As Rand Paul attempts to move to the center of his party ahead of a likely 2016 run, his earliest views are coming back to haunt him.
Mother Jones’ David Corn uncovered a trove of videos of Paul criticizing his party’s beloved patriarch, Ronald Reagan, just a week after Paul swore up and down that he really was a Reaganite in an editorial on foreign policy. That column was the latest in series of moves to the center of the party.
In the videos, many of which depict Paul campaigning for his father, Paul repeatedly says Jimmy Carter was better at handling the budget than Reagan because he ran a lower deficit. It’s the kind of flip-flopping that could haunt the 2016 presidential prospect.
“Domestic spending rose faster under Reagan than under Jimmy Carter,” Paul says in one video, in the summer of 2009 in Kentucky. “We have to admit our failings because we’re not going to get new people unless we become believable as a party again.”
Following the publication of the article, Paul responded in a statement.
“I have always been and continue to be a great supporter of Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts and the millions of jobs they created. Clearly spending during his tenure did not lessen, but he also had to contend with Democrat majorities in Congress,” he wrote to Mother Jones.