Booker brands GOP Sen. Rand Paul as ‘barrier’ to progress

Oct 3, 2022, 6:00 AM | Updated: 7:00 pm
FILE - Democrat Charles Booker speaks to a group of supporters following his victory in the Kentuck...

FILE - Democrat Charles Booker speaks to a group of supporters following his victory in the Kentucky primary in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Booker railed against Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul as a “barrier” to progress Monday night, Oct. 3 as he made a pitch to Kentucky voters in a solo appearance on statewide television. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

              FILE - Republican Sen. Rand Paul, of Ky., addresses the audience at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Ham Breakfast at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. Democrat Charles Booker railed against Paul as a “barrier” to progress Monday night, Oct. 3 as he made a pitch to Kentucky voters in a solo appearance on statewide television.  (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)
            
              FILE - Democrat Charles Booker speaks to a group of supporters following his victory in the Kentucky primary in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, May 17, 2022.  Booker railed against Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul as a “barrier” to progress Monday night, Oct. 3 as he made a pitch to Kentucky voters in a solo appearance on statewide television.  (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

Democrat Charles Booker railed against Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul as a “barrier” to progress Monday night as he made a pitch to Kentucky voters in a solo appearance on statewide television.

Booker, a former state lawmaker, touted his plans to expand health care access, stoutly defended his support for abortion rights and said policymakers must deal with “climate chaos” that he linked to monster storms hitting Kentucky and other parts of the country.

With about a month left in the fall campaign, the Democratic challenger was the lone Senate hopeful to appear on the candidate program on Kentucky Educational Television. Paul, who is seeking a third Senate term, was invited but did not participate in the program.

Booker took advantage of monopolizing the time, saying Paul had “turned his back” on voters.

“He has voted against expanding health care,” Booker said. “He’s voted against infrastructure. He’s voted against local governments. He’s been our barrier and we need to remove him so that we can win our future.”

Booker is the first Black Kentuckian in state history to be the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. Best known for his “hood to the holler” theme in hopes of forging an urban-rural coalition, Booker said he’s built grassroots support that includes people who have been ignored, marginalized and abandoned.

“That’s not about party,” he said. “That’s about humanity.”

Booker also took on the issue of climate change in coal-producing Kentucky.

“These historic, unprecedented storms — having a 1,000-year flood that hit communities that were never in a flood plain — these things are not happenstance,” he said. “So we cannot look away from them, or call them a myth or a joke like Rand Paul would.”

Portions of eastern Kentucky were inundated by historic flooding this summer.

Kentucky hasn’t elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in three decades. Tapping into the power of incumbency, Paul has amassed a lopsided fundraising advantage over Booker, and the GOP senator has dipped into his campaign treasury to air a series of TV ads touting his conservative credentials.

Paul is a libertarian-leaning conservative first elected to the Senate in the tea party-driven wave of 2010. Paul, a former presidential candidate, rails against socialism and big-government programs he says encroach on individual liberties and drive up the nation’s debt. The senator also denounces what he views as government overreach in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Booker is a progressive who promotes such social programs as Medicare for All and a basic universal income. He also supports a clean-energy agenda and criminal justice changes.

Booker said Monday night that his platform comes from his “lived experience.” He has talked about growing up poor and having to ration his insulin in the past.

“This is not about radical proposals,” he said of his agenda. “It’s about saying we deserve better. We deserve to live a good life, a good-paying union job. We deserve to be able to take care of our families and have health care.”

This year’s top-of-the-ticket Senate race in Kentucky has at times seemed to be overshadowed by the state’s emerging 2023 governor’s race. Several Republican hopefuls are jockeying for advantage in what’s shaping up as an intensely competitive GOP gubernatorial primary next spring. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear is seeking a second term.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A Boeing 747-8, Boeing's new passenger plane, takes its first flight, Sunday, March 20, 2011...
Associated Press

Boeing’s last 747 to roll out of Washington state factory

After more than half a century, Boeing is set to roll its last 747 out of a Washington state factory on Tuesday.
20 hours ago
(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein, File)...
Associated Press

Inslee touts new housing program for Spokane’s homeless

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was in Spokane Monday to preview the opening of a new housing project for homeless people, calling the Catalyst Project a step toward ending the state’s homelessness crisis.
20 hours ago
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a memorial...
Associated Press

China’s Xi visiting Saudi Arabia amid bid to boost economy

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leader Xi Jinping is attending a pair of regional summits in Saudi Arabia this week amid efforts to kick-start economic growth weighed down by strict anti-COVID-19 measures. The Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that Xi will attend the inaugural China-Arab States Summit and a meeting with leaders of the six nations that […]
20 hours ago
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., departs after speak during a Congressional Gold Med...
Associated Press

Congress set to rescind COVID-19 vaccine mandate for troops

WASHINGTON (AP) — The COVID-19 vaccine mandate for members of the U.S. military would be rescinded under the annual defense bill heading for a vote this week in Congress, ending a directive that helped ensure the vast majority of troops were vaccinated but also raised concerns that it harmed recruitment and retention. Republicans, emboldened by […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

American Museum of Natural History names new president

NEW YORK (AP) — The American Museum of Natural History on Tuesday said it had chosen college president Sean Decatur to become its next president, making him the first Black leader of the institution. Decatur, currently the president of Kenyon College in Ohio, will succeed Ellen Futter in April of next year, the museum said. […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Dominica’s leader expected to stay following snap elections

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit was expected to remain leader of the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica after snap general elections Tuesday that the main opposition party and its supporters boycotted. Twenty-one of 32 seats in the House of Assembly were up for grabs, with several automatically going to Skerrit’s […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Booker brands GOP Sen. Rand Paul as ‘barrier’ to progress