The Senate Republicans' top campaigner said Sunday that Kentucky Senate candidate Rand PaulRand PaulDems blast Trump plans for deep spending cuts Trump team prepares dramatic cuts Paul, Lee call on Trump to work with Congress on foreign policy MORE (R) made a good decision by canceling his appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP eyes new push to break up California court Senate confirms first nominees of Trump era The new Washington elite schmoozes over lunch MORE (R-Texas), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said that Paul was better suited being in the Bluegrass State and talking to voters after a week in which he endured tough criticism for questioning the legality of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Paul later clarified his remarks, but Democrats pounced on his comments, saying that they show the Tea Party-backed candidate is far outside the mainstream and unfit to serve in the Senate.
"This is a symbol of what is happening to the Republican Party across the country," Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert MenendezRobert MenendezCarson likely to roll back housing equality rule Live coverage: Tillerson's hearing for State Booker to join Foreign Relations Committee MORE (N.J.) said on NBC. "The mainstream is losing to the extreme."
Paul canceled his "Meet the Press" appearance on Friday, citing exhaustion and an unwillingness to answer more questions about his civil rights comments.
Gregory took a few shots at Paul for being only the third guest to cancel on the show in its 62-year history.
During the show's lead-in, he called him a 'new power player" at the beginning of the week, but said "By week's end, Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul, son of former presidential candidate Ron Paul, found the spotlight a little too hot, canceling his appearance on this program and raising doubts about his prospects for the Paul."
Gregory said Paul needs to answer more questions on whether or not he opposes minimum wage, child safety laws, and protections for people with disabilities.
He even questioned if he is a "a weaker candidate than we was Thursday night."
Cornyn defended Paul's chances.
"He's leading by 25 points, so I'll let the numbers speak for themselves," he said.