Posted by Brad @ 10:39 am on March 30th 2010

Cheap Shotting 911 in a Republican Primary, Again

Alan Grayson, fresh off his coveted Dick Cheney endorsement, has now decided to go full-on Rudy Giuliani.

Faced with a growing gap in primary polls, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) this week launched a provocative campaign ad charging that rival Rand Paul (R) “even wonders whether 9/11 was our fault.” The Lexington Herald Leader reports that the spot backs the claim up with a clip of Paul speaking at the Blue Grass Policy Institute forum in March 2009, saying: “Maybe some of the bad things that happen are a reaction to our presence in some of these countries.”

Rudy Giuliani, if you’ll remember, used this charge to the same effect against Rand’s father in the Republican presidential primaries of 2008, where, in large part because of his identical comment, he went on to win a diehard base of loyal supporters, have a disproportionate impact on the primaries, and create a lasting movement, coalition, and political legacy. I hear his political capital even got his son 20 points ahead in a Senate race. Or am I misremembering that?

For the record, Rand’s response:


  1. It does need to be acknowledged that there’s a lot of confusing chatter regarding Rand Paul’s foreign policy views. He’s running as a proponent of overseas intervention in the Cheney mold, but his father is raising money from his Presidential campaign supporters by portraying Rand as an anti-neocon.

    I’m inclined to accept Rand Paul’s portrayl of his own views over that of his father. But certainly, if he’s going to have it both ways for fundraising purposes, and to rely as heavily on his father’s coattails as he has, he’s leaving himself open to this kind of attack.

    Comment by Rojas — 3/30/2010 @ 10:58 am

  2. But let’s be clear, it’s not really he that’s threading a needle here. It’s the same old non-brokering of any characterization of 911 or pretty much anything military or terrorist related as anything but a mythological narrative of good vs. evil. Saying “Maybe some of the bad things that happen are a reaction to our presence in some of these countries,” ought not be taken right off the bat as a normative statement. I’m not objecting to “Rand Paul’s Strange Ideas” per se, because you’re right, he is trying to have it both ways on that (although I think he himself has been pretty clear), it’s just the last dying gasp of trotting out a profoundly unserious way to talk about national security and foreign policy, which is neoconservatisms big contribution to the Republican rhetorical debate.

    Comment by Brad — 3/30/2010 @ 11:08 am

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