CONWAY: There's a direct line from his college days. "The Washington Post" last week did a series of stories about Rand Paul's college letters to the editor. And he questioned whether or not two people could ever be equal. You know, I happen to think our creator makes us equal. He questioned whether or not women needed equal protection in the law. He questioned nondiscrimination laws and consumer protection laws. And you can draw a straight line from those attitudes in college to the positions he has taken in this campaign. Rand Paul has said that the federal government doesn't need to be involved in faith-based initiatives. He's come for a 23% national sales tax that would do away with charitable deductions. He's questioned fundamental principles of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act, too.
Q: The woman in question said the ad is accurate, but "over the top." [To Conway]: Do you believe he's a Christian?
CONWAY AD NARRATOR:
- Why was Rand Paul a member of a secret society that called the Holy Bible a hoax, that was banned for mocking Christianity and Christ?
- Why did Rand Paul once tie a woman up, tell her to bow down before a false idol, and say his god was Aqua Buddha?
- Why does Rand Paul now want to end all federal faith-based initiatives and even end the reduction for religious charities?
- Why are there so many questions about Rand Paul?
CONWAY: I'm not questioning his faith. I'm questioning his actions. Baylor University banned this group because they were "making fun of Christianity and Christ." And we're asking, is it appropriate, whether you're 22 years old or 42 years old, to ever tie up a woman and ask her to kneel before a false idol?
CONWAY: No, I'm not implying criminal. And the woman came out again today, and she said our ad was correct.
Q: Well, she said your ad was over the top.
CONWAY: And FactCheck.org said our ad was correct.
Q: Accurate, but over the top. But does an incident that may or may not have occurred 27 years ago, does it really matter to voters today, given all the things that people are facing, all the things, the problems that people are having in their own lives?
Q: Doesn't everybody do stupid stuff in college or when they're in late teens, early 20s?
CONWAY: Sure, sure, everyone does stupid stuff. But Rand Paul is denying that this happened.
CONWAY: Well, the woman who has made the allegations has remained anonymous.
Q: So, you don't know, really, who she is, other than one or two reporters who have talked to her?
CONWAY: Other than the reporters for "The Washington Post" and "GQ" and the other reporters. One gentleman named Mr. Green has gone on record who was a compatriot of Rand Paul's in this secret society and said, yes, they aspired to sacrilege and Rand Paul reveled in it.
Q: But does it concern you to be basing so much of your campaign on a nameless person who won't come forward? You're an attorney. You couldn't put this person on a stand. You couldn't put these statements in court.
CONWAY: Look, she has called it sadistic and she has called it weird. And she's talked about it on multiple occasions. The president of Baylor banned the group.
CONWAY: Well, values matter. I don't think you should ever mock faith in any way at any age. And Rand Paul has said that the federal government doesn't need to be involved in faith-based initiatives. He's come for a 23% national sales tax that would do away with charitable deductions.
Q: The sales tax has nothing to do with faith. The issues in your ad all do.
CONWAY: I take him at his word on his faith.
Q: You believe he is a Christian?
CONWAY: Sure. I'm not questioning his faith. I'm questioning his actions.
The latter claim refers to a charge made in a GQ article by an unnamed college swim teammate, who said Paul and another student also tried to force her to smoke marijuana. The episode reportedly occurred in 1983. Paul has called the claim "ridiculous" and said he was "never involved with kidnapping."
During the debate, Conway repeated the allegation--triggering Paul's response: "Jack, you know how we tell when you're lying? It's when your lips are moving, Paul sputtered. "You're going to stand over there and accuse me of a crime for 30 years ago from some anonymous source?"
Paul describes himself as a "pro-life Christian" and says his faith is "something very personal to me, my wife, my kids."
In an interview with ABC News, Conway said that Social Security represented an "area of stark contrast in the race." During the course of the campaign, Paul has suggested raising the retirement age and Conway has alleged his opponent believes Social Security is unconstitutional.
It's a claim that Paul denied as recently as Sunday night: "I've never challenged it and I do not challenge the constitutionality of it," Paul said at a debate.
CONWAY: I support some of President Obama's agenda. The stimulus, 1/3 of it went to tax cuts. 1/3 of it went to keeping the jobs of police and firefighters. And 1/3 supposedly went to shovel-ready projects where the administration hasn't done that great a job. Actually, I wouldn't have voted for the bailouts. There weren't enough accountability in them. We had people getting bonuses after getting the bailouts. And on health care, look, we've got 654,000 Kentuckians getting health care for the first time as a result of this bill. What I'm not for, is the $2,000 deductible and taking our health care system back to a pre-World War II system, which is what Rand Paul's on the record as having said. So I'd like to fix health care. He wants to repeal it. And I think that's a stark difference.
CONWAY: Look, I'm a proud Democrat. I'm certainly not going to be to the left of Obama. I'm going to put Kentucky first. And the reason I said something on "don't ask, don't tell" is I abhor discrimination. It was painful for a lot of Kentuckians to see Rand Paul question fundamental provisions of the Civil Rights Act.
CONWAY: Rand Paul will do anything to keep from talking about the drug issue because he doesn't get the state.
PAUL: Meth labs are not part of the drug issue?
