24 hours after Rand Paul announced his bid for the White House, the politician hit the campaign trail, which included a number of media speed bumps.
If Paul is hoping to win over the media, he's not off to a very good start.
The Washington Post writes that in a series of interviews after the freshman senator from Kentucky declared his candidacy on Tuesday, Paul turned prickly — briskly sidestepping tough foreign policy questions from one journalist, lecturing another on how to conduct an interview, and testily declining to clarify his position on abortion.
On Tuesday, Paul bristled at a question from Fox News host Sean Hannity about a 2007 comment in which he’d dubbed the idea that Iran posed a threat to U.S. security a “ridiculous” one. Paul was one of 47 Republican senators who recently signed a letter aimed at derailing a deal to contain Iran’s nuclear program, drawing scrutiny over his hawkish turn.
“You know, things do change over time,” Paul said. “I also wasn’t campaigning for myself [in 2007], I was campaigning to help my father at the time.”
Hours later, he pushed back even harder amid similar foreign policy questions from “Today” host Savannah Guthrie.
“Before we go through a litany of things you say I’ve changed on, why don’t you ask me a question: ‘Have I changed my opinion?’ That would sort of be a better way to approach an interview,” Paul told the NBC journalist.
The exchange drew immediate comparisons to a similar conversation in February with CNBC anchor Kelly Evans, when, during a back-and-forth about the effectiveness of a tax program, Paul at one point shushed the reporter, telling her to “calm down a bit.”
Paul might want to figure out that he will end up needing the media a hell of a lot more than they will need him.