U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul (R-KY), a darling of the tea party movement, has gained notoriety for his extreme views and close relationships with fringe leaders like Alex Jones. Part of Paul’s appeal has been his supposed support of individuals over large interests, like the government. But Paul appeared to reveal his true priorities during an interview with the candidate in Lexington over the weekend.
Paul was asked whether he supports the Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark 1990 legislation that established a prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability. Paul said he advocates local governments to decide whether disabled individuals deserve rights. Requiring businesses to provide access to disabled people, Paul argued, isn’t “fair to the business owner.” Later in the interview, when asked if he believes Americans have a right to use the 2nd Amendment to violently overthrow the government, a Paul staffer physically intercepted the recording and shuffled Paul away:
PAUL: You know a lot of things on employment ought to be done locally. You know, people finding out right or wrong locally. You know, some of the things, for example we can come up with common sense solutions — like for example if you have a three story building and you have someone apply for a job, you get them a job on the first floor if they’re in a wheelchair as supposed to making the person who owns the business put an elevator in, you know what I mean? So things like that aren’t fair to the business owner. [...]
Q: Do you think Americans, based on the 2nd Amendment, do you think they have a Constitutional right to violently overthrow the government?
PAUL STAFFER: Alright, we’ll have to stop recording.
While Paul is proud of his radical pro-business agenda, he is less willing to talk about his ties to the militia movement and violent anti-government groups. In March, Paul addressed a gathering of militia groups for an “open carry” rally by the Kentucky state capitol. The rally included groups like the Ohio Valley Freedom Fights, an organization that has openly worked with and defended the Michigan-based Hutaree militia. During his address to the rally, Paul called the armed attendees — many of whom were wearing “I’m A Rand Fan” stickers — his “private security detail.”
Although he had hoped for support from the tea party movement to boost Republican Party candidates this year, Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has aggressively opposed Paul’s nomination. As we reported yesterday, while much of the GOP established has organized and encouraged radical tea party protests, they have lost control of insurgent extremist candidates like Paul.