Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rand Paul vs. Eliot Spitzer

Rand Paul vs. Eliot Spitzer on CNN. My favorite part is when Spitzer, who is tries to play gotcha journalist throughout the whole episode, asks Paul about his salary when he was a doctor. Paul asks Spitzer how he would feel about Paul going into has past. Ouch!


Thomas M. Cothran said...

Spitzer's question before he got too personal was a good one. Paul claims he wants across the board cuts, but seems to want to protect doctor's fees under the entitlement programs--pay that he's personally benefited from and will probably be in a position to benefit from in the future. That's a pretty serious conflict of interest. And for the rest of the interview Paul was defending entitlements for Kentucky. (He's already backed up on his promise to ban earmarks and said that he will seek earmarks for his own constituency.) Given that he's been busy backing up on his other campaign pledges (e.g., earmarks), I think it's pretty clear that he's duped everybody who thought he would be a different kind of politician. He's certainly not his father.

Anonymous said...

Thomas, I disagree. Rand Paul was making the point that people would not be covered by doctors if medicaid paid too little, which is a phenomena Democrats have long noted and is why they tried to up pay permanently in Obamacare, but had to drop it because they would recognize the increased cost. Yet just because Rand Paul is a doctor, Spitzer uses this point to demogogue as if Rand Paul, who is now a SENATOR was going to be biased by incremental medicare reimbursement rates. That is sheer partisan 'gotcha' journalism, and Rand was right to refuse to sit still for it.

Anonymous said...

Thomas, Rand Paul has not flipped on earmarks, WSJ misquoted him. He is cosponsoring Jim DeMint's motion against earmarks, and regardless of how that goes, he has pledged not to use them himself. Why is it so CRUCIAL to the left that Rand be portrayed as a hypocrite that they resort to lies about him? Is it because what he says is so attractive they are fearful of having the country even be willing to listen?

Thomas M. Cothran said...


If you do not believe it's legitimate for a journalist to ask a politician about supporting an expensive program the politician has benefited from financially in the past and may benefit from again in the future (particularly when the support for the program appears to be inconsistent with the politician's other positions), then you're not serious about political accountability. Which is fine, but you shouldn't pretend otherwise.

On the earmarks question, Paul appears to be against "hard" earmarks, but in favor of "soft" earmarks (earmarks done at the committee level). I quote from the interview: "I will advocate for Kentucky’s interests. There are money that will be spent in Kentucky. But I will advocate in the committee process. And I think that’s the way it should be done."

In other words, he's against one kind of earmark, but for another, and he's going to fight for Kentucky's share of pork-barrel spending. I'll say it again: Rand Paul is not a different kind of politician, and anyone who thinks he is will be disappointed.