McConnell did the best he could on deal, Rand Paul says

10/18/2013 11:04 AM

In the end, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell just wasn’t given much to work with in negotiations with Democrats over ending the government shutdown and extending the nation’s debt limit to avoid default, Kentucky’s junior U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said.

The deal has been sharply criticized by some Republicans, including McConnell’s primary opponent, Matt Bevin, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Even Paul was among 18 Republican senators who voted against the deal Wednesday night.

While Paul said Thursday in Owensboro that he opposed the bill because it didn’t do enough to address the government’s long-term spending problems, he said McConnell doesn’t deserve blame.

“I think in a difficult situation, he did a good job of trying to get the government open again,” Paul told Pure Politics after speaking to health care professionals in Owensboro.

The deal, however, only extends funding for the government until Jan. 15 — something Paul says is the fault of Senate Democrats who have resisted passing the dozen annual spending bills for different parts of government.

So does Paul believe McConnell will be back in the same position again in the days and hours leading up to Jan. 15?

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or


  • Cat Balz wrote on October 18, 2013 11:54 AM :

    On his Senate victory night Rand Paul said that “this was for the Tea Party”. They say that politics makes for strange bedfellows…in this case kind of like Brad Pitt squeaking the bedsprings with Rosie ODonnell.

  • viewer wrote on October 18, 2013 12:21 PM :

    I would like to see Rand get in here and help fix the problems with ObamaCare… Start with finding out how to fix the computer problems. Show that if you cant beat them , join them. This started out as a GOP plan years ago. The viewer

  • Heza Putz wrote on October 18, 2013 03:12 PM :

    For only 100 million bucks I’ll screw this thing up only half as much as Obama’s team did. Too bad they only had three months instead of three years to get this right. Oh. Wait.

  • viewer wrote on October 18, 2013 04:33 PM :

    The biggest problem I got with the Tea Party types is lack of vision, and their true hate for 2013 America. They are mostly funded by 100 rich men. They don’t see that they are being used. Some are good people. Some are white trash. Some couldn’t spell Constitution…Most have some social disorder where they haven’t fit in with the real world. But , they still recieve help from the gov in the mail. They still go to the hospital ER and cost us that do have insurance… I saw one Tea Party Patroit that is outspoken on the news a few months ago. Their house burnt and was asking for donations to be sent in to a local bank. Which is fine. I have no problem with that. My point is they have nothing to lose if the rest of us go broke. They have nothing to gain if we come together for a better America. Most of them hate the world , and hate to be in the world with the rest of us. That’s the truth. And what Mitch and other republicans should have said years ago, instead of giving them credence.

    Rand Paul and Thomas Massie better be paying attention. Your feature is tied up with how Bevin plays this out going forward.

    I see this ending like the Klan did years ago. People getting hurt , and the ones that are using these people for personnal gain distancing themselves after the fact: from a out of control train that we all see coming off the rails….The viewer

  • Trampis Coner wrote on October 19, 2013 06:28 AM :

    The tea party separates,Vilifies,and destroys classes, religions and ethnicities they deem as “destroying America”. This is getting to the point that we, as a people, should really be getting concerned. What the tea party is doing now, is not much different than the tactics used by the Nazis to take over Germany.

    Since only a fractionally small minority of those with this mind set have enough influence as to control the Speaker of the House, the third in line to assume the presidency, Imagine if they were to actually take control of the government just what a potential danger to our country it could be if the wrong “Tea Party Patriot” came to power. All of you “patriots” better be careful what you wish for. Hitler was a master at stirring patriotic emotions also.

  • viewer wrote on October 19, 2013 09:27 AM :

    Your future is tied up with how Bevin plays this out going forward. That’s how it should have read.. My bad. The viewer

  • Bruce Layne wrote on October 19, 2013 09:59 AM :

    I like Rand. Many of us were grassroots supporters of Rand in his 2010 election and we worked our butts off to elect him… like, a full time unpaid job for a year and a half. I’m still in touch with those people and to a person, we’re all disgusted to see Rand carrying McConnell’s stale old DC swamp water.

