David Williams defends Paul, says 'libertarian tendencies' will appeal to voters

05/24/2010 02:41 PM

Republican state Senate President David Williams said Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul has demonstrated both the benefits and detriments of not being a “polished politician.”

“I will tell you at times he is not the most skillful or polished politician, but I think that’s what attracts” people to him, Williams, of Burkesville, told reporters Monday. “The fact that it’s a fresh face and he has fresh ideas and he wants to change this government from a government that spends too much and doesn’t live within its means.”

Senate President David Williams

Williams attributed Paul’s remarks questioning a provision in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that mandates private businesses not to discriminate against customers to “a generational gap.”

“I’m very proud of the Republican Party’s support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I think there is a generational disconnect. When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, Rand Paul was 2,” Williams said. “I wasn’t very old but I was old enough to know that some things in the United States had to change at that particular juncture.”

Overall, Williams described Paul as having “libertarian tendencies,” which he said will appeal to a majority of voters in the November election against Democrat Jack Conway.

“I think he will get a lot of conservative Democrat votes,” Williams said. “I will tell you, I think he’ll get votes from a lot of Republicans, from a lot of independents and from a lot of independently-thinking Democrats who are tired of the federal government the way it is right now and want the federal government to change.

“I think he is an agent of change and some of the things he said should make a lot of people uncomfortable,” Williams added. “But I think people want change, and I’m very confident he’ll be elected to the United States Senate.”

But at almost the same time Williams told reporters that, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said at a press availability that Paul’s libertarian views were “radical.” And Beshear slammed Paul for his comments about the Civil Rights Act and last week’s statement on cable news that President Barack Obama’s response to BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was “un-American.”

Williams said he didn’t agree with Paul on everything, specifically Paul’s advocacy for imposing term limits on members of Congress and state legislators.

“I don’t think term limits are a particularly good idea for a small state,” he said. “But a lot of people, I’d say probably 85 percent of the population disagree with me about that.”

Williams said he didn’t think the national media flap over Paul’s Civil Rights Act comment would brand Paul as a racist.

“One thing I’m certain of: I’ve talked to Rand Paul early in his campaign and know that he is someone who is not a racist, he’s someone who’s supportive of equal rights for individuals based on their citizenship as Americans,” he said. “And I have the greatest confidence he will act accordingly if elected to the United States Senate.”

- Ryan Alessi


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