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Rand Paul: Bill Clinton put ‘generation’ of black men in prison

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PHILADELPHIA — Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul says he will bash Hillary Clinton over her husband’s record of putting “a generation of black men in prison” if he is the nominee.

Paul, a freshman senator from Kentucky, says he will compete with Clinton in Philadelphia, where Democrats have a 7-to-1 registration advantage, and other impoverished cities by highlighting his support for criminal justice reform.

{mosads}“If I were the nominee, we will compete in Philadelphia,” he told CBS radio talk show host Dom Giordano at the National Constitution Center.

“I’ll ask Hillary Clinton, what have you done for criminal justice? Your husband passed all the laws that put a generation of black men in prison. Her husband was responsible for that,” he said.

“She’s changing her tune now. She’s changing her tune because people like me have been speaking out against these injustices,” he said.

As president, Clinton signed the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which gave states fiscal incentives to enact tougher sentencing laws.

Paul noted that in some predominantly African-American communities such as Ferguson, Mo., there are substantially fewer black men than women because so many black men are incarcerated.

He touted bills he has introduced with Democratic support that would give judges more discretion in handing out sentencing and would reduce penalties for non-violent drug offenses.

Paul said he would also challenge Clinton about her vision for reinvigorating blighted urban centers.

“I’ll also ask her what she’s going to do for poor people in Philadelphia. I have a specific plan that would dramatically lower the taxes for people who live in zip codes of poverty and high unemployment. I would leave billions of dollars in Philadelphia over 10 years. What’s Hillary Clinton going to do?” he said.

A spokeswoman for Correct the Record, a rapid-response group aligned with Clinton’s campaign, argued Paul was engaging in partisan attacks.  

“Hillary Clinton has continuously fought for a criminal justice system that is fair and balanced by cosponsoring legislation to end racial profiling, fighting for community policing through the COPs program, and presenting bold ideas on how we can work together to fix the inequities in our current system,” Mary Rutherford Jennings, deputy communications director for the group, said in a statement. “Rand Paul is choosing instead to play partisan attack games, even attempting to halt this opportunity for progress if it gets him headlines.”

This story was updated at 3:08 p.m.

Tags 2016 Presidential race Criminal justice reform Hillary Clinton Rand Paul

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