Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said in an interview with Salon.com that no one in Congress has done as much for the rights of ethnic and racial minorities in the U.S. than himself.
“I don’t think there has been anybody who has been a bigger defender of minority rights in the Congress than myself, and that’s not saying others aren’t trying as well,” Paul said. “But I think you can see a history and a litany of bills that I’ve put forward to not only restore voting rights, but to try to prevent people from the tragedy of losing their employability through felony convictions and other things.”
The remarks were part of a wide-ranging discussion of matters ranging from his prospects for 2016, potential rivalry with former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and the future of the Republican Party.
The Tea Party favorite — son of long-serving libertarian-leaning Republican Congressman Ron Paul — perhaps failed to take into account that he is serving alongside civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. into Selma, Alabama. Lewis was brutally beaten by Alabama Highway Patrolmen in Selma and locked in a jail cell for standing up for racial equality in the divided South.
He went on to testify before Congress about the treatment he received and on behalf of the Voting Rights Act, one of the great civil rights victories of the 1960s.
TPM’s Daniel Strauss wrote, “Salon also pointed out that there are numerous instances of Paul expressing opposition to the Civil Rights Act. On the Rachel Maddow Show in 2010 he said he was opposed to parts of the law that required private businesses to accommodate everyone. He later denied that he’s been against the Civil Rights Act.”