Establishment GOP In Kentucky Battens Down The Hatches Against Tea Party Fave Rand Paul

Kentucky Republicans will choose between establishment Republican Trey Grayson, and Tea Party hero Rand Paul in today's primary. In a year when candidates are trying to shed the "politician" label, Grayson is embracing it, currying endorsements from GOP leaders like Mitch McConnell and conservative icons like Rick Santorum:

LOUISVILLE – Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson unleashed a withering attack on the surging Senate candidacy of Rand Paul, calling him a grand-standing leader who will struggle in the general election because his views are out of the mainstream with Kentucky voters.

Grayson, on the eve of Kentucky’s closely watched Republican Senate primary, also said Paul has used his campaign to build up his own image with positive coverage on Fox News while ignoring the specific needs of Kentucky.

“I think he’d be more of a grandstander,” Grayson said standing in an airport hangar before a giant R/V with a Grayson banner across it. “I want to be a leader for Kentucky. I’m running to be a United States senator from Kentucky, I’m not running to be the candidate of the tea party. … Listen to his speeches, watch him in our debates. … The guy never talks about our state.”

The tough line of attack comes as Paul, a doctor from Bowling Green, appears headed to victory Tuesday night, buoyed by fervent tea partiers who have latched onto his calls for radical changes in government spending, including the abolition of the Education Department.

“We think there’s a tea party tidal wave coming,” Paul said Monday. “It’s already hit Utah, and it’s coming to Kentucky next.”

“There’s enormous momentum out there,” he said.

Paul’s comments came on Fox News right at the time Grayson was complaining about what he said was the cable network’s favorable coverage of his opponent and the “softballs” lobbed at him when he regularly appears there.

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