Rand Paul says he is ‘sensitive’ about left-wing media reception of Howard speech

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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WASHINGTON — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul lamented that he got a raw deal from the left-leaning media after a speech he gave at Howard University, a historically black college, last week, saying that he felt his speech there was received far more positively than some outlets made it out to be.

“I thought my reception at Howard was much better than my reception from the left-wing media. If you’re here from the left-wing media, I didn’t appreciate your reception,” Paul told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. “Howard, actually, I think was very fair. … I think the reception was good.”

He said that the media did not accurately portray the politics of some of the people who did not necessarily have a good impression of his speech.

“I’ll give you an example of how sometimes the reporting’s not accurate: one young man stood up and said, ‘I worked for a pro-Obama super PAC registering voters.’ Somebody in the media described him as someone who is just from a generic voter registration group. He said he partnered with the president,” Paul said. “I mean, that’s a difficult vote for me to get, it’s a difficult person for even to get entrée into them even considering.”

At one point during the question and answer period at the speech, Paul asked the audience if they knew that Republicans had founded the NAACP. He said he felt the media had “misreported” the question as somehow condescending to a black audience to teach them about their own history.

“I was asking a question, I asked do you know, and I didn’t know the answer. This is my first time to go to a historical black college, so I asked, and people say, ‘Well, you should know the answer.’ Well, part of the reason I’m going there is that I didn’t know the answer,” he said.

“And in retrospect it sounds like it is a dumb question, but it’s like, Republicans haven’t been going to Howard for 20 years, so by going there I did learn something, and I did learn that everybody there knows. I left knowing that everybody there knows.”

“Here’s where I think it’s unfair what the media tries to do to me on this,” he said, explaining that he suspected that in the general public, “maybe 90 percent has no idea that Republicans founded the NAACP.”

“And so some people say it’s presumptuous and I shouldn’t be talking about it, but we need to talk about it,” Paul said.

“And then I messed up on the senator’s name, Edward Brooke, and it’s like, I’m human, I forgot his name,” Paul continued. “I knew his name and I forgot it. It wasn’t like it was part of my speech and I forgot it, it was in the question answer. How many other people do 30 minutes of question and answer?”

“I don’t know. I’m a little sensitive to some of it,” Paul said.

“I think people who write on one side of it write simply because they don’t like Republicans and so anything a Republican says, the left-wing media has done that way without really I think looking at the facts,” he said.

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