Monday, August 31, 2009

Rand Won't Take $ From TARP Senators

Dr. Rand Paul's campaign announced today that he will not accept campaign donations from any senator who voted for the TARP bailouts. He called on his opponents to do likewise. Paul's press release states:

U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul on Monday pledged not to accept campaign contributions from any U.S. Senator who voted for the bank bailout and challenged his opponents to follow suit.

Dr. Paul issued this challenge after learning that Trey Grayson has scheduled a Washington D.C. fundraiser co-sponsored by several U.S. Senators, seventeen of whom voted for the so-called TARP bailout in 2008, which was then used to fund an auto industry bailout Congress rejected.

“This isn’t about holding politicians to an impossibly high standard of agreeing with everything one’s supporters say or do,” Paul said. “But a primary focus of my campaign is that we need Republicans in office who will have the courage to say no to federal bailouts of big business.”

“There is nothing in the Constitution that allows the government to pick winners and losers in the private sector and the Republican party platform specifically condemns bailouts,” Paul said. “I’m running for the U.S. Senate to stand up for true Republican principles and the Republicans I’ve talked to agree that is what we need.”

Paul's s primary opponent Secretary of State Trey Grayson will benefit from a fundraiser hosted by 23 Republican Senators, including Mitch McConnell, at the NRSC. In the unlikely event that Grayson accepts Paul's challenge to decline the money, he still has six Senators who opposed TARP on his host list.

Paul's response is a clever way to remind voters that he would have opposed the bailouts. Nonetheless, it's a somewhat hollow gesture given that (a) Paul doesn't need the contributions due to his "money bomb" and (b) the GOP establishment, as represented by the 23 Senators, probably wouldn't give him any.

Will Paul return "money bomb" contributions from anyone who collected their $4500 from "cash for clunkers"?

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