Cornyn: Rand Paul right to cancel 'Meet the Press' spot

The Senate Republicans' top campaigner said Sunday that Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul (R) made a good decision by canceling his appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."


Sen. John Cornyn (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.

ADVERTISEMENT
"I think he did the right thing, as much as it is fun being here with you David, he needs to be home talking to the voters in Kentucky," he told "Meet the Press" host David Gregory.

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 Menendez (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.