By David Lightman
Herald-Leader Washington Bureau
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul found an appreciative crowd Saturday morning at the North Liberty, Iowa, Community Center, the last stop on his whirlwind Iowa tour.
Paul told fellow Republicans to be inclusive and look beyond primary victories. “You have to be able to present what we stand for in a way to appeal to people who haven’t heard that message,” he said.
He noted that “If you’re an evangelist or a pastor you don’t go beating people over the head to get into your church…it’s the same way with a political party.”
Paul, a first-term senator, concluded his trip to the state that traditionally holds the nation’s first presidential caucus Saturday. Friday, he met with pastors, Republican women and the media, and spoke at the Lincoln Day Dinner in Cedar Rapids.
His 20 minute talk Saturday was wide ranging. One of his biggest applause lines: “Not one penny more to countries that are burning our flag.”
He segued into a critique of what he termed government waste. Look at the Commerce Department, Paul advised. “You wouldn’t notice if you woke up tomorrow and it was gone,” he said.
Paul also urged tax reform that cuts taxes, and spoke about his plan for a 17 percent corporate and income tax with few deductions.
If the nation adopted Reagan-era economic policies, he said, 12 to 13 million jobs could be created.
“It is not inherently unfair to pay the same rate. It would stimulate economy,” Paul insisted.
Three journalists will join host Ferrell Wellman on this weekend’s “Comment on Kentucky,” a public affairs show of the Kentucky Educational Television network, to discuss the latest political news in the state.
They are Ryan Alessi, senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics for CN/2; Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky; and Jack Brammer, political reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The show airs live at 8 p.m. Friday on KET.
On the Monday, May 6, special edition of “Kentucky Tonight” from Washington at 8 p.m. on KET and at www.ket.org/live, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss the 113th Congress.
Scheduled guests are U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville.
By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, said his panel will vote Monday on his industrial hemp bill after it hears from U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and U.S. Reps. John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie.
Senate Bill 50 would license farmers to grow industrial hemp under Kentucky Department of Agriculture regulations if federal restrictions are lifted.
Hemp cultivation is now banned because it is classified with marijuana, although hemp has extremely low levels of the active drug THC.
By Beth Musgrave
Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says he is interested in running for president in 2016.
“I’m not going to deny that I’m interested,” Paul told ABC’s Jonathan Karl in a segment called “Spinners and Winners.”
Paul, who was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and has been frequently mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, said he hasn’t made a final decision yet on whether to run in 2016.
“I think it’s a little too early,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
After a bruising Nov. 6 election, Paul told ABC the Republican Party needs to change some of its stances, although not what he called the party’s core message of encouraging economic growth to generate government revenue.
By Jack Brammer and Beth Musgrave
DANVILLE – Nearly every major Kentucky politician basked in the media glow of the vice presidential debate Thursday at Centre College.
Each was more than eager to tout the party line and predict victory for his or her slate at the Nov. 6 polls.
With about 3,000 journalists at Centre for the debate between Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, Kentucky politicians were busy pontificating throughout the day.
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear started the day with a forum in which he predicted President Barack Obama will win in a squeaker.
If you missed it last night, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to tout his new book, Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds. Here’s the full interview:
By Beth Musgrave
A trio of Kentuckians will have speaking spots during the abbreviated Republican National Convention this week in Tampa, despite the delays caused by Hurricane Isaac.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul are tentatively scheduled to speak on Wednesday evening during prime time viewing. McConnell is scheduled to address the convention between 7 and 8 p.m. Paul will speak after McConnell, according to information provided by the convention.
Andy Barr, who is challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler in the hotly contested 6th Congressional District race, is expected to speak at 3:24 p.m. Tuesday, his campaign said Monday.
By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT — Kentucky’s two Republican U.S. senators — one a Tea Party darling and the other whose ties to the conservative movement are tenuous at best — lambasted President Barack Obama’s health care law Tuesday at a Tea Party rally.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Bowling Green, who rode into office in 2010 on a Tea Party tidal wave, told a crowd of more than 300 on the steps of Kentucky’s Capitol that he still thinks “the whole damn thing is unconstitutional.”
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the federal Affordable Care Act earlier this summer.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Louisville, who has been visiting hospitals across the state to criticize the health plan he calls “Obamacare,” said his first job will be to repeal the plan if he is elected Senate majority leader next year.
Paul and McConnell were greeted enthusiastically by the crowd at the rally, and spoke highly of each other. But some Tea Party activists expressed reservations about McConnell.
By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT — In a sign of the Tea Party’s growing influence on Republican politics, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is scheduled to speak at a Tea Party rally for what is believed to be the first time later this month in Frankfort.
McConnell will join Kentucky’s junior senator, Republican Rand Paul of Bowling Green, at the podium of the Aug. 21 rally at the state Capitol. The two are expected to criticize the federal Affordable Health Care Act and Gov. Steve Beshear’s order to set up an online health care exchange to assist people looking for health insurance.
“In no way, shape or form has McConnell ever done this,” said state Tea Party activist David Adams. “I think it speaks to the new political reality that the Tea Party is growing bigger and stronger.”
HERALD-LEADER FRANKFORT BUREAU
U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, was named co-MVP at the 51st annual CQ Roll Call Congressional baseball game Thursday night at the Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
In the game that raised about $250,000 for charities,, the Democrats defeated the Republicans 18-5 behind the pitching strength of Chandler’s co-MVP, Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La.
Wearing a uniform from Berea College, Chandler started at shortstop and played all seven innings of the game.
He finished the night with three hits, a walk, three stolen bases, four runs batted in and one successful bunt.