CONWAY: No, meth labs are part of the drug issue, Rand. What's happened is we've gotten better at identifying them. You have new so-called shake-and-bake labs that are much smaller. We're finding a lot more of them. That's where those statistics come from. But it's another example where Rand Paul doesn't get Kentucky. He doesn't get our farm economy. He doesn't get that drugs are a real pressing issue. I've had mothers crying on my shoulders because their daughters overdosed from oxycontin. I get that it's a real pressing issue. I've seen it firsthand.
PAUL: Actually, prescription drug abuse is up since you became attorney general.
CONWAY: Oxycontin is probably down a little bit, to be honest with you.
CONWAY: I'm against cap and trade, too. Always have been.
Q: Well, that's not true. You supported the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill back in 2009.
CONWAY: No, I didn't. I have said I'm always going to protect coal and I'm always going to protect electricity. I did not support Waxman-Markey. And I even took on the EPA. I filed a lawsuit against the EPA when they were doing just what Dr. Paul was describing.
PAUL: In June 2009 you issued a statement saying you supported the cap-and-trade bill and you were confident it could be reformed. You said you wanted to be part of the negotiated compromise.
CONWAY: I've been consistent in my position saying I'm going to stand up for Kentucky coal. I'm going to make certain we keep our electricity rates low.
CONWAY: We need to put the people of Kentucky first. The special interests in Washington have enough people standing up for them. As attorney general, I have stood up for the people of Kentucky. I've taken on pharmaceutical companies when they have lied to our Medicaid program. I have taken on oil companies that have gouged us. There's a real clear choice between someone who has taken on the drug issue and someone who says that drugs aren't a pressing issue in Kentucky, someone who stands up to criminals and someone who says that nonviolent behavior shouldn't be a crime. I mean, that's a really clear choice.
Q: Attorney General Conway, you have even gone further than that. On the campaign trail you have called Dr. Paul "crazy." Your campaign ads call him "out of touch."
CONWAY: I'm not saying Dr. Paul is crazy. I think some of his ideas are out of the mainstream and they're out of touch with the values of normal Kentuckians.
CONWAY: We need Medicare bulk purchasing. That would save about $200 billion. That would be the first bill I introduce when I go to the US Senate. Secondly, we need Medicare fraud units in each and every state. Estimates are there are about $100 billion in fraud.
Q: Are you willing to reduce a benefit?
CONWAY: Let me say one more thing on what I want to do as well. I think we need to end the offshore tax loopholes, a $130 billion in those. It can be done like that. We need a pay-as-you-go system. And then we also need a bipartisan debt commission to come back with recommendations.
Q: Dr. Paul, you say you want to repeal Obamacare; for Social Security, would you raise the retirement age?
PAUL: -for younger people, yes.
PAUL: But here's the problem. You say you want new lending from small banks, but you support the banking regulation bill. The problem was with government banks--Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac--bad policy at the Federal Reserve caused the recession, caused the credit crunch. But yet Jack supports--President Obama supports--the new banking regulations, which every bank in Kentucky will tell you it wasn't our problem. No banks failed in Kentucky. But it's much harder to get a loan in Kentucky now.
Paul replied, "I didn't know it was Wendell Ford's seat. I thought it was the people of Kentucky's seat."
The response mirrored an exchange that occurred in Massachusetts earlier this year, when a debate moderator made a reference to the late Ted Kennedy's senate seat and Scott Brown, the insurgent Republican, shot back: "It's not the Kennedy's seat. It's not the Democrat's seat. It's the people's seat."
"The people's seat" became the rallying cry for Brown, who won the race.
Wendell Ford, a Democrat, holds a Kennedy-like place in the Kentucky political firmament. He represented Kentucky for 24 years in the Senate, also served as the state's governor and was the unofficial head of the state party for three decades until he retired in 1999. Time will tell whether Mr. Conway's reference is perceived as a slip-up.
CONWAY: I was talking about the special interest provisions that allow companies to shift our jobs overseas. That's what I was focused on in that particular interview. We shouldn't be raising taxes in a time of recession, with 10% unemployment, with capital frozen on the sidelines. In 2002, when I was running for the US Congress, I was for the Bush tax cuts then. I was one of the few Democrats for them. And I think now we just ought to extend them.
PAUL: Well, you were for them before you were against them. At the Farm Bureau debate just a couple of months ago, you said you were bringing back the death tax.
CONWAY: No, I didn't.
PAUL: You specifically said you wouldn't take a 55% tax on estates. You said 45% with some exemptions.
CONWAY: I never said that.
When it comes to the mosque in New York City he feels we should lean more towards the sensitivities of the 9/11 families.
Paul accusing Conway of "pandering" for votes by mischaracterizing his concern for the state's drug woes: "It's been recently insinuated somehow that I don't care about the drug problem in Kentucky, and that's absolutely wrong."
Paul shows libertarian leanings on drugs. He has called drug sentences of 10 to 20 years too harsh. While he has said he opposes the legalization of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes, he believes it should be up to individual states to decide the issue. Conway said Kentucky can't afford to take on drug traffickers without federal help.
The above quotations are from 2010 Kentucky Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts from 2010 Kentucky Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts by Jack Conway.
Click here for a profile of Jack Conway.
Jack Conway on other issues:
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