Rand Paul Defends Mourdock, Plans Ads Supporting Him

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is defending Republican Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock and argues the GOP nominee’s controversial comments on rape will not affect this year’s election results.

Paul was in Louisville Thursday speaking to the Rotary Club, where he talked mostly about the gridlock in Congress, fiscal policy and foreign affairs. But the senator’s political action committee—Rand PAC—is stepping in the middle of the closely watched Indiana Senate race.

Rand PAC is buying $100,000 worth of ads that reportedly attack Mourdock’s opponent, Democratic Congress Joe Donnelly, for voting against legislation to block foreign aid to Pakistan.

Paul says most of Indiana is pro-life, and the 2012 elections are more about jobs and the economy more than social issues.

“That’s why with the ads that we’re putting on in Indiana we have a six figure buy and we’re putting on ads that point out that Congressman Donnelly voted to send money to Pakistan when we have needs here at home that we think need to be met and we shouldn’t be sending more money to Pakistan,” he says.

In a message to Rand PAC supporters, Kentucky’s junior Senator accuses the “liberal and medial elite” of unfairly targeting Mourdock in the aftermath of his remarks that rape pregnancies should not be an exception to an abortion ban because it is the will of God.

Paul promises the ad against Donnelly will be “hard-hitting” and will shift focus on Donnelly’s voting record and government spending.

“We’ve tried four years of government stimulus, $6 trillion worth of borrowing to try to stimulate the economy and it’s not working,” Paul told WFPL. “The economy is not any better off than it was four years ago. I think people will make their decisions based on that.”

But while Paul argues this year’s choice should be more about pocketbooks than culture wars, earlier this year Paul introduced a “fetal personhood” amendment that stalled a flood insurance bill in the Senate.

From Huffington Post:

The bill, which would financially boost the National Flood Insurance Program on the cusp of hurricane season, had been expected to pass easily in the Senate. But since Paul on Monday offered an unrelated “fetal personhood” amendment, which would give legal protections to fetuses from the moment of fertilization.

(SNIP)

Paul told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that he is “just trying to get a vote for people who elected me.”

“Can you believe that they’re exasperated with me?” he said, responding to criticism of his attempt to attach the unrelated amendment. “If [Reid will] give me a freestanding vote, I’ll take a freestanding vote any time.”

The highly controversial concept of fetal personhood raised by Paul’s amendment could affect the legality of abortion, some forms of birth control, stem cell research and in vitro fertilization.

The ad in support of Mourdock is expected to begin airing this weekend.

UPDATE:

In response, Donnelly campaign spokeswoman Elizabeth Shappell points out that in Rand PAC’s message to supporters, Paul criticizes longtime Sen. Dick Lugar, R-In., and pressures Mourdock to clarify if he feels the same.
 
“Joe Donnelly has visited our troops overseas several times and supports a strong national defense to keep America safe.  To allude otherwise is irresponsible,” she says. “Further, Sen. Paul called Sen. Lugar a member of the ‘good ole boys’ network this morning, so it would be interesting to know if Mr. Mourdock agreed with this assessment of Indiana’s senior senator.”
 

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