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The Republican establishment stands by Rand Paul, sort of

The Rand Paul blowup is one of those political events that gives one party a day of easy sound bites and the other party a day of awkward dodges. Democrats are hurling themselves at telephones and cameras to denounce Rand Paul's horrible, terrible, no-good stance on the Civil Rights Act. Republicans are defending Paul, if you push them on it.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) -- who, in his role leading the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is tasked to getting Paul elected to the Senate -- pleads ignorance to TPM's Brian Beutler:

Since I didn't hear -- I'm not suggesting that you're not giving it your best effort -- but I'm not going to comment on it unless I had a chance to hear it myself.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who did not want Paul to win the primary, is sending around this brief statement:

Among Senator McConnell's most vivid memories and most formative events in his career was watching his boss Sen. John Sherman Cooper help pull together the votes to break the filibuster and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He has always considered the law a monumental achievement for the country and is glad to hear Dr. Paul supports it as well.

And Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) gives a very terse response to both National Review and ThinkProgress.

By David Weigel  |  May 20, 2010; 3:14 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election , Scandal  
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Next: Rand Paul in '02: I may not like it, but 'a free society' will allow 'hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin'

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