Kentucky senator Rand Paul has criticized Donald Trump’s impeachment again, calling it “dead on arrival.” As CNN reported, Paul tried to challenge the impeachment in the Senate but his motion was denied with a majority vote of 55-45. Five Republican senators voted against their own party, but Paul celebrated the fact that the other 45 Republicans stayed loyal as a “big victory,” indicating that not enough Senators will vote against Trump at the trial next month.
Paul has been one of the loudest voices defending the former president in the impeachment process so far, according to CNN. Speaking in defense of the former president, he told the Senate that Democrats “insist on applying a test of incitement to a Republican that they refuse to apply to themselves.” He went on to argue that Democrat politicians have made similar speeches before, adding “Are we going to put every politician in jail — are we going to impeach every politician who has used the words fight figuratively in a speech? Shame!”
While it does seem that Rand Paul is standing up for Trump in this instance, their relationship hasn’t always been the most congenial. Read on to learn all the details about the relationship between these two polarizing figures.
Rand Paul called Trump a "bully" when they fought for the Republican nomination
When Rand Paul and Donald Trump both launched their presidential campaigns in 2015, the Republican politician had a very different view of the former reality star. After they shared a debate stage together during the GOP primaries, Rand called Trump a “bully” and an “empty suit,” as The Atlantic reported. He went on to say that it was “high time someone does stand up and really call nonsense nonsense.”
In January 2016, Politico reported that Paul called Trump a “fake conservative,” adding, “Conservatives have to look closely at Trump’s record and decide whether he’s a conservative or not.” He also appeared on Comedy Central later that month and described Trump as a “delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag,” according to The Hill. Rand went on to comparing him to the Nazi head of propaganda Joseph Goebbels, and joke that a “speck of dirt” would be more qualified to run the country.
However, like fellow conservative politicians Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, Paul changed his tune regarding Trump after he won the presidency in 2016.
Rand Paul went from calling Trump names to defending him
Once Donald Trump was elected president and Rand Paul won his Senate race, the public name-calling stopped. They still clashed over policies like repealing the Affordable Care Act, as the Courier-Journal reported, but also managed to work together on an executive order about healthcare and were seen golfing together in October 2017.
It was during the president’s first impeachment in 2019 that Paul became a vocal champion of Trump. In one statement he declared that the Senate “will not continue this partisan abuse of power and should at once put an end to the charade,” as The New York Times reported. Paul also spoke at the Republican National Convention, as transcribed by CNN, declaring that he was “proud” of the job Trump had done as President.
“I don’t always agree with him. But our occasional policy differences are far outweighed by our significant agreements,” the politician told the virtual conference, a far cry from his comments four years earlier.
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