“I would like to say that this war on the disabled is losing its luster.”
—Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
—In an interview with the Washington Post, Paul said that Republicans should focus on the war on poverty rather than the war against disability.
Paul said that it’s a “good argument” for Republicans to be “more aggressive in this war,” because the War on Poverty is a “war on the poor.”
Paul has been one of the most vocal proponents of the War On Poverty.
In fact, he co-authored an op-ed for the Post titled “The War on the Poor Is a War on America.”
Paul said in the op-ad that the War in Poverty was “not about people who are disabled but about the rich who benefit from a society where they can exploit the working poor.”
“I’d rather have that war on poor and on the wealthy than the War to End Poverty,” Paul told the Post.
Paul told the Washington Examiner that the war to end poverty is a failure because it fails to focus on people who can’t afford to go to work.
“People are trying to figure out how they’re going to get by, or how they can make ends meet,” he said.
“I’m not saying we should eliminate all of the problems of the poor, but we should be able to get there without giving all of them a handout.”
Paul’s op-eds have been met with a torrent of criticism.
A Huffington Post headline said that “Rand Paul is the ‘War on the Working Poor’ and the GOP’s worst nightmare.”
Paul’s former top aide, Matt Kibbe, wrote in a tweet, “The GOP’s War on Disability is a Failure.”
In a letter to Sen. John McCain, R–Ariz., on Tuesday, Sen. Mike Lee, RUtah, called the oped “one of the more egregious attacks on the working man in this country.”
Paul told Vox on Thursday that “it’s a very fair criticism, because you don’t want to be the one who’s giving money to the working class.”
“But it’s important to remember that that is a war on people, not on disability.
I’m not sure it’s the case,” Paul said.
Paul’s comments come as the GOP is increasingly focusing on poverty in general, as the party is attempting to portray itself as a more compassionate party.
Last month, Paul released a letter he wrote in 2013 urging Congress to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich.
The letter stated, “There is little doubt that a significant portion of Americans have a disability, and that they should not be forced to endure a financial hardship to make ends met.”
The op-Ed is a far cry from the way Paul campaigned during the 2016 election.
At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Paul touted his support for “a tax on the rich.”
In the same speech, he said he was “unashamedly pro-working-class” and “for the middle class.”
The Republican National Committee issued a statement saying, “Rand’s comments on the War of Poverty are simply inaccurate and do not represent his record.
As Rand himself said in his op-ED, his focus is on making America great again and building on the successes of our economy.”