In a home state appearance in Greensburg, Kentucky, liberal-leaning Republicans said Americans should make their own decisions on whether to get vaccinated.
“We don’t really need people who believe in some sort of elitism to tell us what to do,” said Paul, who is an eye surgeon, speaking in front of the luncheon audience. “I think we have a pretty good understanding.”
Paul notes that most people 65 and older have received vaccinations, saying that “they felt it was in their best interest to do so.”
“In a free society, we make these decisions individually,” he said.
Paul acknowledged Trump as “one of the tallest leaders” of the national Republican Party, but said the GOP has too many leaders. Paul shrugged off questions about whether he might seek the presidency again, saying he is focused on his 2022 Senate re-bid.
When it comes to Paul’s personality, the Biden administration continues its COVID-19 tally by sending A-list executives across the country, creating ads for niche markets and enlisting community organizers to persuade unvaccinated people to get a shot. Tries to reach the 19-19 vaccination target.
Paul made his broad remarks targeting the nation’s top government infectious-disease expert, and Kentucky’s Democratic governor, Andy Beshear.
The senator lambasted Beshear over his virus-related restrictions on businesses that have since been removed, saying: “In our state, the governor decided he was king.” Beshear has said that his actions saved lives.
The Kentucky Supreme Court is currently reviewing a case for separation of powers stemming from measures passed by the state’s GOP-dominated legislature to limit the governor’s executive powers. Beshear filed a lawsuit after lawmakers overruled his veto of bills in his executive authority. Paul called it the most important case before the state high court in decades.
“Because if the court rules that the legislature cannot limit the powers of the governor, then you have a governor with unlimited powers,” the senator said Tuesday. “And it’s incredibly dangerous.”
After his speech, Paul defended his focus on past virus-related actions. He said that when meeting with Kentuckians he gets more questions about his conflict with Fauci than any other topic.
“I think it’s still very much present in people’s minds,” the senator told reporters. “I think it was also the biggest restriction of our freedoms in a long, long time. It’s hard to find an example of where the government has become involved in our daily lives over the past several decades.”
Paul also criticized a push by liberal advocates to change or eliminate the Senate’s filibuster rules, saying he also opposed such efforts when Republicans led the chamber.
He added that “things are going slow” can be a good thing.
Paul is seeking a third Senate term in next year’s election. Charles Booker, a black former state legislator who touts a progressive agenda, has emerged as a major potential Democratic challenger. Paul made no reference to Booker during his appearance at Greensburg.
Paul downplayed his chances of running for president again in 2024. The Kentucky senator ran for the White House in 2016, but his campaign failed as Trump oversaw the GOP field.
Paul said Tuesday that he is focused on his re-election campaign, adding that the national GOP political landscape is “until President Trump decides what he is going to do.”
“And so I guess we wait and see,” Paul said when asked about the 2024 presidential bid. “But it’s not something I’m actively thinking about, oh, that’s my next step. I’m not really thinking about it. Maybe something for me to come together to reflect on this There must be an extraordinary set of events.
Asked if Trump would continue to be leader of the national GOP, Paul said: “The Republican Party is a big party, so I think there are many leaders. And former President Trump is one of the big leaders of the party. But this not monolithic.”