Paul says voter ID laws not a barrier to minorities; agrees with McConnell that government shutdown won't stop Obamacare

08/14/2013 03:39 PM

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul defended Republican-led efforts to enact voter ID laws in other states, telling a group in Louisville on Wednesday there isn’t “objective evidence” to support the law precludes minorities from voting.

Kentucky’s junior U.S. senator also told reporters that he is sticking with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell on how to best to stop “Obamacare.” And he said forcing a government shutdown isn’t it — even as some of his tea party colleagues have been calling for that.

Paul spoke to civic leaders at Louisville Forum group in downtown Louisville. After making his remarks, a member of the group asked what he thought about the Voting Rights Act and his feelings on the recent signing of a voter ID law in North Carolina. Voter ID laws have been proposed to cut down on potential voter fraud. But groups like the NAACP and ACLU have countered that the law disproportionately affects minorities and the elderly, some of whom don’t drive.

“I don’t think there is objective evidence that we’re precluding African Americans from voting any longer,” Paul told the group. “I also think some people are a little bit stuck in the past when they want to compare this.”

Paul also backed up McConnell when asked by reporters before the event if he would be in favor of forcing a government shutdown to prevent enacting Obamacare.

McConnell said during a speech in Corbin that shutting down the government would not stop the bill from being funded, as WYMT-TV in Hazard reported.

“I’m not in favor of shutting down the government either. But, I am in favor of using our leverage to try to make it less bad. I’d just as soon de-fund the whole thing, and I’ll fight for that, but I also know that we don’t control all of the government. So we fight for what we can get,” Paul said.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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