- 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
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 10 things you need to know today: August 21, 2014
- Why your employer should clean your house and do your laundry
- Don't listen to Paul Ryan: The GOP is still the party of makers and takers
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What you need to know before you support the police in Ferguson
Subscribe to the Week