Paul says his platform will attract independents, Democrats

06/12/2010 07:08 PM

Rand Paul speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference on June 12, 2010.

LOUISVILLE – A platform focused on addressing the national debt, term limits, the need for members of Congress to read bills and lobbying restrictions on firms that land government contracts can attract independents, Democrats and Republicans alike, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul said.

In a 13-minute speech, Paul laid out for Republican activists the guiding principles that he said he will stick to during the general election. A lot of them are familiar to anyone who followed his campaign over the last year on his way to a 24-point win in the May 18 Republican primary.

Paul faces Democrat Jack Conway, the state’s attorney general, in the general election. Registered Democrats still outnumber Republicans in Kentucky, 1.6 million to 1 million.

Conway has said Paul’s libertarian-leaning views on government not interfering with private businesses even with key legislation such as the Civil Rights Act and Americans with Disabilities Act won’t fly with Democratic voters.

But Paul said Saturday he expects his approach and ideas on spending, debt and government reform “brings Democrats to us; it brings independents to us.”

Paul also elaborated on concept he’s talked about just a few times: including a clause in federal contracts so that firms can voluntarily refrain from lobbying Congress while under contract with the government.

“I think the corruption is that people get federal contracts and then they take the tax money that’s coming to them, and they take the first portion of it and hire a lobbyist to go ask for more,” he said.

His overall message was that his push for term limits and spending reforms is meant to divert the country from a path to economic disaster because “out of crisis bad things come.”

He also told the audience of 220 Republicans at the state party’s leadership conference that he expects political opponents to try to paint him and supporters such as those in the tea party movement as out-of-the-mainstream.

“People say: Who are these angry people? …They want there to be something wrong with us. They’re already trying to find something wrong with me,” he said, although he never defined who “they” are. “They’re trying to find something wrong with me because they fear a movement that will take the government back and make it better.”

- Reporting by Ryan Alessi with video produced by Holly Thompson


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