Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Rand Paul says the stuff he said before is now off-limits

In two interviews, Rand Paul has declared that what Rand Paul used to say is now off-limits. It's not fair, Paul testily claims, to ask him about stuff that he said before he decided to be a presidential candidate. Because that was before, or "a long time ago." As long ago as 2009, when he was a Senate candidate.

Sean Hannity, not surprisingly, let him get away with it. On the previous Paul statement that the idea of Iran being a threat to the United States is "ridiculous":

"You know, things do change over time," Paul said. "I also wasn't campaigning for myself, I was campaigning to help my father at the time."

Hannity let that slide. He allowed Paul to frame his opposition to new sanctions that would scuttle the Iran negotiations as his way of telling Obama he'd "have to bring a deal back to" Congress.

After Hannity shot him a total softball wrapped up in a lie: "What is your take on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act—and the Indiana bill, the 1993 bill signed by Hillary Clinton's husband?" Of course, the Indiana RFRA and the federal RFRA are not exactly the same. That's not going to bother Hannity, but it did give Paul a chance to erase some of his previous disasters on civil rights. Of course, what he gave was totally gobbledygook, but Hannity just skipped over it and went to commercial. When he came back, he casually mentioned that Paul "took a shot at Dick Cheney back in 2007," but before he could go further, Paul jumped in with that was "before I was involved in politics for myself. […] That was a long time ago." Actually, the comments came in 2009, just before Paul began running himself. But Hannity, once again, let it slide.

A slightly less friendly interviewer, Savannah Guthrie, touching on the same ground saw the notoriously thin-skinned Paul, who totally blew up at her presumption of pointing out to him that his views on foreign policy "seem to have changed over the years," with examples of things he has actually said.

"Why don’t we let me explain instead of talking over me, OK?" Paul interjected. "Before we go through a litany of things you say I've changed on, why don't you ask me a question, 'Have I changed my opinion?' That would sort of a better way to approach an interview."

"Is Iran still not a threat?" Guthrie asked in the cross-talk.

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Listen, you've editorialized," Paul said. "Let me answer a question. You ask a question, and you say, 'Have your views changed?' instead of editorializing and saying my views have changed."

It's a twofer from Paul—an etch-a-sketch moment and a mansplaining moment, as Paul tells a female journalist how she's supposed to do her job. Clearly, her or any journalist's job when it comes to Paul is to not ask him about all the crazy stuff he said in his political career.

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