- 2016 Watch May 13
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) just blundered into another problem of his own making. Days after saying Republicans should not "go too crazy" in their efforts to implement restrictive voter ID laws, the freshman Kentucky lawmaker walked back his criticism, saying he supported such proposals after all.
In a statement to Slate, a spokesperson said Paul only meant that voter ID laws, "should not be a defining issue of the Republican Party," and that, "in terms of the specifics of voter ID laws, Senator Paul believes it's up to each state to decide that type of issue."
This is the biggest problem Paul will face if he pursues a White House bid. He has a penchant for breaking with the party — most notably on national security — and espousing beliefs that are anathema to a big chunk of primary voters. Racing to clarify his remarks may stem the backlash from the right in the short term, but it also risks painting him as a waffler in the long term.
This creates something of a no-win for Paul: Either stick to his guns and irk the base, or hedge his criticisms and come across as unprincipled.- -
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- For Democrats, the right lesson from 2014 is to be more liberal
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- 10 things you need to know today: October 30, 2014
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- How to live a long life, according to science
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Sorry, we will not all be having sex with robots in the future
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How the brides of ISIS are attracting Western women
Subscribe to the Week