his long-standing assertion that everything in the budget needs to be looked at for downsizing, elimination or privatization.
Conway spokeswoman Allison Haley said Paul refuses to offer “a straight answer on his secret plans to balance the budget in a year,” and now is “waffling on the amount of time it will take.”