At a time when many congressional Republicans confess that they “don’t even know what [they] want” out of the government shutdown, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is convinced that if Republicans stick to their “poll-tested” talking points, they can “win” this government shutdown.
In a conversation captured by WPSD 6, Sen. Paul can is overheard talking to Sen. McConnell:
Senator Paul began, “Do you have a second?”
“I’m all wired up here, um,” Senator McConnell replied.
“I just did CNN and I just go over and over again ‘We’re willing to compromise. ‘We’re willing to negotiate.’ I think… I don’t think they poll tested we won’t negotiate. I think it’s awful for them to say that over and over again,” Paul said.
“Yeah, I do too and I, and I just came back from that two hour meeting with them and that, and that was basically the same view privately as it was publically [sic],” McConnell agreed.
Paul added, “I think if we keep saying ‘We wanted to defund it. We fought for that and that we’re willing to compromise on this’, I think they can’t, we’re gonna, I think… well I know we don’t want to be here, but we’re gonna win this I think.”
It is notable that Sen. Paul knows that McConnell’s mike is “hot,” or actively recording audio, when he makes these comments. Also of note is Sen. McConnell’s complaint that Democrats are pushing the same view privately as they are publicly. Sen. Paul’s insistence that Republicans “don’t want to be here,” but are “gonna win this,” suggests that their private motives and public statements are at odds.
Watch the video of their hot-mic exchanged below.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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