Howie Carr: Rand Paul Plays to His Liberal College Crowds

Monday, 28 Apr 2014 05:43 PM

By Joe Battaglia

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The messages from Sen. Rand Paul seem to get less conservative whenever he speaks to students on liberal college campuses, Boston Herald columnist and radio host Howie Carr says.

On Friday, Paul, a Kentucky Republican who is considering a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, tested his libertarian-leaning brand of politics on students at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Trey Grayson, director at the school's Institute of Politics and a man Paul trounced to win election to the Senate, introduced Paul by calling him "without question the Republican who best connects with millennial voters across the country."

Carr told J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV on Monday that Paul has that appeal to young voters because he tells them what they want to hear, not necessarily the views of the majority of Republicans.

"This is a pattern with Rand Paul," Carr said. "He goes to Berkeley, same thing. Oh, he wants to get all the people from the 21st-century version of the free speech movement. He goes to a La Raza group and he talks about how we need illegal aliens and we have to give jobs to illegal aliens."

Carr added that this is not the message that will inspire the conservative base of the Republican Party in 2016.

"I saw today a poll in the Daily Caller of Iowa, and he seems to be slipping a little bit," Carr said. "Maybe the stoner wing of the Republican Party is beginning to realize that he's not his father and that there's more to this guy than just pro-marijuana.

"I don't think he's quite as pure, pure distilled conservative as some of the others in the race, especially Ted Cruz."

Story continues below video.



During his brief Harvard public address and nearly 40-minute Q&A with the audience, Paul covered a number of topics off the cuff in an attempt to broaden his appeal.

"What I've said repeatedly is the Republican Party will adapt, evolve or die," Paul said. "They're not big enough. They have to be bigger, they have to include more people. The Republican Party needs to look like the rest of America to have a chance.

"That means with tattoos and without tattoos, with earrings and without earrings, black, white, brown. You know, you go to a Republican event and it's all white people. Not because we're excluding everybody, but we haven't done a good enough job encouraging people to come into our party."

Carr said that back when he taught a seminar at the Kennedy School, which some jokingly called "Camelot High," he said it was where politicians "go to lose elections," because it is in these types of forums where mixed messages on domestic and foreign policy issues often do more harm than good.

"We have a saying at the Statehouse here in Boston, and it's you can get too cute by half," Carr said. "At some point you have to take a stand. You can't triangulate everything. You have to actually believe in something, and Rand seems to be going back and forth.

"He's for illegal aliens, he's for pot, but he's not for really any kind of foreign intervention, not that anybody wants to go to war in Syria or a place like that, but he seems to be more on the Obama side of speak softly and carry a twig."

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