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Rand Paul speaking at LPAC 2011 in Reno, Nevada.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, an aspiring 2016 presidential candidate, says:
I think you'll find nobody in Congress doing more for minority rights than me right now, Republican or Democrat.
Those comments were delivered as part of his effort to wrap himself up in the Civil Rights Act on its 50th anniversary. Of course, this is the same Rand Paul who just four years ago sang a different song:
INTERVIEWER: Would you have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

PAUL: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains, and I’m all in favor of that.

INTERVIEWER: But?

PAUL: You had to ask me the “but.” I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners—I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant—but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership.

Yes, that pesky reporter had to ask him the but, and now poor Rand Paul needs to spend all his time convincing folks that he's basically a modern-day Freedom Rider. Of course, it's a little hard for Rand to make that case given that as recently as one year ago, one of his top staffers was a racist who liked to call himself the "Southern Avenger."

That revelation prompted a familiar claim from Paul:

I don’t think there’s anyone in Congress who has a stronger belief in minority rights than I do.
Of course, that came just one month after he went on Newsmax TV to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court decision gutting the Voting Rights Act because (in his words) "we have an African-American president." But to be fair to Paul, that doesn't necessarily mean his beliefs on civil rights aren't strong—it just means they aren't the kind of beliefs that most Americans would want to see in the Oval Office.

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