Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks to the media after a rally with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., at the airport in Bowling Green, Ky., November 3, 2014.
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5 tough questions for Rand Paul’s Twitter chat


All In with Chris Hayes, 3/4/15, 8:30 PM ET

The sound of one Rand clapping

Outrage and scandal, as certain conservatives complain that Senator Rand Paul wasn’t clapping enthusiastically enough during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.
Sen. Rand Paul plans to hold a Twitter Q&A Sunday from South by Southwest, the annual tech conference in Austin, Texas. The Kentucky Republican posted a call to his Twitter followers Thursday night, asking them to submit questions using the hashtag #RANDSXSW.  

He asked, and they delivered – including some pretty tough ones. Now the question is whether the 2016 presidential hopeful will answer them.

Here’s a sampling of inquiries posed to the senator that he’ll likely avoid:

1.  Why did you sign that Iran letter?

Paul was one of 47 Republican senators who signed a letter to Iran, warning the nation against signing a nuclear deal with the United States. The letter has since generated significant backlash in Washington D.C.

2. About your comments on the Civil Rights Act …

Paul came under fire recently for a 2010 interview in which he commented on the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1965, saying “I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains, and I’m all in favor of that …  I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners — I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant — but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership.” 

In 2014, as his public profile grew, those comments resurfaced, and Paul took heat for trying to walk back his previous statement. 

3. What exactly is your stance on same-sex marriage?

Paul recently said in an interview on Fox News“I’m for traditional marriage. I think marriage is between a man and a woman. Ultimately, we could have fixed this a long time ago if we just allowed contracts between adults. We didn’t have to call it marriage, which offends myself and a lot of people.” Come again, Senator?

4.  Are you really anti-vaccines?

In a February interview with CNBC, Paul said, “I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.” Unfortunately for Paul, the science of vaccinations is straightforward: Public health officials point to extensive research showing vaccines protect the common good. 

5. What about your dad?

Paul’s father, Ron Paul, is a former Congressman who ran for president in 2012 but failed to win the Republican nomination. But many have wondered whether Sen. Paul will ally himself closely with his father or distance himself should he decide to run for president in 2016.

2/28/15, 5:32 PM ET

Sen. Rand Paul wins CPAC straw poll

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., won the CPAC straw poll for the third year in a row, with 25.7% of the vote. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came in second place.

Rand Paul

5 tough questions for Rand Paul's Twitter chat