Thursday, February 25, 2010

Grayson and Johnson Team Up Against Rand Paul

Two of the candidates for the Republican Senate nomination, Trey Grayson and Bill Johnson, have taken the extraordinary measure of issuing a joint press release against rival candidate Dr. Rand Paul. They focus on the issue of abortion, and charge Paul with lying in a radio ad about whether he is pro-life:

“There’s no ‘probably’ when it comes to the issue of partial birth abortion among Kentucky pro-life activists,” said Grayson. “Whether it’s Bill Johnson or myself, Kentuckians deserve to know who can be counted on to protect life and stand up for our conservative values in the race for U.S. Senate.”

“Rand Paul denies it now, but I’ve heard him say that he supports allowing individual states to decide the issue of abortion. He describes himself as a Constitutional conservative, but he ignores the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that guarantees our rights to life, liberty and property. Life should be protected at all levels of Government, including the Federal level,” said Bill Johnson.

While Rand Paul claims to be pro-life, he has in the past voiced support for allowing states to decide the issue and has opposed federal regulation of abortion. Rand Paul in his own words:

But he [Paul] was more evasive when it came to some social issues like abortion and gay marriage. He said he believes marriage is between a man and woman but wouldn’t say how he’d vote on such issues in the Senate, instead saying such matters should be left up to states.(Ronnie Ellis, “Paul Touts Fundraising Success, Stakes Positions On Federal Issues,” The McCreary County [KY] Record, 10/20/09)

And on abortion, Paul expressed discomfort with federal laws but said he “probably” would have voted for a federal ban on a procedure that has been called partial-birth abortion by its opponents.” (Joe Gerth, “Can Paul win Kentucky Senate Race?”, The Courier-Journal, 10/19/2009)

I think we should make Roe v. Wade part of our philosophy as far as states’ rights - in believing that states should have the prerogative over this.” (Rand Paul Speaking in Jessamine County, 9/3/2009)

"I would introduce and support legislation to send Roe v. Wade back to the states." (Rand Paul Speaking in Paducah, 5/9/2009)

"Libertarian would be a good description," Rand Paul told CNN, "because libertarians believe in freedom in all aspects of your life – your economic life as well as your social life as well as your personal life." (CNN’s Political Ticker, 5/4/2009)

“Paul’s father, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is a strong states’ rights advocate who wants the federal government out of people’s lives. He opposes federal drug laws and says the U.S. government should not outlaw gay marriage because only churches should be in the marriage business. During a conference call Friday, Rand Paul, a Bowling Green ophthalmologist, talked around some of those questions and others, perhaps signaling that he knows his positions on such issues might be a tough sell to Kentucky Republicans. He prefers to talk about fiscal issues, allowing him to ride a populist wave that erupted after the nation’s economy went bust, prompting federal bailouts.” (Joseph Gerth, Op-Ed, “Can Paul Win Kentucky Senate Race?” The [Louisville, KY] Courier-Journal, 10/19/09)

“[T]he Paul campaign issued the following response: . . . . ‘Reconciling Rand’s positions with Kentucky voters is easy. Kentucky is a socially conservative state which mostly upholds Christian values. If we protect states’ rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, then we protect Kentucky values from Californians or Vermonters or out-of-control Congressional Democrats and President Obama. Kentucky voters want and deserve to have their rights protected by Rand Paul’s strict constructionist understanding of the United States Constitution.’ David Adams, campaign manager.” (Joe Arnold, ABC Affiliate WHAS’s Political Blog,, Posted 10/20/09)

Middlesboro Daily News: What about instances of rape or incest or where the outcome may not be death, but severe medical problems for the mother or child. Do you think that in these cases the decision should be left to the government rather than the families? Paul: In cases of rape, trying to prevent pregnancies is obviously the best thing. The morning-after pill works successfully most of the time. Ultimately we do better if we do have better education about family planning. With partial-birth abortion, there were five women who testified that it threatened their life. It wasn’t completely true in all cases. They were non-viable babies. They were babies with awful genetic mutations that were not going to survive, and I tend to think we let nature take its course. (Lorie Settles, “US Senate Hopeful Rand Paul Visits Middlesboro,” The Middlesboro Daily News, 1/26/10).

Trey Grayson makes an excellent point about the fourteenth amendment. If Paul is, as he claims, a constitutionalist, he cannot allow a state to circumvent the fourteenth amendment's application to the states, including its protection of life.

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