Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky insisted Monday that economist Paul Krugman was being "disingenuous" during a debate on ABC's This Week.
During the show on Sunday, Paul skeptically asked Krugman why he believed the public sector was currently struggling and if there were fewer government employees under President Obama than under President Bush. Krugman quickly retorted, "that is a fact" and later posted a chart on his column to back up the claim.
But speaking on the Stand Up with Pete Dominick radio show on Monday, Paul insisted he was only talking about federal employees and that Krugman was wrong to assume he was talking about government employees in general.
"He is flat out wrong," the Kentucky senator said. "Let me tell you why he is wrong and then you can respond. Federal employment has gone up 140,000. It is just a fact. He is talking about federal and state employment, so he is playing games with numbers. President Obama is not in charge of the government of Virginia or the government of New York, so teachers have been reduced at the state level."
"Federal employees in the federal government is enormously bigger under Obama," Paul continued. "And he is disingenuous, for an allegedly smart man, he is disingenuous, playing games and ought to be ashamed of himself... We have a much bigger government and it is disingenuous, if not dishonest, for Krugman to try to say otherwise."
Listen to audio, courtesy of Stand Up with Pete Dominick, below: