Paul: Bevin's position on TARP hurts him

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Monday that Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) primary challenger is hurt by an apparent reversal of support for the financial bailout program.

"I think it hurts any individual if it appears as if their responses to issues aren't consistent," Paul told reporters during a campaign stop with McConnell in Kentucky, according to the Associated Press. "So the fact that at one point he said he was for TARP but now he's against TARP, it does hurt credibility."

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Paul was speaking about the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which was praised in a report issued by primary opponent Matt Bevin’s investment firm in 2008, and signed by him.

McConnell has come under fire from conservatives in the primary for his role in passing TARP, and Bevin has criticized the program. But the documents from his firm seem to indicate the candidate has at least shifted his position on the issue, if not been dishonest with voters.

Bevin maintains that he didn’t write or support the positions in the documents, and Kentucky and national conservative groups have accepted his explanation.

But McConnell’s campaign has hammered him for what they see as his tendency to do or say whatever he needs to fit the moment, and Paul’s comments could create a headache for the candidate.

Paul has endorsed McConnell for reelection, but his support has been somewhat less than full-throated. He’s previously praised Bevin as a “good, honest Christian man,” and recently, when asked on a conservative radio show why he endorsed McConnell, Paul faltered, offering only: “Because he asked me.”

But on Monday, Paul was emphatic in his support of the Senate minority leader.

"I think he's been a very conservative leader for Kentucky," he said, and predicted a win for the senator.

Meanwhile, expected Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes campaigned with Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow in the state, a move that the Kentucky GOP criticized because of Stabenow’s record, which the party called “completely at odds with the strongly pro-coal and anti-ObamaCare sentiments of Kentucky voters.”

Stabenow, a lead author of the farm bill, was in the state to tout Lundergan Grimes’ commitment to farmers and highlight the advantages of adding another female senator to the chamber’s ranks.

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