In an interview with the Associated Press that appeared on Wednesday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) stumbled over questions regarding his views on women’s reproductive rights, then complained that reporters are pressing him on too many “details” in his only days-old presidential campaign.
As Paul swung northward to New Hampshire on the presidential primary state circuit, the AP’s Philip Elliott asked the candidate to clarify his views regarding a woman’s right to choose.
The libertarian-leaning senator has come out and said that he strongly opposes abortion in almost all cases. The AP asked Paul, “What exceptions, if any, should be made if the procedure were to be banned?”
“The thing is about abortion,” Paul began, “and about a lot of things — is that I think people get tied up in all these details of, sort of, you’re this or this or that, or you’re hard and fast (on) one thing or the other.”
“Life is special and deserves protection,” was the most he would say by way of explanation, according to the AP.
Many Republicans feel that the nation is moving away from the rigid social stances of the party’s old guard. Each candidate for 2016 must walk a delicate balancing act of appealing to the party faithful while not alienating young and millennial voters, who are increasingly liberal on social issues.
Paul grew “testy” — in the AP’s words — when he was asked to give a concise take on his position.
“I gave you about a five-minute answer. Put in my five-minute answer,” he said.
“I think the most important thing is the general concept of: Do you support the sanctity of life?” he said. “Do you think there’s something special about life? So you think when we’re born that a human baby is different than an animal, that there’s something special that is imbued into human life? And I think there is.”
“In general, I am pro-life. So I will support legislation that advances and shows that life is special and deserves protection,” he concluded.
Paul has gotten “testy” with a couple of reporters lately. On Wednesday morning, he clashed with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie when she attempted to pin him down on his contradictory positions on U.S. policy regarding Iran.
That mirrored another confrontation with CNBC’s Kelly Evans in which Paul shushed her and told her not to speak while he was talking.