In the last few days, several news outlets have published stories examining the policy ideas of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul -- and pointing out instances where Paul seemed to have changed his mind on some issues, as he tries to build support for a presidential run.
On Wednesday, Paul took issue with one of those stories, which was published Monday in The Washington Post. The Post story showed that Paul (R) seemed to have shaded, changed, or dropped some of the ideas that he had espoused as a candidate in 2009 and 2010 and in his early days as a senator.
“Everything they’d said that my position had changed on, I think, frankly, is untrue,” Paul said in the interview, conducted by The Federalist — an online magazine featuring news and conservative commentary
Afterward, The Post asked a spokesman for Paul’s Senate office to identify the inaccuracies that the senator had been referring to.
Paul’s spokesman declined. “We will be doing this on another platform,” spokesman Brian Darling wrote in an e-mail.
The Post’s story, published in Monday’s paper, was based on an examination of Paul’s speeches, op-eds and 326 pieces of legislation he has submitted as a senator. It also relied on interviews with Paul’s staff and advisers. The Post also requested to interview Paul himself, but an aide eventually said the senator did not have the time.
In his interview with The Federalist, Paul also criticized The Post for not providing a response from him or his political team.
“I think there was no quote from us in the whole piece – an enormous piece, a hit job on me, and they never quoted us for a response on anything,” he was quoted saying.
The Post story quoted three advisers to Paul: two by name, and another who asked not to be named. It also quoted an additional aide in Paul’s senate office, who described Paul’s policy ideas in detail. Paul’s office arranged that interview, on the condition that the aide not be quoted by name.
The Post repeatedly requested to talk to Paul himself, beginning more than a week before the story ran. Darling, Paul’s spokesman, first indicated that Paul might grant an interview, but later said his schedule wouldn’t allow for one.
“I tried to get you on the schedule — I really did. His schedule is very busy and I just could not get it done. I am telling you that he does not have any time for this interview,” Darling wrote in an e-mail on Sept. 10.
On Wednesday — after Paul’s interview with The Federalist was published — The Post again requested to interview Paul about his policy positions.
The response from Paul’s office was more concise.
“No,” Darling wrote.