    Rand’s votes in the Senate have been exactly what we sent him to DC to do, including his vote against ending debate on the recent Obamacare discussion when McConnell voted with Harry Reid to end debate (this was essentially his vote FOR Obamacare), but Rand is being seriously hurt by his strategy of trying to play both sides of the fence. He can’t be the TEA Party candidate and the establishment GOP candidate. They’re mutually exclusive.

    Even though Rand has displayed great leadership in the Senate, including a wonderful filibuster over the US government’s use of drones for spying on US citizens or worse, he’s been leapfrogged by Ted Cruz in the race for the White House in 2016 because Ted Cruz is doing all of the right stuff and he’s NOT following McConnell around like a puppy dog.

    Rand’s endorsement of McConnell in our current US Senate race is going to hurt Rand a lot more than it’ll ever help McConnell. Poor Rand has hitched his cart to McConnell’s falling star. No doubt he’s already regretting that, but the worst is yet to come. This last week saw a radical transformation. There were a lot of establishment leaning Republicans who were holding their noses to vote for McConnell again, but no more! McConnell’s recent Obamacare surrender and inevitable debt ceiling betrayal was the last straw. There’s blood in the water and the sharks are circling. By the time the dust settles and Matt Bevin is our new citizen legislator in the US Senate, Rand is going to be very sorry he ever said the first words in defense of Mitch McConnell’s corrupt cronyism.

    Yes, Rand, it’s tough to be a leader, but it’s a lot tougher when McConnell sells us out and puts himself in a weak position. McConnell understands politics. He can’t be that stupid. I don’t see how this can’t be deliberate.

    Cue up the next McConnell ad, crying about how those dirty Democrats won this time, but we’ll get ‘em next time. It’s disgusting.

    My words of advice to Rand are the same now as they were in 2010, but with a different meaning. Run, Rand, Run!

    As far away from McConnell as you can get!

  • sam pierce wrote on October 19, 2013 11:14 AM :

    We Republicans need to stop forming a circular firing squad and remember that the political enemy is the Democrats. Let’s work together to defeat them. Our goals of smaller government and getting out of debt are the goals of both most mainstream Republicans and most members of the Tea Party. The main difference is over strategy and tactics. I can see both sides’ views as having validity. We need to stand up for our views, but we also have to accept political reality and realize that half a loaf is better than none. When we are in a bad bargaining position, even one slice of bread is better than none. If you look at some Democrat blogs to see their mindset, you will notice that they were very afraid that Joe Biden would be called on to negotiate with Mitch McConnell, because most Democrats believe that Mitch ate Biden’s lunch on previous negotiations. Because of pressure from extreme Democrats, Biden was silenced this time and Obama and Harry Reid refused to negotiate. Because the one adult in the room, Mitch McConnell, stepped forward, we ended the Democrat shutdown of the government. Mitch is castigated by both the extreme left and the extreme right, but he is much like our great Henry Clay who was also was blasted by both extremes on the slavery issue and other major issues in the early nineteenth century. We need Mitch now just as we needed Henry Clay then. After the Great Compromiser Henry Clay died, the extremes took over and the result was the Civil War. I fear that if Mitch is no longer around the extremes will take over and the result may be another civil war. Mitch is an American treasure who we need to keep. Grimes would just be a puppet for Obama and Harry Reid.

  • ManYunSoo wrote on October 19, 2013 11:23 AM :

    Rand is right; McConnell and R’s in general were in an impossible position. Every news outlet other than Fox was blaming the R’s for the shutdown, and the polls were following suit. Any compromise the D’s may have even considered would have been a long way off, and probably veto’d by Obama anyway, still with the whole thing being blamed on the R’s.

    It was a choice between
    1) hold out and risk losing more elections across the country to D’s, and resulting in the entire Congress being a D majority that could rubber-stamp any and all of Obama’s plans for 2 years
    2) give in and risk non-TParty R’s losing to other R’s in primaries, but have a better chance of holding on in the general electioons.

    Don’t be short-sighted. There was nothing to be gained here for the R’s. There will be other spending battles.

