During an interview on a local television station on Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) was pressed into a word-association game for several of his potential rivals in the 2016 presidential contest.
Paul used the opportunity to dish out praise and a few insults.
When asked to use one word or phrase to describe Gov. Chris Christie (R), Paul immediately chose “bridges” — a burn to the New Jersey governor who has been embattled in the infamous “Bridgegate” scandal since early 2014.
Paul was far more charitable with the other potential GOP candidates. Asked to describe Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), a Cuban-American freshman lawmaker, Paul said “thoughtful.”
“Thoughtful and part of the answer to making our party bigger — a good, new face for our party,” he said during the interview on “One to One with Bill Goodman,” which was flagged Tuesday by the Washington Post.
Paul struggled a bit to find a word for Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), whom he has extensively quarreled with over foreign policy matters. Paul has urged restraint in the use of U.S. military force abroad while Perry has backed a more aggressive approach. The two sharply criticised each other in dueling op-eds in July.
“Um,” Paul said, pausing for a full four seconds. “It’s hard to put it in one word. What I would say is that I like the fact that he has been for more power for states and for less government in his state. We have some disagreements on some other things.”
But Paul didn’t pause at all when pressed to say a couple words about Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner in the 2016 contest.
“Yesterday’s news,” he said bluntly.
Paul was similarly dismissive when asked about President Barack Obama.
“Affable but often ineffectual,” he said.
Paul had nothing but praise for one Democrat, however. The Kentucky pol was positively loquacious when asked about Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), whom Paul has partnered with on criminal justice reform measures.
“Affable, amiable, tries to get beyond partisanship. We’re only allowed to do one word?” Paul asked. “He’s likable and once again we don’t agree on probably 80% of the issues. … Maybe compromise could be: You find people that you don’t agree with on everything but you find something you’re actually in complete agreement with. That’s what I like about some of the bipartisan bills. I’m not splitting the difference with Cory Booker; he and I actually are in almost the same place on criminal justice — on taxes and balanced budgets, not so much.”
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