CBC Chairwoman Calls Paul Remarks ‘Deeply Troubling’

Posted May 20, 2010 at 5:21pm

The leader of the Congressional Black Caucus on Thursday joined the barrage of criticism directed at Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul, calling “deeply troubling” Paul’s comments suggesting he disagreed with aspects of a landmark civil rights law.

In a Thursday afternoon statement, CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said Paul’s remarks this week on the 1964 Civil Rights Act “are inconsistent.” She added: “Based on his earlier remarks, there is doubt about whether or not he is truly committed to preserving civil rights legislation.”

Paul, the son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), has drawn widespread criticism for comments suggesting he opposed the law’s prohibition on segregation at privately owned facilities open to the public, and he has since tried to clarify his position. But Rand’s subsequent statements have not placated Lee or other black lawmakers.

“Many Americans of all races through direct non-violent action, lunch counter sit-ins and boycotts put their lives on the line in the face of violent resistance,” Lee said. “We have come too far to allow these gains to be eroded.”

Earlier Thursday, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said in an MSNBC interview that he was “absolutely appalled” by Paul’s comments and called on Paul to “come clean with the American people and let us know exactly what it is he wants to do if he’s elected to the United States Senate.”

Also on Thursday, Senate Judiciary ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) repudiated Paul’s remarks, calling them “wrong.”

Paul beat out Trey Grayson on Tuesday night to secure the GOP nomination.