  • viewer wrote on October 19, 2013 11:57 AM :

    I believe that Rand Paul and Thomas Massie have a lot of potential to do good stuff in the future. Although, I do not agree with them all of the time. I like the way they explain the reasons behind their thought process. Everyone knows the government is too big and too expensive. The spending cannot go on like it is now. We need to go through line by line and see what needs to be cut and what needs to be changed. I would rather see a $200,000 grant given to study ketchup falling out of a bottle be terminated; than furloughing every single FBI agent for 10 days when everyone knows there is no reason for the FBI to be in the sequester cuts across the board.

    Andy Barr has hurt hisself even with the strongest Republicans. He has proven once again, to be most concerned with his personal interests than to be interested in the citizens of the state of Kentucky. Yesterday, a friend of mine said that Andy reminded him of the actor, Doug Hutchison, who played one of the prison guards in the movie the Green Mile. They kept giving him chances, but he never proved trustworthy and in the end had to lock him up in the prison cell. Have no fear that when he is voted out next time, he will do just like Chandler and come back as a lobbyist for someone doing business with the government. For someone who hates government spending so much, I don’t think he has ever drawn a check that wasn’t tied somehow to politics and the government.

    I am not Rambo, but I am not too far from that type. I hunt, fish, and think I am tougher than the average person. To say that I have not planned out or thought about chaos in the world would be a lie. I am a realist. I have supplies stored just in case, the day comes where me and my family are on our own. I have several friends who are in the military or were in the military in several different wars. If it comes to this scenario, I think we have a chance of surviving, at least for a little while; but it is not going to be pretty at all. There are a lot of people who like to talk tough and bad, but anyone who has ever been in a war and seen the true effects of war knows that this is nothing to look forward to or ag on. Some are hoping that America falls, and chaos erupts in the streets. I am not one of them. It is time for the true people with sense to wise up and understand that all of this crazy talk can lead to death and destruction of all of us. So, before you let some Tea Party patriot tell you how bad and tough he is, you better think about your children, mother, grandmother, and your neighbors; before you let all of this garbage change the truth of what he is really saying.

    It is time for us to come together as Americans- democrats, republicans, tea party, and occupy wall street. Kentucky, for too long, has not cared about education. We don’t allow science and other subjects to be taught in our classrooms. We always fall back on religious beliefs. It is times like these where we need precise educated thought processes because we have a fringe who gets credit for leading ignorance. If you want to home school your child and only teach them what is in the Bible, that is your business, and I have no problem with it. But, we have dumbed down our children for far too long, hiding behind the Bible and letting the far right propaganda machine put our children in a position where they cannot compete in society. So, they have to fall back on welfare and other subsidized government handouts, etc. We have a problem when the gov pays the parent $600 a month if their child can’t read. Come together freinds for a better Kentucky… The viewer.

  • Cat Balz wrote on October 19, 2013 01:36 PM :

    Hey, Sam, if you want to see a real political civil war then watch what happens if McConnell and Boehner and other GOP corporatists cut a deal with Obama and Democrat corporatists on immigration “reform”. Where the heck are real Democrats on this sell out? Where are African American leaders or unions or anyone who gives a damn about the furtherance of a war on the working, middle class? Right now, Mexican consulates in AMERICAN CITIES are passing out ID cards and holding workshops on accessing health care in AMERICA…heck, go to Mexico and extend your visa by a week and those bastards will threaten you with jail before you pay off bribes to cops and judges to get back home. Those corrupt bastards have the military on their southern border to keep Central Americans from getting to the US and they throw those who try more than once in prisons for years. Just because good, decent Mexicans have a despicable, corrupt government doesn’t mean that the US should be their relief valve.

  • Heza Putz wrote on October 21, 2013 02:45 PM :

    Come on Cat, Mitch and Elaine are getting killed by their housekeeping and landscaper bills.

  • Bobby wrote on October 25, 2013 10:25 AM :

    Mr Pierce sure seems to love the McConnell Kool-aid. Maybe if he would check the facts of Senator McConnell’s non-conservative voting record that Kool-aide might not taste so good.

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