The Corner

Rand Paul’s Midwest Swing

Kentucky senator Rand Paul, who’s gotten a lot of attention on this blog lately, swung through the Midwest this week for events focused on school choice, an issue he thinks Republicans need to be talking about to reach the poor, urban, and minority voters who have long been faithful to the Democratic party.

That’s not exactly a novel insight, but in Milwaukee Paul told me he thinks school choice has been too much of a “think-tank issue” and that Republican politicians haven’t done enough to advance the cause. Over on the homepage, I write about Paul’s visit to Milwaukee: 

“Nobody in Washington knows a damn thing about education,” Kentucky’s junior senator tells a crowd of Latino students and parents gathered Wednesday to hear from the Tea Party’s rising star and to show their support for Wisconsin’s voucher program.

Rand Paul says he’s visiting Milwaukee’s St. Anthony School, the nation’s largest K–12 Catholic school, where 99 percent of the students are voucher recipients, in part to pay homage to the city, which he refers to in an interview as “the home of school choice.”

In an interview, the senator also responded to Bob Dole’s remark that Paul and the rest of his freshmen colleagues don’t have enough experience to be president.

“I respect Bob Dole, I think he’s a war hero and one of the venerable Republican statesman,” Paul said. “But as far as how we judge who will be our leaders, you know, most people said I couldn’t serve in the U.S. Senate because I’d only been a doctor and I think that’s not the way to look at who can best be our leaders. I think our leaders ought to be well-read, well-spoken, have a historical knowledge as well as have a belief in wisdom and justice.” 

The 90-year-old Dole said to the Wichita Eagle on Sunday that “first-termers” like Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz — whom he called at “extreme right-winger” — don’t have “enough experience yet.”

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